Our View: Not #upforwhatever

KS Editors

Summary: We are not up for whatever. We should be up for making real change and helping to prevent sexual assault, not encouraging it with catchy slogans. 

In 2013, we had Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which many critics said promoted rape culture in America. Now, we’ve got Bud Light’s #upforwhatever campaign. 

One Reddit user posted a photo Tuesday of a slogan found on the label of a beer bottle. “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night. #upforwhatever,” the label said.

Critics were quick to recognize the blatant alternative meaning, and the Washington Post reported that some were calling the beer “the date rape beer.” The slogan was supposed to be one of more than 100 used in the campaign. 

Despite the fact that Anheuser-Busch Vice President Alex Lambrecht released a statement saying the message has since ceased reproduction, some bottles are still circulating in the market. He said that the company would never promote or condone irresponsible behavior. 

Some of the other slogans were, indeed, fun: “The perfect beer for nights that couldn’t get better and then, somehow, they do,” and “The perfect beer for not staying strangers.” One even promoted parties: “The perfect beer for throwing a surprise party. For yourself.” But do those make up for one label that inadvertently promotes sexual assault? 

The Guardian called “Blurred Lines” the most controversial song of the decade and reported that many schools in the United Kingdom were banning the popular song. We should only hope to be that outraged. 

The National Institutes of Health reports that of the 25 percent of American women who report experiencing sexual assault, at least half also report that alcohol consumption was involved. These figures double when it comes to college students. Nearly 50 percent of college-age women and 25 percent of college-age men report sexual assaults, half of which are expected to involve alcohol consumption. 

We think this needs to change. It’s easy for us to say that, yes, but as college students, we know that we could potentially make a difference. We think it’s important to challenge the companies and individuals that continue to promote behavior and actions like sexual assault. Often, society and the news media discuss the effects of sexual assaults, analyze the statistics and write the headlines we all see in newsfeeds. 

But we think that it’s up to our generation to make a difference. Slogans like #upforwhatever are a reflection of our culture — the things that companies think we want to have, see and experience. But we know that sexual assault should never be experienced, committed or promoted in any form. We think that if college students and Americans are truly #upforwhatever, then whatever happens will happen. And that’s not often a good thing.

The above editorial is the general consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board.