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 Post subject: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:41 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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So our local coop decided not to carry The Saucy Goodness Company's organic tomato chutney because of the labeling shown above. The product is made by a woman-owned, local business, but the coop deemed the label exploitative. This is the coop's relevant policy (excerpted from their novel on product selection guidelines):

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The Co-op will not carry products whose retail packaging is deemed exploitive or oppressive. Such determination may be made by the department manager, the merchandising team or the staff as a whole. Packaging may be considered exploitive or oppressive if the graphics, narrative or product name use or promote harmful stereotypes based on sex, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, looks, class, education, politics, religion, national origin or species.


So people on both sides are getting their smallclothes in a twist. I'm not at all sure how I feel about it (apart from being fairly sure I want me some tomato chutney). So I was curious what you all thought.

Also, I think their policy is kinda weird in that they supposedly refuse to carry products whose packaging "promote[s] harmful stereotypes based on ... species." But they still sell meat. So kill and eat animals, but dear god, don't offend them with harmful stereotypes. Anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:27 am 
Has it on Blue Vinyl
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hoveringdog wrote:
Also, I think their policy is kinda weird in that they supposedly refuse to carry products whose packaging "promote[s] harmful stereotypes based on ... species." But they still sell meat. So kill and eat animals, but dear god, don't offend them with harmful stereotypes. Anyway...


This is so awesome, you should definitely challenge it. Find some milk with a happy cow or better yet salsa with an animal character wearing a sombrero and demand that they take it out based on the policy. I bet there will be 30 co-op meeting about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Yeah, but imagery like that is hard to come by.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:29 pm 
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it's a woman in a yoga pose with a tomato on her foot.

i'd want some of that tomato chutney, too!

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:36 pm 
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She sure is good at balancing that tomato. I don't see what is so offensive about the image. I guess it might make me do a double take if I was scanning the condiments aisle which is probably what the were after. But is that really that bad?

Definitely challenge them on the species policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Everyone knows only homely old grandmother-types are allowed on food labels, because only homely old grandmothers cook. Smokin' hot women who do yoga can't cook.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:29 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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FootFace wrote:
Yeah, but imagery like that is hard to come by.


If only there were a blog of that sort of thing so we knew exactly what to look for...

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:56 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
FootFace wrote:
Yeah, but imagery like that is hard to come by.


If only there were a blog of that sort of thing so we knew exactly what to look for...


Yeah. Good luck with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Is it because it's vaguely pin-up style?


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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:22 pm 
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maybe if it were like a Tom Ford perfume ad, with a lady with a tomato over her croissant, I would understand, but that's pretty coy and obviously tongue in cheek.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:25 pm 
Slept through a huge sale, OH NO!
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As a woman I am most offended that a local woman-owned business is being oppressed. Heck, as a human this offends me. BAH.


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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:42 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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mollyjade wrote:
Is it because it's vaguely pin-up style?


Yeah, that was basically it. They apparently thought it was using a sexual depiction of a woman to sell a product. And I can kinda see that, but personally, I'd prefer that the coop take a more comprehensive approach to determining what they sell, rather than just focusing on a singular detail. It's a local woman-owned business producing organic products, and I would think that would trump any squabble over the labeling.

Plus, judging from the Internet response, the bulk of the coop's members seem to want the coop to carry it. And thing is, the coop is supposed to be owned and run by its members (all the people who, like me, have invested in the coop by paying to join), but lately, they've made some controversial decisions that have been seen by some as furthering a political agenda held only by a minority of its members.

The last big furor this year was the coop's decision to boycott Israeli products, which led to various real-world protests and Internet flame wars. I personally lean toward agreeing with the boycott, but I understand that the coop membership is broader than just my opinion. I'm not familiar with all the details, so I can't say anything more definitive. The upshot, judging from the Internet discussion, is that those running the coop seem to be getting more and more politically isolated from its actual members.

Half of me appreciates living in such a politically conscious town; the other half of me finds it exasperating that even a can of tomato chutney can become an occasion for really tiresome bickering.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:48 pm 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Here's one of the discussions about it: http://olyblog.net/more-co-op-controversy

Apparently, according to one commenter (and this must have been before my time here), they at one point decided not to carry Blue Sky soda because they thought it co-opted Native American imagery:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:31 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
I'd prefer that the coop take a more comprehensive approach to determining what they sell, rather than just focusing on a singular detail.


I wish everyone would take this kind of approach pretty much all the time, but... alas. I guess it's more fun or makes people feel more righteous to look at the smaller issues in black and white than it is to look at the big picture in shades of grey.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:41 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
Here's one of the discussions about it: http://olyblog.net/more-co-op-controversy

tezzer1 wrote:
As for chickens, if you think we are exploiting them, does that mean you think they, too, should be able to vote?

*Huge audible sigh*

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:48 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
Here's one of the discussions about it: http://olyblog.net/more-co-op-controversy

Apparently, according to one commenter (and this must have been before my time here), they at one point decided not to carry Blue Sky soda because they thought it co-opted Native American imagery:

Image


The sky is Native American.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:04 pm 
Has it on Blue Vinyl
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Oly sounds like Berkeley Jr.


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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Actually, I am disgusted that they have banned a product which clearly depicts an out and proud lesbian performing yoga for her own benefit. Clearly this breaks their own code?

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:38 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
hoveringdog wrote:
I'd prefer that the coop take a more comprehensive approach to determining what they sell, rather than just focusing on a singular detail.


I wish everyone would take this kind of approach pretty much all the time, but... alas. I guess it's more fun or makes people feel more righteous to look at the smaller issues in black and white than it is to look at the big picture in shades of grey.


On a more serious note, pretty much this exactly. What real world change could you have facilitated whilst debating this?

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:13 am 
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Oh my goodness. This really makes me appreciate my co-op. I think they do a pretty good job of representing their diverse group of members.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:20 pm 
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I think a picture of food touching a foot should be banned. Ick!

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Quote:
[...] physical ability, looks, class, education [...]

Does this mean they don't carry Urkel-Os?

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:12 pm 
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my co-op has monthly general meetings where things like this can be opened for discussion and/or brought to a vote; is that an option where you are? if enough people are bothered by it, you could probably at least get it on an agenda. i do understand that what people are willing to bisque about on the internet and what they're willing to set aside an hour or two to actually enact some change about don't always align, but it's worth a shot; maybe it would be a chance to set some comprehensive guidelines about the policy. personally, i don't see anything wrong with this picture. it seems kind of extreme to call it out as offensive. are they going to ban the whitening toothpastes with pretty smiles on the packages because they're exploitive of stereotypically beautiful people who could afford braces? actually, maybe, so i guess don't mention that.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:16 pm 
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This is why I get so exasperated at "liberals" even though I qualify as one...some people just take shiitake too far, and what it boils down to is a "I'm more progressive than you" superiority while ignoring the actual issue (or lack of issue).

Now, if that can of soda had a Native American drunk on lysol on it...I'd buy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Oly's controversy of the week
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:04 pm 
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I can't say as the girl on the label offends me at all. Sure she's showing some skin, but the important stuff covered and she's not in what I'd call a sexually suggestive pose. And she's able to balance a tomato on her foot! How awesome is that?

I think I'm offended the co-op decided to ban it. Their decision seems rather arbitrary to me.

I will also say that I am impressed that the girl on the label is able to defy gravity in that yoga pose. Whenever I do something like that my boobs don't stay on my chest. They end up around my chin.


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