Ms. Taken = Puke In My Mouth

At first, when I heard there was a video out there in response to the SNL/Lonely Island's Pet Shop Boys-esque "Jizz In My Pants" that was calling itself a "ladies' response", I was psyched. I love when funny ladies do things! And think of the hilarious possibilities to be had with a "Jizz In My Pants" response! So you can imagine my dismay when I learned that a) the video was written and made by a group of men and just features women, and b) the video is actually a commercial for the ridiculous fake engagement ring company Ms. Taken.

Peep the video, and then let's discuss:

Okay. I don't know how you are feeling after seeing that video, but it fell short of my comedic expectations. Not only is it a secret commercial for fake engagement rings, it's also just not that interesting or funny. Guess what everyone? Ladies like to go clubbing and go to yoga, but they can't get men to leave them alone unless they pretend to be married! I am going to let you make up your own mind as to the hilariousness of the video though (hey, maybe you thought it was funny), since the entertainment value is not really the point anyway. Let's move on instead to discussing the video's real purpose: hawking fake engagement rings.

To me, buying a fake engagement ring to ward off douchebag sexual harassers at the bar is problematic for many reasons. Here are some of them:

- This so-called "solution" does nothing to address the real problem: Women are feeling uncomfortable going to clubs because men are harassing them. How does a fake ring let these men know that harassment of women is unacceptable? All it does is say, "Hey guy, I'm engaged to a different guy. You're better off verbally/physically assaulting someone else."

- The fake engagement ring privileges married/engaged women over other women. I guess that a woman who is engaged (or rather pretending to be so) deserves respect, but an unmarried woman is fair game? Have at 'em, fellas! If they didn't want you to like it, they shoulda put a ring on it! (zing!)

- The product (which costs $50 plus shipping - but don't worry, you can pay in installments!) taps into women's insecurities in order to make a profit, while pretending to be a tool of empowerment. Behold some of the language from the Ms. Taken website:

The freaks come out at night. They glom onto your elbow, disrupt your conversations and worst of all, they freeze out the real hot prospects.

Slip on the ring — a little bright lie that says you're married to the man of your dreams (whenever he gets here)

Next time an unwanted suitor lurks near, tap your inner vixen and remember: you're Ms. Taken!

That's not helpful, it's just offensive. Telling women that in order to feel safe and worthy of respect they need to pretend to be engaged? Putting a rhinestone-laden band-aid on the problem of sexual harassment and calling it a solution? Launching a viral video to spread this insulting message? If that is "tapping my inner vixen", I think I'd rather puke in my mouth.

Also, could someone please explain to me why this ring comes with a keychain fob and a deck of playing cards? WTF?

Comments

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Ewwww

For so many reasons.

I would suggest that not only does this video privilege married/engaged women, but that it suggests that a woman who is not married / not engaged has no reasonable (in mainstream society) recourse to reject the creep who is annoying them.

Plus, isn't it completely tragic that its emphasis is that only married/engaged women have a right to be put off/say no to unwanted attention? I mean, crikey(!), I can only say no to a man if I have another man at home? Creepy.

But I think the video is also insulting to men...that the only "no" message a man will accept is that if a woman is with another man?

And if that weren't enough, based on the blog above, Ms. Taken advertises their fake engagement rings under the auspices that "the freaks come out at night" and that "...they freeze out the real hot prospects". But yet Ms. Taken expects single women to hope that the real hot prospects will approach them without care if they're wearing an engagement ring? I am all for finding true love where it occurs but it seems to me the advertisers are only playing on what they perceive to be women's greatest fears.

adding to your point

I agree with everything you have said here, especially the point about this privileges married/engaged women over single women (although we can see that constantly in other areas of society). I think the implication that the only "no" a man will accept is that a woman is with another man is also correct.

I mean, basically this implies that as women, we don't have the right or the autonomy to say no, the only "no" a man will accept is an engagement ring--a sign that another man has already claimed you as his own. Your only way to refuse unwanted advances is the flaunt that another man has already claimed you as his own. It implies that you are not even the one DOING the rejecting, it's just the signal that you are another man's property.

While I've never spent much time in the bar or club scene, so I've never really had to deal with this, I did spend a summer in France once when I was 20. I became used to going out with girlfriends and men just not leaving us alone. It was really unsettling and made me feel unsafe that you could look someone in the eyes and tell them to leave you alone and it just did not work. At one point, my exasperated friend said she wanted to get a giant fake engagement ring so men would leave her alone.

"But I think the video is

"But I think the video is also insulting to men...that the only "no" message a man will accept is that if a woman is with another man?"

I guess you haven't been adamantly harassed at a bar or a club or a party before. Some guys just don't listen. I've had to hit a guy before because he wouldn't leave me alone. And the "I have a boyfriend" (lie or truth) doesn't work anymore.

What?!

Not only is this disappointing and offensive (for all the arguments made before me), but did they also imply that kombucha is gross? WTF? I love that stuff!

Rock of Love....

"When the coast is clear, stash your secret weapon in your keychain."

We don't even get a pretty-fake-box to hide our fake life stone moment? A keychain, totally convenient but not conventional. Hello, the blowhard will think it's a set of keys...

Seriously?!

I find the fake engagement

I find the fake engagement rings highly objectionable but I do think that there are a couple of things of value in this video.

1. It explicitly denies the idea that women need male attention to validate themselves. We do not go out to clubs to get hit on. We do not sit around in the bathtub thinking about dudes. We are not waiting for your lameass facebook message.

2. Not every environment is a meat market or a place to be voyeuristic, ala that yoga class. Women do not automatically enjoy being ogled. It can cause a visceral response. Objectification is wrong.

So yes, I think that labeling yourself as another man's object to deflect male attention is sickening. But I think it does destabilize some of the stereotypes of single women.

Okay. Feminist here who

Okay.
Feminist here who takes issue with the assumption that all us feminists don't go to clubs for the attention.
Sometimes we do go to clubs to be hit on, and to hit on. Shit, that's part of the attraction. I really enjoy it, and don't find it objectifying.
That doesn't mean I rely on male (or female) attention, or depend on it (I attend an all women's college, my friends are all women, and most of us are queer), but I definitely enjoy it.
And I did appreciate this video, though perhaps not the fact that it was for fake rings....also, what makes that unacceptable, but the bank video featuring a trans woman that is premised on fueling the bank's profits? i think it's a pretty good response.

I thinks it's hilarious

The ring is lame, but the song is hilarious. No one really thinks a ring will keep you from being ogled. Marriage vows don't mean much to most people anyway and if anything, some guys would love the challenge of perusing a "taken" woman.

I have to say that this video captured feelings I experience often. While going out dancing, attending yoga class....sometimes you get this one guy who is a total creep and won't leave you alone. I'm not sure what the kombucha, fruit, and bubble bath were all about.....but I still laughed.

Maybe the banana disgusts her

Maybe the banana disgusts her because it resembles a penis, and at the bath it was like saying the douche smelled like fart. I got no idea about the kombucha though.

If we ignore the comercial

If we ignore the comercial objective of the video it was a good idea, it sent a message like "Leave me alone, creep, I'm not an object", "My life does not revolve around your penis" and "You think you're so smoking hot but actually you disgust me". It's a kick in the groins, specially since it's a response to a video about male orgasm. This pissed a lot of guys (who probably are the creeps in real life), just check the commentaries on Youtube.

I really would like to see this song played on a club and the reaction of the bastards!

If you don't want to be hit

If you don't want to be hit on, don't dress to impress and put makeup on that says "looks great while giving head."

re: If you don't want to be hit

What the fuck is that about??????

1. Since when is the only purpose of dressing to impress to get hit on? Just because I take pride in my appearance doesn't mean I want to be harassed by sketchy people.

2. What the hell is "makeup that says 'looks great while giving head?'" If I put on makeup and somebody thinks I look great giving head, isn't that that person's issue, not mine??????

2a. P.S. -- What's wrong with looking great while giving head? Is it possible to not look great without a penis in your mouth and then look great with it in? Is penis the hot new beauty accessory for summer?

2b. Again, looking good does NOT equal wanting to sleep with every man who wants you. Nobody expects a man who takes care in his appearance to want to be with all the women who want him, so why should I be every man's property and canvas just because I'm not conventionally heinous?

3. Please tell me you're not a woman????? Or human??!!!!! Please, PLEASE be a bot. Thanks.

Ring Is a Good Excuse for Single Women

I'm siding with those who think you've overanalyzed it a little. I have a blog for singles, so I appreciate when someone points out the rampant discrimination (aka, singlism) that unmarried people face on a daily basis, but this time even I think you're reading more into it than actually exists.

I don't think the ring implies that single women are inferior to their married peers or that they can't fend off unwanted contact. I think it recognizes the reality that 1) society recognizes the engagement ring as a symbol that the woman wearing it isn't interested in flirting/hooking up/dating and 2) sometimes single women would like to take advantage of this assumption when they don't want to be bothered brushing off barflies. Sometimes women just want to have fun with the girls or go about their business unmolested, and it can be a pain in the ass to get a persistent guy to give up. The ring offers an excuse that's a lot quicker and easier to provide than an explanation for why you're not digging someone.

There's no excuse for rude or threatening behavior from a guy ever, but guys who are true douchebags aren't going to be dissuaded by a ring. They need a lesson in the form of a bouncer. Most other guys labeled "losers" are really just clueless and don't understand how they're perceived by women or why. I highly doubt they hit on women without rings because they think women with rings are out of their league. They hit on women without rings because they appear to be available. They're maximizing their chances, not expressing some kind of contempt for single women. Guys don't like to get shot down, so if they see a ring, they'll steer clear unless they're into the "challenge," as someone mentioned above.

Good, thought-provoking blog post, though. It helped inspire my own review, Ms. Taken: The Fake Engagement Ring for Single Women.

Agreed...

Some nights, you need to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get these creeps to leave you alone... seriously.

And about the alleged "privilege" issue... hasn't this word become a dull, lame cliche in the face of true argument? Just comes off as wah wah wah... Barf-o-rama.

I've worn a fake engagement

I've worn a fake engagement ring before, in college. I think it's a great idea because I've been in that situation before when you just can't get a guy to leave you alone (he's usually drunk).

To me, it says "Leave me alone or my fiance/husband is going to kick your ass." Besides, what's the difference between wearing this, or just telling him to fuck off? He's still going to go bother some other woman. Wearing a fake engagement ring is just another way to get men you're not interested in to go away.

"The fake engagement ring privileges married/engaged women over other women. I guess that a woman who is engaged (or rather pretending to be so) deserves respect, but an unmarried woman is fair game? Have at 'em, fellas! If they didn't want you to like it, they shoulda put a ring on it! (zing!)"

Uh, no. Even if I was single (I happen to be actually engaged now) it's in no way saying that. It's just that a guy is more likely to leave you alone if you have a ring because they usually don't believe you when you say you have a boyfriend. its happened to me more times than I can remember. I go out to the bars with my single friends, a guy starts talking to me and hitting on me, I say I'm not interested and have a boyfriend, he calls me a liar and won't leave me alone. It's a more direct way to tell a guy to fuck off.

"The product (which costs $50 plus shipping - but don't worry, you can pay in installments!) taps into women's insecurities in order to make a profit, while pretending to be a tool of empowerment."

it has absolutely nothing to do with being insecure. It has to do with assholes not leaving you alone. I don't find it offensive in the least bit. You don't get it. When you're at a club or a bar, and you're being sexually harassed, what are you going to do? Tell the bouncer? he'll laugh in your face. Call the cops? Yeah fucking right they'd come. Sometimes the only way to get a guy to leave you alone is to bust out a fake ring if you're single. The boyfriend lie doesn't work anymore.

Why lie? Why wear the ring &

Why lie? Why wear the ring & why (assumption here) play the "I've got a man and he'll protect me" card?

I find that "fuck off' is the best way to get a guy giving unwanted attention to fuck off.

This video just prompted a discussion with my husband, who I'm watching transition from "old school" thinking to truly progressive. He laughed and said "you used to just tell them 'No, I'm not here to talk to you' and that was that." For the most part, he's right: either the guys to whom I've said that were decent, or I'm intimidating at five feet tall. Either way, I've only said "Get the fuck away" once that I remember.

The point for me is that the assumption that rings are not as much a symbol of property as they used to be, and to feel the need to have any symbolic excuse (ring or verbal statement of commitment) says as much to me about the woman wearing one or stating such as it does the man who is unwilling to back off in the first place

Since I've been married, I haven't had an issue with anyone pulling the "Oh, but he's not here right now" crap. I just turn my attention to anyone but that guy and move on. If I get called a name, it reflects on the name-caller's insecurity, not my inability to fend off an asshole. Then again, I'm generally only at bars to play poker, so the dynamics are different because the reasons for my being there are, as well.

Except "fuck off" doesn't

Except "fuck off" doesn't always work, and sometimes it made the guy harass me even more, like call me names, a dyke, ugly, etc. Some guy once actually tried to start a *fight* with me because I told him to fuck off. It's simply easier to wear a fake engagement ring.

And saying No doesn't always work either. With some guys, sure, but the more aggressive ones, absolutely not.

But I honestly don't see how this is so offensive or how it says anything about single women vs engaged/married women. It says nothing. to me, it's just another way to get a guy to leave you alone.

Of Course it Doesn't Always Work, but...

...neither does wearing a ring. There are no absolutes.

Making a scene tends to put harassers in their places, and their places are "anywhere but here, fucking with someone who is obviously not interested and has said so." For example, think of Hollaback's idea of giving women a place online to post pictures of violators in the act, whether they were being "in your face" or not. Showing egregious behavior isn't just a one-upping of that person, as violators seem to think it is; it's not about bashing someone's ego. it's about honoring ourselves by not bending to their egos.

The goal of going out with friends, of course, is not to "have" to "put anyone in his place", but to have fun. And fun is not had if someone doesn't back the fuck off. So why not speak up and get loud?

The older I get, the more I see where I could have used my voice more loudly when I was in my twenties (I'm nearly forty now, and don't know if I posted that before), and I see where I might have helped other women find their own voices in so doing. The intrusion by these guys does interrupt the real reason for being there, I do agree. However, having the opportunity to show other women that we don't have to tolerate intolerable actions is worth it; the intrusion will have been there, regardless of how we respond to it, so why not respond loud(ly) & proud(ly)?

The perception (by some, but not all folks) that married women are truly off-limits does bother me, not because I want to not honor the monogamy my marriage happens to have, but because the presumption remains that single women should always be available. Being (or even appearing) married doesn't change that mind-set. Intruders with that mind set are the ones who need to change it; why should we change to fit their notions?

Actually, it has always

Actually, it has always worked for me, just as it has always worked for my girlfriends and my coworkers. Since actually getting engaged, I haven't been approached once.

"So why not speak up and get loud?"

I'm sorry, but are you serious? Did you not read the part of my post where some guy actually tried to start a FIGHT with me because I told him to fuck off and leave me alone? The bouncers and bartenders couldn't give a crap, either. They were too busy making drinks and watching the door, and when I called the police department, they told me to contact the owner.

I would much rather wear a ring on my finger that all you need to do is hold up and say "sorry, I'm taken" and they'll leave you alone. Try it. Say "fuck off" and they could get angry and violent. The last thing you want is some drunk guy getting mad at you. It's flat-out irresponsible and stupid to make a scene at a bar or a club.

Hate to say it, but obviously you haven't been out in a while, or things have changed drastically since you've been out at bars and clubs. Men are *relentless* especially in college towns. It's safer and easier to just say that you're taken.

"The perception (by some, but not all folks) that married women are truly off-limits does bother me, not because I want to not honor the monogamy my marriage happens to have, but because the presumption remains that single women should always be available"

No, it doesn't. Not in the least bit.

Logic failure

I only have one statement to make:

Fake rings do not work to scare away douchebags. Before my sister got married, she had purchased herself what she referred to as "decoy bling" because she was sick of creepy guys hitting on her when she worked at the library.

The ring only served to make the ONLY men who hit on her be even creepier ones who don't mind hitting on a woman who is engaged.

Yeah, in the video the ring

Yeah, in the video the ring also fails, but it seems the producers didn't realise that!

get over yourself

the video is hysterical and even though its not as offensive as its male counterpart, it is equally as entertaining. i love both versions and am not sure which i like best, and to over-analyze it in the way this "article" does is laughable and just short of pathetic. it is ridiculous to trash them because they make fake engagement rings, the song is not about that. you say it is about that just because one of the broads mentions it in about one quarter of a rhyme. the bottom line is the song and video are hilarious and it does not take a brain surgeon to realize that. to pick it apart and try so hard to make a funny video seem unfuny is just plain silly. just watch the video, enjoy it, continue living your life as if the video is not dedicated to you. its not that serious.

Grow up, you silly little girls!!

And, somehow, this is not at all offensive to men? Saying that females shouldn't have to socialise with unattractive males, that men that are ugly do not deserve to be talked to or have a chance? Let's face it, if some hot model guy was acting the same way, it would be fine. If a girl was doing it to a man, it would be fine. However, we get an unattractive guy, and it's all like "eww, you're ugly". The original was funny, coz it was honest, and self depreciating. This is just immature bitchy horse crap. And before you attack me, and call me a "woman-hater" or whatever, let me just say- I am a woman. I used to be like this in high school, didn't let a lot of people have a chance just coz I found them ugly or "pervy" or whatever… they turned out to be really nice. I grew up. It's sad to to see that some still haven't.

You are a disgrace to womankind

So you think that weird ugly twats should be allowed to even try to be in a relationship with us? They are all evil, perverted, misogynistic bastards who shouldn't be allowed to live. They are loser scum. Tell me, what use is an ugly weird nerd who can do little more than rub his tiny cock thinking he deserves us? They are over possessive. If u try to say no, they get violent. If u ask me, they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near us. They don't have feelings- all they know is the urge to put their pathetic excuse for a sex organ into a vagina, and it is disgusting. The way they act hurt is just a way to manipulate us. If I had my way, we would be able to kill them for even coming near us. But people like you fool us into thinking that they are worth something. It's time we rose up, and eradicated these worthless pieces of shit.