Get the latest
Fashion, Beauty & Shopping News

Sign
Up!

Culture

Durex Just Used The Sex Education ‘Bus Scene’ About Sexual Assault Survivors To Sell Condoms. Who Approved This?

By  | 

Moment marketing has been having a moment for a very long time now. Except, it has now become this race to see who gets the wittier, sassier, ‘most savage’ word out there first. You have a lot of the usual suspects, brands like Zomato, Amul, Wendy’s, Durex, Fevicol and so on, who do this incredibly well. However, the joke does not always land, and when that happens, in a mad rush to be relevant in the moment, it can get real problematic, and thereby, real ugly. With Netflix’s Sex Education Season 3 dropping last Friday, most brands jumped on the bandwagon to incorporate a little bit of SE in their brand messaging. Alas, the usually on point Durex failed miserably when it tried to make a play on a pivotal scene from Sex Education Season 2, featuring the character Aimee, a stupid bus, and sexual assault.

Yep, you know which one I am talking about. In SE Season 2, Aimee, played by the brilliant Aimee Lou Wood on the show, is sexually assaulted by a commuter on her every day bus to school. [TW] A man rubs his dick on her leg, and ejaculates, while Aimee cannot process in the moment what has happened, because she is in shock. However, her friend Maeve realises that she has sexually assaulted. When Aimee finally processes it, she is unable to get on the bus because she is scared of facing her assaulter. In a scene that has now become iconic and a symbol for solidarity with sexual assault survivors, Maeve and some other girls from Aimee’s school meet Aimee at the bus stop and help her confront her fear by getting on the bus with her. Maeve tells Aimee, “It’s just a stupid bus.”

Also Read: ‘Sex Education’ Season 3 Review

Even as I write this scene in mere words that might not do justice to actually watching it, I get goosebumps. That’s how pivotal, and how important this scene is for every woman who has ever been sexually harassed or assaulted. In fact, in the episode before the one with the bus scene, these high school girls who belong to different cliques are thrown in detention, and find that while they might have nothing in common per se, they’re all women bound together by a history of sexual harassment or assault, no matter what degree.

Now imagine a brand taking something that is so sensitive and at the same time, so important, and trying to make some random innuendo with it, while force-fitting their product, which is a condom, in it. Would that not make your blood boil? It’s a stupid bus, yes. But are these people over at Durex India marketing team stupid too?

A creep masturbated at and on the leg of a high school girl in a moving bus, FFS! How does a condom feature in any way here? How do you make this wretched connection? How can you take a scene which is about a sexual assault survivor, and then add a line about the bus being a ‘memorable ride’ and use winky face emojis, all in the same social media post?

Twitter was livid at this gross misstep and rightly so. Twitter user @shreemiverma was the one to point this out in her tweet, and call out Durex, which has now deleted the post. Many others replied to her tweet with their own disapproval.

Turns out, the brand representatives tried to defend the post, which was made to get in on the hype around Sex Education Season 3 releasing, but clearly, it did not work.

Pop culture is a very strong force, and we understand that brands want to capitalise on it, be a part of that conversation, because it is the best way to engage with their audience. But it beats me how people responsible for leveraging these pop culture moments don’t have the basic capacity to read the room! Who is approving this stuff? Was it a man? This is why we need sex education.

MJ Akbar Returns To The Newsroom And Women Are Justifiably Furious. No Consequences For #MeToo Accused?

GET HAUTERFLY IN YOUR INBOX!

Leave a Reply