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September 30, 2008

Burton's Offensive New Boards *UPDATED*

Burtonprimodetail Burton Snowboards has a reputation for pushing the boundaries, but the Burlington company may have gone over the edge with two new product lines that have outraged women's groups and anti-violence advocates.

One, called "Love," features Playboy models in various stages of undress; the other, dubbed "Primo," features graphic illustrations of hands being mutilated by scissors, a box razor and a pit bull. The company is selling "Primo" with the tag line, "Mutilate the mountain, then terrorize the streets."

An email and phone campaign to register consumer disgust with the new products made its way to Seven Days today. Among the organizations that plan to contact Burton (or already have) are the Girl Scout Council of Vermont, the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and S.A.F.E Alternatives, a national group that offers counseling and treatment advice to people who "self-injure."

In an email to the company, one Colchester resident asked Burton, as "a leading producer of youth culture," to "rethink" the new lines. "Is this what you want as 'cool' in our world? And why aren't there nude males on any of the boards??"

An email response from Burton explained that the Playboy "limited edition" boards were created at the request of two professional snowboarders. "Both Burton and Playboy were founded on principles of individual freedom," the response stated, "and the collaboration has resulted in boards that reflect this attitude."

The company's response also offered the opinion that the "Love" boards, which will be "fully wrapped with an 18+ age disclaimer," are destined to become collector's items.

While the Playboy line is misogynist and distasteful, the "Primo" boards are violent and outright disturbing. Stephanie Kaza, of the UVM President's Commission on the Status of Women, called the bloody images "unconscionable" and pledged to help organize pressure on Burton.

We called Burton for comment, but the company has yet to respond. We'll let you know what they have to say.

UPDATE: Editor's Note: Opponents of the boards have started a Facebook group.

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Shana Frahm, Burton's global PR director. Frahm forwarded two brief corporate statements on the "Love" and "Primo" lines and told me the company would have nothing else to say about the matter for now. Burton executives, she said, "were not available for comment." I asked Frahm whether the company had received many complaints about the new product lines, but she declined to speak on the record.

Here are statements. I included hyperlinks to some recent press about the artists behind the new boards.

Burton/Playboy Love Collection
The Burton Playboy limited edition snowboards were created at the request of two of Burton’s professional snowboarders Mikkel Bang and Keegan Valaika.  Both Burton and Playboy were founded on principles of individual freedom, and the collaboration has resulted in boards that reflect this attitude.  The imagery on the boards is tastefully done, and we believe that they will be collector's items. The 1000 snowboards will be fully wrapped with an 18+ age disclaimer to purchase.

PRIMO
Burton has a long history of working with artists on snowboard graphics. When collaborating with an artist, Burton does not restrict the artist’s freedom of expression. The Primo graphic was created by world-renowned skate artist Todd Bratrud, who has worked on projects for such companies as Vans, Volcom and Flip Skateboards. Burton is proud to collaborate with artists like Todd.

Ugh... way to attack a symptom while ignoring the disease. How do consumer protestations come to focus on these idle matters when bigger and higher-impact issues are going on in 3D technicolor and surround-sound all the time?

Anyone who has ever given a little girl a Barbie Doll or lets their kids watch non-educational TV should not be allowed to weigh in on this Burton thing. The early habituation of unrealistic, hyper-commercialized, heteronormative, white, conformist role models is more damaging to a developing child than a few stupid snowboards. Why does everyone ignore the giant, insidious elephant in the room and focus on this comparatively benign symbolic silliness?

Since when is Playboy "misogynist"? Hugh Hefner did more to mainstream sex in America than any of these people complaining about Burton's boards. Did anyone even look at the "offensive" images in question? Darn, not even a nipple.

This is to say nothing of Hefner's work regarding racial issues, or his support for the Democratic Party. Without Playboy and the ground Hefner broke, Mistress Maeve would certainly not be answering questions about spankings on 7 Days. Whether or not you appreciate his preferred vision of beauty, it's thanks to him that we can now appreciate others publicly, including gay, bi, lesbian, fat, skinny, body-modded or whatever; never mind those poor, lamentable straight guys who like a boring old buxom blonde.

As for the boards with the mutilated hands, well, I think they're simply... stupid. Although, for the record, as someone who's touched on the extreme body art world, I've seen far worse done out of sheer benign curiosity. Oh well, to each their own. Or do we really believe that? Maybe the left and the right aren't so different after all.

Oh, and Lavey was right about you pleasure-negative hippies.

Most effective form of protest: don't buy the boards.

Least effective form of protest: give Burton's new line of snowboards tons and tons of free publicity.

Huh.

Does Cabot make a variety of cheese for this type of wine?

Seriously, people. Welcome to art. It's not always peaceful and serene and non-offensive. Sometimes, it's actually provocative, gritty, and unsafe. Like snowboarding, perhaps. You know, the actual audience for all of this?

And if you're worried about your children, maybe raise them to be critical thinkers instead of expecting Burton, the media, the government, and the music industry to help raise them for you.

And I almost can't even address the nude girl designs with any degree of seriousness. Misogyny? Really? What a blind leap off the PC diving board THAT one is! How utterly afraid of the flesh some of you are. One good fuck would probably kill you.

Unbunch your panties. Get over the fact that art exists that you don't happen to like. And suck it up, cupcake.

P.S. There is no such thing as a "box razor". It's called a box cutter or utility knife.

P.P.S. Why is the Commission on the Status of Women concerned with the Primo boards when the hands being self-modified are clearly masculine?

Obviously art does have a great ability to challenge and be non-confoming. Problem is these boards do none of that. To simply push off the criticism as bunched panty whining is to misconstrue the efforts of many folks to see all of our actions in this world, from the words we speak to the art we create as relevant. This includes the actions of some snowboarding company that happens to be right here in Burlington. The naked women images aren't just offensive because they are naked women, but specifically because of the context they are in, the language that surrounds them (descriptions by burton) and the culture they are part of. It may be a tiny symptom, but then it becomes a teachable moment. To be opposed to these boards does not mean you are opposed to sex, bodies or women, rather the opposite.
I wonder what a nursing mother line of boards would look like. Are those of you that feel you have to come out in favor of burton on the payroll or something? I think what might be more "cutting edge" and shocking than this line of boards would be the World Health Organization's statistics on violence against women as an epidemic. Each opportunity we have to chuck the barbie doll, turn off the TV and send a letter to a purveyor of junk might as well be taken as not. It is more even more fun than voting. Sign me on as another deviant in favor of beauty over crap.

Um... I can't believe that our defense of first amendment rights and advocacy of critical thinking skills leads you to conclude we are all employees of Burton. How terrifyingly daft.

There is no specifically pro-Burton post here. You have imagined/projected that sentiment. We are criticizing the counterproductive method and frivolousness of the protest.

I don't work for Burton. I work for Back Brain Media and World-Around Records.

I DO find it exceptionally funny that this post is categorized as "SERIOUS NEWS" in all caps, no less.

Oh, c'mon, Meghan. If Burton made Nursing Mother Boards you'd find tell us that objectifying the beauty of motherhood leads to self mutilation or something. Besides, there'd probably be nipples involved. Oh, the horror! The fact is, Playboy and playboy bunnies have done more to liberate women AND men than the UVM President's Commission on the Status of Women, or for that matter, the Girl Scout Council ever will. Did you know that Hefner specifically felt that sexual liberation was directly related to racial equality? You know, during the 60's? If the pictures on Burton's boards were by Tom of Finland, Burlington Libs would be beside themselves with rampant glee and pats on the back for their sex-positive, gay-friendly political-correctness, but it's only thanks to straight sexual liberation that gay liberation is even possible. Tolerance is a two way street, or it isn't really tolerance, eh?

Justin,

re: "SERIOUS NEWS": "Serious News" is the category we use to distinguish items like this from the weird and funny "news" items that also appear on Blurt.

The all-caps style is Typepad's, not ours. All the category heads appear that way.

Just thought I'd clarify. It's not really a judgment about the topic at (mutilated) hand.

Golly gosh darn. First the undercapitalized "V" and then the extra "find".

That naughty little secretary of mine is getting a good spanking.

So basically Burton has joined the ranks of corporate America. Profits over people, profits over accountability. This is not about censorship, art, or individual freedom, this is about money and corporate responsibility. The Love boards are wrapped, just like porn magazines are because of public decency laws. The difference is you take your porn magazine to the bathroom or your bedroom, not to major ski resorts where young kids ski & ride. Parents shouldn't have to deal with worrying about exposure to this mountain pollution. And, come on, the 'if you don't like it, don't buy it' crap is a cop out. I won't buy it but others will and so it's out there all the same. I'm not shocked by these images, I know they're out there. They just shouldn't be out in the public space, further debasing our culture. And this isn't only about the nude women; the glorificaiton of self mutilation (a precursor to suicide, by the way) is even more disturbing. What is Burton thinking? All this reflects negatively on their company. And I for one am extrememly disappointed that our home grown Vermont success story has joined the rest of corporate America of hiding behind free speech and taking zero responsibility for its role in creating youth culture. SHAME ON BURTON! :(

I agree with Suzie here folks. Real individual freedom, as others have pointed out, is choosing NOT to objectify women, especially on products like snowboards. Its not just the naked women, its the whole attitude that goes with the board. If you look at the Burton site its says about this board:
Hi. My name is Love™ and I’m on the market for someone who’s looking to score serious action, no matter where they like to stick it. I enjoy laps through the park; long, hard grinds on my meaty Park Edges followed by a good, hot waxing. Whether you’re hitting it from the front or the back, my mid wide shape, supple flex, and twin tips like it kinky. Keegan and Mikkel love riding me, I hope you will too."
Give me a break, give women a break and give our sons a break about what they are being taught about objectifying women.

Burton should not feel that they have to lower their quality level in order to compete
with others. They have always been top dog.

see this url:
http://www.burton.com/gear/#/gear/boardsmatrix/mens/boards/

no mention of limited edition for boards
no mention of 18+ only can buy them
no mention of snowboarders who requested these images
no mention of the "artist' who was given free reign to design whatever he wanted???


And lying in their stock email is stupid. See below.
Why don't they stand up and proudly announce who the snowboarders are.
And write the real facts?
And stop hiding.
Gad

Thank you for your feedback and sharing your opinion. The Burton Playboy limited edition snowboards were created at the request of two of Burton’s professional snowboarders. Both Burton and Playboy were founded on principles of individual freedom, and the collaboration has resulted in boards that reflect this attitude. The imagery on the boards is tastefully done, and we believe that they will be collector's items. The snowboards will be fully wrapped with an 18+ age disclaimer to purchase.


Keegan Valaika and Mikkel Bang are the snowboarders, I don't think Burton has EVER denied that- the Love board has been in the Burton line for years. Whatever, Burton can do what they want. You and I know that these silly articles and blogs- and facebook pages (!) are making these boards only more sought after. The less you talk about it, the less press they will get.

From the Free Press: While Burton is getting a good deal of flack about its Coalition line, Waterbury’s Rome Snowboards has not received any negative feedback from its risque “Artifact” line. The “Artifact” boards are meant to be reminiscent of 1970s New York City strip joints, says Ryan Runke, Rome’s marketing manager. The boards feature a neon base with the words “Bend Over Babes” or “Live Nude Girls,” depending on the model. The top sheets have outlines of naked women on them.

HAHAHA, looks like Rome is jealous!

Not too worried about helping Burton's sales department, they do pretty well on their own. I am happy to take the opportunity to talk about issues regardless. Nothing in the public field of discussion should be "off limits" for discussion. I think public feedback is important in the democratic process and am not really interested in making laws to tell corporations what to do with their art (although in some cases it is actually relevant and necessary such as in marketing to children etc.) but happy to tell them how it makes me think, feel and respond.

i like how this is an issue on the same site that offers on the splash page its personals section "If you're looking for full on kink or BDSM play, you'll get what you need here" and has art of a woman's legs in heels and handcuffs.

i demand you take down that page or i am going to boycott your paper and all its advertisers. shame shame shame seven days... now i am totally offended. see how easy it is to point the finger... lets rally people!!!!!!!! down with the sexist seven days and it stance on women and bondage!!!!!!!


It's interesting to note that the two professional snowboarders that requested the Love & Primo boards are 18 and 19 years old. And I would venture to say that the people on this blog and elsewhere (i.e., the Burton customer service department) are also in the 18-24 demographic, give or take a few years on either end. Could it be that their inability or unwillingness to even entertain the concerns of those of us who are opposed to these boards is a direct consequence of growing up in a culture completely saturated with hyper sexulaized and uber violent imagery? What is the long term impact of a continuous diet of the computer graphics on Grand Theft Auto and the like? Is there a total desensitization and disconnect with the real world consequences of this imagery and the perspective it creates? Is it that the "older folks" that work in domestic violence and suicide prevention or who are parents of young kids understand this link and only want what's best for society, especially young children? Is there a problem with that mind set??
PS: LOL - An image on a website is quite different from an image on a snowboard that is out on a mountain for all the world (and my 4 year old son) to see. Do you see the difference? Do you have any young kids in your life? Any sisters?

The antidote to bad speech is more speech. Argument against something does not mean you are opposed to freedom of expression. If Burton decides to take a lead in the development of snowboarding culture that any 14 year old boy or girl can be proud and comfortable in then that is their free choice to make.

Dear 7Days – Thank you so much for your objective coverage of this issue. I have read with interest all of the comments, but particularly the comments of those supporting Burton’s release of the graphics debasing women and depicting self-mutilation.

The first thing I noticed is that the people who are writing in opposition to the boards are using gentle words and well-thought out arguments. They are obviously people who are educated and respectful of their community. They also seem to be people with tremendous regard for the women in their lives – be they mothers, wives, daughters, nieces or friends.

The article’s detractors post angry and biting feedback. Nothing with much substance. I am sorry for that, because in all the responses from Burton supporters across all the articles covering this issue, I am still waiting for an intelligent argument. Perhaps from someone who has actually read the First Amendment and understands that there is a “commercial” category which is different than the right to free speech of the “individual.”

There seems to be an issue of education and knowledge here, so I have some advice for those who support the boards. It would be eye-opening for you (be you male or female) to volunteer for such organizations as Women Helping Battered Women, The Vermont Network on Domestic and Sexual Violence, The Vermont Women’s fund, or perhaps Vermont Works for Women who runs the popular Rosie’s Girls Program for middle school girls. Maybe a course in women’s studies at the University of Vermont, or a visit to the NOW website to become informed on the very important issues that are linked to this recent outcry. This is going to take some time and investment – months actually. But I would gladly wait as long as it takes to, then, respectfully hear what you had to say. I would think there might be some changes in opinion!

I have been riding a snowboard for 14 years and the point to be made here is that a woman's naked body along side degrading verbiage "no matter where they like to stick it... long, hard grinds on my meaty..." is completely unnecessary. Burton could have made the decision not to engage in this regardless of the requests of their 2 pro riders. But they took the easy way out, now hiding behind their corporate statement that the boards are tasteful and it was a collaborative effort and they will be wrapped in plastic with an 18 and up disclaimer.. blah blah corporate blah.
Edgey slogans, edgey graphics and edgey attitudes are a trademark in snowboarding. Many of us like the edge, but this edge is too much. Burton is weak.
This is not a free speech issue, this is a about promoting a lifestyle to young men, Burton's target audience after all is 14-21 yr old males.

Ah ha haha! VoiceforWomen: "Golly, I noticed that all the people who agree with my viewpoint are educated and nice, whereas everyone who disagrees is ignorant and mean".

Oh my gosh. That is too, too funny. Thank you my first belly-laugh of the day. You get the Passive Aggressive Solipsist Award.

The "commercial speech" portion of the First Amendment relates to advertising, and the protesters are the ones doing all the advertising here. It is because of you that these materials are being broadcast and transmitted.

Does Burton's website blurb meet the requirements of the Central Hudson test?
(1) whether the speech at issue concerns lawful activity and is not misleading;
(2) whether the asserted government interest is substantial; and, if so,
(3) whether the regulation directly advances the governmental interest asserted; and
(4) whether it is not more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest.

Great discussion. I have simple message for the folks that are opposed to these boards:

Write to Burton, and use you purchasing power to send a message. Change happens when people express their desire for change in forceful but peaceful ways. A boycott speaks volumes.

Maybe Burton doesn't need the revenue from mainstream riders, including parents who dole out money each year for their kids snowboarding equipment. Our family (any many others) will be spending our money elsewhere this year on our snowboarding gear (3 riders in our family and one skier).

For those that have no problem with the boards, I respect your right to an opinion. But spitting out biting comments on a blog is lazy activism.

I appreciate all the time taken to comment on this issue, and was pleased to see that folks see this as something worth talking about. Most offensive to me is the marketing narrative (see Robin's posting, above). My 14-yr old son and 13-yr old daughter are huge Burton fans. Seeing this stuff felt like a punch in the stomach to me--Burton is a standard bearer for "cool" among my kids and their peers, and it has been a beloved Burlington company. I have no quarrel with a for-profit entity prioritizing profit. Still, Burton goes to considerable effort to portray itself as a good corporate citizen--consider their "Chill" program, camps and other efforts to bring girls and women into the sport, and all of the public interest-type stories out there about Jake and Donna Carpenter and their family and their wholesome activities. This product and its marketing indicate to me that the company finds the female portion of their market as less deserving of human dignity. I want to see Burton adequately explain to young women who have been loyal to their brand why they should accept this promotion of their dehumanization, or apologize and remove the product from the market.

Of course, lost in all the talk of objectifying women is the fact that Playboy Bunnies seem to really enjoy being Playboy Bunnies. Aren't they women enjoying their freedom too? I'm also convinced that just about everyone here hasn't actually gone and looked at the boards, to say nothing about actually looking at Playboy. We're talking about pin-up material, with nary a sex-organ in sight, and contrary to popular perception, they're not all stacked, either. Aside from nipples, our children have seen as much on any sunny beach, and the images in question don't even show as much. The connection between the Playboy boards and the mutilated hands is completely spurious, as is the connection between Playboy and violence against women. We're all invested in preventing violence against women, but we shouldn't blame anyone other than the actual perpetrators. Likewise, we shouldn't blame anyone but ourselves for poor self-esteem or poor body perceptions. Accept yourself, or work to change until you can. Learn how to be proud of who YOU are and it becomes much easier to be tolerant of differences in thought and actual diversity.

-Educated & Respectful

Just to be clear, this is not a first amendment issue. No government entity is attempting to stifle anyone's expression in this case, so the constitution doesn't apply. At all. In fact, based on what I'm reading in this thread, the system is working just as it's supposed to -- members of the public are speaking out and stating their opinions and Burton will respond in whatever way they think is best. Meghan's point about "more speech" is dead on.

Myself, I happen to think parents are over reacting. 14 year old kids aren't going to be damaged by seeing some boobs and drawings of rather silly, cartoonish dismembering at the ski slopes. As Molly pointed out, we ought to be more concerned with the more innocuous images of women and violence in everyday advertising that few people ever seem to complain about. The extreme body modification boards tap into a (rather dumb, IMO) subculture of wacky body modification that's sort of related to the piercing/tattoo culture, but on steroids. The images are ridiculous, over-the-top examples of that and as such, are kind of funny, I think. In general, I think people ought not be so uptight. Dungeons and Dragons won't make your kids Satanists, heavy metal won't turn them into serial killers, and seeing naked women on snowboards won't make them rapists. I sometimes wish culture was that simplistic, but it isn't.

Mind you, I also thought the brouhaha over Crazy For You Bear was out of line, but the people spoke and the market reacted. Perhaps the same will happen here. Consumer pressure is not censorship, is all I'm saying.

I am all for education around this issue. Please consider viewing the following two films by the Media Education Foundation. They are eye opening, thought provoking and great conversation starters.

Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships - Explores the impact of sexist, racist, and violent pornographic images and messages on our identities and our relationships.
http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=235

Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture - How negative, hateful attitudes toward women and femininity are being perpetuated at the very heart of American popular culture.
http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=234


Molly - Your biting response to me is a perfect example of what I mean. But I AM impressed with your reading of the first amendment and your opinion on that. I wish more people would take the time you did to become informed. Great job!!

Voiceforwomen, the Central Hudson Test that Molly quoted is not part of the first amendment -- it's from a SCOTUS case that set the standard for determining if it's lawful for the government to censor certain types of commercial speech, despite the first amendment. Again, since there is no specter of government censorship in this case, it's totally irrelevant to the Burton issue.

Thanks Bill. I have read the case (and am no lawyer!) but maybe you are? What I found intersting was the statement that "the general rule is that the speaker and the audience, not the government, assess the value of the information presented." Yes, commercial speech is protected. But would you say that the phrase above sends a clear message that the audience has a right to respond? Could imbeded in this mean, that since the audience has the right to respond, the commercial entity has the obligation to consider the potential response when creating product? I really am curious? It's a fascinating issue. Many thanks.

Maybe I want to buy the mutilated hands snowboard, because the art reflects an aesthetic I enjoy. Who are you to tell me I can't?

I don't try to ban poorly-rendered paintings of mallards flying over one of your little covered bridges, and I find those perfectly offensive.

By the by, has anyone noticed snowboards are kinda phallic? Would you folks be upset if we emblazoned a big ol' cock on 'em instead?

I don't know this Brian Wallstin, but the line "While the Playboy line is misogynist and distasteful, the "Primo" boards are violent and outright disturbing," completely obliterates any pretense to objectivity.

Ah, Vermont. I don't miss you one tiny bit. OK, maybe I miss Bill, Molly and MGP. . .

Yours in nudity and self-mutilation,

-casey

Voice, if the relevant quote is: "the general rule is that the speaker and the audience, not the government, assess the value of the information presented," isn't that exactly what's happening in this very thread? We are the audience, assessing the value of the art. Burton will respond however they respond. Perhaps they'll cave to consumer pressure and pull the snowboard lines in question. Perhaps they'll come out with a special Casey Rae-Hunter line of "Big Ol' Cock" boards. Either way, the market and a free democratic exchange of opinions wins.

Wow - Does Burton really need to try THIS hard to be cool? I thought that Burton was cool, because of their heritage, design, quality, etc. Burton had a well deserved reputation created by a dedicated team of designers, marketers and sales people.

This latest round of board graphics has left me puzzled and disturbed, both as a parent and the Founder of GirlZone.com.

My family of skiers has spent hundreds of dollars at Burton over the past few years - we love Burton style, attitude and quality. We cross over as consumers because of this and support snowboard culture as having more fun on snow - a primary benefit of living in Vermont. However, as the parent of a 14 year old boy and 11 year old girl we will not be shopping there until Burton corrects their mistake.

To me, Burton's mistake is that they have lost sight of their corporate responsibility by acting so edgy while wanting to be mainstream enough to make the big profits. Are they in a mid-life crisis? Or is it the awkward teenage stage that has them willing to do anything to fit in and be cool?

GirlZone.com has worked with Burton in the past because they stood for empowering girls with what they could do with their bodies - not how their bodies look. Burton represented girls being themselves and playing hard and being strong. Burton has made many millions of dollars from teen girls buying their products. Besides how objectification of women affects teenagers, does Burton have any idea of how pervasive self-mutilation is among teen girls? With the power of these graphics, will boys be joining their ranks?

What the heck??

I know the guy who designed this board! He loves women. Trust me. I know. IMO, there should have been naked gypsies on there.

So, did anyone else go to girlzone.com out of curiosity? The first thing I saw, bright pink banner at the top of the page, is a super-slim model advertising a weight loss patch. Then another skinny model for the same weight loss product halfway down the middle of the page. Then the bottom banner is an ad for WalMart cosmetics.

Welcome to Girl Zone! You're fat and need make-up!

I don't mean to pick on Girlzone because overall it seems like a great site. My point is that the unhealthy and unrealistic body images girls and boys are constantly, insidiously bombarded with every day from every direction are the problem - not a limited edition snowboard. Think about what your kids are exposed to on a daily basis compared to these stupid, relatively benign snowboards. On TV, video games, magazines, music videos, movies, the internet. We're so accustomed to it that we've become blind. It just seems so unbelievably inane and misdirected that anyone would kick up a fuss about this scapegoat snowboard thing.

Hannah Montana will damage your little girl's self-esteem and sense of self-worth 1,000X more than spotting a hiney on the slopes. Please.

I applaud Burton for giving money to the Women s Crisis Center in Burlington (something I just learned about). That must mean that they care about issues of violence against women. So, because of this, I expect more from them on the products they create. Burton, don;t you understand the connection between objectifying women and the violence against them? By putting parts of women's bodies on a board and then adding the text that Robin shared above, is really unacceptable.
This blog is about Freedom of speech. and speaking up about these issues is freedom of speech. Putting naked women on boards is a choice that we are asking Burton to seriously reconsider.

Some of you people would have done well for yourselves back in Germany around, say, 1933.

Does any guy ever complain about the adds of men in their underwear and "how to please your guy in bed" articles in Cosmo?

Truth be told most men do NOT objectify women. They are just more outspoke and honest about their physical attraction toweards the femal body. This is one the biggest and most disgusting stereotypes I've heard.

America is so completely uptight about sexuality, if not everything!

Fascinating stuff.

But one thing to add: Does anyone else think the boards are just an example of crappy, uncreative design?

The BFP compared the Love to Rome's Artifact - which is actually a perfect case in point. The Artifact reflects a legit, intelligent, and substantial design concept and a well thought out company aesthetic. Strip club neon makes sense because Rome IS snowboards for dirtbag snowboarders, the anti-pipe-jockeys and phi-beta-crappas-on-holiday.

And the reason the Artifact works so well as an envelope-pushing design is precisely because it doesn't just throw a naked chick onto a board and call it art. Cuz it ain't - it's just sophomoric weightroom shock value.

Oh yeah, Burton is lying, too. It wasn't Mikkel and Keegan who "designed" the boards, it was some photoshopping jockstrap at JDK. (Love you JDK, ya just dropped the ball on this one.)

The most relevant criticism of Burton right now is that they are a Frankenstein of values and aesthetics, a random assembly of body parts built solely for the purpose of hitting every niche, demographic, and market in order to make as much money as possible. Coalition and Love are Burton's attempt at hitting the "core" market, which just shows how not-core they are.

Especially when they are trying so hard to hit the "women's" market, the "learn-to-ride" market, the "kids" market, the "mainstream vacationer" market and the "charity" market (Chill) at the same time. How bout this for the 09 women's ad campaign: "Because of Snowboarding, we pose naked all day long for snowboard graphics so 15 year olds can ride us, grind us, and stick it wherever they want to!"

I love Burton, ride Burton, and wear Burton - just two words for ya: artfulness and consistency.

# of comments about in a nudie snowboard thread before someone invokes Godwin's Law?: 40.

Congratulations Cris! for proving once again that all internet threads must eventually become utterly absurd.

BTW, can you add comment numbering in Typepad, Cathy? Counting comments by hand is a pain. :(

Ding ding ding ding! Thread over.

Bill, I'll look into it, but don't think I can add numbering. Sorry!

You could have counted from the bottom up, though. Typepad tells you at the bottom of the post how many comments there are. Numbers would be nice, though.

Things I've "Learned" From This Thread...

1) Many people got to ham-handedly dictate what is and what is not art for everyone, instead of copping to their own highly subjective opinions (or, of course, highly subjective reporting for Blurt). You must be a real hoot at the Art Hop.

2) Violent imagery simply must result in violent behavior. Likewise, "objectifying" women results in rape and misogyny. Personal responsibility and effective parenting, be damned! Chock one up for androphobia, too.

3) Molly would no doubt run out of Passive-Agressive/Solipsist Awards were she not to have rung the "ding, ding, ding... thread's over" bell.

As a woman, it embarrasses me to see other women asking for the removal of these boards. Just don't buy them! Are they offensive? Sure. But censorship is not the answer. There are other, more productive ways to work for positive change.

That said, I think Burton's really jumped the shark with these. They've been making some pretty lame attempts at edgy marketing lately (like the dare to snowboard Mad River Glen). I used to really respect them, but I'm not feeling it any more. Maybe Jake is overcompensating for advancing age?

I don't see how anyone can interpret voicing an opinion about the questionable taste of the products as being akin to censorship. I'm disappointed that this company has to be such a sellout, and I'm tired of hearing that if we have a problem with the objectification and degradation of women, we must be the ones who have self-esteem issues or have a fear of sex. That's a ridiculous generalization that no doubt appeals to people who want to blame the messenger instead of taking a good look at the message.

The pattern I see here is that one side of this argument is concerned with community responsibility and accountability, and one side simply wants to shut their eyes to any uncomfortable discussion and says "get over it", or "there are worse things out there". True, there are worse things, but that's only because so many people are apathetic about a world where women are not seen as people.

Well, some of us think we deserve better, not just for ourselves, but for ALL women. We all deserve a world where everyone can clearly separate sexuality and eroticism from degradation and objectification, and here's a great opportunity to figure out what those differences are and do something about it!

I can't help but notice that everyone who agrees with me is empathic, intelligent, and good looking, while everyone who disagrees is an angry, community-hating meanie with snakes for hair.

Ding ding ding!

I wouldn't buy them because I don't believe in imagery like this. I don't think coursening the public square achieves anything other than cynicism and elevates attitude over basic respect (not elitism -- just respect). And I won't let my sons buy them, and I'll tell them why. And we can tell Burton why and encourage them to higher standards of corporate citizenship. Beyond that...what's this talk of censorship??

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