And the NRA isn't doing itself any favors by letting folks like Zombie Industries have a booth at its annual convention, at least if they want to represent gun owners as people who aren't fucked up. As Elizabeth Plank over at PolicyMic points out:
"To discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist," the website says. YES, because having the only female character in your line of mannequin targets be "the ex-girlfriend" doesn't reinforce sexist and fatally dangerous stereotypes.
I'm not even sure how to begin unpacking this, so let me start with some stats. Men's violence against women is not a small pickle, it's a huge problem. Not just all over the world and in every society, but particularly here in the United States where "domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined." One third of female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner.
So, there's something incredibly sick about selling a product that encourages men to enact a fantasy in which they shoot their ex-girlfriend and watch her bleed, even if said ex-girlfriend is supposed to be a zombie.
But folks, we have to talk about Zombie Industries' own marketing of "The Ex," because until yesterday — when they changed the doll's name to Alexa and rewrote the copy to be slightly less pathetic — here's what it said:
Be warned, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but a man scorned is nothing to mess with! A young gent from Louisiana, we’ll call him André to protect his identity, was deeply committed to his one true love and her to him, or so he thought. While partying with her friends during one particular Mardi Gras, she took several suitors over the course of the festivities. Andre` felt something odd indeed, so he paid a visit to his great aunt, Marie, who helped him see the truth. With a few eggs, candles lit and kiss upon his forehead, her voodoo curse was set in motion. Late each night while lying in bed, a smile would appear across his face, for a slight breeze would travel through a cracked window bringing with it, a faint whiff of decay and a unnatural cry of regret.
Basically, if you are afraid your girlfriend has a lust for cock that you can't satisfy, you should kill her once with the help of your aunt and then kill her again when she comes back from the dead.
Or, you know, you could just figure out how to be better in bed — save yourself the felony and the oddly sexual ritual with some ancient relative. (Seriously? Yonic eggs, phallic candles, a kiss from his great aunt that puts things in motion? This isn't catalog copy, it's the start to a Penthouse letter so bizarre it makes Larry Flynt uncomfortable.)
I normally hate it when people suggest that gun owners are compensating for their feared sexual inadequacy, but this target was explicitly being sold to gun owners who are compensating for their feared sexual inadequacy! This wasn't an unfair stereotype of gun owners coming from people who just don't understand gun culture. This was the dudes who are selling targets to gun owners explicitly saying, "Here's your chance to get even with the girl you aren't enough for."
Gun owners should be insulted! Zombie Industries wants you to pay $100 to get even with women who won't fuck you. I have a better idea. For free, you can read Dr. Nerdlove, who "dispenses love, sex and life advice for geeks, otaku, dweebs, poozers, nerds and the occasional neo-maxie-zoom-dweebie. He helps geeks learn how to get the girl of their dreams." Now, I'm not saying that you're a geek or a nerd.
I'm just saying that instead of feeling violent toward women who would rightly rather fuck anyone but you, you can pretty easily learn how to be the kind of guy women want to fuck. Well, most of you.
For those of you who can't, frankly, you should buy Alexa here and put her out on your front porch as a big old warning signal to everyone else that you're not safe for people to be around.