Two Men in Bed; and a Ride Share Service for Women Only

Y ou see an advertisement with a photograph showing two men in bed together, both wearing shirts. One man has his arm around the other man, who is holding his hand. Both appear to be having a good time listening to music.

Would you be offended?

Two Men in Bed

Hilton advertisement two men in bed together

Source: Hilton Worldwide.

Would you be offended if the advertiser is Hilton Worldwide; and the advertisement ran in the June 2016 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine? Eric of Point Me To The Plane asked that question in this article; and the response has been overwhelming.

The American Family Association — which is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission” — uses a photograph of what used to be the Las Vegas Hilton hotel property to ask you to sign a petition urging Hilton Worldwide to “market responsibly by advertising in a more family friendly manner when marketing through mainstream media.”

Travel and Leisure isn’t a gay-specific magazine sent directly to homosexual’s homes. It’s a widely distributed mainstream publication that can be found in many public places such as doctors’ or auto repair waiting rooms.

If Hilton had advertised two men playing tennis, cards, or having lunch, that would have been reasonable. However, Hilton chose to make a cultural and social statement by purposely marketing the promotion of homosexuality to a large segment of the population who finds the idea of two men sleeping together unnatural and offensive.

So far, Hilton is defending its decision to promote homosexuality in the magazine and will likely take it further with other forms of mainstream media. Hilton said, “Hilton Worldwide is a global company of diverse cultures serving diverse guests…We are proud to depict and reflect our guest diversity in our advertising…”

A Ride Share Service for Women Only

Earlier this year, a married father of two children who moonlighted as an Uber driver was accused of a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo which occurred on the evening of Saturday, February 20, 2016 that left six people dead and two others wounded — and that is only one of many unfortunate reported incidents which has led to governments wanting for drivers of Uber and Lyft to be fingerprinted before granting them official permission to offer their services at locations such as airports.

“My wife drew my attention to a company called Chariot for Women (who may or may not have renamed themselves Safeher) a while back”, Edward Pizzarello wrote in this article at Pizza in Motion. “The concept is pretty straight-forward. They want to be a safer version of Uber. They announced they would only hire female drivers and only pick up female passengers as well as children age 13 and under. Drivers would be subject to a stringent background test which could be more stringent than big competitors in the space (it’s unclear exactly where Uber will end up on this issue given recent changes they’ve made in security and background checks).”

Summary

My first thought when reading about the ride share service for women was “What — men are not entitled to safe transportation?” If ride share services such as Uber and Lyft are not safe enough for women and children to use, then the issue should be to force them to be as safe as the aforementioned ride share service for women. That seems fairly straightforward to me…

…but with regard to the advertisement from Hilton Worldwide: the advertisement does not bother me. However, imagine if that advertisement showed a man and a woman doing the same thing, supposedly fully clothed — and was printed in a magazine in the 1940s; or the man was black and the woman was white twenty years ago.

The sexuality of a person — whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or otherwise — is the private business of that individual. What goes on behind closed doors between two or more people is none of my business. As long as the sexuality of a person is not forcibly flaunted in my face in an unsolicited manner, it does not matter to me.

The other question is one of barriers and taboos: the examples which I just presented all were once off limits to the point where everyone knew not to cross them; whereas they are widely — but not necessarily universally — accepted today. Will one gender who dresses as another be the next frontier, as is currently playing out in a controversial manner across the United States?

I personally believe that we should respect the barriers of individual people while ensuring that the rights of every person are not infringed upon unnecessarily — which is admittedly not an easy task. While there are people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, beliefs and nationalities who simply want to quietly and peacefully live their lives the way they prefer, there are others who will do what they can to push the limits and boundaries to advance an agenda for the purposes of awareness; and I do not believe that the advertisement from Hilton Worldwide perpetuates that. Is there really anything wrong with Hilton Worldwide letting homosexual people know that they are welcome as guests in their hotel and resort properties? I do not believe so…

…but could the people at Hilton Worldwide have conveyed the message of the lodging company reflecting diversity better in its advertising? Perhaps — but that question can only be answered subjectively…

Source: Hilton Worldwide.

12 thoughts on “Two Men in Bed; and a Ride Share Service for Women Only”

  1. Duh says:

    The fact that this question is even an issue today makes me laugh. If it was a man and a women would u even be writing about it? In fact, have you ever written about a topic that was fresh, non flyertalk/ other blog? As an atheist, and someone that takes “gods word” on par with the Easter bunny, and maybe optimis prime, u need to pick a side. This nonsense about “flaunting it”…..these two dudes woke up. They are in bed…what are they flaunting? If it was two guys having tea the same bigots would feel the same.

    How about this….stick to your regurgitated blog posts. It gives people a good rehash of flyertalk. If you don’t condone bigotry…guess what….ur a bigot.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “If it was a man and a women would u even be writing about it?”

      Why, yes I would write about it — and have done so, Duh:

      http://www.flyertalk.com/the-gate/blog/12473-jesus-and-lady-liberty-in-bed-how-does-this-advertise-an-airline.html

      Notice that that article was posted at FlyerTalk — you know, the website from which I “regurgitate” content and where The Gate resided for roughly four years?

      As for the majority of the remainder of your comment, you apparently have not read other articles written by me at The Gate.

      I never realized that I was an atheist and a bigot, according to you. Thank you for teaching me attributes apparently pertaining to myself about which I never knew or thought. Why did I not know or think about them? That is easy — because they are simply not true.

      In other words: duh, Duh

  2. 1995called says:

    Seriously?! What a waste of a click. What is this? 1995? I can’t believe the LGBT question is being asked. Idiots. You are an idiot for asking this question.

    Another blogger I will never click

  3. CTravlr says:

    The fact that you’re entertaining this question says more about you regardless of how much you don’t see the Hilton Ad as an issue. You’re dignifying a ridiculous claim. With regards to the Uber app, you’re privileged as a man (a white man at that) to not have to worry about safety in the way women have to. Uber is already safe for you as a man. You’re much less likely to get hit on or harassed by the majority male Uber drivers than you would as a woman. If you can’t understand why women would need a private app, then I’m sure you can’t understand why women carry rape whistles, don’t go out late alone in certain places. Just because something doesn’t bother you, Brian, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem for others.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      …and I still maintain that if Uber and Lyft are not safe enough for women and children to use, CTravlr, then there is a problem currently inherent with the overall safety of their respective services which needs to be corrected — as a top priority, in fact.

      By the way, this “privileged white man” never used either Uber or Lyft…

  4. Doublejade says:

    How disappointing to see you post something like this! Thousands of ads showing man and woman in bed sleeping and you are fine with it. It’s called double standard. And uber for women? Because as a man you never feel the inconvenience and worries That women have when they get into a strangers car. This is the blog I will never click. Does anyone know how to block this blog so it won’t show up on my boardingarea page?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Where did I write that I was fine with seeing thousands of advertisements with anyone in bed, Doublejade?

      Frankly, I would be just fine if there were no advertisements showing photographs of anyone in bed — but where did I write that I was not fine with the photograph of two men in bed in an advertisement? Perhaps you missed the part of the article where I specifically wrote that “the advertisement does not bother me.”

      I believe you also completely missed my point pertaining to the ride share service specifically for women and children. Of course they should feel safe wherever they go. I thought I was rather clear when I wrote “‘What — men are not entitled to safe transportation?’ If ride share services such as Uber and Lyft are not safe enough for women and children to use, then the issue should be to force them to be as safe as the aforementioned ride share service for women.”

      In other words, if a service is not safe for women or children, then perhaps it needs to be reevaluated or improved so that it is safe for everyone — men, women and children…

      …or do you believe that we need a dangerous ride share service for men only?

      Please do not jump to unproven conclusions about me and attribute words to me which I never said or wrote. You and other readers of The Gate are more than welcome to ask me questions on whatever topics about which I write for clarification on any point of view which I express…

  5. ian says:

    i ‘m afraid i have to almost entirely agree with these other comments. Exceedingly poor writing/thinking. And biracial couples twenty yrs ago i had seen then, fairly often, so ur way off with timing/generations (i am now 46 y.o.) Get with the program or stop being pulled into the ‘new’ ancient ways/ambiance… Fugly as heck. Trump fugly.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I may have been off with the timeline pertaining to interracial — or biracial, as there is a distinct difference — couples, ian

      …but I can assure you of one thing: I cannot stand either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Unlike past elections, I am not even sure that there is a lesser of two evils here, which is why I decided to declare my candidacy for president of the United States:

      http://thegate.boardingarea.com/i-am-running-for-president-of-the-united-states-vote-for-me/

      Can I count on your vote?

  6. Brooks says:

    This is a disappointing post. The idea that it’s okay for a hotel to have LGBTQ guests, but not if the hotel, you know, shows them – I’m disappointed to read your implication that “Perhaps” Hilton could “have conveyed the message of the lodging company reflecting diversity better in its advertising.”

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I could understand your disappointment if I wrote that I definitively believe that Hilton should have conveyed its message of diversity better, Brooks — but that is not what I wrote simply because I do not believe that. Rather, I used the words perhaps and could only because there may be other ways to convey that message of diversity than showing two men in bed together in what is considered mainstream media.

      I also specifically wrote that “the advertisement does not bother me” — which means exactly as I wrote it: if I casually saw the advertisement while thumbing through a magazine or other form of mainstream media, I would not be bothered or offended at all at seeing that photograph of two men — or two women, for that matter — in bed; and I would not think twice about it.

      There are plenty of advertisements in mainstream media which show a man and a woman in bed together. They do not bother or offend me either; but there are people who would be bothered or offended by it. If there were no longer advertisements with photographs of heterosexual couples in bed, that would not matter to me either; as there may be better ways to convey a message without showing two people in bed.

      Come to think of it, I cannot think of an advertisement of a lodging company with anyone in bed which prompted me to say, “Hey — because of that advertisement, I am going to stay at one of their hotels.”

      The thought process which I was attempting to convey is that everyone is offended by something; so where should that imaginary “line” — which has moved for various reasons over the decades — be drawn?

      As with what I originally asked at the end of the article, “that question can only be answered subjectively” — regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, age, size, nationality, religious belief or other distinction.

  7. JoEllen says:

    Since you asked…..Yes, I am offended (thanks for asking the question, by the way).
    To Hilton: — I don’t need to see an ad flaunting homosexual (abnormal, abhorrent) behavior to “believe” that Hilton is a diverse company or to like them anymore than any other hotel chain. They can be as diverse and kinky-liking as they want to be but to put it out in this blatant ad is just too-in-your-face – (we think it’s such a great think for two men, or women to engage in abnormal, unnatural sex). Man-and-woman in the ad ? – fine, but they better have wedding rings on.
    I like Hilton, I will still use the Hilton brand but they are proving nothing with this ad.

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