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Consuming Women, No. 6: blender? He hardly knew her!*

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Trigger warning for violent imagery, some of which involves female nudity, under the jump.**

A subsidiary of the department store Beymen, blender bills itself as a “concept store.” (Caution: meat-loving hipsters ahead!) The “concept” (scare quotes because the whole concept of a concept store is way too fucking pretentious for this thrift store shopper to stand), as you may have already surmised, involves the pairing of fashion with misogyny, the conflation of sex and violence, and the linkage of women and nonhuman animals: consumable objects, unite!

With several locations in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, blender doesn’t just sell clothing and assorted shiny baubles; oh no! Nor are body dysmorphia and low self-esteem its only wares. Ever the hipster-catering douchebags, each blender store is also home to a butcher shop! Because nothing accents a $500 white angora scarf quite like ghastly blood smear stain. (No, really!)

Curiously, blender attempts to sell its audience on this concept by treating at least half of them like pieces of meat, too!

(More below the fold…)

Consuming Women, No. 5: Il Corpo delle Donne, Il Corpo delle Animali *

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Best known outside of Italy for his role as prime minister – or, more accurately, the many sex scandals surrounding his prime ministership – Silvio Berlusconi is also “a successful entrepreneur” (as Wiki so nicely puts it). In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked him the 74th richest man in the world (and the 3rd richest in Italy), with a net worth of $9 billion. While he started out in construction, much of Berlusconi’s wealth comes from his vast media holdings, which encompass “television, newspapers, publishing, cinema, finance, banking, insurance, and even sport.”

Not surprisingly – given both his own conduct, as well as the media culture in which we live – much of what Berlusconi trades in is women. Young, white, conventionally attractive, eminently fuckable, and oftentimes objectified and humiliated women. Italian television has a reputation for routine sexism and misogyny – most commonly expressed in its gratuitous displays of women’s naked or scantily clad bodies – and the programming on Berlusconi’s channels is no exception. (In fact, Berlusconi acts as a lightning rod for much of this criticism. Just today, for example, Italians saw anti-Berlusconi protests in Milan.)

Writes Tom Kington in a piece appearing in The Guardian, circa September 2009:

After a summer of sleaze in which Berlusconi has been variously accused of “frequenting minors”, sleeping with an escort girl and holding debauched parties at his Sardinian villa, a feminist backlash is gaining momentum. The target is not only Berlusconi but the wider culture of a country in which a prime minister could survive such allegations.

According to Chiara Volpato, an academic at Milan’s Bicocca University, matters hit rock bottom when Berlusconi’s lawyer said his client would never pay for sex with an escort because the prime minister is merely an “end user” of women: “The choice of language really summed up how far we have sunk.”

This summer a group of academics, including Volpato, persuaded 15,000 people to sign a petition asking the wives of world leaders to boycott the G8 conference in Italy in protest at the plight of women in Berlusconi’s Italy.

The most recent sex scandal – involving the exchange of money for sex, most notably with a then 17-year-old girl – served as a reminder that I’d yet to blog about Il Corpo delle Donne (“Women’s Bodies” or “The Body of Women”; embedded at the top of the post), a short indie feminist documentary about sexism in Italian television. In it, director Lorella Zanardo narrates a veritable clip show of misogyny, all of which appeared on daytime and prime time Italian television:

(More below the fold…)

Consuming Women, No. 4: Rustling Up Some T&A

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

I re-discovered the following ad from Rustlers last week while “spring cleaning” some of my online accounts (in this case, You Tube – see all the pretty new playlists?). It’s more than two years old now, but meh – the message is still as relevant as ever, as we shall soon see.

Rustlers, by the by, is a fast food chain in the UK:

Rustlers are a range of burgers and hot sandwiches produced by Kepak Convenience Foods, based in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. The parent company, Kepak, is based in Dublin, Ireland. Each product in the range comes packed with a sachet of sauce appropriate for the food. Several products are now also packaged with a slice of processed cheese or a rasher of bacon.

The focus of the marketing is on the short cooking time and the use of a microwave oven to reheat the food. The brand’s slogan is “0 to Tasty in Seconds”, recently modified from “0 to Tasty in 70 Seconds”.

This Rustlers commercial is somewhat appropriately titled “Date,” and is available on the You Tube Channel I Love Rustlers.
 


 
In case you can’t view the video, this particular Rustlers tv commercial shows a semi-nerdy lad* welcoming a fetching young lass into his apartment, seemingly after the couple’s first date together. The woman comes off as a bit disinterested – in more sexist terms, frigid – declining her date’s offer to take her coat with a demur request for a quick cup of coffee. The message is clear: as eager as the young man appears, he’s not getting any action tonight.

Until, that is, our “hero” breaks out his secret weapon! Under the pretense of making coffee, he pops into the kitchen…which is actually a control room of some sort, outfitted with a keypad and an observation window that looks out onto the living room. As the audience gazes upon the nerd’s date, perched all prim and proper-like on the edge of the couch, nerd-boy excitedly pokes at the keypad’s buttons, which set the couch a-spinning, like a turntable. With one 360-degree rotation of the couch, the date has lost all of her inhibitions – and clothing (save for her black, lacy lingerie…this is family tv, after all). From Liberty University co-ed to FHM cover model in 70 seconds flat.

Tag line: “If only everything was as quick as Rustlers. (You’re so hot.) Rustlers. Naught to Tasty in 70 Seconds.”

Cut to another scene, this one of a Rustlers “burger” spinning on a microwave turntable, and then of same nerd-boy hungrily showing down on the prepackaged animal corpse.

Because women (and female sexuality) are exactly like pieces of “meat” (or rather, they should be): just heat in the microwave for 70 seconds and then enjoy!

Also worth noting – in half a minute, Rustlers manages to trot out the following tired memes:

– Women are “tasty,” like morsels of food (in this case, “meat,” or food which was formerly living, sentient beings);

– Obtaining women’s consent for sexual activity is a huge pain in the ass, and wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just heat those cold bitches up like the pieces of “meat” that they are? (And, along those lines, Foreplay? What’s foreplay?)

– “Meat” is a form of sex, or sexually arousing;

– Women are “meat”; attractive women are sexy “meat.”

Even the company’s name is significant; “Rustlers” is an obvious reference to cattle rustling (in which cattle are the living embodiments of the consumable “meat”), a phrase which means “to steal (livestock, especially cattle).” In the context of Rustler’s “Date” ad, then, the woman also functions as livestock, the nerd-boy, as a cattle rustler/rapist.

(More below the fold…)

Consuming Women, No. 3

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Some time ago – we’re talking two years plus – I started a series on this blog called “Consuming Women.” My intention was to highlight examples of advertising campaigns in which the consumption of “meat” is likened to the consumption of women, usually by depicting women as obviously edible foodstuffs. My own personal Pornography of Meat, if you will.

Because I’m a scatterbrain and tend to bite off more than I can chew, I never got past post #2 in the series. Which is a shame – but, luckily, one that’s easily remedied!

For now, let’s start simple and return to the series’ roots: woman-as-fish. Classy.

The Seafood International Market and Restaurant - Mermaid

For those who can’t view the image, the ad depicts a woman – a mermaid – lounging seductively on a table in what appears to be a fancy restaurant. Our mermaiden is surrounded by spoons, forks and knives, all of which will presumably be used to murder, dismember and eat her. And did I mention that she’s totally succulent and mouth-watering, in more ways than one?

In addition to reducing both women and fish to consumable commodities, something to be bought, sold and eaten, this ad for The Seafood International Market and Restaurant also draws upon a fairly popular gendered insult, in which women’s lady bits are likened to fish.

To be fair, I should note that the restaurant in question is located in Singapore; perhaps their slang differs in this regard. Would any international readers care to weigh in?

(More below the fold…)

Consuming Women, No. 1.1

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

My very first “Consuming Women” post – way back in June – was of an Elle Bache ad that featured a nekkid woman dangling precariously atop a set o’ chopsticks, sushi-style. Tagline: “Skin good enough to eat.”

Woman-as-fish: does it get any classier than this?:

Ella Bache (Sushi)

Ugh.

Fast-forward seven months. Turns out this was one ad in a series of three. I found the other two on Ads of the World while searching for more pics to add to the Animals & Women set. They’re not quite as offensive as the sushi one (really, how do you top comparing women to fish?), but they are insulting nonetheless.

First, woman-as-sweet-sweet-nectar:

Ella Bache (Honey)

And woman-as-ambiguous-edible-morsel:

Ella Bache (Spoon)

And the spoon is pink! (*Squeals*) How cute.

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Tagged:

Consuming Women, No. 2

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Again courtesy of Feministing, yet another misogyny-meets-speciesism advert, this one from rapper Ludacris. In his quest to help out the young wimmins, dear Ludacris narrated a recently released women’s basketball documentary. To which blogger Ann says, “Ludacris empowers and uplifts young ‘hoes'”.

Ann includes an excerpt from an ET article:

One of my main reasons in doing it is because of how powerful I think it is for ladies to watch it. We have a lot of problems and troubles with the youth, period, but it’s the young women who need to be especially strong at this point. […] I want to empower the young ladies out there. It’s about women’s battles on and off the court.

Her reply?:

Like women’s battle not to be seen as meat? The cover of his album Chicken-n-Beer features Ludacris salting a woman’s leg and getting ready to bite into it. (Sexual Politics of Meat, anyone?)

Here’s the cover in question, via Amazon.com.
 
 

ludacris-ChickenNbeer-01

 
 
And a second picture, this one of the cover plus a pull-out (my best guess, anyway), which reveals more of the image.
 
 
ludacris-ChickenNbeer-02

 
 
Of course, the primary message is that women shouldn’t be viewed as (and treated like) “meat” – as objects to be consumed in order to please another. The other part of the equation, which is often negelected in discussions of this sort, is the animal, the “meat.” Just as women shouldn’t be objectified, abused, and treated as a means to an end, neither should animals.

As a feminist, animal rights advocate, and social science geek, this is the sort of topic that fascinates me. Unfortunately (well, fortunately for me!), I’m heading off for a much-deserved three-week vacation soon, so I don’t have time to expound, but this is a hint of what’s to come when I get back and have more time to devote to easyVegan.info.

Imagery that propagates the women-as-animals meme is, sadly, more common than you might realize. Common enough to justify a recurring “Consuming Women” series, methinks. I’ll post ’em as I find ’em; if you’d like to contribute, send me the image of offense at easyvegan [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Tagged:

Consuming Women, No. 1

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Via Feministing, a “creepy, creepy ad” from Ella Bache Paris:
 
 

ella-bache-ad

 
 
Followers of Carol J. Adams, of course, know that linking the consumption of animals with that of women is hardly a new advertising technique. See her “Sexual Politics of Meat” for similar pictures, as well as an overview of the book.

Oh, and if you’re offended by this ad, you can email Ella Bache here.

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Tagged:

Animals & Women: Coming Soon to a Plate Near You!

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

As easyVegan.info has gradually gained more readers, I’ve been (pleasantly) surprised to find that “Animals & Women” is one of the site’s most viewed categories – even though it’s only logged in two posts since June! I reckon it’s high time I rectify this matter, dontcha think?

Over the holidays, I spent some time browsing the tubes for images involving women, men, and animals. While most of these center around meat (i.e., women as meat, and “real” men as consumers of meat), other themes emerged as well. I’m still trying to parse these out and develop some distinct, cogent categories, but so far I’ve uploaded 150 photos to Flickr and organized them into the following groups:

* Consuming Women
* Miss Piggy
* Sheena, Queen of the Jungle
* He’ll have a Manwich, please.
* Draining the Lizard
* Totem(en)
* Bucking the Trend
* Supermodels for Animal Rights

The last heading is just a default category for all things PETA, but see if you can guess which themes the others represent. Seriously, humor me here. I’m curious to see how obvious the descriptors are, not to mention how accurate I was in grouping the images based their implied messages.

It’s been a few years since I read Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat and The Pornography of Meat, so I should probably brush up on ’em before continuing with the series. Perhaps Adams has even devised some categories of her own for me to ‘borrow’?

Anywho, until then, feel free to browse through the images I’ve gathered. They’re all in one photoset on Flickr, Animals & Women. They’re further organized by tags, including the phrases listed above. And, if you’d like to suggest another category or theme that I’ve overlooked, lemme know – I’m all ears. Of corn, that is. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. I know, I know – day job.

Oh, and contributions of images would be much appreciated as well. I promise to credit with a name and/or linkback, if desired.

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Tagged:

Shiny Happy Site Updates for a Shiny Happy New Year

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

happy new year

2010 was, for reasons I’d rather not go into, a rather crappy year all around. But with the flip of a calendar page comes a new year filled with hope and change and puppies and unicorns. (Nobama though, I don’t much care for that dude. So much so that I’m now repeating Republican slogans in spite of myself. Yuck.)

Also: site updates and goals! I know this sounds like it’s gonna be a boring admin-type post, but it’s not. Okay so maybe it is, but do me a shiny and read it anyway, mkay.

  • Tags!: There’s now a teeny-tiny tag cloud, located in the sidebar (just below the post categories and above the purple Petfinder widget), where there was none before! While updating my “greatest hits” page last month, I realized that I needed a better way of organizing post series (e.g., Consuming Women, Sexy Meat) and linking posts which focused on the same narrow, oft-discussed topics (PETA, abortion). Thus, I finally decided to add a few select tags after 4 1/2 years of making do without them.

    As these are really just meant to supplement the already-bloated post category system, I’m keeping the tags simple and focused. Currently, they include:

    Consuming Women
    Sexy Meat
    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs
    Disaster Hub
    PETA
    “fur hag”; and
    abortion

    Maybe it’s just because I’m hungry, but I’m also thinking about adding a tag for ICE CREAM! (Caps cuz WE ALL SCREAM!, amirite folks?)

  • Consuming Women & Sexy Meat!: Speaking of post series, it became painfully obvious to me whilst tagging the aforementioned posts that I haven’t paid the Consuming Women and Sexy Meat series the attention that they so very much deserve! I hereby resolve to correct this oversight in 2011.

    Furthermore, this is me admitting that I can be, at times, terribly wordy (channeling: Jon Stewart’s John Kerry impression), and that such verbosity negatively impacts the number (and sometimes quality) of posts that I’m able to complete. So less talky, more looky, particularly when it comes to images of women carved up into cuts of meat. Or pictures of cows dressed to look like sex workers. Because really, how many different ways can one say that these images exploit women and nonhuman animals alike, turning their bodies into objects available for public consumption? (Not so many, it turns out!)

  • Bingo Cards!: Since my bingo cards are starting to see some link love, I decided to give them their own page! Don’t they look pretty, without all my extraneous, babbling commentary to distract from the snark? Also, I’ve totally slacked in my goal to link each square to a rebuttal and/or refutation of the silliness contained within. I promise to remedy this in 2011 (Look! I’ve already begun!), though it might take some time: the Speciesist Feminist and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo cards are so “special interest” (hate that term!) that I may have to write some of the counter-arguments myself. At least I’ll have some inspiration in 2011, yes?
  • POP! goes The Vegan.: Also planned for 2011 is an overhaul of POP! goes The Vegan., another awesome and unique (if I do say so myself, and I do!) project that I neglected during the Great Malaise of 2010. The “Vegan (Re)views” database will be relocated to the front page where it belongs, and the blog will get its own space. Contact forms will make it easier for users to submit movies, tv shows, reviews and the like, and on the back end, the database will receive a good spit and shine so that I can more finely organize and sort the entries. Birds will sing, my dogs will shit gold, and vegan ice cream the world over will cease to have any of the fat, and yet magically retain all of the taste. Life is/will be good.

    Until then, I’ve resumed blogging at POP! after a three-month absence. Stop by and give me a read; recent topics include Guillermo Del Toro’s vampire novel The Strain; George A. Romero’s zombie flick Survival of the Dead; and an excerpt from Karen Davis’s Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs.

    Guest posts are sorely needed, as even I – as much of a couch potato as I am – cannot consume and regurgitate all of the pop culture on the airwaves and intertubes myself. Hit me up at easyvegan [at] gmail.com, mkay? Or just send me a link to a piece you published elsewhere. I’m flexible, yo.

  • Animal-Friendly Women’s and Homeless Shelters: HALP! I’m trying to compile a list of animal-friendly women’s (i.e., domestic violence) shelters and programs. This might include shelters that house humans and nonhumans in the same facilities, or human-only shelters that partner with local animal rescue groups to temporarily place nonhuman victims in a network of foster homes. In my research, I keep finding references to AHA’s list – but the page has since moved, and I can’t for the life of me find it. The resources I have found are listed in the blogroll, under Animal-Friendly DV Shelters.

    I also hope to make a similar list of homeless shelters; see Animal-Friendly Homeless Shelters in the blogroll.

    Send me your links at easyvegan [at] gmail.com or, better yet, leave ’em in the comments!

  • Survey: What is it like to be vegan?: Not mine, but you should totes participate anyhow. It’ll only take you a few minutes, and it’s important stuff. You’re doing god’s work, people! And by “god” I mean “science.”

    Have I convinced you yet? Oh, good! Survey sez ->

  • FYI: HAPPY FUCKING NEW YEAR cake (vegan! with a vengeance !) & beer photo via Flickr user gregvanbrug.
  • Your reward for sticking with me ’til the end (or at least until the end of this post):

    (More below the fold…)

  • Lady Pork: The Other Other White Meat?

    Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

    Firstly, a big, shiny hello to everyone arriving here from The F-Word! (And can I just say how stoked I am to see yet another vegan feminist guest-blogging on yet another kickass feminist blog? More, please!) In addition to the posts singled out by Amy, you might also enjoy browsing the Intersections post category. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, check out this list of vegan/vegetarian bloggers who regularly discuss the intersections of human and nonhuman oppressions. It’ll keep you occupied at least through the summer, I tell you what.

    So. On to today’s vegan feminist WTF. While searching for a related image last night, I stumbled upon a rather disturbing poster for the movie Saw IV:

    Saw IV Poster 01

    Shot in tones of black, gray and red, the poster is rather macabre (and quite fitting for a horror flick). Highlighted by a dim ray of light, in the middle of the poster sits a masked figure. She is confined to a torture device of some sort. Seemingly homemade, the instrument – similar in shape to a small chair – looks as though it was cobbled together from pieces of various mechanical devices, including a push mower. There are knobs, tanks, wheels and blades galore. The victim sits facing forward, her arms confined to her sides, ankles chained to the chair.

    Masked, robed and photographed from behind, the prisoner’s gender is impossible to determine. However, the figure does sport some obvious trappings of femininity, including knee-high, black stiletto boots (“fuck me boots,” if you will) and tight, black stockings or leggings. The robe is red, possibly velvet. Clearly, the audience is to assume that the victim is a woman (or one very “emasculated” man).

    Oh, and the mask? It’s of a pig. Holy woman-as-meat / meat-as-woman meme, Catwoman!

    Having only watched the first installment of the Saw franchise, this poster initially sent my head reeling re: its possibly significance, if any. Luckily, Wiki has the answers (some of them, anyhow):

    That evening, Rigg is attacked in his home; upon awakening, a videotape informs him that Matthews is still alive, with ninety minutes to save himself, with Hoffman’s life at stake as well. He finds Brenda (Sarain Boylan), a female pimp, chained to a chair with a pig mask covering her face. The first test, “see what I see,” is for him to leave her there; he ignores the message and ends up triggering a device to begin peeling her scalp off. He manages to free her, but she attacks him; she had been told that she would be arrested if Rigg saved her unless she killed him first. He throws her into a mirror and leaves; her corpse is later found by police.

    And, from the character description:

    Brenda was a prostitute who appeared in Saw IV as a victim in Daniel Rigg’s game. Brenda was placed in a machine designed to tear her scalp from her head and Rigg was instructed to simply walk away from her as she was not worth saving. After her scalp was partially torn away, Rigg managed to save her but Brenda then attempted to kill him, instructed by Jigsaw that if she didn’t Rigg would send her to jail. Rigg overpowered Brenda and threw her into a mirror. She was later found dead.

    I suppose the overriding purpose of the pig mask is to conceal the “scalping” contraption, but one has to ask…why a consumable (i.e., “food”) animal? Why not Ronald Regan or Freddy Krueger instead? Is Jigsaw (or his torture porn confederate) making a statement about women who “pimp out” other women? (e.g., Such people are “not worth saving,” much like “worthless,” “dirty,” “gluttonous” nonhuman animals such as pigs.) Or is the pig mask merely a handy prop for upping the film’s shock value? (Meat and corpses and slaughterhouses, oh my!)

    There’s a vegan feminist analysis lurking here somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can find it. Perhaps someone who’s actually seen the film(s) can clue me in?

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 9: Rape is Torment (& also, The Death of Cake)

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

    null

    Robert Melia & Heather Lewis:
    accused child (read: cow/calf and human/girl) rapists.

    I, Bonobo: There’s plenty more where this came from

    veganprimate points to the case of Robert Melia – a former police officer who, along with his girlfriend, was arrested for sexually assaulting three girls – as a demonstration of the link between the exploitation of women and that of nonhuman animals. Melia’s misogyny only came to light because Melia was under investigation for engaging in “oral sex” (read: rape) with calves. Though the animal cruelty charges were dismissed by a judge – according to whom, a grand jury had no way of knowing whether the animals were “tormented” by the assault – police found

    videos on his computer of a girl being “subjected to sexual activity” in addition to taped encounters between Melia and the calves.

    While I’m glad the assistant prosecutor seems to be taking animal abuse seriously, the cynic in me can’t help but think he’s simply latching onto this “lesser” offense for leverage. Either way, it’s doubtful that Melia and girlfriend Heather Lewis will serve much time, as rape is too often minimized and excused in our kyriarchal society.

    On that note, methinks New Jersey Judge James J. Morley needs to be schooled on animal abuse, interpersonal violence and intersectionality.

    Judge James J. Morley
    Burlington County Cts. Facility
    49 Rancocas Road
    Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060
    609-518-2965
    Fax: 609-518-2551

    Be firm but polite!

    Lisa @ Sociological Images: A Summary Visual Of Women’s Objectification

    In a could-be-vegan spin on the ever-popular women-as-meat meme, I bring you: women-as-cake! Sure, there’s a dudely version of the photo too, but as Lisa points out, it’s sans copy – and probably wasn’t plastered on the magazine’s cover, as were the woman’s sliced and dismembered buttocks.

    (More below the fold…)

    Like livestock, but fuckable.

    Friday, August 7th, 2009

    Update, 9/1/09: Guest posting at Sociological Images, Anglofille offers an excellent discussion of George Sodoni’s misogyny – and of the media’s negligence in its coverage of the crime, which more often than not includes a hefty dose of victim-blaming.

    ——————-

    Freschello (Cow)

    I had planned on including this in my next intersectionality link roundup, but I’d rather this post be timely than in context. Besides, if you need additional context – here ya go.

    New York Post: Full Text of “Gym Killer’s” Blog

    Yes, I actually suffered through this misogynist’s entire blog. Blame CNN; one of their journalists piqued my curiosity by quoting from the following excerpt:

    Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below. I kept a running log that includes my thoughts and actions, after I saw this project was going to drag on.

    December 22, 2008:

    Time is moving along. Planned to have this done already. I will just keep a running log here as time passes. Many of the young girls here look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible.

    George Sodini, consumer of women.* Note how the women go from being not human (read: nonhuman animal) to not alive (read: “meat” -> or an non-sentient object). He reads much like any “good” fast food commercial!

    Elsewhere – in the context of an extremely racist rant, which begins with him postponing his “project” in order to “see the election outcome” – Sodini says, and I’m paraphrasing, that every “brother” ought to “get” his own “white hoe” as a sort of “reverse indentured servitude thing”: “Long ago, many a older white male landowner had a young Negro wench girl for his desires. Bout’ time tables are turned on that shit.”

    Actually, a truly “reverse indentured servitude thing” – the very term “indentured servant” is misleading when it’s clear that what he’s really referring to is slavery – would see white men relegated to property status, and distributed among women of color (and, more generally, men of color and all women).

    As a commenter at the Reclusive Leftist notes,

    The murderer suggested offering black men white women as sex slaves as a way of compensating for the fact that white men used to rape black women slaves.

    Who was wronged by white men raping black women slaves? The black women slaves? No! Black men of course!

    Who should be compensated today for black women slaves having been abused in the past? Black women? No! Black men of course!

    To Sodoni, women were nothing but objects to be consumed – or bought, sold, traded or borrowed, for example, to repay a “debt” incurred by one’s past “wrongdoings.” We are but chattel, livestock, property – servants and slaves. Our violation does not harm us – for how can an object experience suffering? – but rather, our owners: men.

    Replace “women” with “animals,” and you’ve summarized the popular view re: nonhuman animals. Hopefully, you’re just as appalled.

    (More below the fold…)

    White Castle: Now with edible porcine strippers! (1983 vintage)

    Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

    Vegan Butterfly sent me a link to this detestable White Castle ad a few months ago. I meant to blog about it straight away, but naturally procrastinated. The video has since made its way ’round the interwebs; see, for example, I Blame the Patriarchy and Suicide Food.

    No matter. ‘Tis never too late to deconstruct some Grade A kyriarchical Homer shit. Let’s get started, shall we?
     


     
    In case you can’t view the video, here’s a breakdown.

    Cue the scene: a bevy of skeevy, college age, white dudes sits in a smoky, dimly lit dive, hooting and clamoring expectantly. Onstage, a pig (!?) appears. Our “pig” is clearly a human decked out, head-to-hoof, in a cheap plush pig outfit. But let’s forget about that for a moment. This is one sexy stripper pig. She – we assume the pig is a she, since men are rarely reduced to sex objects – bursts into a sultry dance, thrusting her ass towards the audience, hips grinding to and fro. The camera pans around to two guys – and an animated White Castle paper bag (!?) – sitting at the front table. Miss Piggy shimmies herself onto a strategically placed chair, opening a creepy ole can of Flashdance on our asses. Still dancing, she thrusts a leg into the air, then back down to the floor.

    Suddenly, a flirtatious female voice over:

    “Introducing tempting pulled pork…”

    Here, Piggy reaches for a chain, dangling down from the ceiling – and gives a good yank. Barbecue sauce rains from the sky, covering Piggy (whose back is predictably arched at this point) and splashing the audience, which doesn’t seem to mind a bit.

    “…in barbecue sauce.”

    The audience cheers! Piggy twirls and dances in triumph!

    Cut to shots of murdered, dismembered, processed and cooked pig, i.e., “meat.”

    “Shredded pork in a come-hither barbecue sauce. Sweet. Saucy. Oh so naughty. White Castle – what you crave.”

    The ad ends with a fadeout of the aforementioned white dudes – sitting with a now grease stained White Castle bag – licking barbecue sauce off of themselves and enjoying the “entertainment.” Happy ending, anyone?

    Where to start, where to start?

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    Sexy Meat, No. 1

    Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

    Apropos my reintroduction of the “consuming women” series last week, I decided to create a second series of similar images I like to call “sexy meat.”

    “Sexy meat” is a sort of hybrid of “consuming women” and “suicide food.” Whereas the “consuming women” series features women who are posed to resemble “meat” (or other consumable animal products), “sexy meat” is just that – “meat” that’s been sexed up, usually in a traditionally “feminine” manner (women, of course, being the sex class). Oftentimes, this “sexy meat” is flirtatious in appearance, seemingly beckoning the audience to devour her, hence the “suicide food” angle.

    Possibly, the two types of images are so closely related – each is essentially an inverse of the other – that they might be grouped together, but I chose to tease out the differences for maximum visual impact.

    The first series of photos I’d like to share is a collection of three adverts for Rachachuros Seasoning. Each ad features an animal corpse, arranged in a pornorific pose for the camera (i.e., the male gaze), a concept which is reinforced by the product’s tag line, “The Temptation of Taste”:

    Rachachuros Seasoning - Chicken

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    2017 Book Memories Challenge

    Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018


     

    1. The Furies by Natalie Haynes (2014)

      ‘It doesn’t matter that I spent my whole life doing it. What matters is that I spent his whole life doing it. I would take it all back, Robert. Every moment I spent trying to be a fucking director, trying to make people happy, trying to be good at something. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do any of it. I’d just stand next to Luke every fucking second and when anything bad looked like it might happen to him, I’d get in the fucking way and I would keep him safe. And when people asked me what I did for a living, I’d say I loved him. That’s what I wanted to do. I thought it was the background, and it was everything. Everything.’

      […] I was so consumed with carrying the weight of Luke. My lungs felt tight with it sometimes. The world was heavier without him in it, and slower, and darker, and it took energy, actual physical energy to move through it. And I didn’t want to let go of it, either. What other way did I have to keep him real? Carrying his dead weight was better than forgetting him. Grieving was better than waking up to realise I couldn’t remember which of his eyes had the brown fleck in it.

      Besides, I had lost patience with therapy after Luke died. I was referred to a grief counsellor who was every kind of idiot. Her capacity for trying to look on the bright side made my mother look like Sartre. I tried not to hate her and everything she stood for, but it was one struggle too many. I didn’t want to be cured of my grief, I wanted to wrap myself up in it like a comfortable old coat which I’d first put on when my father died.
      I wanted to wear it every minute of the day, to sleep in it and wake in it, and never to be rid of it because it was the only thing keeping me warm. I gave up talking to my friends, to Luke’s friends, because everyone wanted to try to make me feel better, to talk about the healing qualities of time and what Luke would have wanted. But what Luke wanted didn’t matter any more. That’s what happens when you die. And I didn’t want time to heal my wounds. I wanted to pick at them until fat bubbles of dark blood formed on my skin, and then I wanted to watch them scab over and pick at them again.

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    Book Review: The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel (2017)

    Monday, March 6th, 2017

    Not for the faint of heart.

    four out of five stars

    (Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and violence against women, including rape, as well as suicide. This review contains clearly marked spoilers, but I tried to keep it as vague as possible.)

    “Roanoke girls never last long around here.” She skipped along the hall, her voice growing fainter as she moved, like we were standing at opposite ends of a tunnel. “In the end, we either run or we die.”

    My feelings for Allegra were never complicated. It didn’t matter if she acted crazy or made me angry or smothered me with devotion. In my whole life, she was the only person I simply loved. And I left her anyway.

    THEN

    Camilla Roanoke’s suicide doesn’t come as a surprise to her fifteen-year-old daughter Lane. For as long as she can remember, her mother has struggled with depression – not to mention alcoholism, mood swings, and blinding bouts of rage. Some days the tears come so fast and thick that they threaten to drown them both. So when she’s found dead in their NYC bathroom, bathrobe belt wrapped around her neck, Lane is more or less numb. Yet the cryptic note Camilla left behind – I tried to wait. I’m sorry. – puzzles Lane. The news that she has family – her mother’s parents, Yates and Lillian Roanoke – who aren’t merely willing to take Lane, but actually want her? Well, that’s the biggest shock of all.

    Camilla rarely spoke of her life on the family estate, Roanoke, situated among the prairies and wheat fields of Osage Flats, Kansas. And there’s a damn good reason for it – one that Lane will discover during summer she turns sixteen. One hundred days of being a “Roanoke Girl” was all she could take before she fled Kansas – hopefully for good.

    NOW

    Eleven years later, a late-night phone call from her grandfather summons Lane back to Roanoke. Back home. Her cousin Allegra is missing, and Lane is determined to find out what happened. It’s the least she can do, for leaving Allegra behind all those years ago.

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    Book Review: Coming of Age at the End of Days, Alice LaPlante (2015)

    Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

    The Tribulations of Adolescence: A Character Study

    three out of five stars

    (Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for sexual assault.)

    Anna Franklin has never really fit in. A native of Sunnyvale, California, Anna was perhaps the least “sunny” kid in her subdivision. Socially awkward and unsure, she usually watched from the sidelines while the neighborhood children played tag. Her parents meant well, but failed to pay Anna enough attention, absorbed as they were – are – in their own interests: she, a pianist; he, an amateur scientist.

    When Anna turns sixteen, things go from bad to worse as she’s caught in the bleak, gloomy grip of depression – or melancholia, in Anna’s parlance. Nothing can seem to shake its hold on her: not a psychiatrist (who Anna dislikes), not drugs (which Anna tosses), not her parents’ well-intentioned encouragements. Until, one night – in an effort to rekindle mother-daughter rituals of old – Anna’s mom institutes mandatory bedtime reading. Her first choice? The Bible. Not for any religious purposes, mind you – Anna’s parents are both atheists – but because it’s the basis for so much subsequent literature.

    Yet something (read: the promise of death, violence, and retribution) in Revelations speaks to Anna. She discovers that she is “passionately in love with death.” Anna begins to have dreams – and then waking visions – of a red heifer. Anna’s overnight religious mania coincides with the arrival of the Goldschmidts, a weird family that seems mostly disengaged from the world (or at least Anna’s small slice of it). When Lars invites Anna to his church, she finds a ready and receptive outlet for her newly discovered fundamentalist fervor.

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    Book Review: Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, S.G. Browne (2009)

    Friday, January 9th, 2015

    Zombies Are People Too!

    four out of five stars

    “The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?”
    ― Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation

    “Is it necrophilia if we’re both dead?”

    Andy Warner reanimated three months ago, but so far his “second chance” at life has him wishing that his DNA had just let him RIP. His wife Rachel is dead, killed in the same car accident that claimed Andy’s life. Since the undead have no rights to speak of, custody of his daughter Annie was handed over to Rachel’s sister and her husband; Andy can’t even stalk her on Facebook, since zombies are prohibited from using the Internet. Forced to move back in with the ‘rents after rising from the dead, Andy spends his days chugging wine and watching reruns in their wine cellar. His mother is physically repulsed by him, and his father – never the warm and cuddly type – openly loathes him.

    Andy’s only respite is the local chapter of Undead Anonymous (UA). There’s Rita, the sexy suicide/formaldehyde fetishist Andy’s falling for; Jerry, a fellow vehicular casualty who delights in showing off his exposed brain; Naomi, the biracial, chain-smoking zombie whose empty eye socket makes a convenient ashtray; kind-hearted Tom, mauled to death by dogs; and surly sourpuss Carl, who was knifed to death. Led by Helen – a counselor in her first life – the members of the group attempt to navigate a hostile world, where even the slightest misstep could land them in the pound. Even though the vast majority of zombies don’t consume human flesh, they are nonetheless feared and reviled by Breathers.

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    Book Review: Ice Massacre, Tiana Warner (2014)

    Friday, October 24th, 2014

    Killer Mermaids and Warrior Women of Color!

    five out of five stars

    (Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Member Giveaway program. Also, there are clearly marked spoilers towards the end of this review.)

    Meela can’t remember a time when her people – the inhabitants of Eriana Kwai, a small island situated off the coast of Alaska – weren’t at war. For all of her eighteen years, The Massacre has been a yearly ritual: every May, twenty young men set sail for the Aleutian Islands, where their adversaries’ nest is believed to be located. Their objective? To slaughter as many “sea rats” as possible, in hopes of decimating their population and returning peace and prosperity to Eriana Kwai.

    For the past several decades, an influx of mermaids has dominated the Pacific Ocean, consuming its sea life, attacking ships bound to and from Eriana Kwai, and occasionally even invading the island’s beaches. As a result, this formerly prosperous island has become increasingly dependent on handouts from the mainland. Its four thousand inhabitants are poor, starving, and desperate. With each year’s Massacre less successful than the last, Anyo the training master makes a bold suggestion: send young women to battle the mermaids. Unlike men, they aren’t susceptible to their supernatural charms.

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    Book Review: The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances, Ellen Cooney (2014)

    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

    Sweet, But Sometimes Problematic

    four out of five stars

    (Full disclosure: I received a free ARC for review through Goodreads’ First Reads program.)

    Evie. Female. Twenty-four. Petite in stature and preppy in appearance – yet surprisingly strong and resilient. Has low self esteem and abandonment issues due to a divorce in the home. Graduated from college with a degree in literature and an addiction to cocaine; dropped out of graduate school. Neat, organized, and motivated to learn. Can be a self-starter, if given the opportunity. Sometimes too quick to give up. Needs guidance and a sense of belonging.

    Lucille. Female. Fifty. Divorced. Will only answer to “Mrs. Auberchon.” Prim, prickly, and slow to disclose personal information (or any information). Does not make friends easily, resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle of loneliness and alienation. When given a job, will take to it fastidiously. Needs a purpose and a nice, cozy role to retire into. Potentially aggressive, occasionally paranoid. Anxiety meds should be considered.

    Like so many strays before her – both human and canine – Evie is adrift when she arrives at the Sanctuary. Fresh out of rehab (a little too fresh, some might say), Evie is searching for direction, guidance – a new purpose in life. Though she’s never been interested in dogs – never even been owned by a dog, in point o’ facts – she impulsively answers a dog training ad she spotted while browsing classifieds on the internet. (“Would you like to become a dog ?”) With a little finagling and fudging of the truth, her application is accepted – Evie is headed to the mountaintop school for dogs!

    Upon Evie’s arrival, she’s temporarily waylaid at the inn at the base of the mountain. It’s here that her training begins – Evie just doesn’t know it yet. One by one she’s introduced to her future students: Josie, a nippy little lady who lost her longtime home to the new baby. Shadow, who spent most of his life on the end of the chain and is now training (somewhat unsuccessfully) to be a search and rescue dog. Hank, who doesn’t take kindly to wooden objects and can’t stop obsessively pacing back and forth, back and forth. Tasha, a chronically depressed and anxious Rottweiler who was dumped from a car.

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