"PETA is about as feminist as it gets."

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Over the weekend, PETA’s Bruce Friedrich was the featured guest on ARZone’s weekly live guest chat. (You can find a full chat transcript here.) While the primary focus was on veganism and welfare reforms, a few participants dared question PETA’s feminist cred – specifically vis à vis its sexual objectification of women – with, ahem, interesting results. Case in point: Friedrich’s assertion that “PETA is about as feminist as it gets.”

My initial instinct, of course, was to pen a 10,000 word, line-by-line rebuttal of Friedrich’s statements, but just the thought damn near gave me an aneurysm. So not worth the stress! Instead, I decided to pop the vegan maraschino cherry on my Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo card.

The game? It’s on like Donkey Kong, bitches!*

Bingo Card (Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo 1) - Bruce Friedrich's AR Zone chat

Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo: Bruce Friedrich/ARZone Live Chat ed.
FYI: A plain-text version of this card, complete with links to refutations and debunkings, is available here.
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SO CLOSE! We were SO CLOSE to scoring a big fat sexist bingo! Next time, maybe. Probably. Most definitely.

Anyway, let’s take a look at of some of the “feminist” nuggets Friedrich dropped during the chat. The “hits” are labeled with the appropriate square; the non-hits, to be incorporated into v.2!

Square B-1: “Sex sells.”

Regarding our use of sex in our campaigns:

[…]

2) Sex sells and isn’t offensive to most people. That’s the super-brief reply to that question.

Oh, the old “sex sells” cliché! Such a classic, that one.

99.9% of the time, when people say that “sex sells,” what they really mean is that women’s sexualized, dehumanized, objectified, dismembered, and all-around pornified bodies sell. Or, put more succinctly: “sexism sells.”

Speaking of GQ magazine’s recent Glee spread, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency breaks down the difference between “erotic or sexual images, stories, and video of people engaging in healthy sexual lives and experiences” and “the patriarchal objectification and sexualization of womens’ bodies.” (Transcript here.)

The images in which PETA trades don’t commonly involve healthy depictions of female agency and sexuality, but rather women posed and performing for the male gaze; usually invisible or implied, but sometimes – as with PETA’s 2011 soft-core porno/Super Bowl ad, which is discussed in more detail later on in the chat – fully present, leering, sneering and degrading. Almost all of PETA’s naked women ads are suggestive of mainstream pornography, what with their emphasis on thin, white, conventionally attractive models, bent and contorted into submissive postures, vulnerable, vacant, and ready for a good fuckin’. Bonus points for faux lesbianism for het male enjoyment!

(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…)

"Aussie club to race hotties like horses" *

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Bayer Rintal - Whore

In this completely unrelated advertisement for Bayer Rintal, a stereotypically “slutty” looking woman – a sex worker, perhaps? – clings to a horse’s back. Though she seems to be nibbling on his (her?) neck, the horse remains unperturbed; calmly, he continues to nom on a field of green grass. A logo for Bayer Rintal sits in the lower left-hand corner of the image; to the far right, a green star burst on which is superimposed the ad’s copy: “Eliminates all kind of Parasites.”

Hmmm. Not-so-curiously, I find myself wishing that I’d followed my initial impulse to decorate this post with a fuzzy cute goat photo instead…
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Presented without commentary:

Aussie horse club to race women in bikinis

An Australian horse racing club will lock bikini-clad women in barrier stalls and run them down the racecourse as part of a controversial new novelty event, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported Tuesday.

The Gold Coast Turf Club in the state of Queensland launched the event, which is planned to become an annual fixture at the club’s first race meeting of the summer season.

Some believe this will take the popular tourist destination to a new tacky low. In a Gold Coast Bulletin poll, 39 percent of respondents said the gimmick was degrading — while 61 percent disagreed.

Up to 150 women, who must wear bikinis and running shoes, will compete through a knockout system for a first prize of AU$5,000 (US$4,800).

The event was copied from America’s famed Hollywood Park racecourse, which holds a similar event annually.

Turf Club chief executive Grant Sheather acknowledged some may see the event as degrading, but said it would be done in “good taste.”

”When people say ‘Gold Coast’ you think of beach, you think of girls and you think of bikinis; it’s a marketing ploy to build racing,” he said.

I wonder: if a participant trips and breaks a leg, will she be put down?

* A notice under the byline states that the article was updated on September 28, but no update is noted in the actual body of the article. Methinks it was the title of the article that was “updated” – changed, that is, from “Aussie club to race hotties like horses” (which is what appeared on FB when I shared the link) to the tamer (and arguably less accurate à la its misogyny) “Aussie horse club to race women in bikinis.” In either case, IBTK.

h/t, Katrina Fox

randomness: dicks, donuts, girls, books, ice creams, pigs and pizzas!

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Fan Junk Shots - Ralphie 01

  • www.schlongs4seals.com is now open and ready for business!

    Currently, only the blog – where I’ve already logged more posts in August than I managed to write for this here blog in the entire month of July – is fully functional. I’m still working on the promised interactive photo gallery and discussion features, but hope to have these done soon. (To this end, WP-compatible software recommendations would be most appreciated!)

    That said, the template and static/informational pages are all finished and look, if I might say so myself, kickass. I found a template that mimics Facebook almost to a M (for misogyny, natch), so it’s almost like we never left. (And by “left” I mean “were kicked off.”)

    Additionally, I created a temporary set of photo pages to house all the “man meat” I’ve “processed” thus far: VAPETA PSAs, promotional materials, junk shots, celebrity cock shots, South Park avatars, brother campaigns, etc. Browse, bookmark and check back often, because there’s more in the pipes.

    If you’re still out there and, um, excited to participate (excited! get it!?), send me your package at schlongs4seals [at] gmail.com and I’ll be equally excited (tee hee) to feature it on the appropriate page.

    Also, if you visit the front page, you’ll see a little Facebook “like” button in the left-hand sidebar (right under the hot white torso wearing the hot red boxer briefs). Click it, won’t you? We need friends! And sharing! On Facebook!

    Fan Junk Shots - Baby Kelly 02

    I’ve been a connoisseur of men’s briefs since early childhood.
    Behold the rapturous glee on my chubby chipmunk cheeks!
    ——————————

    SeaL Shepherd may have succeeded in removing our page from Facebook, but he can hardly prevent us from sharing content in the form of links.

    Can’t stop the schlong, yo.

    (A note for the newbies and occasional readers: if all this cock talk has you flummoxed, go here for some background.)

  • Tofurky Pizza with Daiya Cheese has finally made its way to Kansas City!:

    2010-08-05 - Tofurky Pizza - 0003

    The Whole Foods in Overland Park, to be more specific. And now it’s in my freezer. Nom nom nom.

  • As if this isn’t already more awesomeness than the KC metro area can handle, Kansas City is now home to a brand-spanking-new vegan bakery. Gluten-free, to boot. And, if you live in the KC area, they deliver!

    Shane ordered a box of Golden Girls – the vegan feminist version of “real” Twinkies, if you will – for delivery to his office Monday.

    2010-08-02 - Golden Girls - 0010

    They are super-yummy – a little denser than Twinkies (according to Shane; I’ve never partaken), with a sponge- or angel food cake-like consistency. The creamy filling is the bestest, though methinks the cakes could use more. I say the same of Ronald’s Donuts and Newman’s O’s, so grain of salt.

    Egads. In all my excitement, I almost forgot to name drop. Brody’s Bakery is the name of the biz – hit ’em up on Facebook, and if you’re ever in the KC area, shop team vegan, mkay? Jasmin of Our Hen House also did a nice writeup on Brody’s this week; see Brody’s Bakery Bakes Up Compassion. (Color me jealous, btw.)

  • (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 23: lolz the douche away

    Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

    lol batman - get that dood-elle

    lol batman – get that dood-elle!” – Running through the streets of Gotham, a cheesy, live-action, retro ’60s Batman and Robin try desperately to apprehend a certain sexist blogger before he can unleash any further douchebaggery upon the women of Blogville. “HOLY FUCKING PATRONIZING SEXISM,” goes the refrain of this lol batman.
    TV still via the internets; quote via Stephanie; and photoshopping via moi.
    ——————————

    Though I haven’t been posting much ’round these parts lately

    [and have all but abandoned ship over at AR&AO, for which I apologize to Stephanie & Co. profusely, and pledge to do better once things calm down here at Casa del Garbato-Brady, otherwise known as the Garden of Vegan, a title which I swear I will one day have posted at our driveway’s front gate, threats of TP and eggs be damned]

    rest assured that I’ve been busy, busy, busy, namely: working on several projects – including developing a website for my fledgling business

    [Remember my – by which I mean Shane’s – pizza press idea of last October? We are totally doing it! Slowly but surely, anyway. Our website isn’t quite ready yet, so if you’d like to follow our progress, like us on Facebook, mkay?];

    revamping another

    [POP! goes The Vegan., whose database of vegan reviews should really be on the front page, with the blog in an ancillary position, seeing as the database is the main f’in attraction. What I was thinking by reversing their positions, I know not.];

    and launching yet another brand-spankin’ new website

    [Schlong4Seals! OMG, just reflecting on all the man-sausages and dick jokes waiting in the wings is enough to bring a smile to my normally frowny face. (I almost always look annoyed, even when I’m not; it’s must be the humorless feminist in me, I guess.) I was a little incensed when the Fraternal Order of Facebook killed my SCHLONGS4SEALS group, but in retrospect, I think they did me a solid. A solid I shall return by plastering FB with links to all my super-awesome crotch shots and “seven ways to save the seals using only your cock” posts! Oh, I cannot wait. *Channeling the spirit of Will Ferrell*]

    – the height of insanity, since clearly I already have more blogs than I can keep track of. Silly, silly rabbit.

    Oh, and the zazzle store! A few designs for which I still need to create. Yeah, let’s save that for later, shall we?

    Anyhow, on to issue #23 of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” On accounta me being in a mad hurry tonight, I’ve forgone most of my normal commentary in lieu of excerpts. That’s okay, though; I’ve got a great batch of links to share with y’all, so best to let the individual bloggers speak for themselves.

    Browse, share, enjoy – and then blame and smash. Go!

    lol-psycat - narcissus

    lol-psycat – narcissus” – Apropos of the dood-elle mentioned above, “narcissistic cat is his own screensavr.” (For those who can’t view the image, a black cat lounges atop a computer monitor, which currently displays a photo of…a black cat!) Not super-relevant to the rest of the post, but I felt like I needed a break between my semi-coherent ramblings above and the über-awesome link roundup below. Anal, who me?
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    INCITE! Blog: Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements

    To save our movements, we need to come to terms with the connections between gender violence, male privilege, and the strategies that informants (and people who just act like them) use to destabilize radical movements. Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved.

    (Hat tip, Jenna at L.O.V.E.)

    Vegan Feminist Agitator: Exploitation + Objectification = Conklin Farms. (In other words, business as usual.)

    The process through which we make peace with the inherent injustice of how we treat non-humans occurs because of objectification, the largely unconscious fragmentation system through which sentient beings are turned into objects. It is easier for the mind to integrate the misuse of objects than the abuse of living beings. Through this process, individuation collapses: all cows, all hens become a single entity to be turned into product. Those who are in power have their interests interpreted as a natural right rather a personal desire. When our interests require the subjugation of another, objectification makes the acquiring of what we want that much easier.

    Digging Through the Dirt: Promotion of Veal on Columbus Day Adds to Insult

    Because we think of ourselves as exceptional, we view “the other” as inferior. Descendents of native peoples and of African slaves are still regarded as inferior in this country, in general. And animals are treated as such, too. They exist for our purposes; they have no value except that which we bestow upon them, usually in the form of dollars. It’s all about what we can get from them — their flesh, their milk, their eggs — just as it was for Columbus. What could he get from the native peoples?

    (More below the fold…)

    Show us your tits! (For the animals, of course.) [Believe it or not, this isn’t another post about PETA. Not directly, anyhow.]

    Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

    Update, 8/3/10: http://www.schlongs4seals.com is live! I’m still working on the interactive photo gallery and discussion features, but the blog is functional (and has already logged more posts in August than I was able to write here in all of July) and all of the other pages are done. Also, I’ve uploaded all my schlong-related artwork to a set of photo pages as a temporary solution whilst I hunt the internets for a shiny piece of WP-compatible photo gallery software.

    Leads for said software would be both awesome and appreciated!

    —————–

    Update, 7/14/10: www.schlongs4seals.com is now mine. Muahahahaha! (At the time of this writing, the domain just redirects back to this post, but still: Muahahahaha!) Stay tuned for details!

    —————–

    Update, 7/13/10: I just received a notice that Facebook deleted my SCHLONGS4SEALS page because:

    You created a Page that has violated our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.

    So, just to recap: serious requests for women to send in their tit shots “for the animals” = a-okay; satirical requests for men to send in their crotch shots “for the animals” = hateful, threatening and/or obscene. Facebook, I do believe you hate women!

    Anyhow, I’m currently weighing my options, which look rather slim at the moment. I could try setting up a similar page, but then I risk having my account disabled – a hassle which just isn’t worth it. Flickr might prove more welcoming to a SCHLONGS4SEALS group – I mean, hey, it’s home to entire groups dedicated to sexually harassing upskirt photos (!) – and indeed, the faux PSAs I created are all safe and sound in their own lil’ Flickr collection. But, you know, different social media sites, yada yada yada. My final and grandest idea is to go Thatchers out and launch an entire SCHLONGS4SEALS spoof website. Which sounds great, but OMG I so do not have the free time!

    So, we shall see. In the meantime, if you’re on FB and find this whole affair as despicable as do I, why not hop on over to that *other* page and report it for similarly violating FB’s TOS? Seeing as most of us are either women or have friends who are women, might I suggest choosing “targets me or a friend” from the drop-down menu, as this continued objectification of women most certainly constitutes “an attack on an individual or group.” Please and thank you.

    Support the Seals, Show Us Your Tits (Screenshot 05)

    A screenshot, taken on 6/26/10, of the “Support For The Seals!” Facebook page. The image shows a fan photo – which has since been deleted – submitted to the page by Petra Simkova, in which the wearer of a pair of white undies (men’s briefs?) is flashing what JK Rowling would oh-so-demurely call a “rude gesture” at the camera. In other words, what we have here is an exaggerated crotch shot and a middle finger – all in all, an adequate summary of my feelings towards Facebook and Michael McDade (aka SeaL Shepherd).
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    Update, 7/3/10: If you’d like to participate, but don’t have a Facebook account, not to worry! Just send me your package @ easyvegan [at] gmail.com and I’ll upload it as an admin. You can choose to remain anonymous OR be credited (with a link back to your blog or site), whichever you prefer!

    —————–

    A bottom-less Pamela Anderson strikes a flirty pose as she models PETA’s ‘Save the Seals’ tee. The shirt is all-white save for a black sketch of a fuzzy-wuzzy seal on its front. The ad’s copy reads, “What do I have in common with Barack Obama, Vladmir Putin and the Dalai Lama? We all oppose the massacre of baby seals. It’s time to end Canada’s shameful slaughter.” And, in red and gray text: “Pamela Anderson for PeTA” and “SAVETHESEALS / END CANADA’S SEAL SLAUGHTER.”
    ——————————

    Over the weekend, I was browsing a few friends’ Facebook feeds when I happened upon Support For The Seals!. Purportedly, the page aims to “raise awareness” about seal hunting in Newfoundland – by (wait for it!) encouraging female fans to post photos of their tits:

    Boobs for seals…did he just write that? Yes he did. Show your “support” for the seals!

    1) Suggest to 100 friends! (link above)

    2) More friends = more boobs = more support for the seals!

    Much thanks to these brave ladies! Get your mammos!

    Now, if I wasn’t already suffering from blog fatigue, I might offer a coherent vegan/feminist critique of this so-called “campaign” (scare quotes because it reads more like a Girls Gone Wild casting/sexploitation call); and, knowing me, this essay would clock in at no less than 2,000 words. Probably it would contain a good deal of salty language, and not a few references to “the kyriarchy” and “intersectionality.”

    For example, I might begin my rant with a brief analysis of the “post your bra color for breast cancer” Facebook campaign on which Support For The Seals! is based, arguing that it:

    1) trivialized breast cancer by making it all about the boobies (instead of, you know, life or fucking death);

    2) excluded some actual breast cancer survivors from participating (i.e., those who have undergone double mastectomies have little need for bras; insensitive much?);

    3) played into cultural memes which reduce women to body parts (What, no “boxers or briefs” campaign for testicular cancer? No, that would be silly!); and

    4) did little to actually raise awareness of the issues surrounding breast cancer (Dietary and environmental risk factors, anyone? Time to drop the I word, methinks!), thus transforming the well-intentioned but misguided effort into a day of titillation for Facebook’s (heterosexual, sexist) male members.

    I might also argue that Support For The Seals! is infinitely worse than the aforementioned breast cancer campaign, as a) it involves actual photos of actual women’s actual breasts, whereas b) the link between the objectified body part and the cause it’s supposed to further is much, much more tenuous (nonexistent, you might say).

    I might point out that, practically speaking, this page does little more than provide a bunch of internet pervs with additional wanking material (as if they’ve a need for more, amiright ladies?); certainly, it does nothing to actually “raise awareness” about Canadian seals and the many threats they face, nor does it provide concrete assistance (material support, monetary donations, volunteer pledges, etc.) to those working to end seal hunting.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 22: Shegans, unite!

    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    Raising her sword to Grayskull, LOL She-Ra demands, “I Can Haz Equal Rights?” & as long as we’re taking requests, the lady would like a NOMy vegan meal, too. (She’s a Shegan, yo!)
    CC image via Brett L. on Flickr.
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    The Boston Globe: Men leave their own mark on veganism and

    vegansaurus!: He-gan woman-haters club!

    Men + vegans = hegans. (Get it!?) Specifically, hegans are “men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death.” (Or, alternately, hegans are the latest faux-trend created by the newspaper industry in order to 1) hawk their wares and/or 2) avoid reporting on actual news. Be your own decider person.)

    Though I prefer the term “hegan” to its predecessor, “femivore” (which, as a word, makes zero sense), it’s still kind of bullshit: in describing this ‘new breed’ of manly vegan men, Pierce is setting up a false dichotomy that portrays ‘regular’ vegan dudes (and women, too) as effeminate, weak and sentimental (‘pussies, queers and commies,’ as hegans might say). Also: paint with a broad brush much? Veganism is a diverse movement, and any attempt to pigeonhole such a large segment of the population is misguided at best. (See above, re: creating news where there is none.)

    That said, I have a counter-proposal: shegan. More complex an equation than “women + vegans = shegans,” shegans as I envision them are feminist vegans of all sexes and genders (and/or feminist-allied vegan men, if you prefer) who reject sexism and misogyny as vehemently as they do speciesism. Dog knows we could use a little more sheganism, particularly since this is quickly shaping up to be the summer of the hegan douchebag.

    Vegan Feminist Agitator: The PETA Effect

    A lovely essay from Marla in which she manages to deconstruct the bulk of PETA’s campaigns in one fell swoop. To wit:

    The PETA Effect has come into existence because they have cynically decided to not only accept the terms dictated by the worst aspects of the mainstream world, but to be a part of it. Instead of questioning misogyny, they wallow in it. Instead of thoughtful, insightful analysis, they have women citing statistics while stripping on camera. Instead of rejecting the notion that we all need to be young, slim, and, more often than not, surgically enhanced to be attractive, they embrace it fully, and they also tell us that objectification for the “cause” is a worthy endeavor. They tell a nation already deeply battered by this message that if you are not young, slim and conventionally attractive, you are worthless and disgusting. What does this have to do with compassion to animals? How does this improve a battery chicken’s life? How does this make the skeptical public more receptive to questioning their values? It doesn’t.

    Seriously, go read the whole piece. I can wait.

    (More below the fold…)

    Overheard at IBTP:

    Sunday, May 16th, 2010

    Do the people who admire this kind of thing ever wonder why there’s no Men’s Auxiliary Assless Chaps For Peace March?

    No, of course not.

    (Commenter Occasional lurker, in reference to last month’s “Boobquake.” CC image via frankfarm on Flickr.)

    Of course, this criticism is equally applicable to other pseudo-progressive causes, including roughly 84.9% of PETA’s campaigns.

    See, e.g., I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Show My Buns Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Go Topless Than Wear Fur (!); Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin; Ink, Not Mink; and Turn Over a New Leaf.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 18: My Bloody Valentine

    Friday, February 26th, 2010

    A neon red-and-white sign declares: “My Bloody Valentine sells out.”
    CC image via Penningtron on Flickr.
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    Vegansaurus!: What creepy chefs do to get laid

    Guest blogger Kristen looks at a Valentine’s Day article which highlights the foods that non-vegan chefs cook for their lovers. Surprise, surprise: many are animal-based, thus transforming the descriptions into an appalling spectacle of sex and death. The original article at Grub Street, for example, is decorated with a disgusting photo of scallops in an orange-and-green sauce/oil slick. Yuck.

    Suicide Food: Happy Valentine’s Day: a digression

    Just when you thought the butcher’s counter couldn’t get any more grotesque, behold: heart-shaped slabs of “meat”! I shit you not.

    The Pursuit of Harpyness: Be A Bitch: To the New York Times Public Editor

    In which Roman Polanski’s 13-year-old rape victim is likened to – wait for it – “quarry.” “Quarry” being another word for a hunted “game” animal.

    The link above is to a complaint letter (good!) written in response to a piece which ran in The New York Times (bad!); you can read the original piece in its entirety here: Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood by Dennis Lim.

    The Discerning Brute: Who Wears The Pants?

    Joshua Katcher dissects a trailer for the upcoming documentary “An Emasculating Truth” – brought to you by, ahem, Dockers – which, surprise, is chock full of sexism and speciesism. In particular, the men appearing in the film advocate violence towards animals as an expression of one’s masculinity. Katcher ties this overt encouragement of violence with Levi’s own history of environmental and labor violence towards its employees and their families, many of them poor women of color.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 16: Breast is Best (and Vegan!)

    Sunday, January 31st, 2010

    “IMG_1805”: Snout covered in milk, pink tongue flicking from her mouth, a young cow suckles her mother’s teat. CC image from destinyuk on Flickr.
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    Julie Urbanik @ Humanimalia: “Hooters for Neuters”: Sexist or Transgressive Animal Advocacy Campaign?

    In the inaugural issue of Humanimalia, Julie Urbanik explores animal advocacy campaigns that trade in gender-based stereotypes in order to promote compassion. These include “Hooters for Neuters” events held by, among others, Best Friends Animal Society (et tu, Best Friends!?); LA-based Friends for Animals’s “Pimp Your Pit”; NYC’s Rescue Ink; and, of course PETA. (PETA, PETA, PETA!) While I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s conclusions, it’s a thought-provoking analysis nonetheless.

    Mylène @ My Face Is On Fire: Fur and

    Gary Francione @ The Abolitionist Approach: The State of the Movement

    In a much lengthier post about single-issue campaigns (namely, anti-fur campaigns), Mylène refers to Professor Francione’s recent critique of PETA’s racist/sexist State of the Union Undress video. Both posts are worth a read, so rather than quoting gratuitously, I’ll just copy the point to which I responded in Mylène’s piece:

    But is the fur industry really any more worthy of such ire? As one advocate recently pointed out Twitter, for instance, ‘fur’ is skin and hair while ‘leather’ is skin. To obsess over people’s wearing of fur while turning a blind eye to others’ wearing of leather (which is much more common and involves so much more loss of life) seems odd and illogical. Furthermore, as Prof. Francione often points out when discussing anti-fur campaigns, considering that a large percentage of those who wear fur are women, fur becomes a convenient and sexist target. After all, when’s the last time you saw PeTA demonstrators bombard a leather-clad biker with paint-balls?

    Pause and savor that image for a moment, if you will, before we move on to less savory stuff.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 13: Boobs, bacon & bigotry.

    Friday, December 18th, 2009

    Burger King's Singing in the Shower 03

    Mary Elizabeth Williams @ Salon: Will shower for sausages; She’ll “shake her bits” to whet your appetite

    In which Burger King tries to one-up its previous misogynist campaigns (can I interest anyone in a blog job burger?) by covering a naked woman in the dismembered corpses and fried secretions of tortured and murdered animals and making her wiggle her (and the animals’) bits in service of the male gaze. Cue: “morning spank routine.” Barf, gargle, repeat.

    Tracy Clark-Flory @ Salon: Berlusconi is a boob; The prime minister sells sex for political gain, but many Italians aren’t buying it

    While dissecting Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s entrepreneurial endeavors – which largely involve selling women’s sexuality on his television stations – Clark-Flory mentions this gem of a tv stunt:

    [T]he popular video “Il Corpo delle Donne,” which translates as “The Body of Women,” compiles some of the most shameless moments of T’n’A from Berlusconi’s stations and state television. The most egregious example: A woman is shown suspended from the ceiling in skimpy underwear next to a literal piece of meat clad in a matching pair of panties; it’s awfully reminiscent of that infamous meat-grinder Hustler cover.

    After 20 minutes spent perusing boob/burger pimp BK’s website, I’m kind of glad I don’t have a video clip to illustrate this piece. Oy.

    Stephanie @ Animal Rights: Breaking Unjust Laws: Clarence Darrow and Inherit the Wind and (especially) Breaking Unjust Laws: AETA, Fugitive Slave Acts, and Oppression Connections

    Using the 1960 film Inherit the Wind as a jumping-off point, Stephanie briefly discusses a few similarities between the animal rights and U.S. anti-slavery movements. Or rather, similarities in how each movement was (is) countered by corporate powers, with no small amount of help from the government. (Hint: the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 is to abolitionism as _____ is to the animal liberation movement?)

    (More below the fold…)

    Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo: We treat women like pieces of meat.

    Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

    Update, 12/27/10: The bingo cards now have their own page, y’all! View all four cards (and counting) on one page, complete with plain-text versions and links to debunkings and refutations.

    ——————

    Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo

     

    Naturally, I couldn’t single out speciesist feminists without also going after their sexist counterparts, i.e., anti-feminist vegetarians; that just wouldn’t be fair!

    (And vegans! I used “vegetarian” throughout the card only because this is the larger of the two groups, numerically speaking. Vegans can be and oftentimes are just as sexist as vegetarians, so feel free to generalize this card for use on vegans, too.)

    Besides, these groups are two sides of the same coin – the main difference being whom they dehumanize, objectify and exploit.

    Of course, as with Speciesist Feminist Bingo, you can also use any one of the many Anti-Feminist Bingo cards on your sexist vegetarian friends/acquaintances/trolls. But if it’s an animal rights-themed challenge you want, Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo it is.

    To those who cannot view the image: make the jump for a plain-text version of the card. Links to debunkings and refutations forthcoming.* (As are additional cards and series. Racist Vegetarian Bingo, anyone?)

    If you’re a vegan or vegetarian – or, heck, even an omnivore – and find yourself perpetuating any of the injustices on these here cards, for the love of dog, stop!

    (More below the fold…)

    Women deserve better (and so do the animals).

    Friday, August 14th, 2009


    While I have a few misgivings about this latest Onion spoof – which takes PETA to task for its misogyny – overall, I think it’s spot on.

    First the cons. The Onion definitely loses points for suggesting that PETA promotes veganism, when its campaigns usually just toe the vegetarian line. There’s a world of difference; the former implies that PETA is an animal rights organization, rather than the welfare group it really is. PETA being the “mouthpiece” of the animal rights movement is an all too common misconception, and it’s disappointing to see The Onion perpetuating it.

    Also, while I think The Onion nails it re: PETA’s forthcoming campaign – “I’d Rather Be Raped By An Animal Than Wear Its Fur” – “It”? For serious? I don’t think I’ve ever seen PETA use the speciesist pronoun “it” in their ad materials. Nor is “it” a very AR thing to say. I live to be corrected, though.

    Most importantly, I’m uncomfortable with how The Onion so smugly dismisses PETA’s nude models and protesters – women, them all – as pathetically “clueless” vis-à-vis their exploitation. Just because a woman disagrees with me re: the ethics and efficacy of nude activism, doesn’t make her a stupid waif, at once deserving of scorn and in need of rescue. That’s, um, sexist.

    On the other hand, many of PETA’s supporters are frustratingly myopic and dense. Take, for example, the response to PETA’s recent “Save the Whales” campaign, in which the “whales” are actually – wait for it – fat omnivores. The concept involves a hefty dose (pun most certainly not intended) of fat-shaming and sizeism, with little regard for how this might hurt marginalized humans – vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. (Note to PETA: animal advocates come in all shapes and sizes. Just saying.)

    PETA’s / PETA supporters’ defenses of nude campaigns usually – but not always – involve a similar lack of awareness: of feminist theory, of intersectionality, of the interrelatedness of dominance and oppression, and of the value of human diversity and dignity. For a cogent example of this, one need look no further than PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who claimed that she could not possibly be sexist because she’s a woman (!). Said with a straight face, while waving her feminist card in the air, natch. (Perhaps The Onion isn’t that far off, after all.)

    The Onion’s faux feminist is right when she says that women deserve better. So, too, do nonhuman animals. From all corners.

    (More below the fold…)

    I love Felipe in the summer…in heels, and with a Boca Burger, too.

    Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

    Again, the feminist blogospheres have already spoken re: this saucy (the puns, I’m full of ’em!) Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger commercial starring Top Chef Padma Lakshmi. But I’ve yet to see a vegan feminist response, so here we go.

    (A word of warning: I’ve embedded seven – yes, seven! – videos below. While I don’t expect y’all to watch the uber-exploitative extended cuts, the other five are must sees.)

     


     

    The commercial shows a scantily-clad (hiked skirt, plunging neckline, push-up bra) Padma strolling through an open air market, eying the fresh fruits and veggies with approval. The soundtrack is sensual, jazzy, worldly; the lyrics “’round the world” repeat on a loop. The viewer feels as though Padma could be anywhere: Istanbul, Paris, Barcelona.

    And then, the voice over: “I’ve always had a love affair with food. I think I’ve tasted every flavor imaginable.”

    Padma, seemingly arriving at her destination, plops down at the foot of an urban stoop, the distinctive white Carl’s Jr. bag in one hand. Suddenly, the atmosphere is very American – NYC, to be exact – and unappealingly so (read: inescapable American fast food chains).

    Anyhow, Padma plops down, feet placed wide apart, so that the audience is treated to an almost-upskirt shot. Apparently we’re voyeurs now. (I didn’t sign up for this! I just wanted to watch 30 Rock in peace, dammit!)

    “But there’s something about Western Bacon.”

    Padma pulls a ridiculously large burger from her sack, and thrusts it into her mouth. She yanks a strip of “bacon” out from under the bun, and dangle-drops it into her mouth, all sexy-like. Probably Carl’s Jr. would like all the het dudes watching to imagine that she’s fellating it. The bacon. A pig corpse. Shudder.

    “It reminds me of being in high school…”

    Inexplicably, Padma hikes the skirt of her dress up to mid-thigh at this point. While, um, still scarfing the burger with her other hand. Sweet jeebus, who does that!?

    “…sneaking out before dinner to savor that sweet, spicy sauce…”

    Cue gratuitous tit shot.

    Somewhat fortuitously (yeah right!), the aforementioned sweet and spicy sauce is now beginning to drip from the burger, down Padma’s hand and wrist. Naturally, she licks it off with an extended tongue – the likes of which I’ve only seen on my dog-kids, while attempting to dislodge peanut butter from the roofs of their mouths.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 6: PETA, PMS & Michael Pollan

    Monday, August 3rd, 2009

    First and foremost, a few links from Sociological Images. Due to time constraints, I went a month or so without reading the blog, so it’s time to play catchup.

    Ejaculation Imagery in a Dutch Creamer Ad

    In which the milk of an (s)exploited mother acts as a stand-in for semen; at commercial’s climax (pun most definitely intended), said semen is “accidentally” spurted all over the face of a unsuspecting woman. About as classy as it is original!

    Do You Love Animals? Do You Have Lady Bits? Take Off Your Clothes!

    Lisa examines a series of UPI photos of a PETA event that took place on Capitol Hill in order to protest/celebrate National Hot Dog Day. The photos feature two bikini-clad Lettuce Ladies – serving soydogs alongside two fully-dressed male PETA members – and the slideshow of ten pictures includes four boob/crotch shots. “Gender parity” my dimpled ass.

    PMS = A “Sea Of Suffering” For Everyone In The Land

    Oh boys. These commercials from the California Milk Processor Board are so dreadful, I’m actually struck speechless. Luckily, Sarah Haskins is on the case:
     


     
    Milk – i.e., the bodily secretions of tortured and grieving mothers – tames unruly hair! It conquers PMS (and PMS-induced tsunamis)! It cures depression, acne, lesbianism and spinster aunt-ism, even!

    Ah, milk!: the elixir of the patriarchy / kyriarchy / megatheocorporatocracy.

    (More below the fold…)

    In which Burger King whips out its Manwich.

    Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

    This ad for Burger King’s new (?) BK “Super Seven Incher” sandwich has been making the rounds – and, as usual, I’m way late to the party – but I simply have to blog it anyhow. It’s about as close as you can get to pornography without necessitating a little black bar for safe viewing.

    BK Super Seven Incher

    The ad depicts a woman – or her disembodied head, rather – in side profile. Her mouth, outlined in bright, fire engine red lipstick, is opened wide, ready to fellate gobble devour eat consume a massive sandwich. The “Super Seven Incher” consists of a “beef patty” garnished with onions, cheese, steak sauce – and what looks to be a heaping serving of mayonnaise. (Unless that’s the steak sauce? But isn’t steak sauce brown? WTF do I know, I’m a vegan!) As other bloggers have pointed out, the mayo resembles male ejaculate; doubly so when considered in context.

    Phallic/blow job imagery abounds: the woman looks as though she could be kneeling, and the sandwich is coming straight at her, directly perpendicular to her head. Though no one appears to be holding the sandwich, it floats in the air nonetheless. (As if standing erect – like, um, a penis!) Clearly, she’s not feeding herself, but is being fed – force-fed, possibly, judging from the look on her face. Her expression is so vacant that she kind of resembles a RealDoll.

    The “fine print,” courtesy of Mother Jones: “Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce.”

    Desire. Yearn. Long. Juicy. Mind-blowing. Nope, nothing sexual there.

    Typically speaking, in ads wherein sex is equated with “meat” (and thus violence and death), women are depicted as the “meat,” and men the consumers. Upon first glance, this BK ad seems to break with tradition – the “meat” here is a stand-in for a penis, so technically the man is the “meat,” and the woman, the consumer.

    However, I think there’s an important difference between the two scenarios: when women are likened to “meat” (or, likewise, when “meat” is sexualized), it’s to turn them into objects for male consumption. In this vein, (the consumption of) “meat” is oftentimes associated with masculinity – and the “meat”-as-penis theme seems a natural extension of this meme. After all, what’s more masculine than the male sex organ? Even though the man in this ad sports the “meat,” he’s not objectified, nor does he exist for someone else’s gaze; that’s his partner’s role. Rather than being a consumable object, the (implied) man in this ad is aggressive and powerful, on the receiving end of a (non-consensual?) blow job. He may be the “meat,” but she’s still the (sex) object.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 2

    Thursday, June 11th, 2009

    lol jayne - speciesism 101, pot 1

    Kelly Garbato (that’s me!) @ Animal Rights at Change.org: Intersectionality 101: Sexism, Racism, Speciesism, and More and Intersectionality and Animal Advocacy

    Stephanie at Change.org kindly invited me to guest post at the Animal Rights blog; Intersectionality 101 and Intersectionality and Animal Advocacy are my first contributions. This is a two-part post in which I introduce the concept of intersectionality, explain how intersectionality can help us better understand (and dismantle) our exploitation of animals, and argue for the inclusion of other anti-“ism” activism in the animal advocacy movement. Please stop by and share your thoughts!

    Also worth checking out: the new(ly visible) “oppression connections” post category on Animal Rights.

    Briar Levit @ Bitch Blogs: Nicole Georges pays tribute to the Queer Animal Kingdom

    Last week, I noted how media such as Green Porno, by celebrating non-human animals in all their sexual diversity, has the potential to liberate and uplift animals of all species.

    In this vein, Briar Levit introduces us to Nicole Georges, “a zinester, illustrator, and pet portrait artist” (and also a contributor to Bitch magazine), whose latest project is “an exploration of the Queer Animal Kingdom” – as explained in this documentary:

    Nicole Georges 5/1/09 from cat on Vimeo.

    As far as feminist media goes, Bitch seems to be the most animal-friendly magazine out there (with a very vocal – albeit minority – vegan/vegetarian readership!), so if you’re so inclined, you can check ’em out here.

    Igualdad Animal / Animal Equality: Press release about ‘The Running of the Nudes’ and PETA

    Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) describes itself as “an international non-profit organisation dedicating to gaining equal consideration and respect for animals. Founded in Madrid (Spain) in January 2006 by Sharon Nunez, Javier Moreno and Jose Valle, it is currently active in Spain, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia.”

    In this press release, Igualdad Animal offers its thoughts on PETA’s upcoming annual anti-bullfighting demonstration, “The Running of the Nudes.” Not surprisingly, the group is unimpressed, both with PETA’s animal welfare efforts, as well as their poor record vis-à-vis marginalized groups of humans, including women.

    (More below the fold…)

    Lettuce be thankful!

    Monday, April 6th, 2009

    Updated, 5/26/10: Upon further reflection, I think I have to agree with commentators who noted that PETA’s failure to sexualize and objectify Ms. Leachman is, rather than a step in the right direction, simply further evidence of their rigid beauty standards. As in, PETA didn’t refrain from stripping Leachman down to her skivvies as a sign of respect, but because of ageism: Who wants to see an old lady nekkid? Yuck!

    Who knows, perhaps I’m being too harsh on PETA. Be your own decider person.

    FWIW, I meant to post this update ages ago, forgot (naturally!), and was only reminded when this post saw a huge uptick in views this past month. My skepticism (cynicism?; tomato, tomahtoe) re: everything PETA isn’t a recent phenomenon, is what I’m sayin’.

    ——————-

    Last week, Stephanie at animalrights.change.org gave a tip of her (faux suede) hat to PETA, for their latest ad featuring Cloris Leachman:

    I’m a strong believer in acknowledging–and encouraging–the good while criticizing and discouraging the bad, especially if our plan is to effect change, both in people and in organizations. And although it’s rather unusual for me to talk about PETA two days in a row on this blog, and even more unusual for me to write about PETA in praise of one of its ad campaigns, I’m going to do both. Their latest ad has just been revealed today, and my initial reaction was “Oh my god, it’s stunning, and I love it.”

    I couldn’t agree more – it’s important not just to criticize those campaigns that we find objectionable (whether from a human or animal rights perspective), but to offer solutions and praise organizations when they get it right.

    PETA (Cloris Leachman)

    The Cloris Leachman ad is classy, eye-catching and gorgeous – all of which is accomplished without objectifying Ms. Leachman. It’s also nice to see an older woman featured for a change. More often than not, PETA’s print models are young, thin, white, conventionally attractive, heterosexual (or amenable to lesbianism for the male gaze), and sexually available. PETA bucks several of these trends with Ms. Leachman’s advertisement.

    I’ve always liked the “vegetables, fruit and assorted plant-based matter as clothing” concept; PETA’s execution of it (read: skimpy lettuce bikinis), not so much. Ms. Leachman’s red cabbage and lettuce ball gown demonstrates how yummy vegetarianism can be, thus promoting animal rights without engaging in misogyny. (Though a pro-veganism message would have been even better.)

    Not to mention, when the campaign slogan is “Let Vegetarianism Grow On You,” more clothes are better, no?

    After the jump are several more PETA ads that I like – none of which you’re likely to see on certain feminist blogs (*cough*cough*).

    (More below the fold…)

    And round and round we go.

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

    PETA - PETA2 (Khloe Kardashian)

    Just for the record: I’m not particularly fond of the latest PETA2 ad featuring Khloe Kardashian. However, it’s not Kardashian’s state of (un)dress that bothers, rather, it’s the way in which PETA’s photographers have posed her that irks my feminist sensibilities. Though not as bad as, say, the Suicide Girls series, Ms. Kardashian is somewhat pornified in this ad: here, her body is turned away from the camera, so that it appears that the audience is following, ogling, stalking, sneaking up on her from behind. (From a racial perspective, I also find it interesting that PETA chooses to depict one of their few women of color models with a teased, “wild” hairstyle; while I know little about Khloe Kardashian, it doesn’t appear as though she normally wears her hair this way.)

    Now, if this were just one of a handful of PETA ads that resemble a Playboy layout, I’d dismiss it as inevitable; PETA recruits a number of celebs to pose for their print ads, and no doubt some of these women (and men) will prefer more sexualized poses (in our pornified society, after all, women do trade on such images in order to get ahead; and I’d much rather criticize the culture which makes such compromises necessary, as opposed to the women doing the compromising). Yet, the ad fits a larger pattern wherein

    women are more likely to pose in the nude than men; and, if you were to objectively compare the PETA print campaigns which feature nude men and women, you’d see that the portrayals are drastically different. Strip away PETA’s logo and slogans, and the women’s photos look like they were pulled straight out of a recent edition of Playboy. Young, white, thin, feminine, (conventionally) attractive women are displayed on all fours, backs arched, gazes vacant, faces and torsos turned away from the camera, submissive in posture, ready for a good fuckin’. In contrast, the men’s shots are fun, funny, inspiring, humorous, and full of personality.

    So yes, I do think there’s more than enough room for a feminist critique of PETA’s ads, print and otherwise. That said, I don’t at all trust feminists who objectify non-human animals (by eating, wearing, gawking at, or otherwise exploiting them) to offer an unbiased critique of an animal advocacy group’s objectification of women. Assuming that PETA is indeed sexist*, speciesist feminists are no better: both objectify a group of living, sentient beings based solely on group membership.

    Furthermore, these women have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo vis-à-vis their relation to (i.e., domination of) non-human animals: if they were to accept PETA’s premise that non-human animals have rights and interests equal to those of human animals, they’d have to reconsider their meat-eating, leather-wearing, dog-buying ways. In short, they would have to acknowledge (and thus, renounce) their human privilege.

    So, how do the women at Feministing (et al.) claim moral superiority, again? While they may sometimes be correct in their interpretation of PETA’s campaigns, this veg*n feminist finds them no more trustworthy than an openly, unabashedly racist white feminist criticizing civil rights leaders for their misogyny. While their conclusions may be correct, their reasoning and motivations are forever suspect.

    Just as they insist that PETA needs to lose the sexism before feminists will take them seriously, they need to lose the speciesism before they can expect veg*n women to give a damn about what they have to say.

    * Which is a gross generalization, considering PETA’s vast membership numbers; better still to say that president Ingrid Newkirk and/or other higher-ups is/are sexist, and the organization is sexist to the extent that Newkirk/those in charge influences their hiring and PR policies.

    (Crossposted from.)

    ——————

    Tagged:

    Dear Ms. Newkirk,

    Saturday, October 18th, 2008

    A “real” feminist wouldn’t employ such a silly argument in defense of PETA’s campaigns, whether sexist or not:

    MJ: One question I did have. I really do appreciate the work PETA has done but it has gotten a lot of criticism for using women in some of its ads. A lot of times in bikinis, or scantily clad, I think there was a striptease campaign that came online recently. What do you say to people who criticize PETA and say that it’s not women-friendly, that it denigrates women?

    IN: Well, it’s rubbish because the organization is run by a woman, who is me. I marched in the earliest of rallies, I am an adamant feminist, but I’m not a prude and I think you can go to the beach and see people who are in less than you can in a PETA ad.

    Let me guess: you also have a Black Friend ™, such that none of PETA’s campaigns could possibly be racist, either?

    Seriously, this is such a ridiculous argument that I need only two words to refute it: Ann Coulter. Women are not immune from misogyny, you see. Sometimes, they’re even more vicious in their hatred of other women than are their male peers; because of the common (mis)perception that “women cannot be sexist,” women are oftentimes granted license to act in an even more misogynistic manner than their male counterparts. It’s not often that you hear a man argue that women’s suffrage was a mistake – yet Ann Coulter has posited as much, and she still manages to get speaking gigs.

    You go on to say:

    Our people are all volunteers, no one has asked a woman to take off her clothes. I’ve done it myself, we’ve all marched naked if we want to, and I think that it’s very restrictive and in fact wrong. I would expect someone in, say, Iran to tell us that we should cover up, but I don’t expect women or men in this country to criticize women who wish to use their bodies in a form of political statement, to tell them, you need to cover yourself up. There’s this idea of ‘naughty bits’ and I just think it’s funny more than anything else. It’s not sexist, it may be sexual, but no. No woman has ever been paid to strip. She has decided to use her body as a political instrument. That’s her prerogative and I think it is anti-feminist to dare to tell her that she needs to put her clothes back on.

    Certainly, I agree that it’s “anti-feminist to dare to tell [a woman] that she needs to put her clothes back on”; however, there’s a difference between allowing your supporters to use their naked bodies as “political instrument[s]” and taking advantage of your [female] supporters’ willingness to get naked for the animals by playing into cultural stereotypes regarding gender roles, beauty, sex, class, race, etc. As I noted in my defense of your “Breast is Best” campaign, PETA does have a despicable habit of pornifying women in their photo/print campaigns while simultaneously portraying men as full human beings, complete with agency and personalities.

    In PETA’s world, women are more likely to pose in the nude than men; and, if you were to objectively compare the PETA print campaigns which feature nude men and women, you’d see that the portrayals are drastically different. Strip away PETA’s logo and slogans, and the women’s photos look like they were pulled straight out of a recent edition of Playboy. Young, white, thin, feminine, (conventionally) attractive women are displayed on all fours, backs arched, gazes vacant, faces and torsos turned away from the camera, submissive in posture, ready for a good fuckin’. In contrast, the men’s shots are fun, funny, inspiring, humorous, and full of personality.

    Yes, you can be sexual without being sexist; just look at these campaigns featuring naked men as proof:

    PETA (Steve O 1)

    (More below the fold…)