Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Carrie Ann Inaba and Tamara Ecclestone Pose Nude For PETA

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Yes once again I am calling PETA out for sexism.  I am going to continue to call them out as long as they insist on pimping pussy for a cause.  We all know that sex is used to sell various products in our society but that does not mean that we need to support it.

As I have said on many occasions what PETA is attempting to do in regards to animal cruelty is indeed admirable, but that does not give them the right to continually exploit women in this way.  Pussy for PETA is degrading as it reduces women to fuckable objects. 

Objectifying women in this way does not raise awareness, it only turns them into fodder for masturbation purposes. How many litres of gizz does it take to save an animal anyway?  In the meantime women's bodies and sexualities are being used as commodities. 

Now I now there will be a bunch of militant vegan commentary about how I don't write about animal cruelty on this blog and that it is unfair to attack PETA. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, heard it, dismissed it, and don't give a shit. I have heard all about the links between animal cruelty in the home and domestic violence.  My thought on that is this, how does reducing women in this way counteract domestic violence?  Does it not simply play into the hands of patriarchy by portraying women as objects?  No matter how much pussy pandering PETA does, this approach will not help one dog get neutered, stop a cat from being abandoned or turn people into vegetarians.  I believe in social activism, and fighting the good fight but that should not mean supporting limiting social constructions that are harmful. 

Well pimin ain't easy as the song goes, but PETA seems to have no problem profiting.  If this continues they are going to have to hire a professional gizz collector because other than disgust, this is about the only social reaction that they are creating.  PETA you give animal rights a bad name with your antics and as long as this behaviour continues people will continue to tune out your message.  Always remember the medium is the message and if the medium is sexism and exploitation, that is all people will internalize. 


21 comments:

StarInaPaperCup said...

Though I'm a vegan, I'm actually not a huge fan of PETA, either, partially (but not wholly) because of the complaints you bring up in this post.

For me, it isn't so much the fact that there are sexualized photos of women. Though I'm frustrated at the fact that somehow men are never expected to take off their clothes and reveal their improbably perfect bods for a cause, that -in itself- isn't what bothers me most. What irks me most are the sorts of bodies (thin and white) PETA uses to garner support. All the "sexy" photos I've seen from PETA really look no different than the glossy, airbrushed photos of skinny white girls in Cosmo that made me loathe myself as a young girl.
...and if looking at a PETA spread in a mag generates the same self-loathing as flipping through a Cosmo, I make little distinction between the two, regardless of PETA's politics.

To be honest, I'm beginning to get the impression that sex appeal trumps politics for PETA, anyway - they've done plenty of photo work with 'sexy' celebs (e.g. Dita Von Teese) who aren't even vegetarians, simply for the star appeal.

ChristiannaGarrett-Martin said...

Excellent article!

Christianna

Ebony Intuition said...

This is what I don't get, the women who pose for these ads cleary now what they are doing so should we be really getting mad at the creative director who comes up with the creative direction for the ads or the women who willingly choose to pose and receive a paycheck for doing so.

I mean you don't even see foolishness like this on ANTM.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we should be getting mad at the creative directors if for no other reason than that their job title is misleading. There's nothing "creative" about using women's bodies to sell [insert thing here]. It's routine, standard, not remotely edgy, and an insult to things that *are* legitimately creative.

I've been looking at PETA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" line of ads for years and years now and I'm *still* not sure why fur is bad. Way to fail, PETA.

Rachel II

Danyell said...

Even as a vegetarian, I find little to admire about what PETA does. As they tend to exploit, threaten and even hurt people who don't agree with them. They're also hypocrites who often free animals only to euthanize them themselves. Or they shame other people who use medicines that were tested on animals when high rankings members use the same medicines. (I'm on the fence about medicinal animal testing, but I'd never shame someone for taking life-saving medicine that was animal tested).

So anyway, don't be fooled-they're not heroes.

Queers United said...

Why does it have to be viewed as sexist? Can't we just view them as being true feminists in the sense that they are embracing sexuality and allowing women to be completely liberated. There have been naked men on their covers too for fur. I understand your frustration but I still don't see PETA as being sexist. If anything I see them as showing how far women have come, and that we need to reach that sort of liberation status for animals too. It isn't to say women are totally liberated, women still make a fraction of what men make and are treated horribly but comparatively the struggle has come a long way.

Danyell said...

Queers united- it's not simply the naked part that bothers me. It's having women chained up in cages or shrink-wrapped like chuck beef that I find sexist and degrading. It's as if irony as no affect on them whatsoever.

And, it doesn't really do anything positive for their cause.

StarInaPaperCup said...

"Can't we just view them as being true feminists in the sense that they are embracing sexuality and allowing women to be completely liberated."

Which women? Do you think that very many fat women or disabled women or women of color feel "completely liberated" by looking at these female bodies that have been historically privileged over theirs and bear no resemblance to theirs, either? I don't.
All the photo spreads I've seen from PETA look exactly like the airbrushed stuff in Cosmo or Glamour. It's rather hard to look at the photos through a radical lens when they're all just that same-y, bland stuff we see everywhere.
If the PETA photos are really trying to show "how far women [in general] have come", why do you think they use photos of women who don't remotely resemble the majority of the world's female population?

Why not use photos of women who look like Beth Ditto or Queen Latifah in poses that differ from the usual ass-out-stomach-in fodder in Playboy or Maxim? Why must all the women be white, young, hairless as babies, and improbably thin with demure 'come fuck me' expressions?
...because it's about sex, which bodies are more "marketable" as sex objects.

Ebony Intuition said...

"There's nothing "creative" about using women's bodies to sell [insert thing here]. "

That's the point if there is nothing creative about using a women's bodie to sell then why isn't anyone getting mad at the fact that on a daily basis women mainly white women because they are the majoritiy when it comes to models in the modelling industry. No one gets mad that they receive thousands of dollars to pose for these ads. When a model checks her bank account and sees that she has 10gs in from posing in an ad like this do you really think what type of message she is sending out. UMM NO.. Thats why they did it in the 1st place. All the women who pose in ads like this are well aware of what they are doing. Their not stupid, or wait are they???

Renee said...

@Ebony to my knowledge most of the women who pose for PETA do it free of charge.

Ebony Intuition said...

I would need more proof that these women do it free it of charge. But I'm talking about modeling in general women receive money for their work in print ads, magazine shoots etc. At the end of the day women still decide to be in an industry that uses their bodies as objects. And then get mad after they receive their paychecks.

Danyell said...

Wait, you all got paychecks?!

Hybrid Hopes said...

Just because they are women who CHOSE, doesn't mean they are not continuing part of the patriarchy.

Really, if you want to defend PETA's tactics, you gotta jump right to the defense of Hooters and the Heart Attack Grill. Those girls chose to work there too. Women choose to participate in sexist activities on a all too regular basis.

Not that these choices indicate their IQ, but they've been taught to value the male gaze, taught that their brains don't matter as much as their body, taught that women should be pretty and not ambitious/bookworms/activists.

Queers United said...

The beauty of freedom means some women can choose to remain completely garbed from head to toe while others can bare it all. Women who strip for PETA, work for hooters, who prostitute or whatever else some may consider demeaning are embracing their right to do so.

Renee said...

@Queers United,

The issue is not that women are choosing to expose themselves, the issue is that PETA is using that exposure to sell a message. If this were simply one tactic amongst many I would even consider giving PETA a pass but they continually use women in degrading ways to sell their anti-cruelty message.

pizzadiavola said...

That Spay or Neuter! ad looks like an advertisement for Agent Provacateur, with the font, the lighting, the pose, and the fluffy-cat-as-accessory-on-sexy-woman. I didn't get the spay/neuter message when I first looked at it because it looked so much like a lingerie ad that the PETA message was overshadowed.

I find splashing "Spay or Neuter!" across a picture of a woman, especially a woman of color, to be very problematic given that reproductive rights are often used to control women, and people in positions of power still advocate sterilizing WOC.

Danyell said...

pizzadiavola-

Wow, I didn't think even think of that correlation. That's another excellent point!

Queers United said...

But Renee PETA uses many tactics not just the naked women deal. I understand where you are coming from and its a valid point, I just don't see it the same way.

Renee said...

@queers united, yeah they use racism and transphobia as well. There is nothing good about this organization.

Meg said...

As an animal lover and a woman, I wish PETA would just go away. They're doing their best to make animal rights look like a crazy fringe thing while ignoring people rights of all stripes (women, POC, GLBTA, etc). It doesn't help anyone at all.

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