Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For PETA Women Have Their Uses

PETA has a new flash game in honour of American thanksgiving called, Cooking Mama, Mama Kills Animals. Once again women are used as objects to prove a point.  Mama is a bad, bad, bad, girl because she is feeding her family animal flesh. 

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Just look how bloody and violent this image is.  Isn't it interesting that the males that will be consuming this food are conspicuously absent for the shame ritual. Good wives and mothers are the only ones that need to be morally convicted.

image Just look how sweet and happy she is now that she has been converted from a bloody killer.  It's amazing how well bullying and demonizing works isn't it.

PETA claims that is is not about sexism but at every opportunity they use patriarchal tactics to exploit or control womens behaviour or bodies.  Of course the turkeys are dying yearly because it is the evil women who refuse to stop feeding their families flesh. 

The only way to make PETA happy is by being a good girl;  an obedient slave to the cause.  If you are a lowly house frau, your role is to fight in the kitchen; never mind that placing all women in the kitchen is the goal of patriarchy.  Look at the lovely green tofu apron you'll get to wear.  At least the house frau is allowed to keep her clothes on.

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Young attractive white women like Kristen Johnson have other uses.  Yeah their "hot bodies" could not be allowed to swelter in a kitchen green apron or not, when they could be displayed for male consumption.  Of course people will stop and look, she's naked, but how many will then turn and head straight for the butcher shop at the first craving for a burger.  Yes these ads get your attention but they only do so because of the sexualization and not the message.  Showing someone a bare ass and a nice set of breasts does not make them into a vegetarian.  PETA has increasingly shown no conscience when it comes to respect for women, or the roles that they place us in. 

I find it ironic that the message on this one is Don't get taken for a ride, because that is exactly what PETA is trying to do with its marketing.  Don't pay attention to the sexism that we engage in because it is for a good cause.  The journey is just as important as the destination.  If you want people to have respect for living beings the best way to convey that is by having respect in your approach.  I am sure that is all too much work for PETA as it seems for them, that social activism just comes down to how much skin they can show, or how much disciplining of women they need to perform to end up with an animal flesh free world.


20 comments:

AR said...

FYI, this is a parody of a Nintendo game, Cooking Mama.

Erica said...

Excellent post

Anonymous said...

I played the cooking mama game just now - as a vegetarian I found the methodology of this campaign a little confusing. I fail to see how cutting a cartoon chicken's head off is going to convert anyone to lentil soup, but have PETA's tactics have ever been about logic? (or, from all I've seen, anything but sensationalism and naked chicks?)

mzbitca said...

I'm so sick of PETA.

That's my constructive opinion. Other opinions. I LOVE the Cooking Mama game for Wii and that horse is gorgeous in the other adverstisement

Rj said...

PETA bores me. Not to mention that I wasn't aware that turkeys were slaughtered by women. But I was really trying to figure if that horse is real or not, because it is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

"Young attractive white women like Kristen Johnson"

She's not attractive

mzbitca said...

I also find it funny that of all the holiday's thanksgiving and the turkey usually do have a patriarchal bent with the male carving the turkey and presiding over the meat. Yet no mention of the man that traditionally is supposed to dissect the caracass :)

Queers United said...

Disagree on PETA posts as usual. I don't think there is any sexism going on, I think they are displaying the difference between a nurturing mother and a mother who teaches her children lessons of violence. For those of us in the animal rights movement we can't understand how a family can have a "peaceful" holiday ie thanksgiving while having a murdered bird sit in the middle of the table.

Renee said...

@Queers United

If this isn't sexist where are the men? Why is this particular little video game directed solely at women? There is no image of the man that routinely carves said bird at the table after the labours of women. If they are going to convict they should not do so based solely on sex.

T. R Xands said...

For anyone else still wondering, it looks to me like the horse is fake. It just looks too...CGI-ish to me, but I don't know for sure.

And I'm going to tag on to Anon @7:13's opinion but I haven't actually played the game (the parody or PETA's). I don't want to. I can almost see the point they're getting across but it gets lost in the "woman kills turkeys = evil" thing that seems to be going on. For me it's less about sexism and more about PETA's crazy shock tactics (although this isn't as shocking, I guess). I don't know, to me nearly all of their ads & campaigns just backfire, not in the sense that it makes me go out and kill more lobsters & what not, but probably not the effect they were going for either.

But I won't take up space talking about my problems with PETA, I'll just continue avoiding them.

Queers United said...

Renee - Whether we like it or not women and moms atleast here in America are considered the ones tending to the family, and traditionally women cook for the family.

Renee said...

@Queers United

So the person who prepares and not the person who consumes is guilty? That is what you are saying...I actually have no problem with the game other than the fact that it only targets women as though men don't consume meat.

Rj said...

How about we just do away with Thanksgiving?...why don't we ask the Native American's how they feel about it?

Anonymous said...

Just like AR said, it's a play on a video game. Come on...

Renee said...

@RJ I addressed that very issue on Canadian thanksgiving.

@Anon no they don't get a pass. These pop culture ideas mean something. They represent how we have come to understand gender.

feministblogproject said...

I think they are displaying the difference between a nurturing mother and a mother who teaches her children lessons of violence. For those of us in the animal rights movement we can't understand how a family can have a "peaceful" holiday ie thanksgiving while having a murdered bird sit in the middle of the table.

1. So why not show the difference between a "nurturing" father and a father teaching "violence," or what about two parents TOGETHER doing these things?

2. I am (as an adult) a member of the animal rights movement, but I was raised on meat. Just because my parents accepted meat-eating without critical reflection does not mean that they were teaching me "lessons of violence." Our holidays were, in fact, peaceful, because we were having family time around a delicious meal. I don't look back on my childhood and think about how horrible our Thanksgivings were - I look back on them with fondness. Yeah, I'm pro-animal rights, but I can certainly have an understanding of how you can have a "peaceful" holiday even when you eat meat.

Okay, I'm getting digressive now. This is turning into something that should be it's own post, so I'll stop for now.

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

I was vegan once upon a time, big mistake for me. I now eat traditional foods of the Ojibway people - fish from the Great Lakes and if it is offered in other Native ceremonies - I will eat Buffalo and Deer.

I can't stand PETA. This is simply about animal rights and not objectifying women. I considering myself a friend and activist for animals. Simply because they are of the Earth and are a part of the unique harmony and balance here that can be created here, if we listen. I do not agree with torture and inhumane treatment of animals. As a healer I offer healing to all animals when I can. There are other animal rights organizations that do not objectify women that you can choose support.

AR said...

If this isn't sexist where are the men?

Maybe she's a single mother.

Why is this particular little video game directed solely at women?

You answered your own question with the word "particular." Any particular work is going to have a limited focus. The sexism of PETA does not come from any individual efforts (since obviously the character of a single-character game must be someone, and it might just as well be a white woman as any thing), but from the obvious pattern of using women as they have. Even their ads and stunts with naked women would not be sexist if one could show that they also run about as many similar ads and stunts with naked men, but of course you can't, because they don't, and that's what makes them sexist; not the fact that every single ad doesn't include and target everyone in the world.

Queers United said...

I think every ad can't demonstrate it but PETA certainly does villanize anyone eating meat, wearing fur, leather, etc male or female.

Anonymous said...

LOL, in PETA's world, eggs bleed when you crack them.

They try SO HARD to make the turkey look disgusting, but if it was really so disgusting, why would vegetarians imitate it with tofurkey? Eating a humane version of a morally-questionable food makes sense. Eating a lookalike of a disgusting-looking food does not.