Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Punishing Female Strippers To Make A Point

The following video comes with a huge trigger warning.

I actually gasped in shock when I saw this video at Shakesville.  Never did I imagine that an animal rights group would exist that would be worse than PETA, however it seems that the Dutch non-profit "Animals Awake" is determined to become the new leader in sacrificing women to prove a point.

When people tune into this video, they are initially tempted by the prospect of Ancillia Tilla removing her clothing only to be treated to what can only described as a violent bloody attack.  You will note that the it is a male fisherman that assaults Tilla.  As she lies on the ground screaming, he produces a knife and proceeds to gut her. 

This advertisement is meant to teach us that the ways in which we kill fish are cruel and inhumane, however  this video reproduces the exact same circumstances that this animal rights group claims to be critiquing? Showing gratuitous acts of violence to prove a point only serves to reify our social glorification of violence.  What these animal rights group continually fail to understand is that violence cannot be used ironically.

If the idea was to relate human stripping with the stripping of animals, why was it necessary to use a female victim?  Men take off their clothes for profit all across the western world and yet Animals Awake chose to play upon the institutionalized sexism and violence that women face to spread their message.  It is further demeaning that a female body was used to titillate the viewer and then quickly punished, when we live in a world that routinely disciplines women for any overt sign of agency when it relates to sexuality.

Finally I am just going to say it, FISH AND  HUMAN WOMEN ARE NOT THE SAME.  Yes this makes me a speciest, however I am revolted by the idea that violence against women is continually employed by animal rights activists to spread their message.  Violence against women should not simply be some tool that you pull out of your arsenal at will, when real peoples lives are destroyed every day.  This ad is beyond a failure; it symbolizes all the ways in which women continue to be highly exploitable bodies rather than inspiring any sympathy for the fish they are trying to save.