Saturday, July 20, 2013

Everyday Vegan Sexism: PETA Pornifies Garbage Trucks & Ice Cream

Yesterday PETA had two amazing announcements.  Not amazing that they are in any way exciting, positive, or good ideas in the least, amazing in how absolutely obtuse and dangerous they are.

Example 1.  Save bankrupt Detroit by plastering a half naked, large busted, white woman with blonde hair on their garbage trucks (or rubbage trucks for my UK readers).  Oh, and it says "GO VEGAN" at the bottom . . . right by her breasts in case you didn't see that, being distracted by the totally unnecessary porn image front and center.  Is this a typo?  Where's the "Call Now" number?  Or maybe this is Girls Gone Wild Trashy Edition?  This scheme degrades women by utilizing this same old sexually available, thin white blonde trope.  It degrades them even further by associating them with garbage.  It certainly degrades Nonhuman Animals in suggesting that this is good advocacy.  It is also worth noting that Detroit is 83% African American.  Not that I would appreciate seeing any woman plastered naked on a trash truck, but why did PETA choose a blonde white woman?  What does our pornography default say about our standards of sexual attractiveness?

Example 2.  The "Ice Queen," a.k.a. a ridiculously super thin white woman in lingerie painted in blue handing out vegan ice cream on the street.  All of the pictures PETA posted show that about all that this stunt accomplished was to attract a bunch of young men who want to gawk at her naked body and pose next to it.  Her body becomes a photo op, another site for men to pleasurably consume women.  Associating her naked body with food (vegan ice cream) only accentuates that dangerous connection.  Putting naked women on the street to attract men who are invited to see them as consumable objects, not persons, is beyond unethical.  PETA asks visitors if they are "hot" to come "cool down" with their ice queen. This is the stuff rape culture is made of.  This is also the language of prostitution.

A. Two men considering veganism, or B. Two men ogling a half naked woman on display for them.