Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The "No" Means "Yes" Rape Trope in PETA Porn

PETA announced today that another young woman has posed naked for their pocketbooks.  In many ways it is a very typical advert:  A naked woman, claims that nudity is better than wearing animal hair, and a woman of African descent with blonde, European looking hair is featured.


But then I noticed another theme that seems to be reoccurring in the PETA write ups:  Shyness and submissiveness.  From their blog, Alexandra Burke confesses:
"I was nervous about posing nude as I've never done it before," she said. "It was uncomfortable initially, but the photographer made me feel relaxed and at ease. Ultimately I love my body, so it was great to do something for such a worthwhile cause."
This is a narrative pulled straight from a porno.  The woman is reluctant, the perpetrator is persistent, she "gives in," the perpetrator gets what he wants, and hey, eventually she likes it.

PETA emulates this common pornography trope to titillate, but this comes at the expense of women's dignity and at the risk of aggravating rape myths.  Women aren't supposed to really want it first, they have to play "hard to get," innocent, pure, unwilling.  It is this unwillingness that is erotified.