Author: has written 5285 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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148 Responses

  1. Chet
    Chet January 27, 2007 at 1:03 am |

    The snap-zoom shots on the boobs? More than just a little creepy.

  2. mattilda a.k.a. matt bernstein sycamore
    mattilda a.k.a. matt bernstein sycamore January 27, 2007 at 2:47 am |

    Since when is PETA appealing to “American tradition”? Like the traditions of imperialism, colonialism and genocide symbolized by that huge flag in the background — couldn’t they have thought of any other symbol? Are they also invoking the “American tradition” of patriarchal violence? Gross — so many intersections here, like some strange invocation of conservative “family values” and also a send-up to the playthings of the men in power, saying something smart but still getting naked for daddy.

    I’m all for the most outrageous tactics possible (nudity and beyond!) to expose the violence of the meat industry, meat-eating in general and cruelty to animals, but this just seems like some sort of fraternity/sorority joke, I’m almost tempted to go back and look to see if that was really a PETA ad and not some spoof.

  3. Jenny Dreadful
    Jenny Dreadful January 27, 2007 at 3:00 am |

    Fuck PETA. I’m vegetarian, don’t use products that were tested on animals, and I friggin’ detest PETA. There are so many better ways that you could frame the case for veganism, it’s absurd.

  4. Ryan
    Ryan January 27, 2007 at 3:16 am |

    I agree with your assessment of the video.

    It doesn’t even have the (weak) justification that some of PETA’s other sexist campaigns do. For example, at least PETA can argue that when they put women in cages, or wrapped in cellophane, it’s not that they are saying women are equivalent to animals, but rather drawing attention to the idea that animals are just as worthy of fair treatment as women. The problem, of course, is that in a culture in which women are often actually treated as proverbial animals, the campaign is utterly counterproductive. Not only is it perpetuating the idea that women are things to be ogled, but it makes people who might actually agree with PETA’s point think of the animal rights movement as silly and frivolous at best — and actively harmful at worst. It’s the flip-side of the ALF, which makes people think of the animal rights movement as radical and dangerous.

    If people really don’t think animals are property to be used for our benefit, skip all the stunts and do the thing that will actually help them: stop buying, using, and eating them, and encourage others to do the same.

  5. JustAnotherJane
    JustAnotherJane January 27, 2007 at 4:22 am |

    OMG OMG “The Rebelution” boys posted “Feminism and the Modesty Survey” it’s to die for!

  6. pippa
    pippa January 27, 2007 at 6:16 am |

    I just e-mailed PETAs “action centre” with my suggestions for ads and activism. My suggestion was to stop using naked women in promotions, treat women’s bodies with the respect that PETA reserves for animals. . I am so angry about this.

  7. Henry
    Henry January 27, 2007 at 6:43 am |

    I’d absolutely agree that we disassociate ourselves from the fact that the meat we eat used to be a living creature. As far as I’m concerned if you can’t stomach shooting or butchering your own food (or the fact that someone else did) maybe you shouldn’t eat meat. Once you’ve killed your own food it clarifies in your mind exactly what is going on, and you can either make peace with it or not. I know the first time I brought home meat from hunting it changed my perspective.

    As for the ad, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I’m all for naked chicks, sure, but it strikes me as cheap theater that accomplishes nothing. I’m not overly concerned with her position, and the fact that she’s naked doesn’t change that. Do they really think that a gimmicky message like that is really going to change someone’s mind?

    I’d also agree that PETA is not much concerned with human dignity, male or female. Most of the animal rights folks I’ve met have tended to hate humanity, so I’m not surprised that they’d be more concerned with animal welfare than their own. Although, you can always look at it as though they choose to sacrifice their own dignity because they believe their cause is so important.

  8. wemblee
    wemblee January 27, 2007 at 6:45 am |

    The girl mentioned a PETA video that Trent Reznor narrated. I kept wondering, “Why didn’t they ask Trent Reznor to get naked?”

  9. car
    car January 27, 2007 at 8:16 am |

    As wemblee just said, why don’t they use naked men more often, then? Why is it always women? I smell some major patriarchy.

  10. Nomie
    Nomie January 27, 2007 at 9:24 am |

    car, I know there was an ad a while ago with the very hairy David Cross (from Arrested Development) with a tagline along the lines of “The only fur I wear is my own.” But I only saw that online, never on the sides of bus shelters or anything.

    Everybody needs to see the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode about PETA. It used to be available on Youtube; I’d try to find a link but that site hates my computer.

  11. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil January 27, 2007 at 9:39 am |

    I loved the lines:
    “Often this [animal rights work] means taking our clothes off,”
    and “Hot chicks are an American tradition!”

    Could someone make these people read “The Lottery” so they can understand the implications of “tradition.” It’s not all just cute Fiddler on the Roof songs. (Murder, patriarchy, and death, oh my!)

    p.s. What turned me off PETA forever was the story about the president of PETA dumping a dead raccoon on Anna Wintour’s plate in a restaurant. Too gross to ever be taken seriously.

  12. Kim
    Kim January 27, 2007 at 10:04 am |

    Whither the naked men?

  13. Hank Fox
    Hank Fox January 27, 2007 at 10:27 am |

    Yeah, let’s all jump on PETA.

    I’m not associated with them. Don’t pay a great deal of attention to them.

    But I am compassionately sympathetic to the point of their existence. While you’re all using PETA as a trampoline — oh, they’re horrible, they’re stupid, they’re bad — don’t lose sight of these other matters.

    So what if we have a problem with PETA’s off-center delivery? Christ, we live in a world controlled by the likes of George effing Bush. We should all be bleeding out of our ears every time the man speaks — he and those like him are so stupid, the stupidity becomes a primal beast that stalks out of their heads and goes out and attacks and kills others.

    That vicious stupidity used to attack only in darkness. Now it stalks confidently around in the daylight, murdering truth itself.

    And here you all are exclaiming prissily at a bit of relatively harmless nonsense.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 in global importance? This is a 1, kids.

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

  14. Hugo
    Hugo January 27, 2007 at 10:51 am |

    I gave up on PETA a while back, giving now to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and other various animal rights organizations (including, of course, the one we help run).

    I am a vegetarian and a feminist, and for me, they are radically congruent because of their mutual insistence on doing everything possible not to exploit the bodies of others for our own pleasure. PETA breaks my heart because I share a passionate belief in the ends they wish to accomplish, and I am revolted by the means that they use to achieve that end.

    Oh, and to be “lovely” makes me happy today. Thanks, Jill.

  15. Karen
    Karen January 27, 2007 at 11:29 am |

    One more rag on PETA: I have a good friend who’s a trainer of show dogs. Now, these are the most spoiled animals on Earth. They are the friends and beloved companions of their trainers, well-fed, well-housed, cleaner than a lot of kids I know. Back in the 90’s, the San Antonio PETA chapter broke into the Bexar County charity dog show, opened a door to the street and the crates of a number of show animals. The dogs were chased outside, where almost all of them were hit by cars and killed. No one has ever been able to explain what that stunt was supposed to prove or how scaring and killing dogs did anything for animal rights and welfare.

    I’m a carnivore, but I was raised on a farm so I know where my meat comes from. I’m careful to buy, as much as I possibly can, natural, antibiotic-free meat, raised in an enviromentally responsible manner. (No giant pools of pig dung or chicken guts dumped in the river.) Nevertheless, I completely reject the idea than anything but humans have rights. Humans have an obligation to treat other creatures well, both for our own good and theirs. Mistreating animals should cause people deep and abiding shame. Still, only creatures than can participate in society can have rights. I’m doing a really poor job of making my point here. Look, the only way an animal can exercise legal “rights” is through a human actor. Same for fetuses, by the way. With babies or the mentally handicapped, we impute the ability to exercise rights because babies grow up and mentally disabled people have a range of abilities, including enough to exercise at least most of their legal rights. Cats and dogs will never vote, own property, have jobs, or do other things that in our society often produce disputes that have to be resolved in court or by the government. Any time that happens, a person has to do it. There is no way for us to know what, really, the animal wants; it’s always going to be what the human thinks the animal wants.

    In the incident I cited, PETA thought show dogs wanted freedom, when in fact they are bred and raised to be companions to humans. Their genes direct them to be companions to humans; they cannot be anything else. In that case, human projection actually killed the things the humans wanted to “protect.”

  16. trillian
    trillian January 27, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    No, no, no, Jill, this blog isn’t for what you (and piny and zuzu) want to write about, it’s only for the feminist issues that some random guy deems suitable. Didn’t you know that?

    I agree about the disassociating from the food we eat. The few times that I’ve tried to get myself to choke down some seafood or something for whatever reason, I’m fine until I start thinking too much about the function that used to be served what I’m eating. [But when I kept bending my mother’s crab leg to demonstrate how it pulled the tendon and caused the meat (er, the muscle) to contract, she was not nearly as amused as I.] You’d think that an organization so focused on that concept of commodification would be able to get it through their heads that they’ve stopped associating female bodies with humans. I got the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ads – or maybe I was just too young at the time to get offended – but it seems like they took a halfway decent (no pun intended) idea and ran to hell with it.

  17. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 27, 2007 at 11:58 am |

    Hank, go fuck yourself.

    Has it occurred to you that if PETA wants to get people to support them, they should, you know, make an effort to reach these potential supporters rather than alienate them?

    Harmless nonesense, my ass, cupcake. Tell ya what–when we see the same amount of flesh from guys stripping and shaking your ass for fun, for politics, for what-the-fuck-ever, you can go around calling this harmless fun. But when it’s just women (or the vast majority is women, heaven forbid I forget about the three guys on the planet who indulge us, ’cause you know, that makes it equal, right?), it’s not harmless.

    IOW: What Jill said–fuck off.

  18. sly civilian
    sly civilian January 27, 2007 at 12:09 pm |

    what’s really weird is that they make no secret of how they chose her. She’s not a voice talent, for sure. I get the creepy feeling that it was something the lines of: “hey unpaid intern who doesn’t know better, want to get filmed naked for no compensation?”

    F$ckers.

  19. RenJender
    RenJender January 27, 2007 at 12:17 pm |

    I’m surprised no one has yet talked about the piece written about Ingrid Newkirk (PETA’s founder ) in The New Yorker a couple of years ago. The article doesn’t seem to be online (otherwise I’d link it), but basically it said that PETA is very deliberate in its provocation and Newkirk didn’t dispute this point. Every time someone expresses outrage about a PETA ad campaign, video or protest they are, in fact, giving publicity to PETA and their one main message, which is that everyone should become a vegan/vegetarian to prevent animal cruelty. No matter how offensive PETA campaigns are the people who run PETA know the ad won’t make people who are already vegan or vegetarian start eating meat. If only one out of a hundred people who find out about PETA and their message —even through an outraged article, editorial or blog entry– clicks on PETA’s link and then, perhaps after a period of time when he or she reads some other books or articles, becomes a vegan or vegetarian the campaign is a success. PETA uses this tactic because it works.

  20. Naomi Lilith
    Naomi Lilith January 27, 2007 at 1:10 pm |

    Good point, RenJender. It doesn’t surprise me that much, but you expressed it better than I could :)
    However, I suspect such tactics entrenches the opposition to them from hunters and meat eaters – they may not care much about that, but I think it does guarantee that they will now get NO hearing or consideration for their views from hunters or meat eaters, whereas other animals rights group with a history of civil and rational debate can atleast get their foot in the door and expect a hearing from some of their opponents.
    As for myself, I was somewhat sympathetic to PETA previously – before I learnt of their antics harassing and frightening children to get at their fur wearing parents – but I have no sympathy for them now. I’m a vegetarian and a lover of animals but I will not support them. So they may have gained supporters, but they’ve just made me into an active opponent of their group. And I plan to email my friends and send em a link to this post. I recall the rule of thumb is that an angry person tells about 10 people, on average?

  21. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 27, 2007 at 1:14 pm |

    On a scale of 1 to 10 in global importance? This is a 1, kids.

    Yes, feminist concerns are of no interest to real people (i.e. men). The little ladies should just be quiet while men work on the real issues. Go make me a sandwich.

  22. Sirkowski
    Sirkowski January 27, 2007 at 1:25 pm |

    You might like the time I pwned PETA.

  23. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil January 27, 2007 at 1:38 pm |

    My general understanding of gross-out/fear/in-your-face tactics is that they lose their impact over time. Best/worst public health example: a community in New York put up fake car crash sites to encourage drivers to slow down and reduce the number of accidents (I think the Long Island Expressway). And it worked. Until people realized they were fake and then went faster. The problem: not everyone realized it at the same time, so you had some people slamming on the brakes and rubber-necking, and others speeding past. Result: more accidents than before.

    Hence, I’m not terribly intrigued by the naked protests (“Oh yeah, those people from PETA taking their clothes off again…”). I’m being a bit blase, but how old is the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign? And how many people have they permanently deterred with their tactics?

  24. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus January 27, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    Proof that we live in a misogynist society — someone like Hank Fox, who apparently fancies himself some kind of progressive, feels free to sass his betters in such stupid and banal terms.

  25. julia
    julia January 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm |

    I posted a story a while ago about PETA adopting pets from shelters specifically to euthanize them (killing animals rather than give them the chance to be adopted is an ongoing enthusiasm of Ms. Newkirk’s). There are quite a few people who are interested in animal rights who aren’t at all enthusiastic about PETA.

    If my experience is typical, expect to get a lot of comments from righteousness-intoxicated hipsters about moral relativity and the sins of the world and the purity of Ingrid Newkirk’s soul.

    Some of them will even come from her expensive new offices. I understand they’re very nice to the cat.

  26. Perlemanberg
    Perlemanberg January 27, 2007 at 2:03 pm |

    I think the point is to get people to view the footage (with the accompanying balad behind it) that follows. The “state of the union” may be idiotic but it leads people to view real deal afterwards, and that’s pretty motivating.

    As for PETA supposedly letting dogs out at a dog show: I’m an active member and I can tell you that PETA doesn’t HAVE local chapters. That’s been an ongoing, malicious rumor, that PETA has been known to let dogs out at dog shows. Why on Earth would PETA allow dogs to run haphazardly into the street to get hit by cars, get lost and have to fend for themselves, etc? Obviously the point you’re trying to make is that the group is supposedly so hypocritical, but, I’ve got a news flash–it’s a baseless lie. As someone else said, “Move on.”

  27. Bruce from Missouri
    Bruce from Missouri January 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm |

    PETA makes me wish I could completely drop everything except meat from my diet just to spite them.

    And just once, I wish they would assault a Hell’s Angel in a leather jacket instead of a woman in a fur.

  28. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 27, 2007 at 2:24 pm |

    That was pretty funny, Sirkowski. :-) Though it was a little scary how quickly the PETA trolls showed up to insist that showing pictures of disembowelled dogs to six-year-old children is just giving them the facts, man!

    PETA reminds me most strongly of the Church of Scientology: making outrageous claims to get donations and using poorly-informed celebrities to spout their propaganda. I’d be curious to see if Pink continues working for PETA now that they publicly embarrassed her by giving her wrong and inflammatory information.

  29. Perlemanberg
    Perlemanberg January 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm |

    When has PETA ever shown pictures of disembowelled dogs to six-year-old children? The same person who alleges that talks about PETA making “outrageous claims” to spout “propaganda”? PETA never approaches such young children with such graphic images. What’s with all of these lies? If you’re going to attack PETA, how about attacking them based on facts, please?

  30. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe January 27, 2007 at 3:18 pm |

    About two years ago, PETA was found to have been slaughtering dogs it picked up from North Carolina animal shelters after promising to find the animals good homes. Cops in Ahoskie, N.C., staked out a Dumpster behind a supermarket and caught two individuals who identified themselves as PETA employees trying to throw away 18 dead dogs, with 13 more in their van.

    When questioned about this, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said it’s against the group’s policy for employees to dump animals in the trash, but “that for some animals in North Carolina, there is no kinder option than euthanasia.”

    Jill is absolutely right. PETA is about nothing other than narcissistic self-righteousness.

  31. Jenny Dreadful
    Jenny Dreadful January 27, 2007 at 3:36 pm |

    I don’t think eating meat to spite PETA will solve any of the problems they’ve created with their marketing strategy, by the way. There are plenty of great reasons not to eat meat. Like Hugo, I find veganism and feminism go together very well.

  32. matttbastard
    matttbastard January 27, 2007 at 3:46 pm |

    Here’s the New Yorker article on Ingrid Newkirk referenced above by RenJender.

  33. mustelid
    mustelid January 27, 2007 at 3:55 pm |

    Bitter Scribe, please tell me the cops got ahold of every PETA member involved in the dog killings and then released all their names to the press. I wasn’t a fan of PETA before this article. They so often come across as self-righteous morons.

  34. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 27, 2007 at 3:59 pm |

    When has PETA ever shown pictures of disembowelled dogs to six-year-old children? The same person who alleges that talks about PETA making “outrageous claims” to spout “propaganda”? PETA never approaches such young children with such graphic images. What’s with all of these lies? If you’re going to attack PETA, how about attacking them based on facts, please?

    One of Sirkowski’s commenters complains about the table that PETA set up on the street during Christmas shopping with VERY graphic pictures of dead animals that children saw as they were shopping with their parents. Read the comments at her link.

    But I guess it’s okay to put these things within easy view of children, right?

    And I notice that you avoided the FACTS posted above by both Julia and Bitter Scribe about the PETA members who were “adopting” healthy animals from local shelters, doing untrained euthanizations in the back of the PETA van, and then dumping the bodies in various dumpsters around town.

    Like I said, PETA is the Church of Scientology, only they worship Ingrid Newkirk instead of L. Ron Hubbard. Same tactics, same “thinking.”

  35. tzs
    tzs January 27, 2007 at 4:05 pm |

    Living here in Chicago, I don’t think PETA gets much traction here. One of the furriest cities I’ve seen in the winter. And when you go walking down Michigan Ave in January with the wind blowing, you realize why.

  36. Lane
    Lane January 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm |

    I’m glad that you read The Sexual Politics of Meat, because it really is interesting. If anyone would like to read further about this issue, Carol Adams addresses it in more detail in her other book The Pornography of Meat, in which she analyses ads and PETA. I do not agree with PETA’s tactics at all, yet I am a feminist vegan. Thank you for your commentary and for providing the link to the video. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

  37. zuzu
    zuzu January 27, 2007 at 4:13 pm |

    They used to go after women wearing fur and throw paint on them on the street.

    But somehow, they managed to not have a problem with the leather that men wore. Funny, that.

    And their campaigns feature not just naked chicks, but naked white chicks.

  38. Ryan
    Ryan January 27, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    This isn’t quite on the specific topic of the discussion, but I did notice that they managed to get a not-stick-figure-model-type woman to strip, which in it’s small way was kind of refreshing. Granted, she’s still pretty in the conventional sense, but at least she’s not emaciated. I guess it’s pretty sad that the best to be said for the objectification of a woman is that they didn’t pick the most stereotypical one around…

  39. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 27, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    Hugo,

    PCRM grew out of PETA. They used to declare their link openly, but their website is a lot sneakier now. The so-called medicine they promote is quackery supported by ideology over evidence.

  40. mythago
    mythago January 27, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    PETA uses this tactic because it works.

    If PETA is turning off far more potential vegans than it wins over, how does its message “work”? (And I wouldn’t assume that the flow is all one-way, either. Surely I’m not the only person who knows ex-vegetarians.)

    They’re not really about preventing cruelty to animals; they’re about getting attention and preening about how much more evolved they are than the less boring vegans. You know, the ones who want to convince people to stop killing animals, instead of using animal rights as an excuse to make sexist and anti-Semitic shock ads.

  41. mythago
    mythago January 27, 2007 at 6:09 pm |

    PETA uses this tactic because it works.

    If PETA is turning off far more potential vegans than it wins over, how does its message “work”? (And I wouldn’t assume that the flow is all one-way, either. Surely I’m not the only person who knows ex-vegetarians.)

    They’re not really about preventing cruelty to animals; they’re about getting attention and preening about how much more evolved they are than the less boring vegans. You know, the ones who want to convince people to stop killing animals, instead of using animal rights as an excuse to make sexist and anti-Semitic shock ads.

  42. Hugo
    Hugo January 27, 2007 at 6:15 pm |

    Frumious, I acknowledge the link between PETA and PCRM, but the medical research they write about is hardly quackery — it’s world-class stuff. More than any other organization, they have helped to get the use of dogs and other live animals out of medical schools in the past two decades. And they do it without objectifying women.

    The health claims of a vegetarian/vegan diet are too well-documented to be dismissed as quackery. (Admittedly, the flacks of the meat industry whose living is based on slaughtering millions of animals a year differ, but they’ve got less credibility than Phillip Morris on a good day.)

  43. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 27, 2007 at 6:25 pm |

    I have to say that I have more respect for the animal rights people who go after cruelty on factory farms than for the ones who make a big deal about animal testing and fur. I mean, if we’re going to talk numbers, improving conditions for battery chickens etc. will impact a lot more animals than going after researcheres doing tests. Or at any rate save your energy for the researchers who are acting cruelly, as opposed to tarring them all with the same brush.

    I don’t wear fur and I try to buy non-leather shoes. I always buy free range organic eggs, and non-medicated free range chicken as much as possible. If my income goes up in future, I’ll try to make sure all my meat comes from free range organic sources (also, the only grocery convenient walking distance away which offers such meat only offers chicken, and finding other meats would be a challenge). In part because I want to use my power as a consumer to encourage the market for this stuff, in part because I expect it’s better for me, and in part because I don’t want to give up eating meat, but also don’t want to support factory farms which treat their cows, pigs, chickens, etc. in a horrific manner. It’s not that different from always checking for the dolphin-safe logo when I’m buying tuna.

    Please note that I am very much in favour of strict regulations regarding the treatment of lab animals, and the enforcement of those regulations. Researchers who treat their test subjects inhumanely should be stopped. And I buy skin and bath products that specifically say they aren’t tested on animals, in part because I don’t think there’s a pressing medical or scientific need to know the effects of shampoo X getting in your eyes, to the point where they have to use animal test subjects.

    But a lot of the research that’s done with animals is extremely important, and I think trying to ban it is roughly on par with trying to ban stem-cell research. The only difference is that a defrosted embryo can’t feel pain, and an animal can, so there do have to be regulations which ensure they’re not in more pain than is necessary.

  44. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 27, 2007 at 6:32 pm |

    Oh, and the PETA tactics definitely denigrate women.

    I love animals. I was freaking distraught when both my cats died last spring. I have health insurance on the cat I have now so I don’t have to worry about money when/if he gets ill. But they’re still just animals, and in the unlikely event that my building was burning down and I had to choose between saving my cat and saving a human being, I’d pick the person every time. Which is pretty much the same reason I’m okay with animal testing.

  45. Perlemanberg
    Perlemanberg January 27, 2007 at 6:36 pm |

    That’s some pretty perverse logic. Do the ends always justify the means? What if it were another image that some people find compelling — like a naked 16-year-old? Or what appeared to be a rape scene? Would that be ok if it was drawing people to the footage of animal abuse?

    Jill, I’m definitely NOT saying that I think there’s nothing wrong with the “State of the Union” video, but I think it’s pretty inappropriate to compare an adult stripping with suggesting a 16-year-old doing the same thing or a rape scene.

    As far as PETA and kids, I was definitely exposed to all kinds of graphic PETA-produced images as a kid, particularly when I was doing online research for papers or projects on animal rights.

    You’re kidding, right? You’re blaming them for what they have on their Web site, which–I have a feeling most people here agree–adults NEED to see? That’s the same as going after 6-year-olds in the street and shoving nasty, graphic images in their faces?

    And I notice that you avoided the FACTS posted above by both Julia and Bitter Scribe about the PETA members who were “adopting” healthy animals from local shelters, doing untrained euthanizations in the back of the PETA van,

    The woman facing charges is perfectly trained and licensed to perform euthanasia. The problem is that the license applies to Virginia, not North Carolina. But let’s not allege that she’s untrained. The other guy, PETA has explained, was a ride-along. We’ll all see what happens in court. None of us are present during the precedings, correct?

    Anyway…it’s a big movement. I support PETA even if I don’t support everything they do. They’re powerful and have finally gotten Smithfield Foods, for example to agree to end gestation crates for pigs within ten years. Female pigs used for breeding are confined virtually their entire lives without their being allowed to stretch, take more than one step forward or backward, turn around…basically, they are encased in bars during pregnancy. Then they’re moved to a different encasement for giving birth so that the piglets can nurse. Then they’re raped for impregnation again and sent back to the gestation crates. Can’t move and nothing to do or look at besides bars, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. Smithfield agreed to do this with the help of pressure put on them by McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, after PETA held campaigns against them to get them to raise the standards under which their animals are raised. Those companies have been working with PETA ever since.

    So it’s a big movement, and for those who don’t support the organization that I do but you support others, then kudos to you!

  46. Sirkowski
    Sirkowski January 27, 2007 at 7:17 pm |

    Perlemanberg Says:
    PETA never approaches such young children with such graphic images. What’s with all of these lies? If you’re going to attack PETA, how about attacking them based on facts, please?

    Montreal subway. Saw it with my own two eyes.

  47. kate
    kate January 27, 2007 at 7:47 pm |

    Even the anti-choicers who post bloody fetus pictures on their websites usually have some sort of warning before you enter.

    Correction please Jill, the pro-life movement is not so considerate. I wasn’t warned just recently when driving through my neighborhood which happens to have a Planned Parenthood clinic there (which does not dispense abortions). I was greeted with a poster at least 12′ x 6′ held by two persons with a graphic photo of a bloody, mutilated baby corpse, that I might add appeared to be at least a full five or six months in gestation.

    As for the troll rationalization above that the means justifies the ends, no it doesn’t. The video clip Jill included in the post offended and repelled me to such an extent that I could not watch it further after seeing the girl strip herself naked.

    What I found most offensive was her speaking, “Hot chicks are an American tradition” and the following clip of a haw-hawing white haired male, I guess because we’re all supposed to be enthused beyond reason when we view a naked woman.

    Of course, “we” refers to men and their pleasure and amusement only, women exist as the object of, not the receiver of, pleasure in our society. As Newkirk says so well herself in the New Yorker interview, “

    And who could ask for anyone better than Pam? People drool when they look at her. Why wouldn’t we use that? We need all the drooling we can get.”)

    Of course, because Pamela Anderson is a ‘that’ and not a person, but a commodity to be used to sell something to the only humans who seem to matter — men.

    I’m outraged and disgusted at commercial farming practices and the overconsumption in our society on many levels. But appealing to the over consumption of women as sexual commodities does not impel me to spout extremist animal ‘rights’ philosophy as more deserving of my energy than the rights of children and women.

  48. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 27, 2007 at 7:48 pm |

    I think the point is to get people to view the footage (with the accompanying balad behind it) that follows. The “state of the union” may be idiotic but it leads people to view real deal afterwards, and that’s pretty motivating.

    Do you know what I do when I see yet another misogynist PETA ad, which is just another cheesecake fest that we get over and over again in this culture? I roll my eyes and think, “Misogynist asshats.” And I shut it off, and don’t watch the rest of the video.

    When PETA treats women far more disrespectfully and threateningly than the men who offend them, it doesn’t make me take them seriously. It makes me think that they’ve got a lot of misogyny with strong side of entitlement issues, and I don’t want to deal with or be associated with people like that. I get enough of that shit from conservatives.

    So really–how is this at all effective? PETA’s alienating supporters, and doing it needlessly. You’d be able to reach more people, and generate far less hostility, if you’d cut the crap with the misogyny, the Godwin’s law, and taunting a child who was bitten by a shark.

    PETA’s encountering a lot of hostility on this blog, and among progressives in general. Ever stop to think that PETA has a lot to do with it, and it’s not because they advocate veganism and an end to animal testing?

  49. julia
    julia January 27, 2007 at 7:55 pm |

    That’s right open-minded of you, Perlemanberg, and far more polite than most of what the PETA supporters who visited my own site had to say (mostly, that as I’d never myself saved the world, I wasn’t morally qualified to comment on PETA)

    The unfortunate thing, of course, is that this was not an independent act by misguided PETA members, and I don’t really care who was qualified to do what and who was a ride-along. These people “adopted” animals who had a 70% chance of finding homes with people who loved them, and then killed them. In so doing, they were following in the footsteps of Ingrid Newkirk, who not only pioneered mass shelter death as masturbatory personal statement but still defends it today.

    The fish rots from the head. So does PETA.

  50. Moi
    Moi January 27, 2007 at 8:03 pm |

    I saw a shirt once, that read: “PETA: People for the Eating of Tasty Animals”. In light of some of thier more drastic tactics, it amused me.

    I’m pretty much fully against horrible conditions for animals, ever. But having women strip naked all the time doesn’t help.

    I second the motions of those who eat or try to eat organic/free range meat. I refuse to eat veal, for example, because of the horrible conditions most of the calves go through.

  51. Official Shrub.com Blog  » Blog Archive   » BK commercial redux: It’s not about the burgers

    […] his kind of issue.” But, then, today I was reading an entry by Jill of Feministe on PETA’s politics where she discusses the connectio […]

  52. Sayna
    Sayna January 27, 2007 at 10:08 pm |

    *sigh* PETA seriously needs to knock it off. They make all vegetarians look bad, and I’m sick of having to explain that yes, I am a vegetarian and no, I am not going to dump cow’s blood on you for eating that burger.

    You should become a vegetarian for the health and environmental reasons, because the production of meat is dangerous and wasteful, and because of the ethical concerns, if you have any. You should NOT become a vegetarian because somebody gave you a huge guilt trip. The more you cram it down people’s throats, the less they’ll listen.

  53. Sayna
    Sayna January 27, 2007 at 10:12 pm |

    Oh, and I agree with you about them being almost bad as anti-choicers, Jill. All their propaganda is based on gore, guilt, and emotional appeals, not logic or reason. They both seem to be in complete denial of reality.

    I originally became a vegetarian because of PETA propaganda (I still have quite a big collection.), but when I started seeing more and more antichoice propaganda, I realized that PETA was just as bad.

  54. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm | *

    You know, I seem to recall PETA being sued by the National Holocaust Museum for the unlicensed use of holocaust photos.

    It happened shortly after they put the exhibit up at my very Jewish college. There is nothing quite like a very large group of students telling the dean they want their money back if the university is going to allow comparisons between their loved ones who died in the Holocaust and butchered chickens in front of the student union.

  55. Henry
    Henry January 27, 2007 at 10:36 pm |

    That said, I’ve confronted anti-choicers in person far more often than I’ve confronted animal rights activists. And I think anti-choicers are far more dangerous and misinformed.

    I’d venture that’s only because anti-choicers are more likely to loathe you personally than animal rights activists. Personally, I find the dogmatic fanaticism to be pretty equal in both camps. They both have an uncompromising view regarding their interpretation of “murder”, and are more than willing to use violence and intimidation to make their point.

    I’d also like to add that the reason PETA activists go after women in fur as opposed to men in leather is simple physical cowardice. You’re much more likely to catch a beatdown throwing paint at a man in a leather coat than a woman in fur.

  56. Perlemanberg
    Perlemanberg January 28, 2007 at 12:01 am |

    Julia said:

    These people “adopted” animals who had a 70% chance of finding homes with people who loved them, and then killed them.

    Are you aware of how filled the animal shelters are with “adoptable” animals? Like a lot of people with this thing being in the news, I checked out the stats. Sure enough, the shelters where PETA’s located in southeastern Virginia have no more room than the “shelters” (if you can call outdoor and unattended pens from which PETA was picking up animals) in NE North Carolina. Where are all of these magical homes for all of the millions of animals euthanized each year? You want to talk about ethics of allegedly lying to acquire the animals, even though these people in NC *admit* that they’d worked with PETA to provide euthanasia service for the animals overflowing their “shelters”? Fine. But let’s not swallow the line put out against haters of not just PETA but animal rights in general villainizing the group about how, “boo hoo, these animals were beautiful and adoptable and PETA massacred them.” Please. They were going to die, and could have very well been stuffed into small boxes to be pumped full of carbon monoxide or shot with bullets into their heads, both of which are very common forms of euthanasia in rural NE North Carolina. You want to talk about ethics of allegedly lying? Fine. But these animals were going to die, and if they would have been adopted instead of other animals, then the OTHER animals would have died.

    You want to skip the “pretty celebrity” thing which–I hate to tell you–works for attracting the most people to the issues of real animal rights while offending the (again, I hate to tell you), minority of progressives? (Of which I am certainly a member.) Good–check out their site at http://helpinganimals.com/f-nc.asp to find out all that PETA has done to improve conditions for animals in North Carolina.

  57. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 28, 2007 at 12:11 am |

    The woman facing charges is perfectly trained and licensed to perform euthanasia. The problem is that the license applies to Virginia, not North Carolina.

    Er, no. The problem is that they were pretending to adopt animals, taking them out to the van, killing them, and dumping the bodies. That’s where the problem is in this case. The dead animals. You know, the animals that you’re supposed to care about so desperately that you throw red paint on people?

  58. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 28, 2007 at 12:13 am |

    Please. They were going to die, and could have very well been stuffed into small boxes to be pumped full of carbon monoxide or shot with bullets into their heads, both of which are very common forms of euthanasia in rural NE North Carolina. You want to talk about ethics of allegedly lying? Fine. But these animals were going to die, and if they would have been adopted instead of other animals, then the OTHER animals would have died.

    Hey, the chickens and cows on factory farms are just gonna die, too. Why are you so upset about it? At least the farms don’t pretend they’re going to do anything else, unlike PETA, who claims to be all about protecting animals, and then kills them in the back of a van.

  59. maatnofret
    maatnofret January 28, 2007 at 12:47 am |

    I don’t know whether I want to retch at the hackneyed exploitation of women to sell their point or eat a hamburger to spite them.

    I’m an omnivore, but I like vegetarian food. If I ever do swear off meat, it won’t be because of these obnoxious, sexist fucks.

  60. Phoenician in a time of Romans
    Phoenician in a time of Romans January 28, 2007 at 12:50 am |

    With babies or the mentally handicapped, we impute the ability to exercise rights because babies grow up

    Ahem – does that mean fetuses have rights too?

  61. Lazer
    Lazer January 28, 2007 at 1:26 am |

    I see PETA as a fundamentalist group. All they do (for the most part, anyway) is proselytize and scream at people that they’re all going to hell if they don’t convert. And use many of the same tactics (blood-and-guts, genocide comparisons) as the pro-life movement. PETA are to vegetarianism and the animal rights movement what Pat Robertson is to Christianity.
    I’m -mostly- vegetarian myself (as in, I do allow myself to eat seafood when going out sometimes). But, aside from joking to my meat-eating friends about “eating dead animal flesh”, I don’t care if others eat meat or not. There really isn’t any black or white in the world of food. Meat and dairy are not “evil” and plants are not “good”. In fact, in some cases they can be the opposite. Some types of meat and dairy are good for you, many plant products are not only harmful to the environment (clear-cutting forests for plantations), but also exploit workers. We crave absolutes in this world, because we all want a sense of moral security. That’s how these types get their power. At least that’s how I see it.
    And as for the stripper, well didn’t you know that that’s the oldest trick in the book? Slap a hot chick next to your product and witness exponential increase in sales! *rolls eyes* Sad…

  62. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 28, 2007 at 2:27 am |

    Sure enough, the shelters where PETA’s located in southeastern Virginia have no more room than the “shelters” (if you can call outdoor and unattended pens from which PETA was picking up animals) in NE North Carolina. Where are all of these magical homes for all of the millions of animals euthanized each year? You want to talk about ethics of allegedly lying to acquire the animals, even though these people in NC *admit* that they’d worked with PETA to provide euthanasia service for the animals overflowing their “shelters”? Fine. But let’s not swallow the line put out against haters of not just PETA but animal rights in general villainizing the group about how, “boo hoo, these animals were beautiful and adoptable and PETA massacred them.” Please. They were going to die, and could have very well been stuffed into small boxes to be pumped full of carbon monoxide or shot with bullets into their heads, both of which are very common forms of euthanasia in rural NE North Carolina. You want to talk about ethics of allegedly lying? Fine. But these animals were going to die, and if they would have been adopted instead of other animals, then the OTHER animals would have died.

    Okay, but I’m still missing something. If those animals were going to be euthanised anyway, why not just let the shelter do it? Their funding and volunteer resources are finite, so why not focus on important stuff, as opposed to doing the shelter’s job for them (and doing it badly). Then PETA doesn’t have to spend scarce funds on whatever they use to euthanise them, they don’t have to pay the adoption fee (that can be up to a hundred bucks per animal, depending on the shelter and the age of the animal), AND they know the bodies will be disposed of in a hygienic manner via incineration.

    I mean, quite apart from the ethics, they’re WASTING MONEY. Money which was given to them by supporters who might be a little ticked off that their donations are going to fund a practice that the local SPCA should be doing, and footing the bill for. If you don’t like the conditions in the shelters (and I’m sure some are dreadful), agitate to get them improved.

    At this point PETA is pretty much subsidising any substandard shelter from which it ‘adopts’ animals. Given that shelters are usually government-run, why should PETA’s donors subsidise them privately? It makes sense for PETA to give financial support to a no-kill shelter with good policies re: the animals in their care, if such a shelter were in financial difficulties. But subsidising the bad ones just makes th e problem seem less bad than it actually is. The lousy shelters aren’t going to change the practices by magic.

    And PETA is actually making these places look better than they are, because the animals PETA ‘adopted’ would show up in the statistics as adopted rather than euthanised. And thus the average Joe figures the problem isn’t too bad, so why should the local government give them more money? It’s totally counterproductive if your goal is to improve shelter conditions.

    And don’t even get me started on the public health hazard that is dead animals in with garbage. Decomposition is a slow and messy process (hence the standard being cremation), and it involves all kinds of nasty bacteria, bugs, etc.

    I’m really not seeing any justification here, neither on moral grounds nor on utilitarian grounds.

  63. karpad
    karpad January 28, 2007 at 2:47 am |

    Fine. But these animals were going to die, and if they would have been adopted instead of other animals, then the OTHER animals would have died.

    YOU are going to die eventually, and you are currently using resources that I think would be better allocated for others.

    Do I get to murder you for my goal of reallocation? ye or nay?

    if yes, kindly form an orderly line, sign the suicide note, and drink the vial I shall provide you with. if no, kindly shut the fuck up, you hypocrtitical monster.

    see, up until then I was working with simple logic. then I went with the ad hom, because you ARE a hypocritical monster, and I think that bears repeating.

  64. Rox Populi
    Rox Populi January 28, 2007 at 2:59 am |

    Fuck You, PETA

    I don’t agree with everything in this episode of Penn Teller’s Bullshit, but it does reveal some uncomfortable factoids about PETA. For the record, I eat meat but try to mostly eat animals raised and slaughtered in the least offensive

  65. Lorelei
    Lorelei January 28, 2007 at 3:17 am |

    The girl mentioned a PETA video that Trent Reznor narrated. I kept wondering, “Why didn’t they ask Trent Reznor to get naked?”

    word, wemblee. i do not dig tasteless advertisement objectifying women no matter what the cause. however, a naked trent reznor? come on. i’d almost join PETA for that one. :P

  66. julia
    julia January 28, 2007 at 3:44 am |

    oh, natter natter natter, Perlemanberg. The shelters they took those animals from have high successful adoption rates. They took the animals after committing to care for them with every intention of killing them en masse.

    Ingrid Newkirk acknowledges that if she spent more than the less than ten percent of her budget that goes to actual animal care rather than publicity stunts and the defense bills of people who blow shit up, she could easily set up no-kill shelters, but, and I can’t emphasize this enough, killing the animals is cheaper.

    If you know anything about PETA, you already know this.

  67. bean
    bean January 28, 2007 at 4:04 am |

    What if it were another image that some people find compelling — like a naked 16-year-old? Or what appeared to be a rape scene? Would that be ok if it was drawing people to the footage of animal abuse?

    You mean like when Peta used Dominique Swain in their naked campaign (yes, she was 21 at the time; however, they bragged quite a bit about her being the youngest model for that campaign, and she was most famous at the time for having just played Lolita. Not to mention that she was photographed in a “school environment” and totally played up the Lolita thing.

    Or the time they produced a video of a man beating a fur-wearing woman to death (in all it’s gorey graphic glory) with the tag line “What if you were killed for your coat?”

    And then, of course, there’s also the “fur trim: unattractive” campaign featuring a bikini-clad woman’s torso with pubic hair sticking out from the bikini brief. Which also led to the infamous clash between NOW-NYC President Galen Sherwin and Ingrid Newkirk (letters from both were re-printed in Ms.) in which Newkirk called Sherwin “snotty” and “reactionary.” I can’t find the original Ms. article, but here’s a follow-up with reader comments. And here’s an article that talks about that incident and a few others.

  68. KathyF
    KathyF January 28, 2007 at 8:09 am |

    You all have just convinced me to write another check to PETA. They’re doing good work, despite the lies spread about them. They’ve NEVER spray painted a single fur wearing woman. They don’t euthanize puppies. And so on.

    Why don’t you check out this slide show. You’ll be shocked, shocked I tell you!

  69. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 28, 2007 at 8:56 am |

    Wonderful. So PETA’s kept one convert and alienated a bunch of others with their misogynistic bullshit. Sorry, Kathy, but I’m not impressed with the usual hot naked chicks crap. I get enough of women on display in every other aspect of life.

    And yeah, as was said over at Chris Clarke’s place, PETA’s not a feminist organization. That doesn’t mean they’re immune from criticism for being sexist (or racist, anti-semetic, or anything else, for that matter). Deal.

  70. Tara
    Tara January 28, 2007 at 10:08 am |

    Quick comment on the whole “PETA kills animals” thing:

    If you want trial information, the only reliably updating source I’ve been able to find is Peta Kills Animals. They definitely have their own agenda – I’m sure you’ll note the slant pretty quickly. Take their assessments with a grain of salt.

    As to euthanasia – it happens every day in shelters across the country. It’s terrible that it has to happen, but I’d rather see animals euthanized humanely by properly trained people than shot or gassed to death. I’m hoping this trial encourages more states to make better laws about euthanasia and to implement training programs for shelter staff.

  71. Hank Fox
    Hank Fox January 28, 2007 at 10:13 am |

    Here’s Jill:

    If there’s nothing to see here, then you’re welcome to fuck off.

    Sheelzebub:

    Hank, go fuck yourself. … IOW: What Jill said–fuck off.

    Heraclitus:

    Proof that we live in a misogynist society — someone like Hank Fox, who apparently fancies himself some kind of progressive, feels free to sass his betters in such stupid and banal terms.

    Free speech and all, sure. But …

    Mean-spirited, specifically personal attacks, in response to a mild general statement of opinion.

    Jill, just because you CAN say “fuck off” etc., on the Internet doesn’t mean you MUST.

    You don’t have to make an extra effort to make enemies of people who might otherwise be friends and allies.

    I think some of you are being unnecessarily harsh about PETA too. If PETA didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. I myself would be willing to help.

  72. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 28, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    As Raincitygirl pointed out, why did PETA feel the need to take animals they promised they would find homes for and kill them, instead of leaving them at the shelters where they could be placed or, if not placed, euthanized?

    PETA basically lied to the shelters.

    Both Northampton and Bertie currently use PETA for those services. Officials in both counties said they were under the impression that PETA would first have the animals fully evaluated by a veterinarian and then attempt to find them a good home. If that effort failed, they understood that PETA would euthanize the animals.

    That’s not taken from the PETA Kills Animals website–that’s taken from the news.

    PETA doesn’t just exploit and deride women–they’re quite happy to trivialize and degrade war-traumatized Iraqis and the homeless. Since, you know, the only thing they’re good for is making fur unfashionable.

    They’ve managed to alienate a lot of animal-rights activists with this crap. The cheesecake doesn’t help. It’s more of the same shit we get from everyone else, and I don’t see why PETA should get a free pass.

  73. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 28, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    see these posts by the excellent vegan freaks (and the comments):
    PETA staffers charged for cruelty, PeTA are really fucking stupid

  74. zuzu
    zuzu January 28, 2007 at 11:02 am |

    Mean-spirited, specifically personal attacks, in response to a mild general statement of opinion.

    Whassamatter, Hank, don’t like getting called out on your concern trolling?

    Jill, just because you CAN say “fuck off” etc., on the Internet doesn’t mean you MUST.

    You don’t have to make an extra effort to make enemies of people who might otherwise be friends and allies.

    Ooh, and now you’re concern-trolling about CIVILITY!

    We really do need to make bingo cards for the trolls around here.

    I think some of you are being unnecessarily harsh about PETA too. If PETA didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. I myself would be willing to help.

    But you said it was so trivial to be concerned about them! Are you telling us that now you think it’s important enough for the big stwong men to notice, so now it’s an important issue?

  75. piny
    piny January 28, 2007 at 11:30 am |

    We really do need to make bingo cards for the trolls around here.

    Angling for next year’s Koufaxes already, hm?

  76. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 28, 2007 at 11:45 am |

    Hugo, PCRM are quacks, alright. They report only on the studies which further their agenda and not on the ones which contradict their assertions. For instance, you won’t find them reporting on the health benefits of diets containing meat, even though diets which do and do not contain meat are equally healthful. They also like to publicize canards specifically designed to discredit animal sources of protein. For instance, when they called a press conference to announce that milk is bad for babies b/c of it’s low iron content. While the low iron content of both cow and human milk is true, it’s a canard b/c babies don’t need an external source of iron due to their high stores at birth.
    Those are just two examples of the misleading propaganda which PCRM dispenses. I recommend Bill Jarvis, former professor of public health and preventive medicine at Loma Linda U and member of National Council Against Healthfraud as a source.

  77. George
    George January 28, 2007 at 12:06 pm |

    If going naked brings more attention to animal cruelty, more power to them.

    Saying “Fuck you, PETA” seems to be in vogue these days, but they’ve done a lot of good.

  78. Lesley
    Lesley January 28, 2007 at 12:32 pm |

    I wish it surprised me that so many men think it’s just fine to use women as objects to promote whatever their cause happens to be. Never mind the fact that the non-stop objectification of women causes a lot of damage to women. That’s just not as important as [fill in the blank].

    If you had to live every day with the results of this constant objectification, perhaps you’d feel differently. How fortunate you are that you can avoid it or pretend the damage doesn’t exist. A whole heck of a lot of us aren’t that fortunate, so pardon us if we dismiss you the same way you’ve effectively dismissed us.

    And for Hank Fox who is oh so upset that he’s been spoken to roughly, perhaps if you didn’t flounce in here and condescend to us. But no, no, continue to think you didn’t contribute to your own reception here. You don’t want to be treated like an enemy? Try acting like a friend. Being condescending and pooh-poohing our concerns isn’t really behaving like a friend. Consider the order of the comments.

  79. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm |

    frumious b, your argument for why pcrm are quacks is quite interesting seeing as it seems to be based on a belief that if you don’t report that “diets which do and do not contain meat are equally healthful” you’re wrong, and therefore a quack. but maybe you‘re wrong about that, you know? even the american dietetic association thinks you’re wrong (“…Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer” – “Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2003). and i think you’re slightly misrepresenting pcrm’s stance on the drawbacks of milk/milk for babies/low iron content of milk.

    anyway, not sure if someone gave this link already. i also have a peta hall of shame. i think all the images of sexist peta campaigns over the years are just as self-explanatory as that video should be. or does anyone remember “show me your udders”? ugh. basically, if peta is “ethical” in any way, i guess i need to know this new definition of “ethical.”

  80. Hank Fox
    Hank Fox January 28, 2007 at 1:38 pm |

    Chris Clarke over at Creek Running North said:

    For the record, while I thought his comment at Feministe rather condescendingly bone-headed, Hank is a good friend, a valued commenter here, and a very intelligent person.

    Boneheaded? I can unhesitatingly admit to being a world-class doofus. Condescending? Hmm. Rereading what I wrote here: Probably true … but not absolutely intentional. I do get off track sometimes.

    Think I’ll apologize? Not on your life. Some of the crew here, including Jill (“[Hank] … you’re welcome to fuck off.”), seem like berzerkers who slash at anything moving, not just the enemy. Faceless commenters, even those who might otherwise be persuadable potential friends, are easy targets for this type of response.

    Berzerkers destroy, without the least thought or care, any possibility of conciliation, apology, or fellow-feeling. Everybody is the enemy, destructive fury is the only tool, and there is no pause between the recognition and the attack.

    Sheelzebub, for instance, both here and at Creek Running North, is as off-putting in her own way as Ann Coulter is in hers. And zuzu here … whew. Nasty.

    (Mnemosyne, by contrast, made her point clearly in cutting-but-harmless non-personal-attack humor.)

    Here’s Heraclitus, from CRN:

    And, yes, it’s clear to any regular reader of Feministe that the bloggers there are considerably more intelligent than this Hank fellow, so he was sassing his intellectual betters, and doing so in obviously sexist language. My comment had everything to do with tone, not with substance.

    Does this inspire me to mend my ways? Um … nope. Instead, it inspires this tit-for-tat:

    Heraclitus, I wonder if you couldn’t find “obviously sexist language” in “Would you please pass the salt?” And since we’re talking about intelligence? Here’s a mirror: The small sample of you I’ve seen so far seems as dimwittedly unreasonable and hair-trigger angry as a fundamentalist Christian shrieking about the evils of contraceptives.

    For some people, all it takes is to label someone an abortionist / sexist / liberal / whatever, and the hate that can be offloaded on them is almost infinite. Even better, they can never, never, never lose that label. You get to hate them forever. You never again have to look at them as people.

    AND, a big bonus … you never have to consider any other issue, argument, thought, or original intention, other than the fact that you hate them.

    One of the things I really like about PZ Myers’ Pharyngula site is that you can say something provocative, you can even strongly disagree with other commenters, and you aren’t instantly transformed into an AIDS-infected Nazi. You only become a troll there when you begin to ACTIVELY attack the other commenters for the things they say.

    My most recent political activist nickname was “the dwarf of doom” (the dwarf part was a sneering reference to my short stature), which I wore proudly for years, as it was given by a clique of clear-cutting developers and corporate shills I was trying to help stop.

    But here at Feministe, my new label seems to be “concern troll.”

    Here’s what I know about that: As a “concern troll,” I’m pretty sure that I will now never, ever, be able to convey the slightest possible original nuance or contrary idea on Feministe.

    I can never be heard, never be real, here, as anything other than a deliberately woman-hating “concern troll” – a pig. Indefinitely. I’d bet money there will always be at least one excitable individual who will wait in ambush for the slightest combination of my words that can be construed in some negative way, and they will then construe it that way. Deliberately, gleefully … indefinitely.

    No amount of apology, no quantity of groveling, no attempt at clarification, will ever make a dent in that. One mistake and that’s it.

    At least I still get to enjoy the “short” jokes.

  81. ether
    ether January 28, 2007 at 1:41 pm |

    For some reason, it’s just not hot to have some girl showing her box to try and stop me from eating meat.

    Girls Gone Wild purposeless nudity: yes.

    Wow, in 20 years when they’re really out of ideas will they let me…

    Nevermind.

    On a side note, wonderful that in a world of sexual deviants, rapists, and abusers, PETA thinks it wise to combine footage of slaughtered and mutilated animals while at the same time trying to give men a woody by showing them some 6.5 naked.

    Well, I guess they would still be serving their cause of saving animals if they help little psychopaths graduate from abusing animals to abusing women.

    I love America.

  82. George
    George January 28, 2007 at 2:15 pm |

    I’m coming around to your opinion, Jill. They seem to be resorting to a lot of cheap sensationalism to get attention these days. I don’t agree with their current campaign to find the “sexiest” vegetarian. Such tactics will only make it harder for a lot of people to take them seriously. The Kimberley Hefner photos are just plain cheesy. The Joanna Krupa photo is especially exploitative (and note the creepy reflections of men in the glass!).

    http://furisdead.com/feat-joannakrupa.asp

    There has to be a better way.

  83. zuzu
    zuzu January 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm |

    Chris Clarke over at Creek Running North said:

    Well, I guess that’s it, then! A MAYUN has laid down the law and we must obey! That Hank Fox, he’s all right because Chris Clarke, a MAYUN, said so!

    Think I’ll apologize? Not on your life. Some of the crew here, including Jill (“[Hank] … you’re welcome to fuck off.”), seem like berzerkers who slash at anything moving, not just the enemy. Faceless commenters, even those who might otherwise be persuadable potential friends, are easy targets for this type of response.

    No, seriously. I really do need to make those troll bingo cards. You’re really pulling out all the stops there, Hank. Lessee, you started off by telling us that we’re getting all worked up over Unimportant Issues like misogyny, then you tell us we’re mean to you, and uncivil. Then you appeal to a male authority figure. Now we’re angry and, indeed, rather crazy.

    Berzerkers destroy, without the least thought or care, any possibility of conciliation, apology, or fellow-feeling. Everybody is the enemy, destructive fury is the only tool, and there is no pause between the recognition and the attack.

    Sheelzebub, for instance, both here and at Creek Running North, is as off-putting in her own way as Ann Coulter is in hers. And zuzu here … whew. Nasty.

    (Mnemosyne, by contrast, made her point clearly in cutting-but-harmless non-personal-attack humor.)

    Oh, another classic! “You’re not like those other, angry, crazy bitches. You’re special. Come get your head-pat.”

    What’ll you think of next? Could it be…

    Heraclitus, I wonder if you couldn’t find “obviously sexist language” in “Would you please pass the salt?” And since we’re talking about intelligence? Here’s a mirror: The small sample of you I’ve seen so far seems as dimwittedly unreasonable and hair-trigger angry as a fundamentalist Christian shrieking about the evils of contraceptives.

    Ooh! It is! A quadruple whammy of “you’re too sensitive/imagining things/too stupid to get it/hysterical!”

    For some people, all it takes is to label someone an abortionist / sexist / liberal / whatever, and the hate that can be offloaded on them is almost infinite. Even better, they can never, never, never lose that label. You get to hate them forever. You never again have to look at them as people.

    AND, a big bonus … you never have to consider any other issue, argument, thought, or original intention, other than the fact that you hate them.

    Ah, yes, “you’re a closed-minded hater, too!”

    One of the things I really like about PZ Myers’ Pharyngula site is that you can say something provocative, you can even strongly disagree with other commenters, and you aren’t instantly transformed into an AIDS-infected Nazi. You only become a troll there when you begin to ACTIVELY attack the other commenters for the things they say.

    Aw, c’mon, Hank, you’re repeating yourself with the appeal to a male authority figure bit. But you do get points for combining the suggestion of homophobia with a Godwin’s violation. Nicely done!

    My most recent political activist nickname was “the dwarf of doom” (the dwarf part was a sneering reference to my short stature), which I wore proudly for years, as it was given by a clique of clear-cutting developers and corporate shills I was trying to help stop.

    But here at Feministe, my new label seems to be “concern troll.”

    Hmm. Haven’t seen the old “you haven’t been in the trenches like me” gambit in a while. I’ll have to be sure to include that on the cards.

    Here’s what I know about that: As a “concern troll,” I’m pretty sure that I will now never, ever, be able to convey the slightest possible original nuance or contrary idea on Feministe.

    I can never be heard, never be real, here, as anything other than a deliberately woman-hating “concern troll” – a pig. Indefinitely. I’d bet money there will always be at least one excitable individual who will wait in ambush for the slightest combination of my words that can be construed in some negative way, and they will then construe it that way. Deliberately, gleefully … indefinitely.

    No amount of apology, no quantity of groveling, no attempt at clarification, will ever make a dent in that. One mistake and that’s it.

    And a soupcon of poor-me-ism right there, blended with self-importance. Because you’re so right, Hank, we’ll all be occupied forever with you, just waiting for you to fuck up so we can tear you apart. We’re crazy angry bezerker bitches, after all.

  84. KathyF
    KathyF January 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm |

    “note how that slide show focused on the little things they did, not their massive campaigns, which is what most of us seem to have a problem with”

    Massive campaign? I couldn’t even find that video on their website. Their massive campaigns are directed at stopping cruelty to the most downtrodden and abused creatures on earth.

    Why do people who purport to have sympathy with the downtrodden of the world not understand that? Is the food you eat so important to you that you have to justify cruelty in order to continue eating it? Did you even watch the portion of the video that showed live chickens being hurled against the wall? Did that not sicken and disgust you far more than a woman willingly taking her clothes off? And which part of her body do you find so objectionable? Her brain, which she used to make a choice to unclothe herself in order to further a cause?

  85. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus January 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm |

    Hank, grow up. You called the bloggers here “kids,” said they were “exclaiming prissily” — two sexists points, for figuring them as both overly emotional and “prissy” — and ordered them from your position on high to move along, and told them, because you know so much better than they do, that there’s nothing to see here. That’s why you’re getting the reception you are, not because you disagreed with anyone.

    And, really, someone responding to you, in however impatiently or rudely, is in no way impinging on your freedom of speech. Please, people, can we get this straight. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that anyone has to agree with you, or respond to your statements in the way that you want them to. It just means they let you speak. Please, drop the whole, “I’m being persecuted because people have the temerity to disagree with me” thang.

    As for being a potential ally: it doesn’t seem to have even crossed your mind that you have anything to learn from the bloggers here. Rather, you waltz in and insult them, and then insult them further for not mending their ways and trying to “win you over” — you, a potential ally! — by falling into line. Why, you might just come over to their side if they kow-tow to you enough. You just assume that your perspective, your list of priorities and your emotional attitude towards them, is the only right and proper one, and that others need to appeal to you; you certainly have nothing to learn from them. This is pretty much the essence of privilege.

    Meanwhile, I can’t wait for the butcher to call me this week so I can go pick up the lamb I ordered. Mmmmmmmmm…animal flesh…so delicious.

  86. Lesley
    Lesley January 28, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    No amount of apology, no quantity of groveling, no attempt at clarification, will ever make a dent in that. One mistake and that’s it.

    How would you know? You never tried apologizing. Whether you intended to be condescending or not, that is absolutely how it came off. You come on to a feminist site and tell feminists that an incidence of sexism is nothing major. How could that ever be read as anything other than condescending? If I went onto an animal rights site and told the bloggers there that an incidence of animal cruelty wasn’t that big a deal in the overall scope of things, if I expected them to react as though I wasn’t condescending and dismissing their concerns, I’d be pretty damn clueless.

    So fine, you didn’t intend to be condescending. You were; you got called on it. Rather than own it and say “Hey, I screwed up,” you’re just going on about how mean everyone is being to you. Fine. Obviously you’re going to change no one’s mind that way. You aren’t even trying. Maybe if you did, you’d have some basis on which to make your above-blockquoted comment. As of now? You don’t.

    Lastly, irony much? We could say the same to you. One mistake and that’s it! You’ve written us all off!

  87. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus January 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm |

    And, yes, Hank, calling the bloggers here your intellectual superiors wasn’t very nice of me (although it wasn’t very mean either, since they’re all smart as hell), but I did it because a) I’m an asshole, and b) I like to occasionally put my assholery to mildly useful ends, by making blog comments reversing the usual power relations between men and women. So, it’s rare that women get to dismiss men for sassing their betters, so I like to see what happens when someone presents the situation in those terms (although, admittedly, it wasn’t a woman doing it).

  88. zuzu
    zuzu January 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm |

    You called the bloggers here “kids,” said they were “exclaiming prissily”

    Oh, shoot, I missed those. I’ll have to edit the bingo cards now. That, plus the “free speech” business.

    Which, actually, is one of my biggest pet peeves: the First Amendment doesn’t apply here, since we are not the government. Someone always gets huffy when I point that out, but c’mon. Accuracy, people.

  89. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus January 28, 2007 at 3:07 pm |

    Which, actually, is one of my biggest pet peeves: the First Amendment doesn’t apply here, since we are not the government.

    I agree, that’s annoying. And it takes it to a whole other level when someone complains about their free speech just because someone disagrees with or rebuts them. Actually, you could probably make a whole card just based on the different flavors of martyr complex.

  90. libdevil
    libdevil January 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm |

    Does anybody really wonder why they don’t assault leather-clad biker gangs? I would think the answer pretty obvious – bullies never go after somebody who’s likely to punch them in the mouth.

  91. ether
    ether January 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm |

    It’s pretty presumptious to assume the designers getting the “sit-down meetings” are men.

    Throwing paint seems to force an ethical debate on the vanity of animal abuse, although I will admit i’ve never seen paint thrown on a man.

    Having “sit-down meetings” seems to force an ethical debate on the business side of animal abuse, a debate i’m fairly certain women aren’t excluded from.

    Just playing devil’s advocate here

    For the record I have hunted animals, killed animals, eat animals, and used to feed my rottweiler peanut butter for entertainment.

    I am PETA’s Satan.

  92. Sally
    Sally January 28, 2007 at 3:56 pm |

    It’s pretty presumptious to assume the designers getting the “sit-down meetings” are men.

    Yeah, you’re right. It’s really fucking sexist to notice the gender disparities in the fashion industry or to note that the majority of top designers are male.

  93. Lorelei
    Lorelei January 28, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    Why do people who purport to have sympathy with the downtrodden of the world not understand that?

    because some of us don’t believe in using other downtrodden populations to make a point about another one.

  94. mythago
    mythago January 28, 2007 at 4:08 pm |

    Throwing paint seems to force an ethical debate on the vanity of animal abuse

    Right. Because nothing makes people say “Shall we consider the philosophical implications of this purchase?” like throwing red paint on them.

    I am always amused at people who like to pretend that, if only you’d been nicer to them, they MIGHT have been on your side. But no. They’re totally against you now, even though they never showed the slightest sign of agreeing with you in the first place, because you didn’t jump through the imaginary hoops in their heads.

  95. elektrodot
    elektrodot January 28, 2007 at 5:11 pm |

    did anyone see that video peta made that i guess was fake, with a man with a base ball bat viciously beating a woman wearing a fur coat? i couldnt beleive it, it made me sick

  96. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate January 28, 2007 at 6:02 pm |

    You should NOT become a vegetarian because somebody gave you a huge guilt trip. The more you cram it down people’s throats, the less they’ll listen.

    There are those who say the same thing about gay rights and feminism.

  97. Tara
    Tara January 28, 2007 at 6:32 pm |

    Sheelzebub:

    As Raincitygirl pointed out, why did PETA feel the need to take animals they promised they would find homes for and kill them, instead of leaving them at the shelters where they could be placed or, if not placed, euthanized?

    North Carolina did not have any adequate laws about euthanasia before this case. Many of these shelters are very primitive compared to shelters in other states (including the ones I’ve visited/worked in). The animals were, in some cases, being euthanized by being shot or being put into a gas chamber. It is generally considered much more humane to euthanize an animal by an injection of sodium pentobarbital. It’s a much more calm, quiet death than a gun shot and almost certainly more comfortable than being in a gas chamber. If the animals had to be euthanized, I wouldn’t want it to be under the conditions used in these shelters.

    I agree with you that PETA should not have lied, but I don’t think the animals should have been left to be euthanized in these shelters under such horrible conditions. PETA didn’t provide a solution to the problem with NC’s euthanasia laws so much as a spotlight on it. Like I said before, hopefully now things will change a little.

  98. ako
    ako January 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm |

    You should NOT become a vegetarian because somebody gave you a huge guilt trip. The more you cram it down people’s throats, the less they’ll listen.

    There are those who say the same thing about gay rights and feminism.

    Yes, but that comes perilously close to equating women and gays with pigs and chickens. Suggesting that vegetarianism shouldn’t be rammed down someone’s throat says that protecting the welfare of a pig is nice, but less important than human liberty. Saying the same thing about gay rights and feminism suggests that it’s nice to offer rights to women and gay men, but expecting it of someone who doesn’t feel like offering it is too much of an infringement on the liberty of heterosexual males. It sets up the heterosexual males as those whose rights must be respected, and everyone else as those who are expected to ask politely and hope that those with real rights feel like being nice.

    And I’m vegetarian, but I’m much more comfortable with considering humans above chickens than some classes of humans above others.

  99. Gerard Harbison
    Gerard Harbison January 28, 2007 at 7:38 pm |

    The reason for this video is pretty darn obvious. Two PETA members are on trial in North Carolina this week and next on 21 counts of animal cruelty.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/102/v-print/story/534959.html

    So what do they do? They make this video to create a phony controversy to distract attention from the damning evidence that’s been coming out in the trial. A day or two before the end of the trial they’ll make a suitably profuse apology, and the potential damage from the evidence of their euthanizing hundreds of animals and throwing the corpses in dumpsters will have been sidestepped.

    It’s working, too, isn’t it?

  100. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 28, 2007 at 10:43 pm |

    Hank, if the issue is so unimportant to you, why do you insist on coming back? Since when is lecturing people on how to show you the proper respect (after being a condescending assmonkey in your first comment) focusing on the important shit?

    As for being off-putting. . .golly! How will I sleep tonight? A passive-aggressive asshole comes around here and wags his finger about the “real issues,” derides us silly girls for criticizing PETA, and then is shocked! horrified! when we don’t bow down and kiss his ass.

    Off-putting? Honey, look in the mirror. The right wing baiting? Reeks of mothballs.

  101. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 28, 2007 at 11:11 pm |

    Tara, not even bothering to try and find homes for the animals–all of which were easy to place, according to the news stories–sucked. As did killing them and throwing them into a dumpster. If you’re for the “ethical” treatment of animals, is throwing their carcasses in someone’s dumpster ethical? Is leaving them for rats and coyotes and stray dogs “ethical?”

    If they wanted to shine a spotlight on the practices of NC, there were far better ways to do it. Like, say, getting meetings with people in the county, or even talking to the very people they worked with at the shelters. What they did was sneaky, spineless, and underhanded. It was hardly heroic or constructive. It did pretty much the same thing their boneheaded, misogynist, racist, anti-semetic, and anti-fat ads have done in the past–turn people off to them.

  102. karpad
    karpad January 29, 2007 at 12:08 am |

    You should NOT become a vegetarian because somebody gave you a huge guilt trip. The more you cram it down people’s throats, the less they’ll listen.

    There are those who say the same thing about gay rights and feminism.

    Yes, but that comes perilously close to equating women and gays with pigs and chickens.

    More importantly, it’s absolutely right. you SHOULDN’T support feminism or gay rights because someone laid a massive guilt trip on you. you should support them because they are morally defensible positions (and more to the point, the contrary position is NOT morally defensible.)

    you will notice, ain’t nobody here got a problem with animal rights or vegetarianism. it’s with PETA and their tactics. just as you shouldn’t support gay rights if your only reason is “homophobia is bad and my gay friend tony works out, and I will totally have him beat your ass” you shouldn’t follow “fur is bad, and we’ll throw paint at you.”

    PETA has no tactics whatsoever that aren’t on the list of logical fallicies: appeal to force, appeal to disgust, equivocation, etc. etc.

  103. karpad
    karpad January 29, 2007 at 12:23 am |

    Another thing I’ve beenaching to address (which is why I post two things in a row, as this isn’t in response to anyone in particular) is about the horrible species chuvanism of PETA.

    that’s right.

    as they are opposed to all forms of animal domestication and consumption, they would be opposed to any form of symbiosis or omnivorous behavior in other species, right? (“we taught a lion to eat tofu!”)

    but no. why? “because we’re better than that.”

    are humans BETTER than other species? if yes, then why should flesh consumption or animal utilization matter? if no, again, why should doing the same as other animals matter?

    granted, some will phrase it a slightly more nuanced answer of “we have sentience, so we have a choice” but that doesn’t REALLY change much. the only reason the consumption of any animal killed painlessly would be unethical is if causing the death of such an animal is unethical, which is only the case if it has sentience: a creature that lives without a past or future has no claim to either.

    I’m not a fan of the whole “mankind has dominion over the animals” nonsense. I fully believe there’s genuine sentience in some other species. but humans are no better than others. so the only factor in a utilitarian discussion is the level of suffering endured by one, and the level of pleasure enjoyed by another: species with sentience enough to have a future are robbed of something in death enough to justify protection. the more future they can envision, the more protection they are entitled to.

    the painless death causes no suffering in any capacity. end of sentence. so hand me the mayo, I’m making a sandwich.

  104. Meg Thornton
    Meg Thornton January 29, 2007 at 5:57 am |

    George (@ 84) – It’s interesting the way that *female* nudity is the only type used here. We don’t see a male figure out there stripping naked. In doing this, PETA is catering to a pervasive cultural stereotype that female persons are somehow “less nude” than male persons when they are not wearing clothing. Female nudity is apparently “less offensive” than male nudity. They’re playing into the very culture they want to change, and they’re doing it in a way that exploits women. This is certainly not the way to get *my* support.

    Most of the reports I’ve heard about PETA have been negative. I’ve heard about them being involved with the release of a group of mink from a mink farm in the UK (releasing a non-native predator into an ecosystem which isn’t designed to cope with it). I’ve heard about their killing of animals collected from animal shelters in the US. I’ve heard about them getting all hysterical about a bit of research into the biological origins of sexual preference, because “it could be broadened to humans”. I’ve also run into their campaign to get the entire Australian wool industry boycotted because Australian sheep farmers practice mulesing to prevent fly strike. As an Australian, I found that one a bit insulting, since it appeared they hadn’t even gone as far as to do the basic research into the practice – things like why it’s done, how widespread the practice is, whether there’s any cost-equivalent alternative (a big factor here – farming is marginal at best, and the majority of the country is drought-stricken) etc etc. No discussion whatsoever, just a demand that the entire industry be boycotted.

    I’ve done my own research into PETA, and what I’ve read doesn’t impress me. They come across as being much more interested in gaining publicity for themselves as an organisation than they are in actually making a difference to the situation of any animal other than the individual PETA member.

  105. Xopher
    Xopher January 29, 2007 at 12:54 pm |

    I think libdevil has it right: PETA physically assaults women, not out of misogyny, but because they’re cowards and thing women are less likely to physically assault them in return. And for the most part, they’re probably right about that.

    Years ago I attended a lecture series at the Museum of Natural History on the topic of Santeria. One of the lectures was about the place of animal sacrifice in Santeria. PETA sent a bunch of their fanatical wackos to dominate the microphones during the question period, call the presenters barbaric, and on and on.

    Mind you, while animals are ritually killed in some (not all) Santeria rituals, they are generally cooked and eaten afterwards. So why weren’t they protesting at a live poultry market? Why weren’t they picketing Kosher butchers? (Kosher butchering is a blood-sacrifice ritual, but that’s an argument for another day.)

    I’ll tell you why. Santeros don’t have a lobby in Washington. Santeria is a minority religion largely practiced in secret because of centuries of oppression. PETA goes for the easy target, not the big target. They’d get swatted down right quick if they went after Orthodox Jews in New York City (the only reason I wish they would).

    By the way, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1978. I’m not going back to eating meat, but PETA does make me want to buy leather…and it occurs to me that a nice rabbit-fur hat would be toasty warm this winter!

  106. Rose
    Rose January 29, 2007 at 5:08 pm |

    I don’t like PETA. Many years ago I gave them $5.00 on the street, because, hey, I like animals as much as the next person. Then they mentioned animal testing for AIDS drugs and I pointed out that such research was probably a necessity and the PETA rep I was talking to said that while people with AIDS did something to deserve it, the animals were innocents. I grabbed my hand into the jar and took my $5.00 back at that point.

    With this said, I’m a little dismayed that so many people here are this freaked out over female nudity. There seems to be a throwback these days to “old school” feminism, a/k/a “anti-sex” puritanical feminism, that my generation and the generations that followed have rejected. In the past month I’ve read articles on how Disney Princesses are going to produce a generation of stupid, passive, fluffy little girls who will turn into stupid passive, fluffy grown women. Then I read that Baby It’s Cold Outside is a pro-date rape song (yikes!) Now women are being turned into “pieces of meat” by PETA because for some wacky reason, they think that people pay attention to advertisements featuring goregous naked women (why not men? well, sure sexism is part of it, but lets face it, most of the time women look better naked, and this is coming from a hetro female – although I’ll admit many gay men would disagree with me!)

    Anyway, I find this new/old puritanism kind of disturbing, I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?

  107. Lorelei
    Lorelei January 29, 2007 at 5:35 pm |

    Rose, I don’t see anyone here freaking out over female nudity, I see people freaking out over the objectification of women to make a political/social point.

  108. Xopher
    Xopher January 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm |

    Didn’t PETA also picket an AIDS research facility back in the 1980s, on the grounds that the animals inside were being exposed to HIV? That sounds halfway reasonable (not that I’d agree with it even so), until you find out that the animals in question were mosquitos (we now know that human-to-mosquito-to-human HIV transmission is not possible, but only because of the work of labs like that one).

    Mosquito rights. No kidding.

    Mosquitos are the deadly foes of humankind. The ecosystem wouldn’t suffer from eliminating them (fewer purple martins, maybe, that’s about it), and if we could exterminate every adult, larva, and egg of that entire species without killing lots of other things in the process, we should do so without hesitation.

    Anyone who is in favor of mosquito rights is, as Patrick Nielsen Hayden said of another wacky group, gaudily deranged.

  109. Xopher
    Xopher January 29, 2007 at 5:46 pm |

    Um, for “that entire species,” please substitute “all 3500+ species of the family Culicidae.” Thank you.

  110. xyq
    xyq January 29, 2007 at 6:53 pm |

    Naked girls get a lot more attention from guys. So it’s strictly mercenary in that sense. Whether that’s good or bad, whatever. Girls are more interesting to everyone.

    PETA is doing what the rest of us are too scared to do. They are needed and the work they do is incredibly difficult and dangerous.

    Yes there are more moderate and nice groups out there. Support them. But for gods sake quit fucking with Peta, they are part of the struggle and are taking the heat for the rest of us.

    The footage they showed after the girl was horrifying and mindblowing. For every dumb guy like myself who came to see a beautiful girl undress, they will be hypnotized by the real footage that comes after and will be foreever changed.

    A million humane society actions will never bring the same impact.

    You don’t like it, too bad. It’s needed and they are getting the job done.

    So you used to be a vegetarian, so the fuck what? Does that make you a saint? Why condemn this girl for getting naked, it drew many people to the information that followed. The ends justify the means in this case.

    So get the fuck off your high horse and be concerned about what Peta is concerned with, a society that is filled to the top with hatred and violence toward the natural world.

  111. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke January 29, 2007 at 7:01 pm |

    Not that I disagree with your main point, Xopher, but mosquitos are a pretty important part of freshwater ecosystems.

  112. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 29, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    With this said, I’m a little dismayed that so many people here are this freaked out over female nudity. There seems to be a throwback these days to “old school” feminism, a/k/a “anti-sex” puritanical feminism, that my generation and the generations that followed have rejected.

    You know, I should start charging money every time someone starts screeching about anti-sex, puritantical feminists in these discussions. What is anti-sex and puritanical, not to mention regressive, is the idea that women’s sexuality is a job, a function for service, and that women can and should choose to do such jobs but that questioning this is somehow aberrant.

    No one’s against sex, or nudity. We’re just sick and tired of of it always being women who are naked or half naked, women’s sexuality being used to sell a product or a cause.

    And frankly, I’d much rather look at a hot naked man than a naked woman. As would a lot of other women I know.

  113. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus January 29, 2007 at 10:17 pm |

    It’s true. I’m just here because I hate sex, but find the writers here more interesting and witty than those on Christian fundamentalist sites. And I’m not being bombarded with quizzes eager to tell me exactly why I’ll be going to hell.

    Thanks for the marching orders, xyq, but a) fuck off, and b) the fact is that the means aren’t accomplishing anything except alienating the scores of people you see rolling their eyes here, as well as many others. Pushing retrograde misogynist crap and pretending it’s “edgy” is teh lame, and…well, what’s already been said repeatedly here. You’ll have to forgive the absence of a bouncing ball.

    Why are some folks so resistant to any encroachment on the schlongocracy, even to the point of making patently false arguments in its favor? If only we could identify what’s to blame for this…

    Oh, and by the way, Sheelzebub, you’re freakin’ awesome!

  114. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 10:47 pm |

    Why weren’t they picketing Kosher butchers?

    Oh, give them time. They’re quite clear they don’t like Jews any better than they like women.

    And it’s almost funny how the trolls can’t grasp the sexism of “women are more interesting to look at that men!” Even to heterosexual women, apparently, who have no sexual interest in women at all. That’s supposed to be natural?

  115. zuzu
    zuzu January 29, 2007 at 10:56 pm |

    So get the fuck off your high horse and be concerned about what Peta is concerned with

    ENDING THE EXPLOITATION OF HIGH HORSES!!!!!

  116. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm |

    xyq–I’m tapping my foot, waiting for you and hordes of other men to strip down and swing on the pole for the cause. You must, of course, be hawt, or else you’re not worth looking at, since women won’t bother looking at you and then getting the larger message. When you see that shit thrown your way day in and day out, you can tell us to get off of our high horse. Til then, take your 1950’s version of sex and shove it up your ass.

    Don’t like it? Too bad.

  117. Scarab
    Scarab January 29, 2007 at 11:46 pm |

    …more steak for me….

    Scarab

  118. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke January 30, 2007 at 1:31 am |

    Zuzu wins the thread.

  119. Adventures in Ethics and Science
    Adventures in Ethics and Science January 30, 2007 at 1:32 pm |

    Naked chicks in PETA ads: the ethics of getting your point across.

    There’s been some blogospheric blowout (see here, here, and here for just a taste) about a recent PETA ad that many viewers find gratuitously sexist. To me, the ad and the reaction to it are most interesting because they raise…

  120. Martin
    Martin January 30, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    As an evil white male who enjoys both eating meat and looking at naked chicks, allow me to denounce the PETA ad campaign as silly. But what do you expect from an organization that’s entirely irrelevant to all but the lunatic fringe? Still, the Pavlovian hysteria from reactionary feminists to the very thought of an unclothed female body is, as always, amusing to read. One wonders who’d be more likely to introduce the burka if they came into absolute power in the US: right-wing fundamentalists or left-wing feminists? Six of one, half dozen of the other, really.

  121. Meri
    Meri January 30, 2007 at 2:16 pm |

    It’s funny how someone can insist on telling you what you think, even if you’ve told them a few dozen times that, no, that’s not what you think.

  122. Lesley
    Lesley January 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm |

    One wonders who’d be more likely to introduce the burka if they came into absolute power in the US: right-wing fundamentalists or left-wing feminists?

    Only if “one” is very stupid.

  123. Martin
    Martin January 30, 2007 at 2:43 pm |

    Jill, after a predictable bit of sexist snark, replied: that this isn’t about a dislike of the naked female body. Naked female bodies are great. The problem is the way PETA is using the naked female body.

    Give me an example of a “use” of the naked female body in the media that doesn’t make feminists go batshit ballistic, I’d love to see it. A woman taking off her clothes in front of a camera = feminist outrage machine shifting into fifth gear every time.

    Anyway, what I find funny is this. Above, Sheelzebub says the following: No one’s against sex, or nudity. We’re just sick and tired of of it always being women who are naked or half naked, women’s sexuality being used to sell a product or a cause. And frankly, I’d much rather look at a hot naked man than a naked woman.

    The last sentence, of course, puts the lie to the sentiments expressed in the second sentence. Feminists are angered by female nudity being used as a sales tool. But use a male body in the same way and you’re fine with it. That’s great, be fine with it, I would be too. Just don’t claim to be angry about one thing (“a society that routinely abuses and exploits women, and is filled to the top with hatred and violence toward them”) when what you’re really angry about is not being catered to equally.

    This reminds me of a conversation I was having with a feminist I know who was going off in a boilerplate rant against Hooters. “There should be a ‘Dicks’! Why isn’t there a ‘Dicks’?” she wanted to know.

    I calmly responded that there’s no reason she shouldn’t put together a prospectus, get together with some venture capitalists, and open just such an establishment. As of today, I see she still hasn’t done it.

    It seems to me the “retrograde misogynist crap” you all suffer at the hands of the “schlongocracy” (I love that one!) could be easily remedied by a few enterprising, beefcake loving feminists. Or is it that feminism itself would crumble if there weren’t enough of you sounding the 24/7 persecution klaxon?

  124. Roy
    Roy January 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm |

    Just don’t claim to be angry about one thing (”a society that routinely abuses and exploits women, and is filled to the top with hatred and violence toward them”) when what you’re really angry about is not being catered to equally.

    Oddly, I didn’t realize that those two annoyances were mutually exclusive. I thought it was… I don’t know… possible to angered by the fact that women’s bodies are routinely exploited by a society that views women’s bodies, in some ways, as public property, while also being annoyed that women’s desires and sense of sexual identity aren’t acknowledged or treated with the same respect as men’s.
    They look like two different, largely seperate, complaints to me.

    Am I at least allowed to be annoyed by price gouging and lack of selection at a local store? Or, am I only allowed to be upset that they gouge prices, or that the selection isn’t particularly good, and not both? Or am I not allowed to complain because, in the abstract, and ignoring all practical concerns, I could theoretically just open my own damn store?

  125. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    Shorter Martin: you bitches should just accept the naked chicks and stop oppressing men!

    Yes, Martin. I’m actually quite pissy about the fact that women aren’t catered to the way men are. If men’s bodies were used as much as women’s, and in the same way women’s bodies are, I wouldn’t be complaining about the sexism of PETA. I’m not the one being inconsistent here. Funny, though, how mentioning this gets the defensive entitled misogynists whining loud enough to shatter glass.

  126. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 30, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    martin, you think you’re pretty witty (you’re not), but let me explain it to you this way: if something’s a systemic problem (with an emphasis on both “systemic” and “problem”), that means that it’ll take a little bit more to solve it than individual people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps within the system. for intance: one poor person managing to get rich won’t solve poverty, one woman (even a feminist) managing to be sexist won’t eradicate misogyny, and so on.

    you’re quite wrong, feminism isn’t about getting women to be just as sexist as men or putting misandry in place of misogyny. i can’t speak for others, but the point of a comment like “’I’d much rather look at a hot naked man than a naked woman” isn’t that this person wants male, not female, bodies to be exploited – but that the assumption that it’s normal and natural to exploit female bodies because female bodies are the universally appealing sexual objects/sex class (and the whole system behind all that) is fundamentally wrong. for homework, why don’t you look up the word “exploitation”, and you might just figure out by yourself what would be an example of an acceptable “use” of a naked body. and what isn’t.

  127. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 3:16 pm |

    Oh, and Martin–Heidi Fleiss wanted to start a brothel for women in Nevada. Barring her boneheaded move to sign that snivelling fuckweed Mike Tyson up, I’m all for it, since women have agency and are sexual beings. Guess who’s opposed it? The Nevada brothel owners association.

    It’s not always just a matter of getting the funding together and just doing it. Men are terribly threatened and defensive when they’re put in the oh-so-empowerful position women are in.

  128. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    Shorter Martin: you bitches should just accept the naked chicks and stop oppressing men!

    Yes, Martin. I’m actually quite pissy about the fact that women aren’t catered to the way men are. If men’s bodies were used as much as women’s, and in the same way women’s bodies are, I wouldn’t be complaining about the sexism of PETA. I’m not the one being inconsistent here. Funny, though, how mentioning this gets the defensive entitled misogynists whining loud enough to shatter glass.

  129. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred January 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm |

    I’m not condemning her. I’m condemning PETA as an organization for using sexist and ridiculous tactics.

    They’re also the only group who is, and I wish I was being hyperbolic or sarcastic, objectively anti-kitten.

    They also have a posse.

    Give me an example of a “use” of the naked female body in the media that doesn’t make feminists go batshit ballistic, I’d love to see it. A woman taking off her clothes in front of a camera = feminist outrage machine shifting into fifth gear every time.

    Except that PETA hasn’t done the obvious naked male campaigns in asia to counteract the use of tiger cocks as aphrodisiacs, a practice that is doing a shit load more to endanger those big fluffy (and deepy photogenic) tigers than the fur trade did to the mink or whatever it was that was used for fur farming. So yes it’s a giant exploitative asshole organisation, and ineffective with it (though it’s made up of bored middle class white teenagers so that’s hardly surprising).

    And of course you’re forgetting that feminists have their own little lesbian porn erotica (which is a fancy word for porn) industry going on so, umm… there’s an example of the naked female form being approved of by feminists, there’s others but I think actual feminist approved porn defeats your silly little strawman somewhat.

    If you want to find an exmaple from teh MSM you’ll have troubles becuase the msm is crap, pretty much by definition, and most feminists object to the msm news orgs for the way they present degrade the truth with their lies and bullshit. It’s on that level that we object to PETA’s racist and misogynistic ad campaigns.

    Of course I think your point was that feminists object to teh boobies or something, which is wrong and marks you as a fool and an ignoramus.

  130. Tara
    Tara January 30, 2007 at 11:57 pm |

    Sheelzebub –

    I’m late looking at this, but I agree with you, absolutely. PETA had much better options for helping the animals in North Carolina. For example, they could start giving courses in Humane Euthanasia as HSUS used to do. Or they could rebuild shelters. I’m not condoning PETA, though re-reading my comment, I could see where you’d think that.

    I still have qualms about the euthanasia methods being used in some states and I still wouldn’t say that PETA committed felony animal cruelty anymore than your local animal control probably does every time someone surrenders an animal when they’re short on space.

  131. Xopher
    Xopher January 31, 2007 at 3:03 pm |

    Chris Clarke 124: I did not know that. In fact, I’d heard the opposite, but now that I think about it that was a pretty long time ago. Rats. Can we replace them with something that doesn’t make us die? I’m afraid that, having grown up in Michigan, I’m all kill kill kill when it comes to mosquitos.

    Sheelzebub 125: And frankly, I’d much rather look at a hot naked man than a naked woman. As would a lot of other women I know.

    And a whole lot of men. Including me.

    Jill 127: *bows down in admiration*

    Sheelzebub 131: xyq–I’m tapping my foot, waiting for you and hordes of other men to strip down and swing on the pole for the cause.

    Hey, I strip down and swing on poles all the…oh, wait, that’s bouncing on poles. And come to think of it, probably not the poles you had in mind.

    Seriously, though, I’d be willing to do a naked pole dance against PETA. For leather! How about a compromise: I’ll wear a leather jock, and do it in a leather bar, and we’ll use the money to attack PETA.

    Oh wait, I’d have to be hot. Rats.

  132. Xopher
    Xopher February 1, 2007 at 1:29 pm |

    I wish to emphasize that the only reasons I’d wear a leather jock are that a) I’m sexier in a leather jock than I am naked (trust me), and b) if I’m naked I can’t be wearing leather, can I?

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