Spill baby spill

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the women of Code Pink cannot be ignored. Their latest protest was in Houston, protesting in front of the BP headquarters, demanding accountability and change in U.S. policy toward renewable, sustainable sources of energy. H/T Susie Madrak and via ABC news:

HOUSTON (KTRK) — Activists staged a nearly naked protest to bring attention to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Code Pink protesters in Houston

Dozens of Codepink activists, in a women-led, women-initiated action, took their message to the public in front of the BP headquarters on Westlake Park Boulevard just before noon Monday.
The women posed nearly naked, dripping with ‘oil’ and dragging nets of fish.

The protesters mourned the deaths of the 11 workers and devastation of wildlife and livelihoods all along the Gulf Coast.

“At the BP headquarters we will put our bodies on the line to hold BP accountable for the rape and plunder of our planet,” says Diane Wilson, a fourth generation fisherwoman from the Gulf who joined the protest. “We call for stripping BP of its corporate charter and seizing its assets to pay the victims, clean up the Gulf and try to restore the devastated wildlife.”

They are a renewable, sustainable source of energy. Those women could keep a small town lit for days.

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18 Responses

  1. Egnu Cledge
    Egnu Cledge May 25, 2010 at 10:01 am |

    I’m all for it (maybe not necessarily the “nearly naked” part. How come male protesters never have to strip down). But, they’re right. I’m astonished and deeply saddened that the country, and especially the government, has decided to treat this like a minor nuisance and completely let BP off the hook for an unprecedented environmental disaster that is going to be with us for decades if not much, much longer. Why are we allowing BP to futz around while the Gulf turns into an oil pit? Why didn’t we blow up and collapse the well hole as soon as possible? Why did we give BP a total pass on impact an inspection, and why on earth do we continue to do so now? If they cut corners on this rig, you know they did on all the others. There should be national outrage at this, but nobody seems willing to do anything at all.

  2. Beth Mann
    Beth Mann May 25, 2010 at 10:36 am |

    Rock on, sisters. I’ll wear pink in your honor today. Hell, I’ll go nude in your honor today.

    May BP and our catatonic government rot in hell for their utter lack of action and nauseating greed.

    God bless our poor ocean.

  3. Astrid
    Astrid May 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm |

    I agree that the nearly naked part is a bit odd, although if it’s the women’s own choice I’m fine with that. Other than that, this seems like a wonderful way to take action to save the Gulf.

  4. Sprout
    Sprout May 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm |

    WRT Egnu Cledge’s remarks about how it’s only women who have to strip down to protest:

    When I was in Mexico City a few years ago I happened upon a protest attended by a large group of men who were all completely naked except for shoes/socks and a picture of the political figure against whom they were protesting strategically placed over their crotches. I thought it was a fabulous way to protest, and they were getting a ton of supportive honks from passing cars. Public nudity gets people’s attention whether male or female.

    I take more issue with the pinkness of the Code Pink ladies – I just get sick of everything associated with women being pinkified. But that’s a little beside the point. As long as they’re bringing attention to important issues, I say “keep on keepin’ on.”

  5. Suzanne
    Suzanne May 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm |

    I’m thinking that if promiscuous women can cause earthquakes (according to Iranian clerics), then certainly we can stop an oil spill. Go Code Pink!

  6. Sara
    Sara May 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm |

    However this may come out, I ask in good faith: How is this sexist when PETA does it, but not when Code Pink does? I don’t think I’m catching the difference.

  7. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm |

    Sara, I think the difference is that no one is questioning the right of women to go naked. Their choice, whatever, do what you want to. This organization is led by women who elected to do that for their purpose, while PETA was founded by a couple of dudes who capitalize on naked women for their agenda. I don’t have a problem when it’s the founders of the organization utilizing their bodies – I have an issue when it’s men using women’s bodies.

    That said, it may be more nuanced than that.

  8. Holy!
    Holy! May 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm |

    PETA was not founded by two “dudes.” It was founded by a woman, Ingrid Newkirk, and a man, Alexander Pacheco. In fact, it’s Newkirk who has been the driving force behind PETA for a long time.

  9. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan May 26, 2010 at 12:43 am |

    The women posed nearly naked, dripping with ‘oil’

    When this imagery is the only coherent message from a group of “activists” (what do they want BP to do, exactly? Who cares! Naked time!) I have trouble doing anything but rolling my eyes. (Oh, and the lovely use of rape-as-a-metaphor keeps it classy as always.) I’m not convinced this is anything different than PETA’s “sexy” but ultimately useless brand of activism.

    1. Jill
      Jill May 26, 2010 at 8:15 am | *

      Re: PeTA vs. Code Pink: Not all nudity is the same. Yes, both organizations use nudity to get a political message across. But PeTA feeds into and relies upon existing stereotypes and sexist cultural norms to make their point. They demonize fat people, exoticize women of color, and the nude celebrities they use are universally conventionally attractive, able-bodied, thin, etc. PeTA also regularly uses naked women as stand-ins for abused animals. They disseminate images of naked women in cages, naked women bruised and battered, naked women painted like tigers.

      Really, we don’t see that there’s a difference between that and Code Pink?

  10. sparky
    sparky May 26, 2010 at 1:32 am |

    I have to second the PETA arguement. I don’t think it’s fair to condemn one organization for stooping to the lowest common denominator of getting peoples attention (boobs), and then say that another organization is awesome for it.

  11. Donna
    Donna May 26, 2010 at 8:40 am |

    I do see a comparison with PETA, if they are going naked because, you know, “sex sells”. I don’t know if that’s why, though. I suppose a good way to tell would be to see if the naked protesters are consistently young and thin.

  12. amandaw
    amandaw May 26, 2010 at 9:15 am |

    There is a difference in how PETA uses the images of naked women — they deliberately place them in situations indicating violence and degradation. Think about the difference between, say, a woman naked but for a chef’s apron, cooking a vegan meal — and a woman naked but for a fake pig snout, on all fours in a cage. Both use nudity, but there are different things going on there.

    That said, I do think there’s still a problem with saying that Code Pink is awesome for this but PETA is awful for any use of nudity. The two do not use nudity in the precise same ways, but I just don’t accept that there are no parallels whatsoever, and nothing problematic about unequivocally celebrating one and denigrating the other.

  13. AnneThropologist
    AnneThropologist May 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm |

    Hmmm…. Generally, I am opposed to nudity to “sell” protesting. In this case, I wonder if it might just be a practicality? If I were pouring sticky, black, yucky oil all over myself, I wouldn’t want to ruin my clothes. Yuck.

  14. Rosasharn
    Rosasharn May 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm |

    I don’t really think she’s using rape as a metaphor in the statement, especially since she said “rape and plunder.” “Rape” has more than one meaning.

  15. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan May 28, 2010 at 12:41 am |

    “Rape” has more than one meaning.

    More than one non-metaphorical meaning? I mean, yeah, I’d maybe give it a pass if it were in a different context … but when you’re pouring oil all over naked female bodies like they’re the environment, and then talking about “raping” the environment, it’s not super subtle. :p

  16. Erika
    Erika May 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm |

    I don’t care what women decide to do with their bodies, but IMO nudity is not an effective tool in activism — Sure, it can draw attention, but the attention is perpetually on nakedness instead of the cause at hand.

  17. Pam
    Pam June 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm |

    Please people we are surely missing the point here. We have bigger problems than who is or is not nude here. Come on we are losing an entire way of life, an eco system that will never recover. Lets dunk Tony Hayward in the gulf nude with no protection..

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