At this point, I can’t really work up too much annoyance at the way PETA sexualizes women in so many of its protests or in PSAs–I’ve just seen it so many times, I’ve become desensitized. Here are some photos of three topless women protesting outside a KFC in Sydney, Australia (found here, via reddit).
Thanks to Emily for sending these in. Kind of.
Coco had an interesting comment, so I’m posting it here:
I have a hard time seeing this merely as “PETA sexualizing” women, which suggests that these women have lost their subjectivity and been transformed into an object by PETA. Rather, these women ARE PETA and may be understood as purposeful agents drawing on one repertoire of resources (their sexuality) that can be mobilized in pursuit of their goals, not just as victims of sexualization. Where do we draw the line (or is there one) between sexual objectification and the mobilization of sexuality as a ‘weapon of the weak’?
I think there are some very valid points there. But what I find interesting is how often sexuality is used as a “weapon” to bring attention to a range of other social causes (animal rights, unionization and decent working conditions in the case of American Apparel, etc.). And are animal rights activists really “weak”? Are these kinds of demonstrations their only option for getting attention? Are they even effective for convincing people to boycott KFC? If not…what’s the motivation?
I would also point out that there have been cases (such as the protest in Memphis where women were wrapped up like pieces of meat) where the women apparently asked if they could quit and the organizer pressured them to stay wrapped up on the sidewalk…while she stood nearby, fully clothed, not wrapped in plastic in the full summer sun. I’m not denying there’s agency here…but there are some complexities to it, at a minimum.
Kelly V. sent in this PETA ad (found here):
NEW! Giorgos S.sent in this ad from PETA, which implies that you might get to see Pamela Anderson naked by both the image and by making a reference to Anderson’s infamous sex tape with ex-husband Tommy Lee:
The “graphic footage” is, in fact, of conditions on a chicken farm and slaughterhouse. Giorgos questions whether Anderson knew how the video would be marketed, and/or whether she would care.