How PETA engages in the objectification of women to advance it’s pro-animal goals…

My professor sent me this link yesterday, PETA’s State of the Union (Un)dress. It was interesting to watch, but more interesting to think about the goals of that organization and how they apparrently differ from the goals of many women. The clip is a woman giving a speech about PETA’s goals, while undressing in front of an American Flag while clips of clapping congressmen are spliced in.

There were several points Jay and I emailed over, the most disturbing being that he had sent this link to many men he knows and they were unable to tell him what the woman said while she was stripping, nor did any of them watch anything in the video after the stripping. Even my husband was hard pressed to remember anything beyond a few sentences. So why have a naked woman deliver your message if the only thing men will remember from the experience is the naked woman?

How does this help the plight of animals? There is unlikely to be an increase of PETA members who are interested in assisting in changing the treatment of animals now that they have seen a naked woman talk about it, if none of the target audience can remember what in the heck she was talking about while she removed her business suit.

Further, this message is another in a long line of advertisements that supports objectifying women. WHO CARES if it’s for a good cause?? Should we smile and nod and say, okay, you can use women’s bodies to sell sex if the profits of said sales are going to “Save the Children” or NARAL?

The very fact that the men who watched this video said they never paid attention to the actual message indicates how poorly physical objectification helps causes. The only thing PETA has managed to do with this message is put another naked female body on the internet.

It would be nice if they could find another way to get our attention.

5 thoughts on “PETA”

  1. I had the same objection when right after Hurricane Katrina hit, all of the requests for donations came in. One of them, that I considered appalling and was forwarded to me by friends was the one where they wanted women to bare their breasts, photograph themselves, and post them to some website or the other. The pics would them be available to those that wanted to PAY for access.

    Voluntary porn for some percentage relief to Hurricane Katrina victims.


    Yeah, objectifying women works SO WELL for causes. I’ll have to try the test on Eric and see if he sees anything past the woman, as well.

  2. It’s just so screwed up. We don’t go around asking men to photograph their penises and then put them up on some sight for charity, yet women are supposed to just flash for cash.

  3. I shouldn’t have watched that video. After the naked girl, who promises to “get naked-er” this coming year, there was all manner of video-taped footage of people doing horrific things to animals. Had to leave quickly.

  4. The amazing thing about all this is the simple fact that people see a video of a girl voluntarily taking her clothes off for a cause, and everyone gets angry saying it was objectification of women… now please don’t get me wrong i don’t believe this girl should have done what she did, but she did it. All on her own. And if you notice there were other shots of her smiling and laughing.. Which means there were more than one take AND SHE was enjoying it… Basically, if you need something to blame, then blame the moral value content this woman received when she was younger or the fact that corruption came later in life… PETA simply gave an idea and no name women as well as celebrities lined up around the corner to “objectify” themselves.. Therefore in conclusion the women are to blame for their actions not the company.

    BTW I do not support PETA. I eat meat. I love KFC. And I love to hunt. PETA id wrong for so many of they’re other tactics used to get their point across… We should focus on how demoral they are all around.

  5. Oddly, objectification does not actually require a woman to be forced into the objectifying activity. My complaint has nothing to do with unwillingness. This is a broader, more complicated issue.

    I absolutely blame the company, they chose to engage in an ad campaign that objectifies women. Their choice, they get to feel the ire of those who feel it was a poor one. Granted, it is less ire than they would feel if they had forced these women to strip at gunpoint and advertise for them, but still ire.

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