Tuesday, February 17, 2009

using transphobia to fight animal abuse?

PETA is no stranger to exploiting sexism to push a vegan agenda. Sex sells mindless consumption. Veganism is hardly an ill-thought choice.

Enter transphobia. Green gossip blog Ecorazzi took no issue with projecting heteronormative anxieties and transphobic ridicule onto the animal rights initiative. In this context, fur is a "drag"--meaning it is bad, and a bloodied cross-dresser is somehow supposed to be quirky or funny. This is all in advertisement for a fashion show where cross-dressers will cat walk fur coats with fake blood. The cat walk is just a cruel play on the walk of shame, cloaked by humor and couture no less. Look, it's a tranny! Everyone laugh.

Let it be known, I did take a moment to try to find within this ad a social critique of transphobia. Alas, there is none in sight. This is the same simple-minded tactic of PETA: promote the liberation of one group through leaning on the oppression of another. A world of vegans where sexism and transphobia remain unchallenged is no dream of mine.

Hey PETA, stick with throwing paint, hosting demonstrations, and releasing undercover footage. Your posters and commercials are an embarrassment to vegans who support you--myself included.

10 comments:

Justin said...

I definitely have to somewhat agree. Tonight, we were discussing the PETA superbowl ad. They said PETA had NO intention of getting NBC to air it. They wanted free publicity by news stations talking about the banned ad. They have smart marketing tactics... they try to be racy and offensive. I don't mind it usually, but I think this is a bit far and offensive.

Queers United said...

I am a PETA member but I do find this ad to be transphobic and don't support it.

Dani said...

Vanessa, thank you for posting this.

The Furies said...

Ugh. I'm vegan and I do not, in any way, support PETA. They've made clear their hostility toward black people, Jewish people and women, so I realize I shouldn't be surprised at their hatred for trans people, too. I mean, that picture just makes me want to cry. A "pathetic" trans woman, covered in blood? Because it's FUNNY that trans people are murdered at a rate 17 times higher than other people in this country, that they have the highest murder rate of all minority groups? I'm sorry, but I think PETA knows these facts damn well and is playing for laughs and publicity the all-too-common murder of transfolk. They are completely, utterly sick, and I have no use for them at all.

The Furies said...

(I mean PETA are utterly sick, not transfolk, BTW!)

Also, I'd like to add that PETA's tactics are not going to convince anyone to go vegan, at least not for any length of time. They make it seem like dudes who go vegan will automatically have all kinds of "hot" women flocking to them, but how long will a guy remain vegan if that's why he's chosen to do it? I've seen it happen, and they last maybe six months, tops, and come away with a heightened hatred of both animal rights people and women. (You know, for not dating them...Ugh.) So really, everybody gets fucked by PETA's tactics, and not in the way they want to get fucked.

csli said...

PETA sure has crossed some lines, on a regular basis. I agree with you: they should stick to undercover footage, protests etc. If they could only see the forest for the trees. I'm an avid "animal wacko" as well as being all kinds of marginalised adjectives, and I do see a common thread running through all forms of hate and subjugation. PETA, why can't you get your (valid, important, powerful) messages across without cutting down other groups struggling for inclusion?

Joel said...

Have y'all seen this giant billboard? I love it: http://blog.peta.org/archives/2008/07/drag_queens_vs_1.php

I think PETA deserves credit for being one of the few orgs that is happy to feature trans people in their ads. I wish y'all could see that positive side of this.

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Anonymous said...

No, Joel, no. You know what that ad is implying? It's the old chesnut of trans women 'deceiving' cis men. A chestnut that leads to many, many violent deaths each year.

I'm sure you'd like people to be happy with the few crumbs PETA tosses out, but that isn't going to happen. And crossdressers aren't necessarily trans.