No Surprise, New PETA Ad Objectifies Women

PETA’s at it again with another ad that may trigger survivors of sexual violence.  (Please take that into consideration should you decide to watch the video at the link.)

The commercial shows an injured young woman, without pants, carrying home groceries.  The narrator then introduces the young woman as Jessica and says, “She suffers from ‘BWVAKTBOOM,’ ‘Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me,’ a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star.”

Then, we see Jessica’s lover ask if she is alright while covering a hole in the bedroom drywall with spackle.

Scrolling through the video responses, they video has managed to capture the vitriol of a storming mob who feel this advertisement is much more than a playful thirty seconds about sex, and pokes fun at the experiences of women who have experienced various forms of partner violence.

PETA has a history of using hypersexualized campaigns, usually objectifying women. Most will recognize  images from PETA’s “Human Meat” Campaign, featuring naked women wrapped in a life-sized, styrofoam meat tray as part of public direct actions throughout the world.

But does an organization like PETA, which dominates much of the dialogue around the ethical treatment of animals and ethical food industry standards have a larger obligation to the public?  Let me know your thoughts below.

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  • nicole mercier

    PETA should stick to their exposes of chicken farm/factories. Maybe even the running of the nudes. But how can a company claim that you can’t objectify an animal and eat it by promoting said message with not-so-tongue-in-cheek visual declarations of female object-ness and violence against female bodies? Like, does anyone go, “Oh wow, that thoughtful representation of PAM ANDERSON cut up and packaged like a cut of beef or pork has initiated my critical thinking and I can focus on how we are LIKE the animal (and very sexy!) and so that animal does not deserve to be cut up any more than PAM ANDERSON does…” or do they just go, “TITTIES PROFILE! WHEEEEEE!” I’m guessing that it barely gets the message across, kinda like those “I Heart BOOBIES” bracelets that is insultingly the only strategy someone came up with to target a young, male audience in hopes that they can help raise awareness about breast cancer (which occurs in men, though I don’t call them “BOOBIES” and presume that if you asked one of the boys wearing those bracelets if they included MEN in their “I heart boobies” sentiments, most of them would say “No.”) Like, sure, it KINDA raises awareness….but in the most dubious ways…. and as a human, I am insulted to think that someone assumes young men can ONLY be captivated by serious issues – moral, political, medical – if there are boobies in the mix.

    • hanalei

      Nicole, thank you for this response. I laughed pretty loudly as I read through it! :) Glad I’m not alone in this!

  • nicole mercier
    • hanalei

      …this is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaajahahahahahha!