Quick hit: PETA offers pathetic excuse for their misogyny

Have you seen this interview with PETA’s Associate Director of Campaigns? In it, Lindsay Rajt attempts to do the impossible: explain away PETA’s consistently terrible no-good very bad history of employing sexism and misogyny to draw attention to their cause.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole interview, here’s the basic idea: PETA is just putting out these god-awful ads as a publicity stunt (no big surprise there) because they “don’t have millions and millions to spend” (really?) and so they “have to work a little harder” to get their message out. So they deliberately employ “provocative and controversial campaigns” even though, JK cause their president and co-founder is actually totally a feminist!

Hmm. Under this logic, I am incentivizing and furthering their misogyny by even giving them a mention. But this is such utter BS that it needs to be deconstructed before it can be dismissed.

Note to PETA and everyone who ascribes to this ridiculous logic (and pay attention, because we feminists are busy with our feminist activities, which contrary to popular belief, do not consist solely of ratcheting up pageviews for shitty campaigns that represent a threat to the safety and dignity of women):

No matter what your non-profit works on, no matter how good the cause, no matter how important the activism, no matter how badass of a social justice crusader you think you are, no matter how progressive you identify, it is NEVER OK to throw women under the bus.

Are we clear? Yes? Cool. Now please go forth and use all that great brain power you have from eating healthy fruits and veggies to create yourself an ad campaign that isn’t offensive and awful.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/maus/ Meh

    I can’t wait until all “raising awareness” charities crumble, in a post-Komen and Invisible Children world. Eff your gala balls, star-studded endorsements and “viral” campaigns.

  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    We have basically the same post about these dorks every couple of months, it seems like. Is there a point where we can write them off for good and ignore them? I don’t think they have any societal influence beyond straight-up trolling.

    On that note, here is ‘the comment section for every article ever written about PETA’.

    • http://feministing.com/members/smiles/ Smiley


      It shows that their policy is working, doesn’t it?

    • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

      Right, because just ignoring sexism/racism/fat-hatred/etc. has always worked in the past.

      • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

        I definitely agree, in general just ignoring sexism is hugely counter-productive.

        I am saying that PETA differs from the general case because:

        A) It is the exact same organization, pulling the exact same publicity stunt over and over; our indignant response clearly has no positive effect; it is not the case that it is an organization displaying a new behavior that we apply social pressure against and get them to abandon.

        B) More importantly, PETA has no social influence or power whatsoever other than having people talk about their latest publicity stunt. This isn’t like a big corporation with economic clout, a government representative who can craft laws, or even a Rush Limbaugh with a lot of devoted listeners; nobody cares about PETA except when they do the next outrageous thing and we get outraged about it on cue. That’s the only source of what little social power they have.

  • http://feministing.com/members/aka90/ Katie

    That “great brain power you have from eating fruits and veggies” comment was uncalled for. There is really no need to make fun of us dumb, underfed vegetarians to score a point against PETA. Their misogyny speaks for itself.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jlsmanning/ Justine-Louise

    PETA also supports euthanasia for stray cats over trap-neuter-release programs that don’t immediately meet desirable but practically unlikely standards. (http://www.peta.org/issues/Companion-Animals/trap-neuter-return-and-monitor-programs-for-feral-cats-doing-it-right.aspx). Imagine if we just decided to decided to kill all the people our society couldn’t get it together to take perfect care of. Their recent veganism=sexual-prowess-that-will-break-your-girlfriend’s-neck-but-she’ll-totally-dig-it campaign made me physically ill. I have disliked them for so long. Why does anyone still support them?

  • http://feministing.com/members/geniuschild/ Cheryl

    PETA’s new slogan, if they were honest: Don’t Abuse Animals–Just Women.

    What this really highlights is the level of misogyny among supposed progressives. Nobody wants to talk about it because this country is already pulled so far to the right and everyone just wants to circle their wagons and get the election over with. But it’s pretty pervasive.