tisdag 2 april 2013

Why PETA's sexism-campaigns for 'animal rights' are morally wrong

Well written about why sexist campaign, such as PETA's, ALWAYS are bad:
First, these campaigns commodify a traditionally disempowered group (women) as a supposed means to the end of helping another disempowered group (nonhumans). But what sense does it make to say that we should treat one group instrumentally in order to help another group? It does not make any sense whatsoever. Indeed, by encouraging the public to see women as objects, PETA merely ensures that people will continue to see nonhumans as objects. As long as we continue to treat women like meat, we will continue to treat nonhumans as meat.

It is imperative that we object to the instrumental treatment of any group. Devaluing and commodifying one group for the supposed benefit of another is immoral and self-defeating.
Second, by coupling sexual imagery with images of violence toward nonhumans, these campaigns attempt to eroticize animal exploitation. We live in a culture in which violence, and particularly violence against women, is eroticized in a variety of ways. Perpetuating this, and extending it to the exploitation of nonhumans, is deeply troubling.

Third, these campaigns have everything to do with promoting PETA and nothing to do with the exploitation of nonhuman animals. PETA started its naked fur campaign in the early 1990s. The fur industry is stronger than ever. There has been a dramatic increase in the past decade in the number of stores carrying fur and the number of designers using fur combined with a significant drop in the average age of fur buyers. A 2004 Gallup poll “found that 63 percent of respondents pronounced the buying and wearing of clothing made with animal fur ‘morally acceptable.’” Although good results for nonhumans would not justify sexism, sexism has not produced any good results for nonhumans.
Read more here: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/the-state-of-the-movement/#.UVsfN1ev_gM

-------More about PETA, written 09.04.2013:
PETA supports "happy exploitation", which hurts and kills animals:
"PETA gives awards to various vendors of “happy” meat and animal products;

PETA, along with other animal groups, has enthusiastically endorsed the Whole Foods “Animal Compassionate” program/label;

PETA gave an award in 2004 to Temple Grandin, the designer of “happy” slaughter houses and what Grandin calls the “stairway to heaven” system of slaughter;

PETA announces and then calls off boycotts of institutional animal users such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King and praises those companies for their supposed concern for animal welfare;

PETA praises McDonald’s as “actually ‘leading the way’ in reforming the practices of fast-food suppliers, in the treatment and the killing of its beef and poultry.”"

PETA has sexist campaigns, which hurts women:

PETA admits that it kills "unadoptable" and "elderly" animals at their "shelter"; and it is never justifiable to kill another individual and to use violence.

------------Quote from Gary Francione's Abolitionist Approach-page:
A portion of an email I received this morning from someone in the U.S.:

"I am not clear as to why you object to animal campaigns using naked women as the women who participate do so voluntarily. So what's the harm? If a woman chooses to participate, that's feminism in my books!"

My reply:

"You have raised an important issue. I have four comments.

First, as a purely practical matter, I do not think that those campaigns do any good whatsoever. That is, I would rather doubt that anyone has had a revolution of the heart and gone vegan in response to one of these sexist campaigns.

Second, the problem of animal exploitation is the problem of commodification. That is, we treat nonhuman animals a things, as existing only as resources, only as means to our ends. That is what we seek to change. But how can we do that as long as we are perpetuating the commodification of women by focusing on their appearance or their ability to provide sexual services as the primary aspect of who they are as persons?

To put this another way, as long as we are thinking of women primarily as sexual objects, we are going to continue to think about animals as objects to use. We need to reject the commodification of *any* persons, human or nonhuman. It makes no sense to say that we reject the commodification of animals but we embrace the commodification of women. It makes no sense to expect progress in eradicating the commodification of animals as long as we are perpetuating the commodification women and making that commodification a part of our campaigns.

Third, choice in a patriarchal society is a tricky concept. Can women freely choose to participate in their own commodification by reinforcing the idea that the primary value of women is their appearance and "sexiness"? Yes, of course they can. Is a choice to reinforce such notions an expression of feminism? That's a different question and I think that the answer is "no."

Although I believe that women should be free to self-commodify, I do not regard the choice per se as facilitating feminism. That is, although I think that a woman should be free to work in a strip club if that is what she wants to do, I do not think that working in a strip club does anything to promote gender equality and to eradicate the pernicious idea that the primary value of women is as providers of sexual services. The fact that women choose to participate in activities that perpetuate their commodification does not mean it is not exploitation.

Fourth, a serious social movement does not employ sexism. For example, Martin Luther King significantly advanced the cause of justice through intellect, tenacity, dignity and courage and without ever "going naked" to win civil rights or engaging in any of the exploitative antics that have become common in the animal movement. And I suggest that he would have made much, much less progress had he done so. If Gandhi used sexism rather than justice and nonviolence, the British would still be in India."
Quote Gary Francione:
An email I got:

"I was at AR 2013 and heard you say that we should not use sexism to promote animal rights. But if helps animals, what's wrong with it?"

My reply: "We are never going to turn people vegan by supposedly promoting animal rights messages through sexism. That may entertain some people and get media coverage for the groups that promote it but I have never known it to effect any change. And that sort of approach continues the objectification of women, which is inherently wrong and perpetuates tremendous harm. Please think about what I am saying here."

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