As discussed in my previous post PeTA grabbed the opportunity at the Sochi Winter Olympics to protest against the barbaric fur trade (https://emynow.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/russia-way-behind-on-animal-protection). Kudos to PeTA for using the clever slogan “champions don’t wear fur!” As part of this campaign two sexy PeTA “snow bunnies” braved freezing weather to let people know that “wearing the skins of animals who were beaten, electrocuted or strangled to death is unacceptable”. I have no doubt that these bunny girls caught the attention of many people. However, was it the gaze of those who like to look at good bodies or of those who were going to be persuaded to never again adorn their bodies with fur?
I totally understand that if a mature woman with a fuller figure, turned blue by the cold were to prance around in a bikini it would not have the same effect. My question though, is it appropriate to exploit women in this way to promote a campaign against the exploitation of animals in the fur industry? This is not the first time PeTA has used naked women for its cause against fur. Many models have posed for the I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign.
This poster is part of the Here is The Rest of Your Fur Coat campaign. It is a particularly powerful image, but does that justify a naked woman holding the body of a skinned animal?
Wait a minute you might say. What about all the naked men that PeTA photographs in its Ink Not Mink campaign. The message, however, in this campaign is different to those mentioned above. Please see my previous post for more information on this (https://emynow.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/male-mink-huggers-not-wimps/)
The point of this initiative is to show that the pain of getting a tattoo cannot compare to the pain that foxes, minks, rabbits, coyotes, and even cats and dogs endure for the fur industry. In other words, these are tough guys. In fact some have even been charged with domestic violence!
So to come back to the question is PeTA sexist?
Well one definition of sexist is, “attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).