Women Are Animals Too, PETA

I love animals, but sometimes I really dislike PETA. The organization has become more consumed with garnering publicity and money and doesn’t seem to care how much they offend people. (We’re animals too, you know?)

The latest in what has been a long string of questionable ad campaigns by PETA features Dancing with the Stars‘ contestant, Playboy model and Real Housewives of Miami cast member Joanna Krupa. In the photo, she joins the likes of Pamela Anderson and Holly Madison by going nude for the cause, this time standing topless with fake fur taped to the gusset of her underwear next to a tagline that reads, “Don’t ruin your look with fur trim.” This isn’t even the first or second time Ms. has had to call out PETA for running an ad demeaning women for their body hair.

This is Krupa’s third nude ad for PETA that speaks out against wearing animal fur. When she’s not nip-slipping in front of the paparazzi or getting into Real Housewives brawls that are more choreographed than … well, her DWTS routines, she likes to pose naked for PETA because she thinks wearing fur is atrocious. I can agree with her and PETA on that one, but I have a problem with them using body-shaming as the butt of this jokey ad. Out of all the clever slogans the creatives at PETA could have whipped up, they had to promote one that degrades women for their natural appearance. The pressure to have a perfectly shaved everything is just another way society tells women that, in addition to changing your breasts, hair, lips and skin, they aren’t desirable unless they’ve been modified in some way.

The obsession against avoiding the “fur trim” poked at by PETA seems to ignore that the porn industry is what led the way towards today’s views on pubic hair, and that prior to the 1990s a woman shaving her genitalia bare was an oddity. Since most men see porn before they see a real woman naked, being bare became the expectation. A vagina in its God-given state somehow became grotesque.

That’s why women are pressured to waste time and energy plucking, waxing, lasering or, in extreme cases, altering their vaginas surgically so they can maintain the approved prepubescent look. It’s also why young girls are increasingly more likely to have a negative body image, as the list of “improvements” expected of them grows.

Shaving it all off should be a matter of personal choice, not societal preference. PETA shouldn’t compare having pubic hair to something as revolting as wearing a dead animal’s fur.

I want to believe PETA is better than this, but the evidence of their other campaign ads points to maybe-not-so-much. In the quest for self-promotion and more donations, they have no qualms about using sexist tropes to get attention, even if the cost of running such campaigns distracts from directly advocating for animal rights. PETA euthanized about 97 percent of the dogs and cats impounded in their shelters in 2011, an outrageous figure. Today’s PETA should return to its ’80s heyday when the focus was actually on the animals they wanted to protect, not on sexist, exploitative stunts. Until then, my support is going to be heading to the ASPCA or The Humane Society.

In their fight against the commodification of animals, PETA shouldn’t sacrifice the ethical treatment of women’s bodies.

Comments

  1. Ms. Ruthe de la Rosa says:

    well as a 64 yr old WOman, I have never shaved my cunt, I guess I did when I gave birth but done by the nurses…I have never been really good with the razor or any sharp thing…I have cut myself too many times, and not on purpose, so I feel shaving my cunt would be complete bloody mess…I do not like pain of any kind…I use to shave my legs when I was younger, but would cut them a lot….I shave my underarms but not very often, as my hair is and skin are not as strong…I haven’t been with in man in a while…but I have never gotten any complaints about my cunt in anyway….so I am a proud owner of cunt hair…like it or leave it haaaaa freedon is my middle name… <3 ;]

  2. I think Ms. should start a campaign against PETA where women who don’t shave their bikini-line send in picture and tell PETA that we deserve respect.

    • We should also send pictures of guys we want to see naked to PETA the sexism in the PETA ads get me angry.

    • Add the tagline “Wear your own fur, not someone else’s,” and you’ve got a better anti-fur ad than the one in question.

      • I was going to suggest “The only fur a woman should wear is her own” as a better caption than the one in the ad. They could have done another ad with a woman holding a fur coat disdainfully and saying “It doesn’t do a thing for me if you pet ‘this’ fur” (I envisioned that as her wearing a nightgown sheer enough to get a hint of hair with a shirtless guy in the background).

  3. Well said!! So much more well written than a jezebel article!

  4. Excellent article. I totally agree that this ad is offensive and panders to a brainwashed generation on the ‘acceptable’ way a woman should look. Of course the woman in the ad is young and would appeal to today’s generation of women (and men).

    I wasn’t aware that PETA operated animal shelters and that they euthanized most of the animals–truly horrible.

  5. jenny ealson says:

    I’m not sharing this on facebook until you change the title.

    • The title is not an insult, nor is it factually incorrect. Women are animals, just as men are animals. If you have a problem with that, that is probably due to the fact that most humans are taught that we’re somehow above animals. We’re not.

    • Why is the title so offensive? Is there anything wrong with being an animal? Humans are animals, that is a fact.

      • Mar Iguana says:

        It’s offensive because women have been treated for several thousand years as not human, but little more than domesticated animals.

    • I am with jenny. Come on, MS, you can title this excellent article much better than that!

  6. Change the title? We women are mammals. All mammals are animals. What problem do you have with the title?

  7. What’s wrong with the title? Human beings *are* animals.

  8. Well, I can understand why you feel that way about that campaign, and I also view many things that PETA does very critically, but personally I don’t fell offended by that campaign.
    I assume they use the sex/naked woman motive to draw attention… And I see that this is a problematic issue, but you also have to think of the fact that basically EVERY cooperation that wants to sell ANYTHING does that in some way. And we, the audience of those campaigns, only have so much attention to give. So if PETA doesn’t compete with the other marketing campaigns, it won’t get any, and I think it’s very important that they do.
    Of course, in an ideal world, they shouldn’t have to use female bodies for that purpose. But I think they kind of do, because generally, it is still important what they do and that they can raise awareness for animal rights issues.
    And I also admit that someone has to begin with stopping the use and abuse of women for marketing strategies; I simply don’t think PETA should be the one who does. As many stated before me; we shouldn’t have to choose between supporting animal rights and women’s rights.

    And also, one could argue that PETA is using the topic in a rather ironic, satiric way with the exaggerated display of the body hair in that poster… Because, you know, that’s just not how female body hair looks. Therefore I don’t think it has actually *that* much of negative influence on young woman’s body images. I rather see it as a kind of joke that plays with those social expectations. (Something you unfortunately can’t say about other campaigns they launched… but still.)

    • Well, I’m a young woman and ads like that have an extremely negative effect on my body image. I feel ashamed all the time because men want me to shave all the hair off my body, and I feel like they think it’s grotesque that I don’t. This ad says the same thing – that having pubic hair is unattractive and ruins what you look like. Why should it be considered unattractive to have pubic hair. The only people who don’t are children?

      • Okay I get what you want to say and I agree with you; of course nobody should feel bad about their body for such stupid reasons.
        But I still think there is a huge difference between those usual commercial ads that just show women how society wants them to be. Skinny, flawless, and of course hair-less.
        And then there is this ad, basically playing with this female body image issue by drastically overdoing/distorting it in their imagery.
        Of course their still using this issue for their purposes and I do think you could question that. But I think the ads that are *actually* hurting young women’s body images are the other ones.
        Of course that can’t change how you feel about this ad, that’s just the way I feel about it.

        • omg I wrote their instead of they’re. I am so ashamed. Tired + not a native speaker, I’m sorry.

          • I’m so glad that at least one person becomes ashamed when they write nonsense such as “their” instead of “there” or “your” instead of “you’re”. I’m not a native speaker either but think English is a simplistic language and such mistakes are unforgivable and look ugly.

            On the content of your post I do not agree, however. It hammers into everyone’s heads once again, in a millionth time, that hair on women is bad and that women must get on with the program and do what men want them to do.

            Also, I’m a long-time vegan and am grateful infinitely to PETA for the heroic and mostly unrecognized work they have done for animals, whom we use as things and deny them any rights to be free of pain and fear and to live out their lives the way they want and should. PETA’s leader, Ingrid Newkirk, it an unsung hero who one day will have a monument in her honor for changing human’s views on non-numan animals and their suffering at our hands. Ms. should interview her in fact! And ask questions about those ads and whether she can see any parallels between the objectification of non-human animals and objectification of women.

            On the final note, the reference on killing shelter animals is old and PETA has rebuked it and talked endlessly about it. You can find this topic on their website.

            Go PETA, possibly the most important organization on earth for collective human psyche, and definitely on of the most liked by our fellow animals!

    • It’s really towards society I guess.Of course there’s nothing wrong if a woman wants to not shave it’s our bodies it’s our decisions and it shouldn’t be looked down upon by the media, because sadly some people will follow the media and look down upon it as well.

  9. Evelyn McMullen says:

    Gross photo

  10. I think the title should at least have “(and Men)” just in case any sexists try to use the “the women are animals” as an excuse to dehumanize women by men. Because YES we are technically animals, but men NEED to be reminded that they are Animals, too.

    That’s where PETA misses the whole point of what it means to be for the “…Ethical Treatment of Animals.”

    Instead of just comparing women to animals in a world where animals are known to be used and abused by humans, men, who started all the hate by treating either animals or women first as objects to be nothing but abused, SHOULD be focussed on a Reality Check that Animals have feelings, even if not comparable, but feelings of Pain like Humans.

    If PETA had any Semblance of Intelligent, Compassionate Beings they would understand that Female Animals are taken the Utmost Advantage of and it’s the PEOPLE who Can’t Relate like MEN, who need to see THEMSELVES in their shoes. NOT further Victimize WOMEN who I’m willing to bet didn’t start the Factory Farm Industry. So to speak.

  11. Guy T. Mann says:

    The ad is in poor taste. PETA should be ashamed.

    That said, for all those saying that shaving/waxing is unnatural, demeaning, a waste of time, a societal pressure, etc., let me give you my perspective.

    I love women. I am very liberal and I support gender equality in all forms. I also love sex, and I love, love, love going down on women. Getting you off gets me off. And I’m damn good at it.

    Shaving/waxing… Just like on my own body, which I keep maintained/trimmed, reduces body odor, unpleasant tastes, and prevents my face from chaffing during oral sex. Penetration straight up feels and works better, too, and my partners have all agreed that when we are both trimmed/shaved, it’s simply a better experience for both of us.

    Do what you will! Just giving my two cents.

  12. PETA is making it look like all animal lovers are anti-woman. They are disgusting. I am glad PETA came out in defense of humane societies and animal rescue groups doing abortions on rescued pregnant animals (horses; cows; cats; dogs) because I think it is more important to worry about the animals that are here than worry about the animals that aren’t yet born, but they are in general very sexist. Also, PETA is hypocritical. There is a new trend in humane sheep wool production – the sheep are well cared for, and they aren’t sent to slaughter when they get older. They just live out their lives on the farm. I think it’s wonderful. PETA opposes it, but when Paul McCartney does it (and he has been doing humane sheep wool production for years), it’s okay. Well, Paul McCartney is more under the radar than other people, but I still think it is a wonderful trend. PETA also euthanizes a lot of animals. Personally, I do think PETA will become more sensible in the future – more pro-woman, and stop euthanizing, but right now, they are euthanizing and also degrading women.

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