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PETA: Treating Women Like Meat is OK? May 3, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in "the gaze", bodies, Ethics, sex sells, sexuality.
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I recently came across an advertisement from PETA that featured one of Hugh Hefner’s “girlfriends,” Holly Madison, completely nude saying she would “rather go naked then wear fur.”  I found it strange that an organization dedicated to the ethical treatment of animals would find no problem objectifying women in their ads. Of course, Holly is not the first person to pose nude for PETA. Pamela Anderson, Pink,and a whole array of other stars also posed for the same ad campaign. Not surprisingly, they were all women. I was wondering if anyone else found this as ridiculous as I did.

I posted some pictures after the jump.

hollymadison2-large.jpg

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1. jenniferlewk - May 3, 2007

The picture of Holly caught my eye–I think that I was just surprised that as of yet, no one has spoken on Playboy Magazine or The Girls Next Door television series.
The whole Playboy Magazine represents an overtly disgusting objectification of women to me–I would yell at my brothers for purchasing it (yet oddly enough, I find the show a sometimes-amusing treat…which would be a whole different discussion in it of itself); yet, I wanted to learn about it a little bit more and hear your thoughts on the matter. I found an interesting interview with Holly online. One question concerning women’s view of the magazine caught my eye:

 
PR.com: It’s funny because many women have a love/hate relationship with what they think of Playboy and everything that Playboy represents. What’s your take on that?
Holly Madison: Well, I think the attitude comes straight from whoever is making the judgment call. I think a lot of people see Playboy as really empowering to women. I think a woman can use Playboy as much as Playboy can be seen to be using a woman. But I just think a lot of people, when they judge someone for posing for Playboy, they don’t really understand. They tend to pinpoint somebody as a “Playboy Bunny” and think that’s all they’re doing with their life, when really it’s one more project and it’s not necessarily something that defines a woman. It’s one aspect of their life. They’re beautiful and happen to have that one job. It doesn’t mean they’re not off achieving other things and have other aspects to their personality.
 

I had never really thought of the magazine as being a tool of empowerment. Yes, women are sexy and they can their bodies however they chose. For me, the magazine has far too much of Mulvey’s male gaze going on for me to take Holly’s empowering comments seriously. At the same time, I wonder, am I being too judgmental? A woman has the right to chose–it is just the manner in which her choice is perceived that makes it a topic of contention. Or not?
 

2. sindhub - May 5, 2007

I question Holly’s claim that being a Playboy Bunny is just one facet of the woman’s life. I’m pretty sure that they’re contracted to live in the Playboy Mansion, and they’re supposed to look a certain way according to it, and basically, it seems like their whole lives are basically controlled by Hugh Hefner once they sign that piece of paper.

Then again, I guess they chose to ’empower’ themselves that way? So yeah, I also have trouble accepting every choice as ’empowering.’

3. sindhub - May 5, 2007

And yeah, PETA has a long history of using women’s bodies for its anti-fur cause. It’s kind of disappointing, but then again, some of PETA’s other tactics are pretty extreme.


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