An Afternoon in Boston…and by the way what’s up with PETA?

Randy and I are up in Boston for a good friend’s wedding, so we spent the afternoon traipsing around my old stomping grounds and few things happened that I wanted to share with you all. First, we had the pleasure of  walking past Roxy’s Grill Cheese Food Truck:

Randy noted that the Roxy Logo was similar to the new feminist cupcake logo, which I thought was pretty cool.  We ordered two sandwiches – a mac and chorizo grilled cheese and a fall inspired grilled cheese which had butternut squash, raisins and granny smith apples – can you say yum?!?! The food truck idea is so awesome – I am totally going to look this up from now on — in fact, I’m thinking I need to share more of my food exploits with y’all. Because to be honest, when I’m not thinking feminism, I’m thinking travel and food. So, if in Boston on a Friday afternoon, definitely hit up Roxy’s Grilled Cheese – they park outside the public library in Copley Square.

Secondly,  I wanted to share this gem, which they were selling at a novelty store on Newbury St:

I don’t have a whole lot of deep thoughts to go with this moment – To be honest, my first reaction was to giggle but ultimately, I think I’m offended by the ‘designer beaver’  because it’s objectifying and represents the vagina a plaything to be manipulated.

Finally, there was  another weird objectification moment at the Copley Square farmer’s market – Have y’all seen the PETA Pilgrims?  I didn’t have a camera with me, but here is an example:

Apparently sexy pilgrim outfits promote tofurkey…  This is not the first time that I’ve seen PETA use the objectification of women as a tactic for saving animals — the argument is vegetarian is “sexy.”  Take a look:

It seems so bizarre to me that a group of people who are trying to save the lives of animals would do so by capitalizing on the objectification of female bodies. I was particularly frustrated by this image, which seems to sexualized violence towards women in order to make a point about cruelty to animals:

PETA also makes fun of and perpetuates fat prejudice:

I am all for a discussion of animal rights – I am horrified by the cruelty that animals suffer at the hands of human beings – factory farming, puppy mills – these things are sickening things and you can and should read about these issues. BUT I am also horrified by PETA’s advertising campaign. Is this the kind of thinking we genuinely want to see for those that are working with a social justice issue – or isn’t the goal to rise above the commercialization and commodification of humans/animals as objects so that we can end the world’s inequalities??

Clearly, PETA doesn’t get it.

The Love Your Vagina Song, Dr. Pooper and The End of Gender ….

A friend from Miami sent me these three bits and I thought y’all might get a kick out of them as well. First up The Love Your Vagina Song:

Secondly, this nauseating ad – it negates women and ushers men into the hell of dieting and body image issues, yea!:

And finally of great interest is this NPR article that claims gender may be a thing of the past! Of course noting the pink-nailed J Crew ad and the couple who has chosen to not gender their child – but also “Andrej Pejic, an androgynous Australian model, worked both the male and female runways at the Paris fashion shows earlier this year:”All very cool stuff to see. Thank you Mr. Fitzgerald!!

Did y’all See this Yoplait Ad That got Pulled?

Disclaimer: This as was pulled because it was believed that it could inspire or encourage detrimental behavior to those who have a propensity towards an eating disorder:

I think I first came across it on the Huffington Post, but Chloe on Feministing also wrote about this debacle.  Yoplait pulled the ad after comments from the National Eating Disorder Association.  According to the NEDA press release, Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA said that the language of the ad “was seriously problematic for those affected by eating disorders and anyone who may have a predisposition towards developing one.”

I think yoplait did the right thing by pulling the ad – but scarier for me was watching the ad and realizing that I’ve had these conversations with myself – I’ve even had them out loud with my friends – feminist friends. Maintaining a positive body image in a western culture obsessed with thinness is complicated – even when we are “enlightened” by feminist thinking.  What are the steps we can take to avoid this obsession in future generations of women?

I was wondering if this ad triggered the same kind of thinking for any of you? I’m going to think some more and get back to you on this in a couple of days – but still any thoughts?

The Body Shop’s Ruby

A friend turned me on to these body shop ads today:


I read a little about this campaign here and in NYT.

I find myself wanting to buy these Barbie dolls so I can give them to my daughter someday 🙂 That said, we all know that women of all shapes and sizes have body image issues – rooted to our ideas of ourselves as defined by attractiveness to sexual partners whose idea of beauty is defined by the media – even if we look like Barbie, right? And yet, I find myself love love loving the Body Shop. So it’s Jcrew and Body Shop for me this year!

You call this feminist?

So, tonight I went to see a Classicist from University of Miami speak, John Kirby. This guy is smart. He has incredibly intelligent things to say about art and questions of art. The lecture revolved around representations of the “classics,” mostly meaning that of Greece of Rome, on screen. He chooses the word screen because he wants to discuss film, television, video games, Internet and advertisements.  He showed us an advertisement from the 2004 Superbowl:

His goal was to discuss the classical themes, which are fairly self explanatory but interesting all the same. However, he dropped the ball in regards to feminism. He calls this ad feminist because the women are “defiant,” which is true but the camera exploits their bodies with the same old male gaze that chains women to purely sexual identities, undermining their defiance and making them prisoners , sex slaves, once again.