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animal rights | gender & sexuality

I'm Sorry for Spreading Misogynist Propaganda in The Name of Animal Rights

An apology
Dear Portland Vegan Feminists:

Years ago I spent a large portion of my life handing out PETA literature around town, protesting KFC, and even scheduled a speaking event or two that involved PETA literature or a representative. I was so young then and dealing with my own patriarchal oppression in my personal life that I didn't understand why so many people were turned off by PETA, even as I had interned for them and had a horribly traumatizing experience doing that. When I heard my peers blasting PETA on their radio shows or saw them glaring at me, I just thought they were being mean and not putting animal rights first. Sometimes misogyny is internalized so much that people don't understand what they are doing is harmful to themselves as well as others, even if it is in the name of animal liberation. I'm really sorry for any triggering pain that PETA ads, like the more recent "Boyfriend Went Vegan" one depicting domestic violence, might cause any one. Now I understand that PETA is mostly made up of female chauvanist pigs like Lindsay Rajt, with a minority of male chauvanists as well, even if they have smiling faces and deliver good one-liners on television attempting to justify their bullshit. While I will always give PETA credit for the footage they captured that made me vegetarian in elementary school and eventually vegan, I understand that there are other groups who also do this without perpetuating misogyny in the process. These days when I encounter a young person working for, interning for or passing out literature for large scale animal rights organizations, I can't help but feel saddened and disgusted by how dis-empowered, naive and stifled their lives and minds are by being fed the bullshit of such organizations, especially when those individuals tend to perpetuate and be complicit to sexist bullshit because they believe anything else is divisive and counter to the goals of animal rights. I guess that's all I wanted to say. I get it now, it just took me a while longer than others. I still hate KFC and hope all of their establishments are in ashes by sunrise, but I also fucking hate PETA now too! It feels great to make the announcement here.

that's fine - 27.Sep.2012 23:01

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now see if you can get all those speciesist feminists to stop navel gazing and go vegan for animals. Because in my experience (as a feminist), most other feminists could really give a shit about animals and have a truckload of excuses for continuing to oppress them while complaining about PETA and insisting they should get to continue to eat and otherwise use animals. I guess it's because some women feel so oppressed they feel they should get to stomp on the necks of someone even less powerful (animals). Feminists who eat animals really don't get the meaning of oppression when someone else is the victim.

Obviously 28.Sep.2012 14:41

juliana

Obviously 'That's Fine' is a man.

It is very rare to hear any kind of apology of the abuse of women from a man, and I appreciate
the author's post!

PETA is not all that far from VOINA, the group that Pussy Riot came from and to whom some of them are married. They do disgustingly misogynist "art" using the bodies of these women!

When you are on the bottom, the poorest class, the class most at risk from sexual violence, most if your life is about survivaL. It is a convenient fantasy that men blame us for our situation (as if all men did not benefit from the opression of women) and expect that we have the power to change it.

I am still waiting for men to organize against violence against women and actually DO something.

But a realization and an apology is a good start.

the decline of PETA 05.Oct.2012 08:03

gally

I'm a woman a few years over the half century mark now. I watched PETA grow up. There was a time when I was proud to be affiliated with the organization. There was a certain satisfaction in watching OHSU security jump into action out of fear when they thought we were "PETA". Now I would be embarrassed to be called a PETA activist. It's all about media attention and dollars now. I am sad for the loss of a once effective organization.