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The Sexual Politics of PETA

PETA has released a video in which a young woman delivers PETA’s state of the union address… while she’s taking off her clothes, of course!

Yawn. Once the striptease is out of the way, we see a series of video clips depicting animal cruelty, all accompanied by a sensitive guy song that amplifies the sheer discomfort of it all, Goldfinger’s ‘Free Me’. (Is this the real agenda of the animal rights movement – a Sarah McLachlan CD in every stereo?)

Confession: on my first viewing of the video, I switched it off as soon as soon as the self-described “hot chick” left the screen, thereby completely missing the animal rights message. Perhaps the video would have been more effective if the clips of the woman stripping were juxtaposed with the clips of factory farms, animal experimentation, et al. Then again, if PETA had done that, they might have invited uncomfortable comparisons to The Sexual Politics of Meat.


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I am thinking about writing to PeTA urging them to stop using sexuality to promote their concerns, because all this really does is damage the credibility of the messages they are trying to get across to the public. I think they have excellent resources and incredible power to make change, but not when they use crap like this.

  2. Comment by

    Moni Woweries

    on #

    I think they’ve crossed the line. This really shocked me although part of me thinks it shouldn’t have. This is soft porn promoting ar, whatever way you look at it. Now, after going to a poetry cafe with a poetry class the other day and seeing my Professor read a vulgar and explicit poem using words that made everyone feel uncomfortable I am starting to think that perhaps our society’s slowly changing to becoming more sexual and PETA’s “ad” is just part of an inevitable element of society that’s going to evolve over the next generation. It won’t matter what we all think about it, it’ll just happen. Everywhere. Perhaps one day we will all have a channel of reality sex or something.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    It’s only acceptable to use sexuality to promote your politics if you’re a young white woman, of course.

  4. Comment by


    on #

    It is only inevitable if we accept it (or disagree yet do nothing). As activists we need to share our message in a responsible manner, if we hope to be taken seriously. Being aware of the tactics used (whether we agree with them or not) gives activists the opportunity to counterbalance the public opinion of the ar movement.

  5. Comment by


    on #

    I’m all on board with PETA’s mission and goals. But tactics like this are an embarassment.

  6. Comment by


    on #

    I agree. This video shows that PETA employees have no creativity. It’s really an act of desperation when they are to the point of showing graphic nudity in an attempt to force people to listen. I won’t be sending them a membership check this year.

  7. Comment by


    on #

    This makes Peta look so stupid. It’s completely unnecessary. Of course, all Peta cares about is getting the support of anyone under the age of 25. 25 and over? Over the hill for Peta!
    They’ve been disappointing me big time lately. I can definitely think of many other organizations I’d rather help out. And my friends agree.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    what’s next will they send naked women to stand outside of KFC and other protest sites to get people (mostly men)attention. If your going to do something as stupid as that be fair, the ladies could use some eye candy too.

  9. Comment by


    on #

    I loved your point susie.
    I would have loved this is it was not a young white woman, or maybe a young black male. Then it could have been seen as also rebeling against an anti sexual society. However since it is a young white woman, it plays into society.

  10. Comment by


    on #

    I am sorry about the post above theres a typo, I mean It should have been a young black man.

  11. Comment by

    Laura Leslie

    on #

    I’m still disappointed that Trent Reznor didn’t take his clothes off.

  12. Comment by

    Olivia Lane

    on #

    I’m not sure how boring this video is since I was so entranced by the time the woman took her pants off that I could no longer listen to what she was saying. I like naked ladies and I like animal rights, but it’s hard to concentrate on both at the same time so I’d prefer they didn’t mix.

    I know that PETA’s argument has been that boobs peak the public’s interest which PETA then redirects towards animal rights, but then wouldn’t it make more sense to just begin the state of the union address totally nude? The stripping aspect is just gratutious.

    Now, I’m going to get off my high horse and say something totally low-brow. (I do really need to get an alias on this.) Please forgive me, but couldn’t they have found better lingerie for that woman to wear? Perhaps it’s the greatest tragedy of this whole thing. PETA gets lots of donations, yet they have the nerve to make that lady wear unflattering, unmatched bra and panties. Shame on you, PETA. Shame.

    I would like to defend the Goldfinger song “Free Me”. The video was very popular when I was doing activism on campus at Hunter.

  13. Comment by


    on #

    Olivia, thank you for having the courage to say what we have all been thinking.

  14. Comment by

    Moni Woweries

    on #

    My friend Jil actually said that to me, too, about the unmatching panties.

  15. Comment by


    on #

    Funny thing is outside of the animal rights community this gained practically no attention. PETA’s tactics maybe was a fade to the media. They’re not interested anymore. In NYC PETA never makes the news anymore, and I say thank goodness.
    Maybe we can start to paint a better potrait of ourselves.

  16. Comment by

    Patrick Kwan

    on #

    Actually, the video has gained plenty of attention in the blogosphere. Check out all the hits on Google blog search. And I have to agree with Olivia, what the hell’s with the unmatched and unattractive panties?

  17. Comment by


    on #

    It’s good to see all the comments. I think it’s horrible that PETA might have caused some of its own to turn away from them because of this video.
    Let’s not forget the most important aspect of this event….the animals. If the video offends…please write PETA with suggestions for other ways to get the message across. We need to stay united and supportive of animal rights groups, for the ANIMALS!! I don’t think PETA crossed the line enough to consider not supporting them.

  18. Comment by


    on #

    In response to Patrick…
    Thats exactly what I mean. PETA does’nt get media attention the way they want anymore. You have to google blog search it.

  19. Comment by


    on #

    I am glad that you all don’t censor your blog comments. If you have ever been on PETAs blog site, they do. They don’t post most of the responses that disagree with them and the only post I got on there was edited from what I actualy wrote! I have a friend who interned with them and he said they also have interns post on PETA’s blog and independent blogs praising PETA, so you have to wonder how true of a sample the posts`are. I hope SuperVegan will keep its integrity. Thanks for a great site.
    I do think you can choose not to support PETA and still stay united with other groups, or at the least not attend naked protests, if you disagree with them. There are so many groups fighting for the same thing without doing media stunts, please support one of those groups.

  20. Comment by


    on #

    Peta is sexist. I think it’s okay to show nudity in some ads (depending on the context), but my analysis of PETA ads in general shows that PETA portrays women very differently from the way it portrays men in ads. Women are shown nude/scantily clad much more often than men. Women are portrayed sexually much more often than men. Women are portrayed as non-human animals much more often than men. Since PETA defines women more for their bodies, sex appeal, and similarity to animals and defines men more for higher qualities such as intellect and morality, PETA is guilty of hate speech by portraying woman as inferior to men. To solve this problem I suggest writing to PETA at to tell them you want women and men to be portrayed as equals in regards to nudity, sexualization, and being compared to non-human animals.

  21. Comment by


    on #

    Amazing stuff!!

  22. Comment by


    on #

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