Shackling elephants is sad. Shackling women is hot.
The PETA ad below deplores cruelty to elephants.
Yet cruelty to women seems okay.
Animal cruelty depresses me and creates a lot of anxiety. So I’m with PETA on that.
But their advertising often troubles me.
Of course, their ads mirror our culture. And that troubles me, too. Because we live in a society that bombards us with objectified and eroticized images of battered and bruised women.
At least one person (a PETA employee?) suggests the image means to say “abusing animals is just the same as abusing individuals. Sad when it’s an elephant.”
Yes, sad when it’s an elephant.
Hot when it’s a sexy woman.
And a good way to draw eyes to your ad.
After all, why not use a man in the image? Or a less sexy woman?
When it comes to creating empathy you pretty much have to do the reverse of what the (PETA employee?) suggests: you must use an elephant’s suffering to evoke empathy for a woman who is being cruelly treated.
I worry about a culture that eroticizes the abuse of anything or anyone, whether the target is aimed at a gender, an ethnicity, children or animals.
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Posted on August 13, 2014, in feminism, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged eroticized violence, feminism, objectification, PETA, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.