Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sigh, the sexual politics of meat once again

PETA has released a new video implying sexual and domestic violence against a woman by a vegan man. They may claim that they are simply celebrating S/M and the "healthy" sexuality of a male heterosexual vegan.

Let's just make it clear.

The only reason the healthy sexuality of a heterosexual male vegan is in doubt is because of the sexual politics of meat.

I hate participating in this conversation and giving any attention to PETA. For like a child who misbehaves for attention, PETA thrives on negative attention.

I will not link to the video and please if you are discussing this issue, don't link either.

PETA knows our culture well: what can still get attention is images of injured women, women who like dominance, women for whom dominance has been sexualized.

The only reason PETA is getting attention, once again, is because of a culture permeated by the sexual politics of meat. Why would they want to eradicate the sexual politics that undergirds the consumption of all animal products?  PETA benefits from the sexual politics of meat. Both their methodology and their message are embedded within the sexual politics of meat.

What are they exactly?

* The belief that you have to approach men differently than women about veganism.

* You have to appeal to women and show that dominance is good, as though heterosexual vegan men need to be rewarded for giving up eating dead animals and feminized protein.

* You have to be edgy enough to make veganism an issue because you don't believe you can get people to care about animals.

* You realize that Carol J. Adams is right about animals being the absent referents and you yourself decide to keep it that way.

* You are grateful for any attention.

* You cultivate the adolescent male and the heterosexually privileged man because with that perspective you know you will get attention.

* You have no desire to be a team player; you want to be first on the block.

* Grassroots women advocates for animals all around the world, independent women--forging alliances with human rights groups, feminist groups, and creatively disrupting business as usual--have it all wrong. It's okay for Ingrid Newkirk and the other women at the top of PETA to have power, and to declare that they do what they do as feminist, but actual feminists  doing the grassroots labor of challenging multiple oppressions should be ignored.

* Feminist-vegans are your most dangerous critics because they show there is another way to talk about veganism.

* Therefore, you will enjoy splitting feminists, even though it de facto means encouraging those who eat meat never to engage with feminist-vegan theory or to enjoy vegan meals.

One of the most dangerous messages in the world is equality. PETA makes an art of the negation of equality. As I said in The Pornography of Meat, PETA sells inequality.

Here's their real message: Dominance, in and of itself, is sexy. Veganism, in and of itself, isn't.