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Jun 20 2009

Celebrity misogynist cult wins Ditwuss Award

No time to post! The ag well at El Rancho Deluxe has has blown or something, and my ranch hand Chuck and I have to fix it.

What’s an ag well? It’s a long, skinny hole in the ground reaching to a subterranean pond that, when you attach a windmill to it, pumps out water for your agricultural needs. Watering sunflowers, bathing snakes, etc. Only my ag well doesn’t have a windmill. It has a stupid electrical pump that always blows out whenever a cow breathes on it or lightning strikes it or it’s Tuesday.

But before I go, allow me to set off your gag reflex with this: Che Guevara’s granddaughter posing “semi-nude” for a PETA ad.

PETA has long been on my shit list for its freewheelin’ exploitation of our culture’s obsession with women’s oppression even as it supposedly advocates for animal liberation. Want some attention? Just pornulate some female celebrity!

Like all antifeminist activist groups — pretty much any activist or political group that isn’t specifically feminist — PETA takes particular pleasure in throwing women under the bus for The Cause. Marxist revolutionaries, the Black Panthers, the free love movement, Hamid Karzai, white liberal dudes trying to get other liberal dudes elected to public office: these guys have always counted among their most prized principles an endless capacity to endure the suffering of women.

In the ad, Lydia Guevara wears camouflage pants, a red beret, and bandoliers of baby carrots while standing with one fist on her hip and the other outstretched.

That Guevara is described titillatingly as “semi-nude” even though she is fully clothed pushes my lobe to the semi-boiling point. The ad positions PETA as edgy and with-it, but it degrades Guevara, women, revolution, carrots, vegetarianism, and the entire human species. Ditwuss!

Non-windmill-equipped ag wells are this week’s runners-up.

This more or less explains the Ditwuss Award.

[Thanks, Stellatex]

40 comments

  1. Ugly In Pink

    Jill – The last link takes you to a preview page, and my hunger for knowledge remains unsatiated. Please fix it when you get the ag well up and running.

  2. Jill

    Fixed! Thanks, UIP. And now, on with the rubber boots and uncomfortable heavy gloves!

  3. slade

    Maybe a windmill would be a good backup for the electrical pump? And it would look so cool…like being in Holland. I’d be happy to plant some tulips and provide wooden shoes for you and Chuck. We could drink some Heineken beers…I’m not sure if the Dutch are known for a particular cocktail.

    There could be an annual Holland Day Festival at the ranch.

    I always enjoy celebrating Bastille Day with the French.

    Guess I’m just looking for an excuse to be festive.

    Good luck with the pump.

  4. Catherine Martell

    I despise PETA. If they’re not busy degrading women, they’re insulting holocaust victims or comparing dog owners to the KKK. There can be no more deserving recipient of the Ditwuss.

    When Che was executed by the CIA-backed Bolivian army, he said his last thoughts were about the immortality of the revolution. Not: “It will all have been worth it if my legacy lives on through the mocking empornification of my granddaughter by a crazy Yanqui hate speech group. With carrots.”

  5. Pinko Punko

    I think she is semi-nude, given that they whoopsie! forgot to give her a top to wear. Since they were aping a Che look and pose, we can check out any differences, carrots notwithstanding. And the major difference is that Che seems to always have found a way to put a shirt on. PETA are simply terrible.

  6. wisewebwoman

    What is with Peta anyway? They’ve been offending me for years and years.
    And as to carrots, there is an old Irish song which has the line:
    “If I can’t find me a man, I’ll go and find a carrot.”
    ’nuff said.

  7. Jezebella

    Ugh, PETA could win the Ditwuss every single week of the year.

  8. sonia

    oh, dude. White hipsters in LA who “love” animals must be pulling out their red and black Che t-shirts all over town for revival. That is just cool on so many different levels. I mean, it’s Che, it’s exploitation, and it’s for the cause. plus you know Che would have cared. What cause can’t we appropriate a dead brown revolutionary for? He would have totally been into it.

    When I stop laughing I will probably vomit.

  9. Sev

    There’s a tongue-in-cheek theory going around that PETA is actually a group that’s trying to make vegans and animal rights activists look stupid and hypocritical.

  10. Chaos control

    I’m sure I’ve seen a t-shirt somewhere with the slogan “PETA- where only women are treated like meat”. I want one.

  11. Carolyn J.

    The ad’s not even edgy. That whole El Che as pop-icon thing was over ten years ago.

  12. zwarte

    There is this;

    http://www.aermotorwindmills.com/

  13. Erica

    God, I despise PETA. They pornulate for the cause and then give speeches about how animal rights activists can’t have visible tats to be taken seriously. Yeah, because a shoulder tattoo is what make people think PETA is ridiculous.

  14. yttik

    “There’s a tongue-in-cheek theory going around that PETA is actually a group that’s trying to make vegans and animal rights activists look stupid and hypocritical.”

    Yes, a plant by the CIA designed to support factory farming and brainwash us all into believing that anyone who questions it is off the wall and sexist, too.

    I heard another that claimed Oprah and the women of The View were CIA operatives planted on TV to water down and weaken feminism.

    I love a good conspiracy theory and usually view many of them as tongue in cheek, but these two are really starting to pull me in….

  15. Squiggy

    Hey. Will y’all enlighten me more about the “Evil PETA” for Dummies 101? I know some of the obvious stuff but will you tell me all of it? I think I had the wrong idea that many wrongs can make many rights, or, er ah ergh. Like when you try to get yourself off white flour you add increasing small amounts of whole wheat flour until they unwittingly eating 100% whole wheat and enjoying it? Be gentle with the pile-on. I honestly want to be enlightened.

  16. Dauphine

    PETA will happily degrade human beings (particularly women) for the sake of animals (or so they say), but they don’t seem to actually care much about the animals either–just about causing a sensation.

  17. minervaK

    I realized PETA was a sham when I read that they advocate vegetarian diets for cats, who are obligate carnivores — i.e., a vegetarian diet will kill them.

    http://www.helpinganimals.com/animalsHome_gi_vegAnimals.asp

    They say that with ‘certain supplements’ cats can survive on a vegetarian diet, which is complete horseshit. My bet is that they own the ‘supplements’ company. I wonder how many cats their advice has killed? Way to advocate for companion animals, dudes.

  18. Kelsey

    This post made me get to pondering, because I’ve alternately heard that Che was a Stalin-caliber mass murderer or sparkling shiny-winged angel, with very little middle ground. So, I did a Google search on “Che Guevara murderer” and got a bunch of anti-left sites citing statistics about how Che single-handedly gunned down literally thousands of people. Even the one that claimed to be “non-partisan” was revealed as cringe-inducingly right-wing as soon as I perused its mission statement. I then proceeded to do a Google search with just “Che Guevara” and came up with a bunch of intensely adulatory Che fan sites, including one that features a program enabling its users to “Guevara-ize” themselves by inserting their face into the t-shirt icon. What the fuck? Why is this man such a figure of contention? Why is there no objective truth anymore? Why does everything have to be filtered through a partisan lens? Can any Blamers wise me up as to what the dealio is with this guy?

    And on another note, fuck PETA. In high school, I was guilty of distributing their materials to my fellow students and I have never really forgiven myself.

  19. Jill

    Remember this?

  20. Gertrude Strine

    Peta-bashing – the one thing that unites the Left Web. Even misogynist Left Web can get together in a Peta ad pile-on.
    Warms the cockles, it does, to know there’s at least one really important issue that the Left can agree on.

    We here love to reinforce the understanding that animals are all innately sensitive and of genius intellect in more positive non-patriarchal ways.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNRcWk4NcgM

  21. Pinko Punko

    minervK,

    I don’t actually doubt that you can keep a cat alive on a vegan diet with the correct supplements to a vegan diet, but does such a principle still violate some unknown “catness” I can’t say. Many of the things PETA advocates can be supported under easy or consistent rationales, just not the manner in which they advocate them.

  22. JS

    Looking on the internet I found this reply to a letter about PETA being misogynistic:

    Subject: PETA
    Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:03:42 -0500
    From: HeatherM@peta.org

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about PETA’s tactics.

    We appreciate your concern about portraying a woman’s body to sell a product or–in this case-an idea. As an organization staffed largely by feminist women, we would never do something that we felt contributed to the very serious problems that women face. Unlike women who are paid to pose nude or scantily dressed to sell a product, our “naked” demonstrators and billboard models choose to participate in our actions because they want to do something to make people stop and pay attention to animal cruelty.

    Our purpose is to stop animal suffering, and we rely on opportunities to reach millions of people with powerful messages. Frankly, people do pay more attention to our racier actions, and we consider the public’s attention to be extremely important. Sometimes this requires tactics-like naked marches and colorful ad campaigns-that some people find outrageous or even “rude”; part of our job is to shake people up and, yes, shock them, in order to initiate discussion, debate, questioning of the status quo, and, of course, action. The situation for billions of animals is critical, and our goal is not to appease the public-we want them to think about the issues.

    We certainly respect your right to disagree with our tactics, but we hope you’ll recognize that there is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn’t. Many of the feminist women here-and the women who have written in telling us they love our actions-have a different view.

    Thank you again for allowing us to explain our thoughts on this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Heather Moore
    PETA Correspondent”

    Pile on?

  23. Jill

    You can’t take PETA seriously as an opponent of oppression culture, just like you can’t take Komen seriously as an opponent of breast cancer. They both sell women out, bigtime.

  24. speedbudget

    Well, to be fair, you can’t get anything done in this country without a semi-nude nubile involved.

    /snark

  25. Agasaya

    How does giving the public what they want (nude women) ‘shake them up’? It is so ‘old’ that the only thing people take away from such demonstrations is the image, not the message. And, if the models are wealthy enough not to need the money for posing nude, then it’s okay? No women were harmed in the making of this ad?

    Sure, let’s advertise how successful nudes are to get attention and they’ll be lots more work for nude models. Mandatory work if they want into the field. And if PETA wants to shake things up, why don’t they use nude male models? That’ll really get attention and lead to debate.

  26. Comrade PhysioProf

    Having a subterranean pond is totally fucking coolio!

  27. sonia

    “there is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn’t”

    no, someone is always willing to trade their sense of dignity for social rewards. excellent point, non-feminist PETA employee.

  28. Jill

    “‘There is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn’t.’

    No, someone is always willing to trade their sense of dignity for social rewards. Excellent point, non-feminist PETA employee.”

    Ha!

  29. rootlesscosmo

    @Kelsey: Can any Blamers wise me up as to what the dealio is with this guy? (Guevara)

    This has the makings of an OT argle-bargle; if Twisty should decide to head it off before it even starts, that would make sense. If she’s willing to let it go whither it listeth (a phrase that’s been waiting to find application), here are a couple of proposed starting points for discussion:

    1. The social systems (variously called Socialism, Communism, and other names) most closely identified with Guevara, his ideas, and the people he worked with, have some positive accomplishments and some monstrous cruelties to their account. How these weigh against each other is a matter for debate, but it’s a debate about history, not about the future, because in view of their almost complete collapse, nothing like those systems is likely to happen again, and very few people can be found who want to try to repeat what they did (an impossibility anyway, same river twice yada yada.)

    2. All of those systems and groups said that the liberation of women was an integral part of the way they worked and would be a prominent feature of the societies they set out to construct. This was false in every case. Patriarchal structures and ideas remained firmly in place, despite some early hopeful efforts at dislodging them, despite the heroism of Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg and Haydee Santamaria and Alexandra Kollontai and Claudia Jones etc. etc. From a radical feminist perspective Guevara is right there with PETA and every other self-proclaimed revolutionary who’s willing–even eager–to toss women and their freedom overboard so as to speed the frail craft of revolution toward its glorious goal.

  30. Jill

    Well, seeing as how Che is invoked by the granddaughter posing in Che-wear, and the topic is more or less revolutionary/activist groups who screw women over, a Che discussion is well within bounds. Carry on, especially with the nautical metaphors.

  31. Antares

    I read the Motorcycle Diaries to get a better understanding of Che and walked away with the same thought I did after researching Bob Marley : Rapist.

  32. slythwolf

    I must express my approval of the use of the phrase “fully clothed” to describe a woman with no shirt on. Men are not considered indecently attired when their breasts are bared. Women shouldn’t be either.

  33. Squiggy

    Thank you so much for “Remember this?” Jill. It’s exactly what I was looking for.

    I feel dirty for my ignorance.

    But cleansed by the power of IBTP blog.

    P.S. I might have a bad attitude but I always consider Father’s Day as Asshole’s Day. That’s just from my limited experience.

  34. Kelsey

    Thanks, rootlesscosmo, that definitely clears up some stuff. It’s so sad how “revolutionary” movements spearheaded by men always fall all over themselves to marginalize and degrade women. I had the privilege of reading Robin Morgan’s “Goodbye to All That” a few years ago, and it really opened my eyes. Personally, I largely opted out of my city’s radical left scene because of this kind of bullshit. From the aggro, fist-pumping bike jocks breaking windows at protests to the leftist groups on campus playing misogynist music at their events, macho posturing is endemic. Pah.

  35. Cottonpants

    PETA is also screaming in outrage right now because President Obama killed a fly during an interview. Exactly how many insects do each PETA employee kill with their car every day?

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

    The fly-swatting video, for anyone interested:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rbUH_iVjYw

    Also,

    P.S. I might have a bad attitude but I always consider Father’s Day as Asshole’s Day. That’s just from my limited experience. –Squiggy

    Michelle Obama sent out an email today (er, yesterday) about how “today, on this 100th anniversary of Father’s Day, [we should] take a moment to celebrate responsible fatherhood and the men who’ve had the courage to step up, be there for our families, and provide our children with the guidance, love and support they need to fulfill their dreams.” (emphasis mine)

    Personally, I have mixed feelings.

  36. Citizen Taqueau

    @ Cottonpants:

    Yeah. “The courage to be there.” Once again, the menz get a medal for showing up. And paying the bills, I guess.

    Meta-blame moment here: for a moment I felt guilty for writing that comment and had to fight the reflexive urge to talk up my dad’s positive qualities, but then I realized I would be Nigelling my dad and that is just freckin creepy. And telling. Whoopsie! IBTP.

  37. MLH

    Antares, I was under the impression that the Motorcycle Diaries was partly fiction, no?

  38. shermanvolvo

    One cannot simultaneously fight oppression using tools of oppression. This is a point that is lost on PETA and its supporters. I have written to PETA over the years, most recently because of their “school girl” strip tease animal rights quiz. And I constantly get the “we can’t oppress women because we are feminist” b.s.

    I am not one to pull a woman’s feminist card, but I am highly tempted to with PETA. (Is there a feminist council we can write to? *wink)

    As an animal liberationist, I am tired of PETA’s alienation and subjugation of women as well as racism. (Their stint dressing up as the KKK to protest the american kennel club was disgusting.)

  39. Jezebella

    But, but, shermanvolvo, “tits work!!!” That seems to be the essence of PETA’s defense of their shitty adverts, and if a feminist can’t see that “tits work” is a lousy reason to use “tits” in ads, well, she’s a lousy damned feminist.

  40. Stella

    Women, even self-described feminist women, even animal rights organization women, can indeed act in antifeminist ways. I daresay we all do it every day, because we’re trapped in a patriarchy that limits our human agency and leaves us, more often than not, with false “choices,” all of which are patriarchal. But the “feminists” at PETA should at least own up to and work to change it, rather than defend it. They’re Stepford vegans.

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