PETA fails, again

Feministing posted about PETA‘s newest attempt at advertising. Apparently, PETA is petitioning the U.S. government to post advertisements on the U.S.-Mexico border to encourage immigrants to choose a vegan diet. The message on the billboards would read (in English and Spanish): “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.” I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a good idea. If they’re just trying to generate controversy and gain publicity, it looks like they are succeeding. Miriam at Feministing pointed out that the fences interfere with migration patterns of animals living in those regions, but PETA doesn’t seem to care about that.

Of course, this isn’t the first time PETA has made poor advertising choices. They continue to rely on sexist advertising that objectifies women. In PETA’s letter in The New York Times last month, the president of PETA defends their advertising by arguing that “sex sells.” She acknowledges that “animal suffering and human suffering are undeniably interconnected” and insists that PETA is concerned about both. However, by continuing to use offensive ads, PETA is sending the message that they respect animals more than they respect people. I don’t think that alienating feminists who support animal rights is going to help their cause.


August 20, 2008 Posted by | Sexism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Rachel Maddow gets her own show

MSNBC’S Keith Olbermann announced on Daily Kos yesterday that Rachel Maddow will be getting her own show. Shortly after, the news was announced in The New York Times and numerous blogs. We need more intelligent voices like Rachel’s on television, so this is great news. She will be continuing her radio show, and her television show will start on September 8 on MSNBC at 9 pm Eastern Time.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | politics | | Leave a comment

Patriarchy and the Olympics

Some articles and blog posts I’ve been reading:

In Grand Olympic Show, Some Sleight of Voice. The Olympics organizers faced a dilemma when choosing the child to sing “Ode to the Motherland” at the opening ceremony. While they decided that seven year old Yang Peiyi had the best voice, they didn’t think she was as “flawless” as nine year old Lin Miaoke. The production team decided to use Yan Peiyi’s voice and put Lin Miaoke on stage. General music designer Chen Qigang justified this decision by explaining that “we must put our country’s interest first.” What a terrible message to send to both of the girls involved. One girl is told she’s not pretty enough, and the other is told she’s not talented enough. Peiyi told China Central Television that she is ok with it and is just happy that her voice was used in the performance. Miaoke’s father said that his daughter wasn’t upset by the news and that she “doesn’t care who sang the song, as long as she performed.” He added, “I don’t care about this either. The only thing I care about is that my daughter will not get hurt by this. She’ll understand when she grows up.”

Hoyden About Town blogs about the objectification of female athletes in the Olympics. The side by side comparisons of men and women athletes show that there is definitely a double standard when it comes to uniforms for male and female Olympians. As Lauredhel points out, “It’s not about faster, higher, stronger. Women in sports are promoted as sexualised bodies for ogling; men are promoted as performers.”

Olympic medal-winning women called “gold-diggers.” According to Feministing, Sydney Morning Herald published a picture of the Australian women’s 4×200 relay swim team with the caption, “Shock Result for Aussies Gold Diggers.” They have since changed the caption to “The Fab Four.”

Over at the Feministing community blog, there is a post about the sexualization of female Olympians. Another blogger wrote this post analyzing Buzz Bissinger’s “Creep Show” article in The New York Times.

The XY Games. This New York Times article examines the practice of subjecting female athletes to tests to verify that they are women. Jennifer Finney Boylan examines the difficulties in attempting to define gender in rigid, binary terms and arrives at this conclusion: “Maybe this means that Olympic officials have to learn to live with ambiguity, and make peace with a world in which things are not always quantifiable and clear.”


Slate posted this article about women’s uniforms in the table tennis competition. According to Yahoo Sports, the vice president of the International Table Tennis Federation is telling women players to wear skirts and shirts “with more curves” to attract viewers. Of course, he isn’t requesting that the men change their uniforms. It’s not right to ask the women players to change the way they dress since it obviously has nothing to do with functionality. The players should be able to wear whatever they choose, and the focus should be on their performance.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, Sexism | , | Leave a comment

Another reason to love Kimya Dawson

I just listened to Kimya Dawson‘s 2004 album Hidden Vagenda for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a Hanson reference in one of the songs. Being a Hanson fan, I thought this was pretty awesome and it makes me love Kimya Dawson even more. Here are the 5 Years lyrics describing Kimya’s crush on Isaac Hanson:

and i said “nick although you’re handsome, i’ll hold out for isaac hanson,
and he’ll get his braces back when i become his wife”
me and hanson will go dancing, me and hanson true romance
me and hanson take a chance, lock the door it’s party time
all our babies will be born november seventeenth i’m sure
and we’ll get a cookiepuss from the local carvel store
then our brothers will come over for a big game of red rover
everybody holding hands, break the chain, break the chain

For those who don’t know, November 17th is Isaac Hanson’s birthday. Yes, I know way too much about Hanson, and apparently Kimya does too. Anyway, I love the album even without the Hanson mention. Her music comes across as very sincere and quirky, and I wish I caught her set when I went to see Ani DiFranco last month. If anyone is in or near Philadelphia, you can see her next weekend (August 15-17) at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. She’ll also be at the End of the Road Festival in the UK in September.

You can find mp3s of some of Kimya’s songs at her website here.

August 9, 2008 Posted by | Hanson, Music | , | Leave a comment

Feist on Sesame Street

This video of Feist‘s appearance on Sesame Street was recently released on YouTube. While I prefer the original version myself, I think this is a great use of her song. I wish Feist taught me to count when I was little!

August 3, 2008 Posted by | Music | , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Birth Control

The newest Target Women segment is up, and as usual, Sarah Haskins is hilarious. This installment is all about birth control that is advertised as period control. “Fewer periods, yay! Now we don’t have to leave the tribe and sit in that hut for a week. That was a bummer.”

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , , , , , | Leave a comment