News Aug 27, 2009 at 4:00 am

"Sexist" Ads Draw Portland Protest


To Ms.Erin Fairchild: You know, you really should learn how to pick your battles, sweetheart.

While you were busy berating a fellow woman at her own book-signing - over afew benevolent ads that most people haven't even seen - there's a dangerous scumbag attacking & sexually assaulting women in SE Portland! Perhapes you'd do far more well to put those organising skills to real use & put together some sort of 'watch patrol'. Alittle vigilante justice against a well-deserving rapist bastard would go an awfully long way; especially since the police [typically] put very little effort into catching sexual predators.

Since feminists & animal-rights activists are often on the same page & share [alot] of the same enemies, had it not ever occoured to you to maybe CONTACT PETA & establish your people's concerns regarding PETA's ads???

I'll take that as a NO, since throwing together "flash-protests" on twatter, making abunch of dumb signs, & acting out infront of Powells is sooo much easier, huh?
The Portland Feminist Action League has contacted PETA, had personal conversations with Ingrid Newkirk, and has members who also work on issues of sexual assault and domestic violence (among other things), because we recognize that all forms of oppression are interconnected. The Portland Feminist Action League does not believe that confronting sexism and sizeism works against animal rights or any other form of liberatory practice. Additionally, confronting sexism is directly related to sexual assault prevention and intervention.
They give a fat girl a bikini modelling gig, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and just get flak. You can't win with feminists!
To PFAL---
I'm just saying you should pick your battles more carefully. Protesting PETA at Powells over some silly ads is just LAME. And it's just this sort of tipid in-fighting that the neoCON/Right-wing/racist/sexist/anti-queer/etc. using to try & demonstrate just how incoherent & dis-functional Liberals are!
Try focusing on our TRUE enemies, why don't you?
Another thing i'd like to point out.

Does PFAL feel that the large woman who posed for that ad was somehow "exploited" or taken advantage of by PETA?
Or might they agree that the woman in question was very willing [& possibly even happy] to model for the ad?

Because if it's the former, then that's a very heavy accusation that PFAL should be able to stand firmly behind. But if it's the latter, then does PFAL [not] feel that women (of all shapes & sizes) NOT be allowed to freely pose/model/or otherwise use their bodies as THEY see fit?

One last thing - i feel that the issue PFAL cites has little to do with exploitation overall. I feel that had PETA choosen to use a skinny, "average-sized" woman for that ad, PFAL would have NEVER made it an issue! How ironic...
"Does PFAL feel that the large woman who posed for that ad was somehow "exploited" or taken advantage of by PETA?"

DamosA, the billboard featured a drawing of about 30% of a woman. In all likelihood, there was not model.

p.s. Please do stop with the knee-jerk bullshit. As an adult (much less one concerned with minority rights), I would expect you to understand why "a little vigilante justice" is a shockingly stupid idea.
the ad was a cartoon.
What a fresh look at modern feminism! Attacking those loose women and their exploited, nude bodies! Where happened to modern decency?! Women certain shouldn't free to turn their societal sexualization around to point out injustice or hypocrisy! Especially on a voluntary basis! Some of the women in PETA ads aren't even PAID to pose provocatively - and they aren't even selling products!

I am glad this group helped point out how ridiculous it is for a cause like ending the brutal, institutionalized cruelty to animals should adopt the same methodology of pretty much every other product and media message in existence today. I've seen some pretty exploitative ads with nude breasts for ending third world debt that this group should target next!

I'm glad they weren't distracted by ever other periodical, newspaper and advertising insert, television ad, TV show, Hollywood movies, radio program, website, billboard, and comic book doing the same thing to sell video games, weight loss programs, medication and cosmetics.

What a triumph for the welfare of women!! These 12 protesters have truly helped advanced the cause of feminism and dispel the misnomer that feminists are a ornery, misguided bunch intent to pick a fight with anyone who stands still long enough...

I think what we're forgetting, and what these forward thinking feminists have brought to our attention, is that women don't have the right to express themselves by exposing their bodies.

Women who expose their bodies in the attempt to express a feeling or opinion, or to support or oppose a popular convention, are actually naive and confused. They don't realize they're actually being exploited by the eyes of all who look upon them.

That's why we should protest the organizations that use photos of these confused women, because they are abusing their position as paternal figures, responsible for making these kinds of decisions for women.
Urgh -- this is still on my mind... so here I am again. The more I think about it, the more I think these people are a bunch of misguided idiots who are hurting their cause more than anything else.

There are plenty of channels for communicating this kind of thing -- but they decided to sit on the sidewalk so someone can write a story about the irony of it all and maybe they can get their name in print. They're protesting this woman for HER decisions regarding PETA ads? REALLY?! That's how you spend your free time?? *REALLY?!

I hope these same "feminists" are running around chasing every other woman who works at every other ad agency, magazine, or other media organization that dares associate with anything that involves exposed female skin... or that extols the health benefits of having a good diet and exercising without first giving a dissertation on loving your body not matter what you look like. Or, if they don't like the double-standard of attacking only women -- they can go after the men too, there are plenty of them. And that makes sense too, since men are probably pretty likely to stick around at a job where they statistically get paid a higher salary women, and are more likely to get a senior position at the company... which these feminists should certainly not spend any energy thinking about --

What about every fucked-up newspaper, fashion magazine, mens magazine, tv commercial, movie, billboard, radio ad, website, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. on the planet? And the empire of people who work for them? Some women expose their bodies because they believe in protecting animals and that's Public Enemy Number 1?

All those media outlets WON'T PUT SHIT ON TV UNLESS THERE ARE NAKED TITTIES TO TALK ABOUT. PETA is adapting to the situation -- NOT CREATING the situation. And they aren't FIGHTING it either - they're fucking dealing with it, because they aren't feminists.. that ISN'T THEIR CAUSE. Their cause is animals. And their job is to bring attention to the cruelty animals endure. These tactics are a tactic to navigate the media - it is not *the* media. AND BOO HOO if not every single thing in the whole world is about feminism...

What if it were for starving kids in Uganda? Would these people take the bait and hit the sidewalks for five minutes of fame?

Why aren't they protesting in Salem, to get lawmakers to urge for FCC changes to allow time on the airwaves for causes like theirs and PETAs so these tactics might become irrelevant? or any other myriad of measure that are being discussed and implemented around the world to deal with some of the things these people imagine they're upset about. Or do anything else productive with their time?!

Because that's work and doesn't get you in the paper.

As far as I'm concerned this article could just as well have been about a group of protesting rednecks from a republican, recreational seal-clubbing association.
Awwwwww....the Cult of PETA can dish it out, but they sure can't take it. Booooohoooooo........ PETA is an animal EXTREMIST organization, and all of us working for true animal WELFARE don't support their wacko agenda. Get over yourselves, PETA.
It seems that when fat people are overtly ridiculed for a cheap laugh, it doesn't make so much as a ripple. However, when it *appears* that a fat person is ridiculed in the course of challenging patterns of consumption that are demonstrably harmful to oneself, to society, and to the entire biosphere, people gotta have a problem with it.
An earlier commentor brought up a great point regarding "mis-guided" prorities.

I'm well aware of mainstream womens' Rights groups like NOW. And i've known about Radical Women/FSP, to whom i've been loosely associated with, for 3 years now.

But honestly, i've never heard of "Portland Feminist Action League" before. Not until i 1st read an on-line article [on WW] regarding this silly & self-defeating protest. Now i know exactly who PFAL are. Seems they're accomplished their goal.

Btw, i have a female friend who despises porn & is convinced that ALL women who work in the sex industry - be it dancing, exscorting, modeling, making films, etc. MUST be a helpless abuse victim.
Yet, she relies upon this same industry to supply her toys when-ever SHE wants them [for herself]. Admittly, i haven'y had the nerve yet to point out this indiscrepancy to her.
This Erin lady needs to stop looking for way to be offended. Animal abuse is much more important than someone feeling fat because the PETA ad calling for cruelty to end has a skinny girl on it. The stance that PETA is sexist just is so unbelievably egotistical and elitist that only a cult weirdo would think that way.

P.S. Being a chubby vegan myself I firmly believe being over weight for either a man or woman is not healthy, screw looks!. An unhealthy lifestyle/body should never be embraced.
This Erin lady needs to stop looking for ways to be offended. Animal abuse is much more important than someone feeling fat because the PETA ad calling for cruelty to end has a skinny girl on it. The stance that PETA is sexist is so unbelievably egotistical and elitist that only a cult weirdo would think that way.

P.S. Being a chubby vegan myself I firmly believe being over weight for either a man or woman is not healthy, screw looks!. An unhealthy lifestyle/body should never be embraced.
As an average woman of average-size, in an average town, leading an average life, I have long found PETA's self-righteous ways and offensive ad campaigns a huge turn-off. I'd bet I'm in the majority. The large woman in a bikini is insulting and tiresome and plays into all sorts of stereotypes as the reference to the whale is meant to mock the woman and is incredibly demeaning. Guess PETA thought so as well as they pulled the ad.

Not only that, eating meat does not make one fat!

I support these gals who called PETA's foul. The women as whales or women as meat (previous ad) is ignorant and counterproductive. But that's fitting for PETA. I strongly believe that animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. I also believe that PETA is bad for animals.

The simple, blunt arguments of PETA's ads and campaigns discourage thought and open discussion about food production and animal rights. Rather PETA acts to congratulate itself and buttress its moral superiority. Their attempts to shock, disgust, or scare people into becoming vegan do little to change people's attitudes or lifestyles. If you eat meat or wear leather, PETA characterizes you a stupid and cruel. And this, paired with their inability or disinclination to address the complexities surrounding animal rights (i.e. tofu kills too. Think of all the animals that lived where it grew before it was a vast sea of edamame. Think of the pollution for the tractors to plough, sow, and reap it, the run-off fertilizer (need I go on?)) makes PETA seem like a bunch of assholes. And things assholes tell you, regardless of how true (McDonald's really is cruel and evil and I'm sure zoo animals know you're watching them and miss their friends) aren't listened to. You just think 'Shut up, asshole.'
I would just like to point out that Erin F and the Portland Feminist Action League are all a bunch of hott rulers and anyone who talks shit about them/ gives them shit over the internet can eat a bag. Good day!
I think everyone is really missing the point here. The ad is basically calling a chubby woman a "whale" and saying that if you are vegan or vegetarian, you are skinny and therefore better. There are a lot of assumptions being made in that ad. One is, fat people don't deserve respect and it's ok to call them whales and belittle them. Another is, if you eat "healthy", you will be skinny. Only white-trash meat-eating ignoramuses are fat, right, and therefore it's ok to make fun of them. And yet another assumption, skinny is better and healthy. Oh and let us not forget, please don't harm animals, but it's ok to treat people like shit. There is so much about this ad and this issue that is beyond repulsive and offensive. You can't assume all "fat" people are unhealthy. You also can't assume all "skinny" people are healthy. You can't assume eating a vegetarian/vegan diet is the right choice for everyone's health. You can't assume all "fat" people are ignorant. You can't assume because you are a vegan/vegetarian you are above everyone else. You can't assume everyone thinks animals shouldn't be eaten. And more power to these feminists who aren't going to sit around and not speak their mind when they think something is messed up. That's what PETA did. They throw paint on people, and have demonstrations all the time. So why are these feminist women thrown to the curb when they are just saying "hey, that is not ok with us"? There are no perfect people or systems or ideals in this world. Stop acting like there is.
Well said, britches!
"Powell's marketing director, Michal Drannen, says it's Powell's policy to kick out anyone who disrupts an author event. "The floor of our store doesn't become a public pedestal for someone just because they disagree with an author," says Drannen,"

So Drannen says the First Amendment doesn't exist in a BOOKSTORE?

Sure you wanna go there, Powell's?
insulting a woman's size to make a political statement is playing into patriarchal sexist and sizeist ideologies within our culture. sure, maybe this woman enjoyed modeling for PETA, but that isn't the point. the point is, WHY do political and "progressive" organizations like PETA think that using sexism to sell an idea is not oppressive? why does anyone think sexism as means of promotion is okay? thank you erin, for helping bring this to light and making people think about it. i have to ask everyone who thinks PETA's use of sexist advertising is okay--did you also think dr. pepper's advertisements for their new diet soda were funny? as someone living and experiencing blatant and degrading SEXISM to my female body, i am offended and disgusted that PETA's advertising 1) created at all without understanding the problematic implications and 2) people are okay with it.
I too am an 8 year vegetarian, freshly vegan, who is sick of PETA's objectification of women. If nudity and sexism is what it takes to get attention, I don't want to be a part of it. We shouldn't have to sensualize what is already a sensible and healthy choice. Really all we are doing is giving people more 'meat' to indulge on.

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