PETA has a long history of using over-the-top sexual imagery and shock tactics to get attention. Hell, they’re even launching a porn site. (Yes, it’s real. No, it doesn’t make any sense and I can’t fathom who would visit the site either.) I’m no expert, but when your animal rights organization launches a for-profit pornography website, I think you might be doing it wrong.
PETA isn’t content to restrict its sex-sells messaging to the porn site, either. The latest campaign features a woman walking down the street in her bra and underwear in a neck brace, a result of rough (like, put your head through the wall and land you in a neck brace rough) sex with her newly vegan boyfriend. Is this a PSA for sexual assault? No. It’s PETA’s attempt to shock us into adopting a vegan diet (or making our partners eat vegan, thus giving them the skills to leave us neck-braced and dazed enough that we forget to wear clothes to the grocery store). Because PETA thinks we should want sex to end in a neck brace, I guess?
Offensiveness of this ad aside (read more about the ways it normalizes violence against women in this post from New Black Woman), this and other similar PETA spots are just plain fucking lazy (heh). Next time they might as well skip the ad altogether and instead make a SEXXX PORN BOOBS VEGETABLES HOT BRAS word association game. Oh, wait…
From PETA’s website:
Apparently, NBC has something against girls who love their veggies. After we submitted our proposed Super Bowl ad, which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce, NBC nixed the ad, saying it “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” No joke, this is straight from NBC—so stop fondling your fruit salad right now and read the list of shots NBC requested we cut before they’d reconsider:
touching her breast with her hand while eating broccoli
pumpkin from behind between legs
rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin
screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy)
asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina
rubbing asparagus on breast
“No joke”? I wish like hell this was a joke. Look, I don’t agree with PETA’s objectification of women to promote porn animal rights, but an “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ad is one thing, and a VIDEO OF WOMEN MASTURBATING WITH ASPARAGUS is something else entirely. PETA has always trafficked in the “scandal” (and by scandal I mean oldest, tiredest trick in the book) of using semi-nude women in their ads, but at least in the past they’ve been able to pretend like it had something—somehow—to do with animal rights. This “veggie love” ad and its “sexy neck brace” partner in crime, on the other hand, were clearly made with the knowledge that they’d never get air time. Did PETA really think that NBC would run a spot where a woman is “screwing herself with broccoli” at 4:00 pm during the Super Bowl, “America’s Game”? The answer is no. No they didn’t.
It’s redundant and unnecessary at this point to say that these lazy, juvenile, sexist tactics are pissing me off, but THESE LAZY, JUVENILE, SEXIST TACTICS ARE PISSING ME OFF. Only fueling my rage is PETA’s obviously bullshit coy response to the pushback: “Apparently, NBC has something against girls who love their veggies *giggle giggle*,” (giggles mine, but you know they happened) as if they can’t figure out for the life of them why the ad was banned.
Look PETA, WE GET IT. You want us to associate vegetables with HOT SEX. You’d rather get attention than stay true to your mission (which I can barely find on your website for all the lingerie, but I think it’s animal-related). Fine. These publicity stunts are getting a little desperate though. Can’t you just shout BOOBS!!! next time and stop pretending it has anything to do with the ethical treatment of, well, anyone?