Est-ce que le sexe fait vendre les droits des animaux ? LA RECHERCHE DIT NON !

Translation by Christophe Hendrickx. See more French translations of critical vegan essays by grassroots activists by visiting his blog, La Pilule Rouge. The original English version of this essay can be found by clicking here.

By Corey Lee Wrenn, M.S., A.B.D. Ph.D.

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexisme

Excellentes nouvelles tout le monde ! Deux chercheurs en Australie ont voulu tester l’hypothèse de PETA selon laquelle le sexe fait vendre les droits des animaux :

Des images de femmes dénudées sont utilisées par les annonceurs pour rendre des produits plus attrayants chez les hommes. Cette approche du « sexe fait vendre » est de plus en plus employée pour mettre en avant des causes éthiques, surtout par l’organisation de droits des animaux PETA. Pourtant les images sexualisées peuvent déshumaniser les femmes, nous laissant avec un paradoxe en suspens : est-il efficace de promouvoir une cause éthique en utilisant des moyens contraires à l’éthique ? Dans l’étude numéro 1, un échantillon d’étudiants masculins australiens (N = 82) ont regardé des publicités de PETA contenant soit des images sexualisées de femmes, soit non-sexualisées. Les intentions de soutenir l’organisation éthique étaient réduites pour ceux exposés à la publicité sexualisée, et cela s’expliquait par leur déshumanisation des femmes sexualisées, et non pas par une augmentation de l’excitation. L’étude numéro 2 a rassemblé un échantillon communautaire mixte des Etats-Unis (N = 280), répliquant cette découverte et l’étendant en démontrant que les comportements utiles à la cause éthique diminuaient après le visionnage de publicités sexualisées, dû une nouvelle fois à la déshumanisation des femmes représentées. Les explications alternatives relatives à la crédibilité réduite des femmes sexualisées et de leur objectification n’étaient pas appuyées. Lorsqu’elles promeuvent des causes éthiques, les associations pourraient bénéficier de l’utilisation de stratégies publicitaires qui ne déshumanisent pas les femmes.

La conclusion ?

Globalement, ces constatations sont les premières à démontrer que les images sexualisées qui déshumanisent les femmes réduisent les préoccupations relatives aux comportements éthiques dans un domaine sans rapport avec les relations de genre et le sexe. 

Salon annonce que PETA, en réponse à cette recherche, campait sur ses positions, insistant sur le fait que les femmes nues attirent le plus l’attention des médias. Donc, peut-être que nous déformons l’hypothèse de PETA. Ils utilisent des femmes nues non pas pour sensibiliser et mettre fin à l’exploitation animale, mais pour récolter des fonds et sensibiliser à propos de PETA. La tactique du « sexe fait vendre », comme je l’ai soutenu, est un indicateur du complexe industriel sans but lucratif, dans lequel des messages compromis et la récolte de dons sont prioritaires par rapport au véritable changement social. PETA ignore vraiment cette étude, même s’il a été démontré que leurs tactiques n’aident pas les animaux non-humains. Ils continueront à chosifier les femmes car « cela fait les gros titres ». N’est-il pas évident que cela n’a rien à voir avec un changement social efficace?

Three naked women stand behind a PETA anti-fur banner outside. A female bystander looks shocked.
Bien sûr, même si cette étude démontre que ce n’est pas efficace, il existe également une montagne d’études qui démontrent que l’objectification sexuelle des femmes est directement liée à la violence envers les femmes et à leur dévaluation.

 

 

Corey Lee WrennMs. Wrenn is the founder of Vegan Feminist Network and also operates The Academic Abolitionist Vegan. She is an instructor of Sociology and graduate student at Colorado State University, council member with the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association, and an advisory board member with the International Network for Social Studies on Vegetarianism and Veganism with the University of Vienna. In 2015, she was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She is the author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory.

Kedves Újdonsült Vegán

Translation by Eszter Kalóczkai. See more Hungarian translations of intersectional vegan essays by visiting their blog, Tudatos Vegán. The original English version of this essay can be found by clicking here.

Tartalmi figyelmeztetés: szóba kerül a szexizmus és a nemi erőszak

kép leírása: két félmeztelen, fehér, vékony, cisznemű nő, a testükre szaggatott vonalak vannak felfestve, és a testrészeik húsipari nevei, egyikük kezében tábla: “minden állatnak ugyanolyan részei vannak”
[kép leírása: két félmeztelen, fehér, vékony, cisznemű nő, a testükre szaggatott vonalak vannak felfestve, és a testrészeik húsipari nevei, egyikük kezében tábla: “minden állatnak ugyanolyan részei vannak”]

Kedves újdonsült vegán!

Kapaszkodj, mert kicsit döcögős lesz az utad. Amikor vegánná válsz, az először nagyon stresszes és sokkoló élmény lehet. Megtanulod, hogy mit egyél, mit vegyél, hogyan bánj a barátaiddal és a családtagjaiddal, és, hogy hogyan kezeld az intenzív haragot és szomorúságot, amit akkor érzel, amikor tudatosul benned a más állatok szenvedése. Ezek közül egyik sem lesz könnyű, de kérlek, ne add fel, mert minél tovább kitartasz, annál könnyebb lesz. Megígérem, hogy mindez teljesen normálissá fog válni, méghozzá hamarabb, mint gondolnád.

Valószínűleg meg fogod keresni a vegán közösséget, hogy segítsenek a váltásban, és rengeteg jóbarátot fogsz köztük találni, és rengeteget fogsz tőlük tanulni. Megnyugtat majd, hogy nem vagy egyedül, és, hogy vannak mások is, akik annyira szenvedélyesen meg szeretnék változtatni a világot, mint te.

Idővel viszont belátod majd, hogy vegánnak lenni egy dolog, de vegánnak lenni és nőként azonosítani magadat (1) teljesen más tészta. Ha épp párkapcsolatban élsz, lehet, hogy a párod ellenségesen fog reagálni a vegánná válásodra. Főként akkor, ha a társad férfiként azonosítja magát, a vegánságod kihívást jelent a férfiúi tekintélyére nézve. Lehet, hogy kijelenti, hogy sose tudnád őt megváltoztatni (akkor, is ha sose mondtál ilyet). Esetleg ragaszkodik hozzá, hogy főzz neki nem vegán ételeket, vagy menj vele nem vegán éttermekbe enni. Mivel nőként azonosítod magad, úgy érezheted, hogy nyomás nehezedik rád, hogy engedelmeskedj. A nőket kiskoruktól kezdve arra nevelik, hogy a férfiak érdekeit nézzék elsősorban. Ez nem jó, de így van – ne érezd magad rosszul, ha belemész.

Woman looking outraged as her male partner scoffs down a burger[kép leírása: egy fehér, szemüveges kopaszodó férfi egy hamburgerbe harap, mellette egy fehér vörös nő dühös arccal szóra nyitja a száját]

Ha nőként azonosítod magad, ne csodálkozz, ha a magukat férfiként azonosító barátaidban is ellenérzéseket vált ki a vegánságod. Például egy jószándékú Facebook-poszt, amiben emlékezteted az olvasóidat, hogy a nem emberi állatoknak is számít az életük, könnyen olyan reakciókat válthat ki a férfiakból, miszerint a.) túl érzelgős vagy, b.) túl nagypofájú vagy, c.)“meg vagy őrülve”. Az érzelmességet, a véleményednek hangot adást és a szellemi betegségeket mind a nőkkel azonosították a történelem során. A nőket könnyű semmibe venni ha túl nőiesek, vagy nem eléggé nőiesek. Évszázadokon át “hisztérikusnak” skatulyázták be a nőket, és intézetekbe zártak minket, hogy elhallgattassanak. Sokszor nem tudod, hogy viselkedj: ne legyél túl nyápic, de ugyanakkor azért figyelj a hangnemedre és ne legyél túl agresszív. Látni fogod, hogy lehetetlen nekik eleget tenni, úgyhogy inkább csak tedd, amit teszel, és ne törődj velük.

De a vegán nőként nem biztos, hogy itt véget érnek a nehézségeid. Ha úgy döntesz, hogy nem elég egyszerűen vegánnak lenned, és szeretnél aktivistaként is tenni az állatokért, valószínűleg még több férfiak által elkövetett agresszióval fogsz szembesülni. Mivel a vegán aktivisták többsége nő, ezért azt gondolhatod, hogy biztonságos hely neked. Sok szempontból persze az is, rengeteg női szolidaritással is találkozhatsz. Ugyanakkor a vegán mozgalom nagyon is a férfiak irányítása alatt áll. A férfiak vezetik a vegán aktivizmust – ők írják az elméletet, és ők döntik el, hogy milyen stratégia az elfogadható. Ők foglalják el a legtöbb helyet, és az ő hangjuk a leghangosabb.

Male-identified vegan leader gives talk with microphone

Ez a gyakorlatban azt jelenti, hogy sok nyomás fog rád nehezedni, hogy vagy csöndben, a színfalak mögött asszisztálj ezeknek a férfiaknak, vagy arra bátorítanak, hogy levetkőzz az egyes kampányok érdekében. Lehet, hogy nem kifejezetten a férfiak bíztatnak rá, hogy levetkőzz (a nők is sokszor részesek ebben), hanem a mozgalom patriarchális normái olyan környezetet teremtettek, ahol a nőktől elvárják, hogy szexuális tárgyak legyenek a “az állatok érdekében”. Talán elkezdesz arra gondolni, hogy mennyire “felszabadító”, hogy a jó ügy érdekében meztelen leszel. Ha ez jár az eszedben, akkor állj meg egy pillanatra, és gondold át! Jusson eszedbe, hogy csak vékony, fehér, cisznemű nőknek van megengedve, hogy az állatokért “felszabadítsák” magukat, és hogy a férfiakat szexuálisan felizgatni nem ugyanaz, mint izgatottá tenni őket a veganizmus ügyéért.Tapasztalaton alapuló kutatások tisztán mutatják, hogy a nők elnyomásának az alkalmazása nem állítja a befogadókat szembe az állatok elnyomásával.

Sajnos sokszor találkozhatsz nők felé irányuló szexuális zaklatással és erőszakkal a mozgalmon belül. Nem akarlak megijeszteni, de ez így van, és ezért előre figyelmeztetlek. Nem sokszor beszélnek erről, de valójában eléggé elterjedt. Ha nő vagy, ne hagyd, hogy ez elriasszon, csak arra emlékezz, hogy a nem emberi állatok társadalmi igazságáért küzdeni nem ugyanaz, mint mindenkinek a társadalmi igazságáért küzdeni. Tulajdonképpen azok a férfiak, akik hirdetik, hogy érdeklik őket a nők, színes bőrű emberek és más hátrányosabb embercsoportok jogai, nos, ezek a férfiak ugyanolyan veszélyesek, mint azok, akik nem is tettetik, hogy mindez érdekli őket. Ha te férfiként azonosítod magad, felszólítalak, hogy állj ki a nőkért, és tedd a vegán helyeket biztonságosabbá.

Úgy tűnik, a világ megváltoztatása bizony férfimunka. Ha nőként azonosítod magad, akkor valószínűleg ellenállásba fogsz ütközni, ha másként akarsz részt venni az eseményekben, mint a kávéfőzés, vagy a levetkőzés. De ennek nem kell így lennie. Ne hagyd el magad, maradj erős, hallasd a hangod, és követeld meg a tisztelelet. Ragaszkodj hozzá, hogy a vegánság pozitív, megerősítő élmény legyen. Ne hagyd, hogy egyeseknek az elnyomó mentalitása megakadályozzon a fontos munkában, amit elkezdtél. És ti, férfiak – mutassatok szolidaritást a nők iránt. Jól jön a segttségetek.

U.i. Ha színes bőrű nő vagy, akkor még tovább kihívásokkal kell szembenézned. Fehér nőként nem ismerem ezeknek a kihívásoknak a kiterjedését, de anni biztos, hogy a vegán mozgalom elég gonosz “színvak” hely tud lenni néha- Mindenképpen nézz rá a Sistah Vegan Project oldalára.

Corey Lee Wrenn, M.S., A.B.D. Ph.D. 

 

Lábjegyzetek

1. Ez a cikk a női élményről szól, beleértve a transz, interszex és genderqueer nőket is. Meg kell jegyeznünk viszont, hogy a transz, interszex vagy genderqueer vegánok további kihívásokkal találhatják magukat szemben a vegán mozgalmon belül.

 

Corey Lee WrennMs. Wrenn is the founder of Vegan Feminist Network and also operates The Academic Abolitionist Vegan. She is an instructor of Sociology and graduate student at Colorado State University, council member with the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association, and an advisory board member with the International Network for Social Studies on Vegetarianism and Veganism with the University of Vienna. In 2015, she was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.

From Domestic Violence in a Homophobic and Meat-Centric Country to Animal Rights Activist: Destroying the Hero Worship

Trigger Warning: Discusses sexual abuse, domestic violence, heterosexism, eating disorders, and suicide.

Destroying-the-Hero-Worship By Raffaella Ciavatta

Before I dive into this article I have to confess that writing it was not an easy decision. I’ve been wanting to write about it for a very long time but undressing myself before the eyes of people I’ve never seen, talked to or interacted with in any way can open the door to a lot of hatred. But it also opens the doors to all of you out there, who can relate to my experiences, and my hope is that you too, can turn violence into activism. This story is for you, brothers and sisters.

Pink flowery sheet set up as a tent with blankets and pillows insideI too have regarded women as prizes. I am no heroine. And for that I am sorry.

I was born and raised in Brazil, a tropical paradise, people say, where everyone is always partying, LGBTQ flags flapping on a hot breezy day, gunshots and pools of blood, a country which has as many steak houses as the U.S has Starbucks’ stores.

Growing up there was far from paradise. I discovered glimpses of my sexuality at a very early age, so young I’m not sure how old exactly I was but I’m going to estimate 5 years old. I remember this girl came to play with me and I took her to my bedroom. I loved to pretend I was camping so I used to make tents with my bed sheets. I invited her in. I kissed her. We touched each other.

About a year later, age 6 a man came to live with us. I’ve always had a talent to read people and I knew something about him was terrifying. I refused to call him father not because I was jealous that my mother was with someone but because I could smell the violence in him. I called him “Big Bee” (if you translate it from Portuguese), probably because I had been stung by bees before and I knew it hurt a lot.

Like most predators, he took some time to unveil his true self. Before that he had to gain our trust and approval, which he tried to get from me by buying me things, taking me to places I wanted to go, and by supposedly making my mother happy. I pretended to give him my trust but inside I was shaking.

Then the days when he would come home somewhat drunk started. At first it was because he had a bad day at work, long hours of art direction call for some whiskey. Those days started to get more frequent, the tone of his voice started to raise, his hands also started to raise. I put myself between him and my mother day and night, I begged him to stop, leave her alone. For some reason I knew I was immune to him. I didn’t fear for my life, I feared for my mother’s.

Every night I knew he was coming home because I could hear the revving sound of his car entering the garage. Sometimes I would hear it for minutes because he was too drunk to drive through it. I would never fall asleep before knowing he had arrived, even when it was very late and I secretly hoped he would die alone in a car crash. But he never did. He always came back.

Car headlights at night

He would come straight to my bedroom since my mom had started sleeping with me. Sometimes she would come out to talk to him. Inevitably I had to go out to stop him from beating her because he always did.

I studied a lot then, from 8am to 4pm. I loved school and I hated home. I never told anyone about what was happening at home. I became so hollow and cold I remember this one time I was looking at myself in the mirror, forcing myself to cry right before I went to school to see if one of my friends would notice so I could tell them what was going on. Not one single drop came out. I grinned and beared. It was almost relieving, to live this double life. In the eyes of the world I was just this kid, innocent and naive.

The drinking then started to happen at home. He would sit in his study, writing his pathetic poetry, pretending to be some kind of artist while quenching his thirst with a Johnny Walker bottle. He would fall asleep with his mouth open, in such deep sleep I imagined myself throwing all sort of disgusting things in it.

I have almost completely erased the 6 years of abuse from my mind without erasing the consequences of it, of course. But I vividly remember one night when I must have fallen asleep and I woke up to sounds heavy suffocation. I jumped out of bed. He was giving my mother a choke hold. My mother, someone who suffered from asthma, a choke hold. I jumped on him, I took him off her. I think this was also the same night when he had almost broken her wrist.

Leonardo Dicaprio, black and white image. He is young with shaggy spikey hair. Holding a large pair of plastic lips that read "kiss me"In anticipation of people saying I became gay because of an abusive male figure in my life, even though it’s a fact I was already attracted to girls before, I started to give boys more of my interest but let me point out, I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio – androgyny anyone? I was reassured not all boys were abusive and violent but I knew I didn’t want to be with them.

Not long then my mother had a brain aneurysm, right in front of me. She told me she covered her face because she felt like her eye was coming out. She was identified with aneurysm pretty quickly. I told her it was going to be okay, but that she was going to look like Sigourney Weaver in the movie Alien – basically saying that she was going to have her head shaved, operated.

She survived. With no neurological damage. A true miracle if you ask me. It would all have been good if we hadn’t gone back home and it had taken another act of violence from him to finally dictate that we were leaving for good. I was in my pajamas.

Not surprisingly my sense of justice and determination to fight against injustices only grew bigger: the same way I felt it was my responsibility to protect my mother, I felt like it was my responsibility to also help others. “Trauma and activism appear to be in contradistinction—the former defined by exclusivity and concealment, being hidden and out-of-sight; and the latter by action, out-in-the-open, in public,” says Outspoken.

I had always been drawn to helping animals, cats and dogs for the most part, but insects, birds and fishes also. At age 15 I also thought I was helping women by getting involved in relationships in which women seemed to need my help with a specific issue: straight rebel girls who wanted to piss off their parents, girls who couldn’t feel anything at all, girls who were taking a break from their current relationship, later in life married women, women who were just as lost as me. I would immerse myself completely in them, ensuring that they were completely in love with me. It was almost like art for me, how they would put me up on a pedestal.

The cycle basically went down like this: get involved into a relationship with a woman who supposedly needed an issue resolved, be the heroine of the day, get bored because the “challenge” was finished, leave. A few things to point it out is that this cycle was very gradual. It was never about the sex, quite the opposite, I despised one night-stands. It was for me a narcissistic need for attention, to feel loved but to anticipate the inevitable destruction of that relationship and so be the one who leaves it first.

I would then start to destruct the relationship, usually by cheating. I have cheated on almost every single girlfriend I had and I had many – I will not get into detail of every individual since I don’t have the consent to share our story publicly. I had given them what I thought they wanted and it was time for them to be on their own. So I abandoned them. “If I could recover from all the atrocities I had gone through, they sure could recover from a breakup,” I told myself over and over again to justify my behaviour.

Those relationships made me feel alive, made me feel like I was in charge. Between my self-destruction spiral with anorexia, a disease in which one disappears to be seen, bulimia nervosa (and very shortly with alcohol), my attempt of suicide, and my struggle with homophobia (Brazil has highest LGBTQ rate of murder in the world), from verbal to physical abuse, those relationships were something I had control of and I didn’t even have to feel guilty about it: it was consensual.

Image of fox that contains quote: "You become responsible forever for what you have tamed"

My favorite character in The Little Prince was the Fox, “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” My mother, seeing my vicious patterns tried to warn about the consequences. But I did not want to take love advices from her. Not after everything she had put me through.

I left Brazil to come to the US in hopes to leave my demons behind. But they followed me. I became involved in LGBTQ activism, feeding the homeless and became involved again into helping cats and dogs. My good deeds were still taking place while I continued to treat women like trophies, to self-destruct and of course, I continued to eat the flesh and drink the secretions of non-human animals.

It was time to go back to therapy. I was 26 and I was still getting involved in relationships in which I was the heroine, bragging to my friends about my “adventures.”

In parallel I became the board director at a dog and cat rescue. It was then that I came to realize the hypocrisy into saving some animals but not all by watching slaughterhouse videos, today I recommend this one. Long story short, I went vegan overnight, and most importantly I became a vegan activist.

I knew I needed help. To understand why self-destruction was taking over my life and how I could end my relationship patterns. It was because of doctor Laura and over 1 year of intense therapy (this was followed by other years of therapy I had done) that I was able to identify my mechanisms and make sure my patterns were broken. It was not easy. It was painful, humiliating in many ways, but enlightening.

I am a product of a broken home, like Placebo would say. It is true that childhood trauma affects and changes someone forever:

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is something that everybody needs to know about. It was done by Dr. Vince Felitti at Kaiser and Dr. Bob Anda at the CDC, and together, they asked 17,500 adults about their history of exposure to what they called “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. Those include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; parental mental illness, substance dependence, incarceration; parental separation or divorce; or domestic violence. For every yes, you would get a point on your ACE score. And then what they did was they correlated these ACE scores against health outcomes.

What they found was striking. Two things: Number one, ACEs are incredibly common. Sixty-seven percent of the population had at least one ACE, and 12.6 percent, one in eight, had four or more ACEs. The second thing that they found was that there was a dose-response relationship between ACEs and health outcomes: the higher your ACE score, the worse your health outcomes. For a person with an ACE score of four or more, their relative risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was two and a half times that of someone with an ACE score of zero. For hepatitis, it was also two and a half times. For depression, it was four and a half times. For suicidality, it was twelve times. A person with an ACE score of seven or more had triple the lifetime risk of lung cancer and three and a half times the risk of ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the United States of America. (Nadine Burke Harris 2014)

Do my destructive relationships have do with my past? Absolutely. But it does not excuse me or anyone else from seeking help. Multiple times if you have to. Our past cannot be used as an excuse to justify our actions.

Author stands at protest holding a poster of a pig that asks, "Will You Let Me Live?"

I overcame my personal trauma and transformed it into a catalyst for activism. It was most likely because of my trauma that fighting against injustices was so dear to me. However, as you have seen, I am no heroine. Despite my exhaustive dedication to Animal Rights and for that matter, to all forms of oppression, I have treated women like trophies. I have never been a predator, or engaged in any form of nonconsensual act but I have used those relationships as a way to feel empowered and then to self-destruct. I have also never shared anything about the women I was with publicly without their consent but I have disregarded the feelings of countless individuals.

What triggered me to write this article was the return to Facebook of Hugo Dominguez, former Direct Action Everywhere organizer, who has admitted to sex crimes. I see a few parallels between us, this is why I want to bring him into this story.

Hugo may have acknowledged his behaviour but he hasn’t actively and truly sought help. Someone who wants to get better will remove themselves from situations that will trigger the behavior again, and in his case his attention-seeking addiction is being fed by his latest return to Facebook.

I too have regarded women as prizes, so I know exactly where Hugo stands. I too have moved away from my country trying to escape my past, I too have taken a few months to reflect but those were band-aids on a hemorrhage. Overcoming a vicious behaviour takes time and commitment. It also includes giving time and space to the victims.

I have described my upbringing in detail to inspire others who have gone through childhood trauma to seek help. Consciously or unconsciously I have let my past dictate my present but we must use traumatic experiences to push us forward, to help us and others grow. I sincerely hope Hugo can.

We have seen the dangers of hero worship, so please, let’s destroy pedestals and let’s embrace one another on the same level.

 

Raffaella

Co-founder of Collectively Free, Raffaella Ciavatta is vegan animal liberation activist, art director, poet, photographer wanna-be, DJ in some past live and most importantly… a big dreamer who makes things happen.

Chère Nouvelle Vegane

Translation by Christophe Hendrickx. See more French translations of critical vegan essays by grassroots activists by visiting his blog, La Pilule Rouge. The original English version of this essay can be found by clicking here.

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexisme et violence sexuelle

Two young thin white PETA volunteers pose naked on a street corner with their bodies marked like meat cuts holding a PETA sign that asks viewers to go vegan
Chère Nouvelle Végane,

Prépare-toi, car un parcours mouvementé t’attend. Devenir vegane est, au début, une expérience très frustrante et traumatisante. Tu devras apprendre à manger autrement, ce que tu peux acheter ou non, comment gérer tes amis et ta famille, et comment gérer les sentiments intenses de colère et de tristesse qui viennent lorsque l’on ouvre son esprit et son cœur à la souffrance des autres. Rien de tout cela ne sera facile, mais, je te prie de ne pas abandonner, car cela deviendra vraiment plus facile au fur et à mesure de ton parcours. Cela deviendra normal et habituel avant que tu ne le réalises, je le promets.

Tu te tourneras probablement vers la communauté vegane pour t’aider lors de cette transition. Tu te feras beaucoup d’amis formidables et tu apprendras beaucoup des autres. Tu ressentiras un grand sentiment de paix en sachant que tu n’es pas seule et qu’il existe d’autres personnes qui sont aussi passionnées que toi pour changer le monde.

Par la suite, cependant, tu pourrais commencer à réaliser qu’être vegane est une chose, mais qu’être vegane et s’identifier1 comme une femme est tout autre chose. Si tu es en couple, tu pourrais t’apercevoir que ton/ta partenaire est hostile par rapport à ton choix. Surtout si ton partenaire s’identifie comme un homme, ta présence vegane pourrait présenter une remise en question de son autorité masculine. Il pourrait insister sur le fait que tu ne pourras jamais le changer (même si tu n’as jamais mentionné quoi que ce soit à ce sujet !). Il pourrait insister à ce que tu prépares des plats non-vegans, ou que tu l’accompagnes dans des restaurants non-vegans. En tant que femme, tu pourrais ressentir une pression importante à concéder cela. On apprend très tôt aux femmes que les intérêts des hommes passent en premier. C’est nul, mais c’est comme ça. Ne te sens pas mal si c’est le cas.

Woman looking outraged as her male partner scoffs down a burger

Si tu t’identifies en tant que femme, tu pourrais réaliser que tes amis s’identifiant comme des hommes sont également rebutés par ton véganisme. Par exemple, un post Facebook bien intentionné qui rappelle à tes lecteurs que les animaux non-humains comptent aussi, pourrait ennuyer des hommes qui sont prompts à répondre par des commentaires te décrivant comme quelqu’un de a) trop sentimentale ; b) grande gueule ; ou c) « folle ». La sensiblerie, le franc-parler, et la maladie mentale sont toutes des caractéristiques hautement sexuées. Les femmes sont vite rejetées comme étant soit trop féminines, soit pas assez féminines. Pendant des siècles, nous les femmes avons été stéréotypées comme étant « hystériques » et de là institutionnalisées pour nous contrôler et nous faire taire. Tu te trouveras souvent entre le marteau et l’enclume : ne sois pas trop sentimentale, mais, en même temps, surveille ton ton et ne sois pas trop agressive. Tu réaliseras qu’il est quasiment impossible de leur faire plaisir, et je suggère que tu continues simplement à continuer ce que tu faisais.

Male-identified vegan leader gives talk with microphoneMais tes combats en tant que femme végane pourraient ne pas s’arrêter là. Si tu décides qu’être vegane n’est pas assez et que tu veux t’impliquer dans l’activisme, tu feras à nouveau face à plus de violence masculine. L’activisme vegan est dominé par les femmes en termes de nombres, donc tu pourrais t’imaginer que c’est un espace sûr pour toi. De nombreuses manières, ça l’est. Tu trouveras de la solidarité féminine. En revanche, le mouvement vegan est fortement contrôlé par les hommes. Les hommes mènent l’activisme vegan – ils créent la théorie et ils définissent les tactiques qui sont acceptables. Ils occupent majoritairement la scène et leur voix sont les plus fortes.

Ce que cela veut dire c’est que tu ressentiras beaucoup de pression pour aider les autres animaux en ayant un rôle discret en coulisses en soutien de ces hommes. Tu pourrais aussi être encouragée à enlever tes vêtements pour certaines campagnes. Ce ne seront peut-être pas directement les hommes qui te diront de les enlever (les femmes t’encourageront aussi), mais les normes patriarcales du mouvement ont créé un environnement dans lequel on attend tout simplement des femmes qu’elles deviennent des objets sexuels « pour les animaux ». Tu pourrais commencer à penser que se déshabiller pour la cause est « libérateur ». Si tu commences à penser cela, wow, stop. Détrompe-toi. Songe également au fait que seules les femmes minces, blanches, cis sont autorisées à « s’émanciper » pour les autres animaux, et que réveiller les hommes sexuellement n’est pas réveiller les hommes sur le véganisme. Les recherches empiriques indiquent que faciliter l’oppression des femmes ne remet pas en cause l’oppression d’autres animaux.

Tu trouveras également beaucoup d’harcèlement et de violence sexuelle envers les femmes dans le mouvement vegan. Je ne veux pas te faire peur, mais c’est la vérité, et tu devrais être prévenue. C’est quelque chose dont on parle peu, mais c’est plutôt monnaie courante. Si tu es une femme, ne laisse pas cela te dissuader : rappelle-toi simplement que l’engagement pour la justice sociale pour les animaux non-humains ne se traduit pas nécessairement en un engagement pour la justice sociale pour tous. Vraiment, ces hommes qui insistent sur le fait qu’ils se soucient des droits et du bien-être des femmes, des personnes de couleur, et autres groupes humains désavantagés tendent à être tout aussi dangereux que ceux qui ne prennent pas la peine de s’en soucier. Si tu t’identifies comme un homme, je t’implore de travailler pour rendre les espaces militants plus sûrs.

Malheureusement, le travail du changement du monde est le travail des hommes. Si tu t’identifies comme femme, il est probable que tu rencontres de la résistance si tu souhaites participer à la sensibilisation au véganisme de façon plus significative qu’en faisant le café ou en te déshabillant. Cela ne doit pas se passer comme ça. Essaye de ne pas te perdre. Reste forte, prend la parole, et demande à être respectée. Insiste pour que le véganisme soit une expérience positive et ferme. Ne laisse pas les mentalités oppressives de certains t’empêcher de faire le travail important que tu avais prévu. Et messieurs, soyez s’il-vous-plaît solidaires des femmes. Un peu d’aide ne ferait pas de mal.

P.S. Si tu es une femme de couleur, c’est un ensemble supplémentaire de défis. En tant que femme blanche, je ne peux pas parler en profondeur de ces défis, mais je peux te dire que le mouvement vegan peut être un endroit vraiment désagréable par moments. Jette absolument un oeil au Projet Sistah Vegan!

– Corey Lee Wrenn, M.S., A.B.D. Ph.D.

Notes:

1. Cet article parle de l’expérience féminine, qui peut inclure celle des femmes trans, femmes intersexuées, et femmes gender-queers. Il faut prendre en compte le fait que les veganes trans, intersexuées, et gender-queers font face à un nombre supplémentaire de défis dans le mouvement.

This piece was originally submitted to an advocacy anthology designed to introduce new vegans to the movement, but did not make the final cut. For more information on sexism in the Nonhuman Animal rights movement, please stay tuned for my forthcoming release, A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory to be published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year. Please also see my publication with the Journal of Gender Studies, “The Role of Professionalization Regarding Female Exploitation in the Nonhuman Animal Rights Movement and my essay for The Feminist Wire, “Gender Policing the Vegan Woman.”

 

Corey Lee WrennMs. Wrenn is the founder of Vegan Feminist Network and also operates The Academic Abolitionist Vegan. She is an instructor of Sociology and graduate student at Colorado State University, council member with the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association, and an advisory board member with the International Network for Social Studies on Vegetarianism and Veganism with the University of Vienna. In 2015, she was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Dear New Vegan

TRIGGER WARNING: Discusses sexism and sexual violence.

Two young thin white PETA volunteers pose naked on a street corner with their bodies marked like meat cuts holding a PETA sign that asks viewers to go vegan

Dear New Vegan,

Brace yourself, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Becoming vegan is, at first, a very frustrating and traumatizing experience. You will have to learn what to eat, what to buy, how to deal with friends and family, and how to manage the intense feelings of anger and sadness that come with opening your mind and heart to the suffering of others. None of this is going to be easy, but, please don’t give up, because it will definitely get easier the longer you stick with it. It will become normal and habitual before you know it, I promise.

You will probably reach out to the vegan community to help you through this transition. You will make lots of great friends and learn a lot from others. You will find great peace in knowing you are not alone and that other folks are out there who are just as passionate as you are about changing the world.

Eventually, however, you may start to realize that being vegan is one thing, but being vegan and female-identified1 is another one altogether. If you are in a relationship, you may find your partner is hostile to your choice. Especially if your partner is male-identified, your vegan presence may present a challenge to his masculine authority. He may insist that you can never change him (even if you never mentioned any intention of doing so!). He may insist that you cook non-vegan meals, or join him in non-vegan restaurants. As a self-identified woman, you may feel considerable pressure to concede. Women are groomed from early on to put the interests of men first. It stinks, but that’s how it is. Don’t feel bad if you do.

Woman looking outraged as her male partner scoffs down a burger

If you are a self-identified woman, you may find that male-identified friends are turned off to your veganism as well. For example, a well-meant Facebook post that reminds your readers that Nonhuman Animals matter, too, may aggravate men who are quick to respond with comments about how you’re a) too sentimental; b) loudmouthed; or c) “crazy.” Emotionality, outspokenness, and mental illness are all highly gendered characteristics. Women are easily dismissed for being either too feminine, or not feminine enough. For centuries, we women have been stereotyped as “hysterical” and subsequently institutionalized to control us and shut us up. You’ll often find yourself between a rock and a hard place: don’t be too sappy, but at the same time, watch your tone and don’t be too aggressive. You’ll find they’re pretty much impossible to please, and I suggest you just keep doing what you do.

Male-identified vegan leader gives talk with microphoneBut your struggles as a vegan woman might not end there. If you decide that simply being vegan isn’t enough and that you want to get involved with activism, you are going to come up against more male violence. Vegan activism is dominated by women as far as the numbers go, so you may think it’s a safe space for you. In many ways, it is. You will find female solidarity. On the other hand, the vegan movement is very much controlled by men. Men lead vegan activism—they create the theory and they define what tactics are acceptable. They take up the most space and their voices are loudest.

What this means is that you are going to feel a lot of pressure to help other animals by taking a quiet role behind the scenes in support of these men. You may also be encouraged to take your clothes off for some campaigns. It may not be men directly telling you to get naked (women are in on it, too), but the patriarchal norms of the movement have created an environment where women are simply expected to become sex objects “for the animals.” You might start to think that getting naked for the cause is “liberating.” If you start thinking that, woah, stop. Think again. Consider also that only thin, white, cis women are allowed to “empower” themselves for other animals, and that turning men on sexually is not the same as turning men on to veganism. Empirical research shows that facilitating the oppression of women does not challenge the oppression of other animals.

You will also find a lot of sexual harassment and violence against women in the vegan movement. I don’t mean to scare you off, but it’s true, and you should be warned. It’s something that isn’t talked about a lot, but it’s actually quite common. If you are a woman, don’t let this deter you; just remember that commitment to social justice for Nonhuman Animals does not necessarily translate to a commitment to social justice for all. Really, those men who insist they care about the rights and wellbeing of women, people of color, and other disadvantaged human groups tend to be just as dangerous as those who don’t purport to care at all. If you identify as a man, I implore you to step up and work to make advocacy spaces safer.

Sadly, the work of changing the world is men’s work. If you are female-identified, you are likely to meet resistance if you want to participate in vegan outreach in ways more meaningful than making the coffee or stripping. It doesn’t have to be that way. Try not to lose yourself. Stay strong, demand voice, and demand that you be respected. Insist that veganism be a positive and affirming experience. Do not let the oppressive mentalities of some prevent you from doing the important work you’ve set out to do. And men, please stand with women in solidarity. We could use your help.

P.S. If you are a woman of color, that’s a whole extra set of challenges. As a white woman myself, I can’t speak to the depth of these challenges, but I can tell you that the vegan movement can be a really nasty “color blind” place at times. Definitely check out the Sistah Vegan Project!

– Corey Lee Wrenn, M.S., A.B.D. Ph.D.

Notes:

1. This piece speaks to the female experience, which may include that of trans women, intersex women, and gender-queer women. It should be acknowledged that trans, intersex, and gender-queer vegans have a number of additional challenges faced by the movement.

This piece was originally submitted to an advocacy anthology designed to introduce new vegans to the movement, but did not make the final cut. For more information on sexism in the Nonhuman Animal rights movement, please stay tuned for my forthcoming release, A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory to be published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year. Please also see my publication with the Journal of Gender Studies, “The Role of Professionalization Regarding Female Exploitation in the Nonhuman Animal Rights Movement and my essay for The Feminist Wire, “Gender Policing the Vegan Woman.”

 

Corey Lee WrennMs. Wrenn is the founder of Vegan Feminist Network and also operates The Academic Abolitionist Vegan. She is an instructor of Sociology and graduate student at Colorado State University, council member with the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association, and an advisory board member with the International Network for Social Studies on Vegetarianism and Veganism with the University of Vienna. In 2015, she was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.

PETA Sexualizes Woman’s Death in Canine Heat Exhaustion Campaign

Trigger Warning: Post contains misogynistic audience responses to campaign discussed. Also contains discussion of violence against women (specifically abduction and murder).

Not Safe for Work: Post contains misogynistic audience responses that utilize vulgar language.

Elisabetta Canalis in low cut tank top sweaty and passed out in the front seat of a car

By Corey Lee Wrenn, M.S., A.B.D. Ph.D.

With summer upon us, leading animal welfare organization PETA has been drawing attention to the dangers of locking dogs in cars with a commercial featuring model Elisabetta Canalis dying of heat stroke. PETA’s promotional website graphically describes Canalis’s death, calling it a “scorcher”:

As the car heats up, Elisabetta experiences the agonizing symptoms of heatstroke. As panic and anxiety set in, Elisabetta’s condition deteriorates rapidly with the addition of excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination, and a rapid heartbeat. Scared and alone, she desperately attempts to escape the car, which is quickly heating up like an oven.

Essentially, the video shows a scantily clad Italian supermodel locked in a car against her will where she suffers and dies. PETA exclaims: “Italian supermodel Elisabetta Canalis knows what it means to be hot!”

Nowhere in the commercial or on the promotional page is a dog ever shown. At all points, the “dog” referred to is the woman. Even the tip sheet listing appropriate actions for dogs found locked in cars shows an image of Canalis dead in the front seat.

PETA flyer for canines in cars: "If you see a dog locked inside a hot car: 1. Quickly take down the car's make, model, color, and license number, and have the owner paged in the nearest buildings. 2. Call local humane authorities or the police immediately; don't hesitate to call 911 if the animal is in distress. 3. Don't leave the scene until the situation has been resolved. 4. If you can't find the owner, the authorities are unresponsive or too slow, and the dog's life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, and take steps to remove the suffering animal from the car. 5. Wait for the authorities to arrive.

PETA defends the sexualization of this woman’s violent death because “sexy celebs” attract more viewers.

Twitter user asks PETA, "Can you explain why you chose a young, scantily clad model? Why you chose to maek her suffering and death sexy?" PETA responds: "Sexy celeb starred in vid so we'd reach more pple. 420k on YouTube have gotten important message thanks 2 Elisabetta Canalis"

If attracting more viewers is the goal, it’s certainly working. But if educating the public on Nonhuman Animal issues is the intent, the message seems to be lost on many. For example, the top two comments on the commercial’s Youtube page read: “Again, PETA has to resort to over sexualization in order to get their message across” and “Wouldn’t have happened, if she stayed in the kitchen.”

PETA-Summer-Scorcher-Top-Comments

Similar comments characterize the public’s response:

dog damn! I have never realized how sexy it was to let a dog closed in a car for a few minutes!!!

I want to get trapped whit (sic) that dog in the worst summer day god ever create (sic) if you dont (sic) mind.

i think this video is a great lesson to all women everywhere on the dangers of leaving the kitchen.

yay im going to do this to females, thank you peta for the idea

Women=dogs

mmm let me get in that car too n heat thangs up a bit more /licks lips

I bet this ad would have been cooler if she de-robed!

This did not teach me or change my mind on anything about animals…just made me want to fap it

never leave ur bitches in the car…got it…

This video has backfired in 2 ways: 1, I now regard women as dogs, 2, now I have a heat exhaustion fetish

And yet PETA insists the model is sexy, not her suffering and death. The point of the video, it reassures, is to “show how wrong it is to lock a living being in a car.”

Twitter user to PETA: "This advertisement draws heavily on imagery of violence against women, and you sexualized it. I believe it was intentional. PETA responds: "Sry u feel that way, that wasn't the point of the video. There was no violence, other than the extreme heat in the car."

More likely, the point of this video is to exploit sexualized violence against women to bring attention to PETA. Depicting a panicked woman locked in a car against her will is drawing on imagery of kidnapping, rape, and murder, an all too common occurrence for women. I can’t even say I’m convinced this is intended to draw attention to dogs when dogs are completely absent from the campaign.

Elisabetta Canalis PETA Car

PETA’s intentions may be good, but its facilitation of rape culture is unmistakable. A lot of money and time goes into advertising campaigns—these images were intentionally chosen to trigger particular cultural knowledges. It is not an accident it chose a “sexy” woman pounding on the windows in a desperate attempt to escape as she dies trapped in a car. The sexualization of rape and violence against women is a cultural norm, it’s something we respond to.

But aggravating violence against woman is not a valid justification for advocating on behalf of dogs or other animals. As evidenced in the viewers’ responses, trivializing the oppression of women to challenge the oppression of other vulnerable groups is not effective. People tune in for sexy misogyny, and exactly what they get.

 

This essay originally appeared on Feminspire on May 28, 2013.

 

Corey Lee WrennMs. Wrenn is the founder of Vegan Feminist Network and also operates The Academic Abolitionist Vegan. She is an instructor of Sociology and graduate student at Colorado State University, council member with the Animals & Society Section of the American Sociological Association, and an advisory board member with the International Network for Social Studies on Vegetarianism and Veganism with the University of Vienna. In 2015, she was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.