Paper2FinalShenoy - Shenoy Mithali Shenoy Karen Guendel...

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Shenoy Mithali Shenoy Karen Guendel Writing 100: gender in the 21 st century 16 October 2012 Pam and Sleaze Sandwich Although humans are part of the animal kingdom, we are not “animals”. We cannot be oversimplified into the bare minimum of “leg, rump, ribs, breast, shoulder,” because we have personalities, and voices, and minds of our own as well. Recently, PETA released an advertisement with Pamela Anderson‘s bikini clad body covered in such labels, with the caption “All animals have the same parts.” This advertisement was banned in Montreal, however, because the government thought the commercial was sexist. This caused uproar, with many people, including a PETA spokesperson, claiming that the government of Montreal is confusing “sexy” with “sexist” (Eggenberger). Many people, including Anderson herself, have claimed that it is empowering if anything, because it is a woman using her body to promote a cause of which she is a strong advocate. However, sometimes, what is considered sexy IS sexist. It is inevitable that the line between “sexy” and “sexist” will be blurred, because in this case, Anderson is almost naked, and is displayed as a piece of meat; even though it is sexy, and catches the eye of the public, it is still sexist. PETA’s advertisement objectifies the woman’s body, and is targeted solely towards the heteronormative male audience. Pamela Anderson’s body is objectified in this advertisement. Anderson is sitting down, and her body is tagged with the labels that one would see on a slab of meat in a butcher’s selection. The caption (“All animals have the same parts.”) implies that women are not humans with superior brain functions, complex interpersonal relationships, and personalities, but simply
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Shenoy animals, like dogs, cats, and cattle. However, this advertisement stoops even lower in the objectifying of women, because it compares a woman to a DEAD animal. This completely adds a dehumanizing aspect not only to Anderson, but to the female body in general. Although some may argue that because Anderson chose to do this advertisement it is not sexist, but the advertisement doesn’t only exploit Anderson’s body, but the FEMALE body as a whole. In this case, the sexism is a subliminal indication that women are not fully human, while men are the norm of humankind and civilization. A woman being dehumanized and being given the same characteristics as an animal is a characteristic of sexism (Tuttle 292). Accordingly, Anderson’s and PETA’s comparison of women to dead animals is completely erroneous. This drawing a parallel of what's permitted with animals never will be with humans. This is because animals are lower than us. They are not intelligent, and do not live as long as us. Even though animals deserve humane treatment, they are unimportant. Comparing humans to animals is sick, because we will always be more important. We are the dominant species. We label animals in a butcher shop to be eaten, so it is natural. Labeling a woman in the same way is not.
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  • Fall '12
  • PaulLipton
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pamela Anderson

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