@TakingShapeUK liken women to animals to be hunted with #skinnybirdwatching

B-RuJO5IQAAboHk.jpg-largeThese images are actually from Taking Shape UK’s twitter feed advertising their new campaign #skinnybirdwatching.B-RuMJlIQAAxXBt.jpg-largeB-RuTXWIAAAMw3R.jpg-large


This is pretty clear evidence of a piss-poor understanding of social media, body-shaming, and and a failure to recognise the reality of violence against women and girls. Taking Shape UK are a clothing brand which specialises in plus size clothing. Their campaign features people sitting in a box on a road looking for women who are a size 6 so they can prove that size 6 isn’t that common.

Now, I’ve been that natural size 0 (4 in Canada). I’m pretty short but I still regularly got called chicken legs and accused of being anorexic. I was working in a bakery at that time where my diet consisted of free pizza pretzels, donuts and fresh bread. Completely unhealthy diet? Absolutely. Anorexic. No.

I was bullied for years at school and this shaming of my body for being naturally short and skinny was part of it. I’m no longer that skinny – not from having children (although I never returned to a size 0) after my kids. I’m now fat because I have been seriously ill for years with fibromyalgia and asthma. The steroids for my asthma made me gain weight, my fibromyalgia limited my ability to walk even short distances and I have an even worse diet because of comfort eating associated with depression.

I was once that object of shame for being skinny and am now an object of shame for being fat.

This is precisely the kind of campaign that makes me want to reach for those donuts again. It is body-shaming women who are naturally a size 6 – or those who exercise constantly to be a size 6 because we live in a culture where women are rewarded for it. Blaming women for trying to neutralise any possible “flaw” which could lead to abuse is pretty much the essence of internalised misogyny. It certainly won’t help women living with eating disorders like anorexia deal with their illness. Instead, it will make them feel more judged – and this is the very last thing these women and young girls need.

Taking Shape UK are objecting to the use of size 6 models during London’s Fashion Week by reducing women to animals to be judged like pigs at a country fair. Will we be judged on our plumage – acceptable as fat if we have great hair? Or, our skin colour? A quick skim through their catalogue shows only white women. Women are not animals and a clothing company which refers to its customers as animals has pretty much lost the plot.

What are they claiming is the perfect size? A 14? 16? 18? Do women only count who have ‘curves’? If that’s the case, I’m fucked as a short, fat woman notably lacking in curves. The language of the reprehensible ‘real women’ campaign by Dove is littered through this. That was nothing more than a cheap marketing gimmick too.

Why aren’t Taking Shape recognising that the  obsession with ‘real women’ having curves just as damaging as the  fashion industry’s obsession with size 6 models? All this campaign is doing is judging women for their bodies. It is the patriarchal fuckability test in action.

There is another side to this particular campaign which is troubling and that is the issue of stalking. Sitting in a box watching women is seriously fucking creepy. Likening women to animals to be hunted whilst sitting in a box is even creepier. Setting up to monitor women with binoculars with the intention to draw images of them (as it says in their press release) buys into a deeply misogynistic construction of women as objects to be owned and surveilled. This is precisely the type of abuse that stalkers engage with when they target women.

All in all, this is a disgraceful social media campaign and Taking Shape UK have seriously fucked up. No woman deserves to be judged for their body type and women are not animals to be monitored in the streets.

This campaign is pretty much the essence of misogyny.  And, the images below – well, Taking Shape won’t be getting my custom anytime soon.

bird 1 bird 2


Footlocker EU helpfully reminds us what sexism looks like

In the kindness of their hearts, Footlocker EU has helpfully reminded us poor women exactly what sexism looks like and that even women who play football aren’t really allowed to play unless they also pass the patriarchal fuckability test.

Being an athlete, of any level, is unbecoming for women.

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Thanks to @LynnCSchreiber for bringing this to my attention.

Yet, More Offensive Advertising from Dove: The Beauty Patch

Anyone familiar with my rants, knows how much I detest Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaigns aimed at making women feel better about no longer having prepubescent bodies in their 40s whilst flogging them over-priced moisturisers and face creams which certainly don’t do what they are advertised to do and are made from animal by-products. And, this is without getting into the whole Dove is owned by Unilever who also flog women Slim-Fast because they are simultaneously “real” and fat, as well Fair & Lovely & White Beauty skin lightening products – the racism of which is self-evident.  They also produce the hyper-sexualised Lynx ads which treat women as fuck objects for men’s pleasure incapable of making rational decisions because of a man’s smell.

Dove have hit a whole new level of hypocrisy with their new Beauty patch ad which is part of their “Campaign for Real Beauty”.

This was the opening advertisement for the move Spiderman that I took my youngest, super-hero obsessed daughter to see. I sat for the first few minutes trying to decide if Dove were marketing a real product or not. And, this is the problem.

Dove think the “Beauty Patch” is an interesting new advertising gimmick when it’s just the same old body-shaming bullshit dressed to make women feel stupid about not believing they are beautiful so they go out and buy the entirety of Dove’s range of products.  And, not only do Dove imply women are stupid, they are actively propagating the myth that women are too stupid to know that a patch on your arm can’t make you feel beautiful when you are living in a culture which is predicated on body-shaming women into buying unnecessary products fuelling the capitalist economy.

Dove isn’t interested in women feeling beautiful and powerful. If we did, there would be no need for their campaign.  We need to start examining these advertisement campaigns under the UN definition of “harmful cultural practises”.  This term is usually reserved for things other people do somewhere else to women over there and is inherently racist because it assumes western women are enlightened and empowered and are not subject to cultural practises which are harmful to their physical and emotional well-being. It ignores the reality of eating disorders, body dysmorphia and the increase in plastic surgery on everything from breasts, thighs and tummies to vaginas and anuses being deemed imperfect.

Our culture raises women to be nothing more than fucktoys. This is a harmful cultural practise and Dove, and Unilever, are complicit in perpetuating this harm to make money.

Because all this is is a way to make more women hate their bodies so they will spend all of their income buying products to make their bodies fit the checklist of the patriarchal fuckability test.

Frankly, Unliver can just fuck right off.


#CatsAgainstPeta : Because Cats are Awesome and PETA is not

Because who doesn’t love cats and hate PETA?

PETA doesn’t campaign to protect animals. It runs advertising campaigns glorifying male violence against women. How many of the celebrities involved in PETA’s campaigns wear leather? Use products which are tested on animals? Even know what PETA’s campaigns are about? How much does their intended audience care about animal rights? Who are their intended audience? Do they even know?

So #catsagainstpeta because I’d rather look at pictures of cats than stare at another image of a woman’s bruised and battered body that PETA thinks makes “edgy” advertising.

#catsagainstpeta storify now available!

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(Big thank you to Roweena for inspiring the tag!)


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These are links to some of PETA’s more disgraceful campaigns:

More Extremely Offensive Images from PETA

PETA and Racism

Has PETA gone too far? Sexism, Pornography and Advertising

Because Menstruation is Just Gross and Dirty

Try to Relate to Who’s On Your Plate

Eat Factory Farmed Chicken and Save Women: A Feminist Response to PETA

The “Angels”

Fur Trim is Unattractive 

The KFC is Animal Cruelty Campaign

I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur

That Superbowl Ad

Eat Factory Farmed Chicken and Save Women

Stay Firm and Fresh

Bunnies are More Important Than Women’s Rights

Women Are Just Pieces Of Meat

PETA Comes Out in Support of Domestic Violence



PETA: Stop Using Violence Against Women as Gimmick in your Advertising

My loathing of PETA is pretty well documented on this blog and at The Seething Cauldron. I always think they’ve mined the depths of human hypocrisy but they

always come back swinging; recently they crossed over into child sexual exploitation. PETA are not an organisation which helps raise awareness of animal cruelty; instead they reinforce a heteronormative, hypersexualised construction of women as object. They are about middle-aged, right-on white dudebros pretending they that are cool when really they are just creepy old men.

I fully support this petition demanding that PETA stop using images of violence against women as a gimmick in their advertising. 

This is the text of the petition: 

It is possible to highlight the issues of animal cruelty without degrading women. Exploiting the violence and abuse of women to highlight the abuse of animals enables abusive attitudes and behaviours – it is counter productive to your cause and makes a mockery of any message seeking tolerance and understanding. Highlighting one form of abuse by exploiting another shows a lack of understanding and complete disregard of the devastating impact violence against women has on our society. 

Violence against women is a worldwide epidemic – this is not a source for humour. Would PETA use child abuse to highlight animal cruelty? I think not – because, quite rightly, that would not be ethical – so I ask why does PETA think the use of domestic violence is acceptable? 

In the US 3 women a day are murdered by a current or former partner
In the UK 2 woman a week are murdered by a current or former partner
In Sth Africa a woman is killed every 6 hours by an intimate partner
In the US There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year 

UK Government statistics released in January 2013 estimated that: 

85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year.
400,000 women are sexually assaulted annually
1 in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.
28% of women who are victims of the most serious sexual offences never tell anyone about it. 

Please remove current campaigns and pledge to use ethical advertising campaigns that are considerate to ALL living creatures. 

PETA continually use images that depict women as pieces of meat and sex objects in their adverts. Images that are misogynistic, fat-shaming, sexually suggestive and anti-body hair. Most disturbingly they continue to use violence against women as a means of highlighting the plight of animals.

It would almost seem that PETA have a ‘policy’ to use violence against women as a means to an end to raise awareness of animal cruelty. See this truly disturbing and offensive campaign using ‘humour’ and domestic violence to promote becoming a vegan

PETA officially cross the line into child sexual exploitation

This is their new advertising campaign featuring 16 year old Samia Najimy Finnerty. I genuinely have no words to express my disgust and hatred for PETA anymore. Every time I think they’ve achieved the pinnacle of misogynistic hypocrisy, they come back swinging.  Now, they’ve actually made the move from using the sexualisedobjectified and frequently violated images of young women and crossed into making sexualised images of children, who are simply too young to consent to have their images posted with the slogan “vegans go all the way” across their body. 

This isn’t clever advertising and it’s not designed to promote animal welfare. All PETA care about is getting middle aged, rich white male celebrities to donate money to them and there is nothing more that particular cohort of men like more than being allowed to want to the images of young women, barely more than teenagers. Now, PETA have just gone one step further and actually used the body of a teenage girl.

PETA aren’t an animal rights organisation. They are pornographers.

Eat Battery Farmed Chickens and Save Women: Challenging PETA’s Reinforcement of Rape Culture

I know that this flies in the face of common sense and compassion but bear with me here. PETA’s campaigns are based on the idea that the objectification, sexualisation, and torture of women’s bodies are a great way to raise awareness of animal rights. They glamorise, romanticise and eroticise Violence against Women because they refuse to either acknowledge the construction of “woman as object” within the Patriarchy, or take responsibility for the harm they cause to women by their campaigns. PETA usually uses the bodies of young, thin, blonde, white women as a canvas for their protest. Whilst their protests garner public attention, it isn’t because people are interested in animal rights. PETA have become a spectacle; their message lost in medium of their protest. PETA also seem to have completely forgotten what exactly they have been campaigning for and instead have become obsessed with out-porning the porn industry in their objectification of tortured women’s bodies.

PETA’s newest campaign is called “Fur Trim is Unattractive” and it has been getting considerable amount of press for both the level of misogyny and the generalised nincompoopery within it. It isn’t a new campaign though. It is yet another recycled campaign designed to shock; despite being neither original nor interesting. It’s the normal “women with pubic hair are unfuckable” motif, as evidenced by the entire porn industry. One would have thought that an organisation who campaigns against the cosmetic industry’s animal testing practises might be aware of the links between pornography, the fashion-beauty complex, and the unnecessary torture of animals. One would be wrong. The very last thing PETA is, is self-aware. Nor do they care that they are supposedly campaigning to prevent the torture of animals by financially profiting from the torturing the bodies of vulnerable women in porn.

Whilst it is undoubtedly unpleasant, the “Fur is Unattractive” campaign is actually rather tame for PETA. Over the past few years, their campaigns and street protests have become increasingly violent and quite deliberate in their use of Violence against Women. They are no longer content with using the bodies of naked women or even carving up women’s bodies as if we were meat. This year alone they have had one advertisement, developed for the Superbowl, banned for having women simulate sex with vegetables; an ad which was only marginally less offensive from Voina’s ‘protest’ art involving women having sex with frozen chickens. Their second ad campaign this year, entitled ‘Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me’, should have been called An Ode to Violence Against Women: The Romance Period. It features a physically and sexually assaulted woman wearing a neck brace and covered in bruises because her boyfriend, newly vegan, has pounded her in every way possible. Apparently some of the unfortunate consequences of veganism and the subsequent “mind-blowing intercourse” are “sex injuries such as whiplash, pulled muscles, rug burn, and even a dislocated hip.” That isn’t sex. It is rape.

A third campaign developed this year to celebrate World Vegan Day involves a large number of men gyrating, in increasingly more violent ways, with vegetables in place of their penis. Surprisingly, nothing makes me want to give up bacon like a Dude with a cucumber for a penis, or so I’m lead to believe. I’m not entirely sure what PETA was aiming for with this but this is pretty much the definition of creepy:

“A cucumber has never looked so good – or so wicked. In honour of World Vegan Day, watch this spicy video that gives a wink to the sexual health benefits of going vegan by showcasing men enthusiastically and proudly showing off some healthy protrusions from their trousers.”

PETA have pretty much become a parody of themselves. It would be amusing if it weren’t for their constant perpetuation and perpetration of rape culture.

So, I say we start eating battery-farmed chickens to raise awareness of the objectification, sexualisation and torture of women’s bodies. After all, PETA doesn’t care how it raises awareness or who funds its campaigns, so why should feminists? PETA have gone so far as to develop their own porn channel to supposedly raise awareness of the abuse of animals. You don’t see feminist groups raising funds by offering to kill rabbits live on the web; perhaps we should.

I believe PETA’s advertising campaigns buy into the hyper-sexualised and hyper-masculinised culture in which women are treated as no more than Patriarchal fucktoys. PETA support, perpetuate, and perpetrate rape culture.

So, if PETA wants to reduce the discourse on animal cruelty to simply objectifying women as an advertising tool and encouraging rape culture, I’m going to start buying battery-farmed chickens.

Men went to the moon and women went to the bathroom:

Because there is nothing misogynistic in this image. At all. Clearly.

I wouldn’t bother reading the comments on FB which accompany this image. It will make you want to cry.

Misogynistic Advertising Walk of Shame: Gillette Razors; with a side order of Domestic Violence.

I first came across the new Gillette Razor’s campaign via Stavver’s blog. I just clicked the link, thought WTF and then retweeted. Stavver’s already said everything I would have so it seemed redundant to repeat it.  It’s the usual vile heteronormative arsehattery which insists that women must pass the Patriarchal Fuckability Test at ALL times. I would have ignored it and continued in my refusal to shave my leg hair. This was until Leah Hardy pointed out that one of the images is of domestic violence. If you click on the mirror, question 4 is this image:

That first image blown up:

That is most definitely an image of a woman screaming whilst her partner’s fist is clenched and he is grabbing her. 

The blog It’s Just a Hobby suggest we all complain to Gillette here. I will also be complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority. This is an ad campaign that needs to be removed. Gillette needs to be apologise and then donate a very large sum of money to Women’s Aid.

UPDATE: Apparently, if you can believe this, Gillette claims that the campaign wasn’t meant to go live today [see here]. I’m sure they will be back soon with some piece of faux apology with will blame one employee for making the campaign go “live” without addressing the fact that more than one person will have been involved in this arsehattery from at least two companies: Gillette and the advertising company responsible for the campaign. Whether or not Gillette meant to go “live” is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is that a large multi-national corporation has created a huge web-based advertising campaign which includes an image of domestic violence as punishment for not shaving one’s legs. It doesn’t matter how they run it from here, I won’t be buying Gillette again. Erm, if I already weren’t boycotting them for being the nincompoops responsible for the Proud Sponsor of Mums campaign. Oddly, I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

Not Quite the Misogynistic Advertising Walk of Shame but it Made me Cranky

Actually, this really isn’t even remotely close to making it to the Misogynistic Advertising Walk of Shame. It’s actually quite an incredibly cute ad by Ikea featuring a number of small, cherubic children setting the table with the help of their toys. The only complaint I have is that they have gendered the toys. Would it have been so far out of the realm of possibility for a little boy to have a teddy bear and the little girl the blue robot? It’s still cute though.

But, let’s be honest here, the best ad Ikea has ever made was the cat one. There is nothing funnier than a 100 cats let loose in an Ikea store. It makes me howl with laughter every time I see it.

And the behind the scenes video: