Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't even turn the television on anymore

Objectified flesh covered in dead tortured flesh. Sure sounds sexy to me. Designer Tuleh, who was on America's Next Top Model made sure to mention it was, as he looked at the womyn clothed and surrounded by flesh.

Insert the obvious Carol Adams critique here. Particularly for me, as I looked at the images and heard the (shockingly) sexist and speciest commentary, was the part at the end of The Sexual Politics of Meat where she iterates,

"For women in the patriarchal culture...we have been swallowed and we are the swallowers. We are the consumers and the consumed."

Wrapping yourself in consumable to most flesh certainly drives this point home, literally saying consume me as you would meat.

I keep getting these mailings from Nigel Barker for the last three weeks or so (okay, so really probably the HSUS or some other messed up organization [why am I still on their mailing list?] that pretends to be "for the animals" sometimes--but my e-mail sender totally says it's from Nigel, so...) and I know that these e-mails contain pictures of super cute seals, so of course I looked at them. And they are, SO cute. Like a cold puppy. And I decided to move Nigel up a few points on my cool list because he has this letter that clearly states,
"Like you, I care about animals and I don’t ever want to see them suffer...Each year, hundreds of thousands of defenseless baby seals are brutally clubbed and shot to death for their fur—most of which is exported to Europe.I still remember the first time I saw the shocking images: conscious seal pups impaled on metal hooks and dragged across the ice, wounded seals left to suffer…some baby seals even skinned alive. I vowed then to do everything I could to stop this cruelty."

Replace the seal with another being and fur with flesh and the same thing is happening, only by the billions. So, how is this different again? Shouldn't you be vowing to stop the cruelty to these beings used in this shoot? I don't know how some people's heads don't explode with the disconnect they try to make their minds mold to.

So, I'm obviously not going to show some pictures of flesh on flesh, but I will show a seal pup:
and while you're at it, take a look at this cute cow because s/he is totally worthy of your compassion as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Issues with addressing groups

(This is the post in which I will pretend I haven't neglected my blog). I think it comes off a little they said, then I said, in parts; but bear with me-I'm trying to get on the blogging track:

So, a few instances have popped up recently that has made me think a bit. A fairly new co-worker asked me the other day if I was from "the South". Being confused at the seemingly random question, after answering in the negative I asked her why. Oh. Because I used the word ''y'all" when addressing my table, which was apparently weird if I didn't hail from there. After saying very vaguely that it is my favorite gender neutral address, I was told that they were all ''ladies" and I totally should have totally addressed them as that.

I don't know them, or their gender; so I would never address them in a way that took for granted that. The topic, much to my dismay, gets continued fairly often. Cries of, "you did it again!", and little remarks of how I'm a "crazy vegan (though I struggle to find the relevance of this particular quip-maybe just to further emphasize how crazy I really am?) feminist" gets repeated now, and I just seriously never envisioned this thing as labeling me as such. Is addressing a group with gender neutral language that extreme? Really? How depressing. I think my next dilemma quite possibly enters that category, but even so; I think it's something to at least spend a bit of time thinking about.

I finished a short presentation with a classmate and afterwards the professor exclaimed, "thanks girls, and now I believe you two gentlemen are next?". Okay. Even assuming that the classmate I worked with identified as female, and following presenters identified male--there is no positive or helpful interpretation of that remark. It wasn't "ladies" and "gentlemen" which could have been at equal levels I suppose; it was girls. And a lot of times I think of myself as a kid, sure, (certainly at school sometimes) but this seemed deliberately dismissive; especially when put so closely with identifying two males as the latter.

What really irks me even more, as I've been trying to pin down as I've been thinking about it, is that it all seems unnecessary to me. How is it relevant what gender the presenters were (especially in a situation where all of us are getting a grade)? Is it really important to classify my customers as male or female and address them as such? No.