Saturday, March 24, 2012
In Germany, an ad campaign that was going to say "tofu is gay meat." Really? REALLY?
Yes, The Sexual Politics of Meat! Thank you everyone who sent it to me--it's going in the Sexual Politics of Meat slide show along with the other examples of homophobia and assumptions of the "manliness" of heterosexual meat eating men.
I couldn't say it better than Jeff Mannes, so let me quote him here:
Jeff wrote: "This phrase ["Tofu is gay meat"] is more than just funny or homophobic. It's sexist, it's speciesist and it shows how much, homophobia, sexism and other discriminations are linked together and how strong they are based upon the exploitation of animals.
"Masculinity (which is a key factor in the construction of homophobia, transphobia and sexism) is - in our minds - deeply connected to meat eating. This is so because masculinity is connected to power, to strength and therefor to the power over others, in this case over animals. And how could you better demonstrate your power over someone by eating his or her flesh? Therefor meat eating is strongly linked to masculinity. "Real men eat meat." If he doesn't, he's a pussy or a fag. Based upon this you have the sexual politics of meat. Meat/Animals is/are - often in advertising - sexualized as being a sexual object for heterosexual men to consume and/or women are shown as consumable objects like a piece of meat. The discrimination of women and the exploitation of animals go hand in hand and, as a result, so does the discrimination of homosexuals, bisexuals, intersexuals and transgender."
"Please read Carol Adams' 'The sexual politics of meat' to really understand how this works. It will open your eyes and give you a completely new and much more complete and deep insight into the phenomenon of sexism and homophobia."
Yes, the ad never ran.
Yes, this was a couple of years ago.
But in terms of the cultural context for thinking about sexuality, it is as though attitudes regressively reformulate the basic associations of the sexual politics of meat.
That is one reason I keep an archive of these images, to be able to trace how they appear and re-appear; how the ephemera of one year actually reveal a rather depressing genealogy of stereotypes.
Nothing like eating a dead animal to affirm masculinity. How many different ways does Western culture reiterate this point? Let me count the ways! Oh wait, I have.