Monday, January 26, 2009

On male modesty, naked protests, etc.

Olivia Mora protests the unethical treatment of circus animals in downtown Greenville Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. Photo by Cindy Hosea of the GREENVILLE NEWS. (The protest was against the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, coming to Greenville the first week of February.)

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Wednesday, I wrote about PETA's penchant for employing naked women at their protests. In response I got this post, from "Lacey":

You folks might want to check the actual news: PETA uses men nearly as often as women and would use more except that women willing to get partially naked are easier to find.
This has been bugging me.

If appearance standards are more strict for women, why are men seemingly more modest?

Why are men so much less likely to get naked for a protest? Are men less likely to shed clothes in general?

Is this a way to make sure certain parts of the male anatomy remain mysterious and sacrosanct? Or are naked men also more likely to be arrested than women? (Since the PETA demonstrations are covered by the First Amendment, that doesn't seem to be the issue.)

In my post, I mentioned the readiness of male Yippies to get naked for protests. I was specifically recalling the infamous "streak for impeachment" back in the 70s, but there were several other such incidents.

Unfortunately, I found only one online mention of this fun chapter in radical history, focusing on the University of Wisconsin:
The UW's Daily Cardinal quoted various students who claimed explicit political meanings for the activity: fifteen students who chanted "Dicks against Dick" during their streak; a woman who planned to streak for women's rights; a male streaker who said, referring to Nixon, "We have to show that bastard we don't care about him and want him out. Streaking is an expression of freedom against his policies" [...] The paper also reported on "streak-ins" planned by the Yippies and ran an editorial by a leading African-American campus activist, Kwame Salter, calling for more political streaks [...]
It seems PETA is the only group left employing these tactics. Why has it largely fallen to animal-rights people to use this attention-getting tactic, and where are the guys?

Discuss!

9 comments:

Sarah J said...

I am pro naked men, wherever they happen. ;)

Ok, perving aside, you make some interesting points. I think the annoying part of the PETA protests is that naked women have NOTHING to do with the arguments they're trying to make; they're just an attention-grabbing technique.

thene said...

My friend Kathie (who is a ways older than you) has a theory that since the emergence of the gay movement homophobia has caused men to become far more constrained in their gender presentation, and in the ways they bond with each other.

(The reason I'm not blogging lately is that I've been busy engaging in, err, an internet-based, distributed protest in favour of naked men. I love my fandom).

sheila said...

Yeah, it's a head scratcher. (or maybe a butt scratcher. lol)

JoJo said...

I'm still so utterly pissed off at Lacey's self righteous preaching at me for still eating dairy instead of soy products.

And the answer is, no one wants to look at naked men, that's why.

lilacsigil said...

There was a photo of a PETA protest in the newspaper this morning (Melbourne Herald Sun) and I counted at least 6 naked women (including one who was the focus of the picture) but there was one naked man right behind her (presumably - he was only visible from the waist up). The protest wasn't even in Australia or about Australian products, so I agree that with Sarah J that it's just attention-grabbing, and the media plays right into it.

Anonymous said...

My theory is that women will do anything for attention.


PT

Anonymous said...

And the answer is, no one wants to look at naked men, that's why.

Guess what, JoJo? You're wrong!

Neil Sinhababu said...

the annoying part of the PETA protests is that naked women have NOTHING to do with the arguments they're trying to make; they're just an attention-grabbing technique.

I don't think this is too much of a problem. Lots of hunger strikes are for causes that have little to do with hunger, for example. While it's nice when a tactic connects with the message, it's okay if it doesn't.

a. brown said...

I've written to PETA before to complain about their lame grabs for attention, and I actually got back the response, "Sex sells."

Seriously. So does bacon, but you don't want people buying that. Sheesh.