The Sexual Politics of Meat, Thanksgiving Style

Every year, someone sends me a link to a recipe for a dead turkey that transforms the corpse into a buxom female. This year the link was to a reddit post. The presumption is that everyone will share the delight in this exhibit. 

In The Pornography of Meat I refer to examples like this as anthropornography--that is the sexualizing and feminizing of an animal. It is also a particular form of hate speech against women. As the New York Times pointed out after the release of the video in which Donald Trump discussed sexually assaulting women, for Trump men are human and women are women. In fact, it's not just that women are seen as women, rather than human, but that women are seen as animal-like or nearer-to-animals. Thus, women are animalized, and this animalizing perpetuates the notion of women as women, not human.

It's not just Donald Trump who adheres to these beliefs.

What is telling about this most recent sighting of the sexualized dead turkey body are some of the comments. I'm not talking about the references to drunk uncles trying to f**k the corpse or the ones that report on making a bikini with bacon, or refer to breast implants, or that celebrate sexual violation. The comments are from women who prepared the dead turkey in this way. 

Why would women participate in re-inscribing sexual objectification? The answer that came to mind is the answer that Andrea Dworkin offered in Right-Wing Women for explaining why women would participate in political and religious movements that seemed counter to their own interests. Dworkin argued that right-wing women had the same analysis of sexual violence that radical feminists had, but a different solution. Instead of trying to organize together to stop violence against women, right-wing women chose the solution of marriage and protection by one man against unpredictable violence. "Women fight for meaning just as women fight for survival: by attaching themselves to men and the values honored by men. By committing themselves to male values, women seek to acquire value. By advocating male meaning, women seek to acquire meaning. Subservient to male will, women believe that subservience itself is the meaning of female life."

Thus, women voted for Donald Trump and women prepare a dead turkey with big breasts, accepting male meaning.