“Hot Chicks on Board” – Gender, Meat, and Violence in Food Marketing in, and from, South Africa
Keywords:violence, ecofeminism, climate change, consumption, inequalities
From local wholesale delivery trucks that transport the flesh of chickens, to sexist adverts by South African-owned fast-food chains with national and international reach, the gendered nature of the marketing and consumption of meat in South Africa is evident in multiple media. This article analyses vehicle livery and television and printed adverts devised to sell meat to consumers, and argues that the representations of bodies – those of womxn and the bodies of other species – as being available for consumption (visual or otherwise), is an expression of the gendered social processes associated with food “production” and consumption (visual and physical) and the patriarchal capitalocene. The representations and production of food are innately linked to multiple forms of violence, including the repetitive visual aggressions associated with the female form being constantly under scrutiny and available for consumption. In the visual representations of convenience foods, the food and the absent referents they rely on deploy stereotypes of heteromasculinities and (hyper)femininities and are used to reinforce hierarchies of gender, species, and economic systems (and the violence associated with them). These images and food items thus act as “ordinary” indexes of patriarchal, capitalocene power relations.
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