Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cosmetics and Science: Connecting Women and Animals

The way women are treated and the way animals are treated are intricately connected. It seems that in order to better the position of women, it is also important to consider the treatment of other and all beings as well.

After reading Lori Gruens article, “Dismantling Oppressions: An Analysis of the Connection Between Women and Animals,” I realized just how closely the treatment of women and animals are linked.

One major way that this connection is perpetuated in our society is in the dressing up of women. Through magazines, movies, and television, women are told how to act and look. This can frequently invole women covering their bodies in products that cause harm to animals.

For example, women are often told via advertising and other media that they must wear makeup. Many of these marketed cosmetics are tested on animals and as a result, force animals to undergo very harmful procedures. After the animals bodies have been used and abused during tests often performed by white men, they are killed and tossed away.

Where the real connection between animals and women comes in is that women are told to wear makeup because it pleases men. Therefore, the pain that animals undergo for cosmetics and the conditioning of women to wear the cosmetics are costs that are made to please men.

Furthermore, the fact that men own most corporations that market women’s products and that science is mainly driven by men drives the connection forward. In order to change the way women are treated and judged, it is necessary to also understand the effects hierarchies have on other facets (animals and nature) of life as well.

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