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Ink not mink: Discourses of Masculinity in Animal Rights Campaigns

Brookes, Gavin; Chałupnik, Małgorzata


Gavin Brookes


Mark McGlashan

John Mercer


This chapter examines how discourses around masculinity are invoked in animal rights campaigns. We taking as our data source two parallel campaigns produced by the animal rights group, PETA: the “I'd rather go naked” campaign and the “Ink not mink” campaign. We subject posters produced as part of both of these parallel campaigns to a critical multimodal discourse analysis. Specifically, our analysis focuses on the representations of male and female social actors in these texts. We demonstrate that the campaigns provide decidedly gendered depictions of the represented participants, and ones which simultaneously draw upon and perpetuate a patriarchal gender system, notably presenting the male participants according to hegemonic masculine norms while the female participants are construed in relatively objectifying and passivising ways. The ultimate aim of these campaigns is, of course, to challenge animal exploitation. However, when viewed through an ecofeminist lens, the discourses which underpin and are perpetuated by these campaign texts can be interpreted as (unintentionally) helping to sustain a patriarchal hierarchy which is toxic in the sense that it enables the oppression of people and animals alike.


Brookes, G., & Chałupnik, M. (2023). Ink not mink: Discourses of Masculinity in Animal Rights Campaigns. In M. McGlashan, & J. Mercer (Eds.), Toxic Masculinity: Men, Meaning, and Digital Media (87-109). Routledge.

Acceptance Date Jun 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 1, 2024
Pages 87-109
Book Title Toxic Masculinity: Men, Meaning, and Digital Media
Chapter Number 6
ISBN 9781032027067; 9781032205007
Public URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Toxic Masculinity
Men, Meaning, and Digital Media on 30 December 2022, available online: