Not exactly “new,” but this piece from trans activist/artist Julia Serano (http://juliaserano.com) is an excellent complement to the “Our Bodies and Lives” series posted by Ida at The Vegan Ideal several weeks back (see Transsexual Knowledge and Resistance; Transphobic Trauma, Transsexual Healing; and Questioning Cissexual Politics). Serano directly challenges feminist stereotypes which hold that male-to-female transsexuals serve to reinforce the gender binary with their uber-feminine wiles. She also offers a few choice words for defenders of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival’s “womyn-born-womyn only” policy.
The article isn’t available online, though, so you’ll need to order a back issue of Bitch (Issue 26, Fall 2004: The “Fake” issue) to read it. Or, for just a few bucks more, check out Serano’s Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, published in 2007. It’s on my wish list!
In honor of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (December 17), Ida highlights the words of Mirha-Soleil Ross, “a vegan, transsexual and sex worker justice advocate.” In snippets from several interviews, Ross addresses the topics of (radical) feminism within the animal rights movement; similarities between society’s demonization of prostitutes and coyotes; and the objectification of women and nonhuman animals – from all corners.
Johanna and Ida critique a recent anti-fur post written by The Vegan Shoe Lady (and later picked up and enthusiastically expounded upon by Taste Better!) in which the author encourages readers to engage in classism and sexism, as well as the shaming of sex workers and homeless people, in the course of their anti-fur activism. Because this just what the animal rights movement needs – to be perceived as a monolith of exclusionary white elitists, yes? Lovely!
What, exactly, makes one “human”? DNA? Behavior? Appearance? What of Neanderthals? Human-animal hybrids? Chimeras? (Or, while we’re at it, dolphins?) Humans who possess organs transplanted from nonhumans? Nonhumans biologically manipulated to grow human parts? Can one be 85% human, or is “humanity” an all-or-nothing proposition? And how do such dilemmas relate to the gender binary? Royce addresses these question and more. (See also: what if plants have secret lives?)
Meanwhile, over at Animal Rights & AntiOppression…
I’ve been stuck in a bit of a holiday-and-health-inspired funk, and while my writing has suffered for it, Stephanie, Deb, Mary & Marji have been posting up a storm. In the area of intersectionality, check out:
Can Farming Save Detroit?, from Marji. Urban farming in Detroit? Good. Economic revitalization as a pretense for massive land grabs? Not so much.
The Myth of Animal Consent – Deb, who is currently reading Foer’s Eating Animals for the Vegan Book Club, features an excerpt in which Foer talks about the myth of animal consent – which, it turns out, sounds a lot like the myths used to justify the enslavement and oppression of humans (i.e., “Slavery is a good thing, because blacks – being the mentally inferior sub-human animals they are – wouldn’t be able to survive on their own in civilized society. Their masters are doing them a favor, don’t you see?” or “Women must submit to and obey their fathers and husbands for their own good; they are simple/gentle/weak creatures, who know not what they do!”).
Milk Advisory Board – Our Cows Are Happy! – Marji debunks the ever-obnoxious “Happy Cow” propaganda campaign from the CA Milk Advisory Board, one bullet point at a time. Of particular interest are the many ways in which the reproductive systems of female cows are hijacked, abused and exploited. Bookmark this piece for the next “progressive” who insistently informs you that animal rights “isn’t a feminist issue.” Feh.
Slaughtering and Executing Human vs. Nonhuman Animals, in which Stephanie considers so-called “humane meat” in relation to the death penalty, supposedly also “humane” in its execution.
In On “The Moral Equivalent of Slavery”, Mary dissects an incredibly silly post at Grist that compares the environmentally destructive oil and coal industries to….American slavery. In this analogy, climate change crusaders such as Al Gore play the part of antebellum abolitionists. Um, try again.
In honor of the new year, the broads at Broadsheet compiled a list of their seven, errr, “favorite” feminist spats of 2009. Sadly, not one animal rights-related blowout made the cut. (Like, wtf!? Did they not see my awesome bingo card!?) Well, it’s time to change all that. Lace up your (cruelty-free!) boxing gloves, grab a spitoon, and get yer kyriarchy blaming on! Go forth and infight, vegan bitches! (And I mean that in a totally empowerful way, I might add.)
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