Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 23: lolz the douche away

July 22nd, 2010 7:51 pm by Kelly Garbato

lol batman - get that dood-elle

lol batman – get that dood-elle!” – Running through the streets of Gotham, a cheesy, live-action, retro ’60s Batman and Robin try desperately to apprehend a certain sexist blogger before he can unleash any further douchebaggery upon the women of Blogville. “HOLY FUCKING PATRONIZING SEXISM,” goes the refrain of this lol batman.
TV still via the internets; quote via Stephanie; and photoshopping via moi.
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Though I haven’t been posting much ’round these parts lately

[and have all but abandoned ship over at AR&AO, for which I apologize to Stephanie & Co. profusely, and pledge to do better once things calm down here at Casa del Garbato-Brady, otherwise known as the Garden of Vegan, a title which I swear I will one day have posted at our driveway's front gate, threats of TP and eggs be damned]

rest assured that I’ve been busy, busy, busy, namely: working on several projects – including developing a website for my fledgling business

[Remember my - by which I mean Shane's - pizza press idea of last October? We are totally doing it! Slowly but surely, anyway. Our website isn't quite ready yet, so if you'd like to follow our progress, like us on Facebook, mkay?];

revamping another

[POP! goes The Vegan., whose database of vegan reviews should really be on the front page, with the blog in an ancillary position, seeing as the database is the main f'in attraction. What I was thinking by reversing their positions, I know not.];

and launching yet another brand-spankin’ new website

[Schlong4Seals! OMG, just reflecting on all the man-sausages and dick jokes waiting in the wings is enough to bring a smile to my normally frowny face. (I almost always look annoyed, even when I'm not; it's must be the humorless feminist in me, I guess.) I was a little incensed when the Fraternal Order of Facebook killed my SCHLONGS4SEALS group, but in retrospect, I think they did me a solid. A solid I shall return by plastering FB with links to all my super-awesome crotch shots and "seven ways to save the seals using only your cock" posts! Oh, I cannot wait. *Channeling the spirit of Will Ferrell*]

- the height of insanity, since clearly I already have more blogs than I can keep track of. Silly, silly rabbit.

Oh, and the zazzle store! A few designs for which I still need to create. Yeah, let’s save that for later, shall we?

Anyhow, on to issue #23 of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” On accounta me being in a mad hurry tonight, I’ve forgone most of my normal commentary in lieu of excerpts. That’s okay, though; I’ve got a great batch of links to share with y’all, so best to let the individual bloggers speak for themselves.

Browse, share, enjoy – and then blame and smash. Go!

lol-psycat - narcissus

lol-psycat – narcissus” – Apropos of the dood-elle mentioned above, “narcissistic cat is his own screensavr.” (For those who can’t view the image, a black cat lounges atop a computer monitor, which currently displays a photo of…a black cat!) Not super-relevant to the rest of the post, but I felt like I needed a break between my semi-coherent ramblings above and the über-awesome link roundup below. Anal, who me?
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INCITE! Blog: Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements

To save our movements, we need to come to terms with the connections between gender violence, male privilege, and the strategies that informants (and people who just act like them) use to destabilize radical movements. Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved.

(Hat tip, Jenna at L.O.V.E.)

Vegan Feminist Agitator: Exploitation + Objectification = Conklin Farms. (In other words, business as usual.)

The process through which we make peace with the inherent injustice of how we treat non-humans occurs because of objectification, the largely unconscious fragmentation system through which sentient beings are turned into objects. It is easier for the mind to integrate the misuse of objects than the abuse of living beings. Through this process, individuation collapses: all cows, all hens become a single entity to be turned into product. Those who are in power have their interests interpreted as a natural right rather a personal desire. When our interests require the subjugation of another, objectification makes the acquiring of what we want that much easier.

Digging Through the Dirt: Promotion of Veal on Columbus Day Adds to Insult

Because we think of ourselves as exceptional, we view “the other” as inferior. Descendents of native peoples and of African slaves are still regarded as inferior in this country, in general. And animals are treated as such, too. They exist for our purposes; they have no value except that which we bestow upon them, usually in the form of dollars. It’s all about what we can get from them — their flesh, their milk, their eggs — just as it was for Columbus. What could he get from the native peoples?

Stephanie @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Skinny Bitch, PETA, and Our Fear of Dissent

It’s not just about hurt feelings [in response to "I'm willing to deal with a little hurt feelings if that means the movement gains the patronage of an entire new demographic"]. It’s about perpetuating sexist, hurtful notions that have real consequences for real women. It’s about real women’s struggles, some of them quite serious. . . . The animal rights movement doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and for as long as we pretend that it does, there will be entire new demographics we *can’t* reach because they see us as so hurtful, oblivious, and single-track. The animal rights movement I want to be a part of embraces all battles for social justice, opposes all oppression, and doesn’t feel that it’s OK to cut down and dismiss one group to help another.

and also:

HOLY FUCKING PATRONIZING SEXISM.

(That quote needs to be immortalized on a tee, methinks.)

Lisa @ Sociological Images: Buns for Puns: CodePink Protests BP

On a “nearly naked” protest of BP by the feminist group Code Pink:

The PETA strategy is like a virus, spreading grossly from one social movement to another. Angry Green Girl, for example, Animals Awake, and the Alliance for Animal Rights have essentially copied PETA’s tactics.

It’s striking that this particular one is overtly feminist. It’s also striking that both Suburban Guerrilla and Feministe failed to remark about the ludicrousness of using (nearly) naked women to protest something entirely unrelated to nudity. The only reason it makes sense to use women’s naked bodies in a protest is because women’s naked bodies (in Western culture) are things to be used.

There’s so much more to say re: Code Pink vs. PETA’s use of female nudity, but since I’m running short on time, I’ll just pause to point out one key (IMHO) difference between the two groups: CP is a largely grassroots, non-hierarchical organization that’s comprised of – and welcoming to – women of all shapes on sizes. In contrast, PETA is more corporatist, what with its hierarchical, top-down, march-in-lockstep structure, and primarily seems interested in displaying the bodies of female celebrities and would-be models. Given these differences, which group do you think more likely to value and respect the opinions, feedback, and wishes of its volunteers – and to engage in naked/semi-naked protests only when all participants are comfortable in so doing?

That said, I still agree with Lisa’s implication that omni feminists are quick to criticize the use of female nudity in defense of nonhuman animals as inherently objectifying to women – but are, collectively, a tad more forgiving when the females getting naked are doing so for human rights causes. Speciesist much?

Carmen Dell’ Aversano @ The Scavenger: Queering the human-animal bond

Historically, queer’s primary aim has been to draw attention to incoherencies in the allegedly stable relations between chromosomal sex, gender and sexual desire, and to question the dominant model of heterosexuality, demonstrating the impossibility of any “natural” sexuality, and calling into question even such apparently unproblematic terms as “man” and “woman”.

Theoretically, though, it is vital to note that queer is about sex only incidentally: the real topic of its polymorphously transgressive reflections is identity; the fundamental – and most productive – idea in queer is that identity is not an essence but a performance, exacted through a pervasive matrix of assumptions and expectations, and that subjects themselves only come into being as products of performances. [...]

In the case of animal queer, the dominant normative model to be questioned is of course the assumption of a “natural divide between species”. Just as heteronormativity grotesquely maintains that any member of the “opposite sex” is more appropriate, suitable and attractive as a sexual partner than any member of one’s own, humanormativity maintains that all members of one species (homo sapiens) have more in common with one another than any of them can have with any member of any other species.

Animal Place: Dairy Farmers Waste Milk

On July 4th, participating dairy farmers plan on wasting a day’s worth of milk to make a point. They aren’t getting paid enough to maintain their dairy farms. So their solution for losing money is to squander a day’s worth of milk.

This isn’t anything new. Last year, European dairy farmers did the same thing. They dumped a whopping 6.6 million gallons of milk on their fields. Probably not the best way to feed your plants. Belgian dairy farmers alone dumped more than 750,000 gallons of milk.

Of course it is unfair to not be paid an appropriate price for the work you do.

But who is doing the work?

Amy Benfer @ Broadsheet: The rise of the digital wet nurse

Yes, breast milk is awesome stuff. But isn’t asking another woman to lactate for your child kind of … weird?

No “weirder” than imprisoning a female, subjecting her to repeated cycles of forced pregnancy and birth, and then kidnapping her baby (to either similarly imprison her or slaughter him) and stealing the milk meant for that disappeared child. Oh, and then killing that same female once she’s deemed “spent.”

Besides, modern breast milk banks are volunteer operations – mothers are not paid for their milk, thus negating the incentive for impoverished or marginalized women to sell milk that would otherwise go to their own children. The author eventually reaches this conclusion, making the points raised at the beginning of the piece non-issues. And yet, the suffering of dairy cows doesn’t merit a mention.

To find out more about breast milk banks, check out the “Breast is Best” section in the blogroll. (And if you have any suggested resources, please share! It’s a pretty skimpy section at the moment.)

Holly Kretschmar @ Salon: On tonight’s menu: Placenta

Before getting pregnant, the idea of eating my placenta had never occurred to me. My hippie aunt had buried hers under a tree. That sounded nice. But a month before my son was born, my doula (a birth assistant I hired to coach me during labor) asked, “Do you know what you want to do with your placenta? I have a great recipe.”

Again, while most people will cringe at the above excerpt, eating one’s own placenta is objectively no weirder than consuming the flesh of an anemic baby. In fact, the latter makes the former look downright sane. Shiny. Brimming with puppies and rainbows and unicorns. Totally fucking awesome.

At least, that’s how I see it.

Riddhi Shah @ Salon: Men eat meat, women eat chocolate: How food gets gendered; How food gets assigned a gender and

Vegan Burnout: Food plus gender? Sign me up!

Salon has an interesting piece today: “Men eat meat, women eat chocolate: How food gets gendered.” I encourage you to read it, then bring your love back here and talk about it with me. We already know what the headline points out: Certain foods are considered masculine (mmmmm, animal carcass), while others are feminine (gimme that candy bar, I’m PMSing). Of course, the heavy hand of marketing is everywhere we look, but what really captured my interest was this little factoid: In other countries, food is rarely gendered this way.

Skepchick: The Skeptic Next Door: Carrie Poppy

We have discussed briefly that it seems logical that a rational person would become a vegetarian or a vegan could you talk a bit about that and explain why?

There are a couple of reasons. For one, secularists are used to bucking the trend and ‘thinking outside the box.’ We’re disillusioned with tradition and cultural norm. We know that horrible things have been justified in the name of religion, power, status quo. We’re good at questioning things. So it makes sense that a critical thinker questions whether we should mistreat animals over something as unimportant as liking the taste of their flesh or having an affinity for milkshakes.

The second thing is, we’re good at researching and we like to learn. A lot of people think cows just go on producing milk all the time (even though every other species just does that when they’re pregnant or just gave birth), or that animals are usually slaughtered humanely, or that chickens wander around in tall grasses and lay eggs once a week. But secularists often know the truth about factory farming– that animals are crammed into tiny cages, their kids are torn away at birth, they have their throats slit and bleed to death. We know animals are treated in horrible ways to get those products because we’ve read, we’ve been educated. And once you know, you have to ask yourself if you support it. A lot of people refuse to pay for animal cruelty once they know.

And finally, we’re done with religion telling us we’re special. We realize we’re not the center of the universe, that no God put this earth here for us. We need to realize the same is true of the animals. I think the Judeo-Christian world view really still has a grip on a lot of us when it comes to animal rights. The Bible teaches us that animals are ours to treat as we want because they are lesser than us. But science has shown us that animals are as capable of feeling pain as I am. As secularists, we should be moving past treating animals as commodities, and seeing them as fellow sentient organisms that weren’t created for us. We’re not the center of the universe, but we’re not the center of the web of life either– we’re just the species with the most power. That means we also have the greatest capacity for mercy.

ecorazzi: Leona Lewis’ Meat Free Tour Causing Cranky Staff To Bear Their Teeth

Brace yourselves, peoples. I’m about to give some rare props to ecorazzi for outing some sexist bullshit (!):

When Paul McCartney declared his Up and Coming concert tour a meat-free zone by furnishing 480 daily 100% veggie based meals to his staff and crew, everyone seemed to applaud his efforts with a huge high-five. Now that fellow Brit rocker Leona Lewis has followed suit with her Labyrinth tour by banning all animal products (and even sporting a $262,500 self-funded, ethically produced wardrobe that meets “the highest animal welfare standards”), crew members are working themselves into a tizzy, complaining that she’s a demanding bee-yotch. Heyyy…wait just a second. What gives? Is there a double-standard at play?

I would say that hell hath frozen over, but the heat index in my neck of the woods topped off at 108F today, so…not so much.

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2 Responses to “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 23: lolz the douche away”

  1. Shannon (Vegan Burnout) Says:

    Thanks for the link love! I’ve kinda hit pause on the blog while I settle in to my new job, but I hope to get back on a regular posting schedule within a few weeks.

  2. Kelly Garbato Says:

    I noticed that! fwiw, you’re not the only one – a number of bloggers (myself included) seem to be on semi-vacation this summer.

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