Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 24: Three months o’ links!

October 27th, 2010 11:48 am by Kelly Garbato

Considering I haven’t posted a link roundup in more than three months, this one actually isn’t all that long. What can I say; I’ve used what little free blogging time I’ve had to prepare for the upcoming Vegan MoFo madness. Speaking of which, brand spanking new graphics and an up-to-date press release are now available. Go grab some and spread the word! 400 participants and counting – let’s make it 500, kay? Come November 1st, you can follow the fun on Twitter (VeganMoFo, #veganmofo), the (new!) PPK forums, and Vegan MoFo Headquarters International. See y’all then.

Joel Burns tells gay teens “it gets better”;

Stephanie @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: “You Coming Out or What?”; and

The Bullies Suck T-shirt

In the wake of a spate of suicides, committed by gay teenagers who were each the target of homophobic bullying, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrated National Coming Out Day on October 11. Together, these events have focused attention on movements to prevent bullying – particularly those aimed at LGBTQ (or perceived LGBTQ) youths – including the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project. The former invites members and allies of the LGBTQ community to upload encouraging videos to its website, the message being that “it gets better”; the latter operates a hotline for LGBTQ youths and young adults in crisis, and also provides resources to parents and educators.

As part of this anti- anti-gay backlash, a number of celebrities and public figures have shared their own experiences publicly – including Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, whose heartbreaking speech went viral and was aired in full on various media outlets, including CNN (where I first saw it). I’ve embedded the video above; even though it’s rather long, clocking in at almost 13 minutes, I urge you to watch the whole thing. It will bring you to tears.

And, while you’re already a sobby, snotty mess, head on over to AR&AO, where Stephanie shares her own “coming out” story. These issues – homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and the like – are relevant to animal rights activism simply because so many activists belong to marginalized groups; nonhumans are not the only animals exploited and mistreated en masse, for no reason other than the simple fact of their birth. All oppression is bad oppression, and all forms of oppression harm individual activists, as well as social movements and the beings for whom we advocate. These are not “special interests,” to be addressed only after the “important” work is done; these are our interests, to be tackled in concert with other “isms.”

To this end, Ari Solomon of A Scent of Scandal, Josh Hooten of The Herbivore Clothing Company and Jennifer Martin of Ink Brigade created a line of t-shirts to show solidarity with the victims of anti-LGBTQ bullying. Called “Bullies Suck,” the tees are available for purchase through Herbivore (just $20, with kids’ sizes, to boot!); all proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project.

vegansaurus!: Hello, Friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!

KFC has been struggling as of late (apparently they lost 7 percent of revenue in the last year?) and it turns out that their target audience can’t even recognize the Colonel anymore. So instead of thinking “Dude, our problem is that our food is super-gross and also unfit for consumption, so maybe we should get rid of that monstrosity we introduced last year and rethink our horrible horrible menu as well as our choice to be known as chicken murderers,” they decided that their best course of action was to rent ad space on the behinds of college women.

“Keep quiet for the cause”: on sexual abuse in progressive movements

The insistence that women’s liberation is anti-revolutionary, or insignificant, or just so much liberal navel-gazing, allows rape culture to thrive in far too many radical political and ethnic organizations. And brave young women like Dinah get raped and tossed aside.

Vegan Feminist Agitator: Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Statement, zzzzz….

In the end, this woman who presents herself as an iconoclast and an artist is just like anyone else in line at the drive-thru, consuming animals for her reasons, basking in a set of privileges she is not challenging. A blasé sense of elite entitlement is every bit as ordinary and unoriginal and stupefyingly normal as someone in line trying to decide between a cheeseburger and a Big Mac.

Vegan Feminist Agitator: There is no Y.O.U. in Unity

People may claim that disagreements within the movement creates disharmony and is a waste of our resources: we should be unified, we are so small in number anyway, we don’t need to fragmentize further. I don’t “harmonize” with misogyny, though, just as I don’t with other forms of exploitation. I tend to think of this as a good thing. Those of us who speak out are often told that we hurt the movement. You know what really hurts the movement? When people use shaming, idiotic and mean-spirited tactics and the rest of us remain mute, bullied into silence, taking it on faith that there’s some amorphous benefit in maintaining the illusion of unity. What helps the movement? A diversity of views and voices and talents and people. Creative, truly progressive, smart advocacy.

Charlotte’s Website: The Egg Recall: Exposing the Problems with Reform

This is the reality of a capitalist economy: control of wealth and resources is concentrated in the few hands of an elite owning class. Choices then, for the majority of people, are indeed limited. If you don’t like what’s on the menu, you may be free, in theory, to choose none of it. But if the next closest restaurant is across town, and you can’t afford both subway fare and the price of the meal, what will you do? There are only so many times you can walk away before you starve. If there is no other way to meet your basic needs for enough food, good-tasting food, and varied food, you will eat what you can get.

Philosophía and Animal Liberation: Exploiting Femaleness and Violating Consent: Intersectional Abuse Across Species

Female animals are exploited both because they are not human and because of their femaleness.

Female humans are no strangers to this sort of exploitation. Women’s bodies have been being sold and exploited for centuries and there are always new ways that it is occurring. Even today, things like human trafficking, forced prostitution, and arranged marriages follow this suit. One of the more problematic industries that has been exposed in recent years is the “outsourcing of pregnancies” to India (Associated Press). […]

The concern for consent is absent in most of humans’ dealings with other animals. The dairy industry is one of many examples of how both the nonhuman nature of the cow and the femaleness of the cow are exploited and how other animals’ differing communication styles- lacking our verbal language- are used as an excuse to ignore their (lack of) consent.

Courtney Desiree Morris @ make/shift: Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements and

Stephanie @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Power Dynamics, Abuse, and Violence, Inside Relationships and Inside Our Movements

The entire make/shift piece is worth a read, but here’s a taste:

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. There are serious consequences for choosing ignorance. Misogyny and homophobia are central to the reproduction of violence in radical activist communities. Scratch a misogynist and you’ll find a homophobe. Scratch a little deeper and you might find the makings of a future informant (or someone who just destabilizes movements like informants do).

Using this as a jumping-off point, Stephanie offers her own thoughts on sexual harassment, abuse, misogyny and bullying in social movements. The comment section very quickly veers toward events that took place at AR2010, with some disturbing examples of…well, just go read it. There are 69 comments at last count, so consider this set leisurely weekend read, yes?

Food Empowerment Project: F.E.P.’s Food Availability Study, “Shining a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight: Taking a Look at Access to Healthy Foods in Santa Clara County’s Communities of Color and Low-Income Communities”;

lauren @ Appetite for Justice: Further Insights on Our Report; and

Marji @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Food is Power

The Food Empowerment Project recently published the results of a year(+)-long study in which volunteers canvassed grocery stores in Santa Clara County, CA, in order to assess the available of healthy foods – defined here as “fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as alternatives to meat and dairy” – in both low- and high-income areas. The 20-page report is available as a free .pdf download (click through the first link), with addition discussion and commentary on the FEP’s blog, Appetite for Justice (link #2). Marji also does a nice job of summarizing the findings for AR&AO readers (link #3). If you’d like to help fund the FEP’s invaluable work, please do!

Feminism & Psychology: Volume 20, Issue 3 (August 2010): Feminism, Psychology and Nonhuman Animals

The academic journal Feminism & Psychology recently devoted an entire issue to the topic of nonhuman animals. Featuring pieces by pattrice jones, Carol J. Adams, Donna Hathaway and Lynda Birke, the ten articles examine a wide range of subjects, such as gender differences as they relate to vegetarianism, anti-/speciesism in ecofeminist psychology, and what the gendering of nonhuman animals says about human society. While none of the articles are currently available for free, you can either purchase short-term access for $25 – or sweet-talk a college-attending friend or family member into downloading a copy for you. Unless you have access through a university your own self. In which case, shouldn’t you be studying or grading papers or something?

Marji @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Cow Shot At State Fair Was Not A Nutcase

Every year at county and state fairs, farmers drag heavily pregnant mothers, stick them in small cages in full view of the public and wait for them to give birth.

Yesterday in California, at the site of the state fair, a pregnant Holstein cow became frightened and bolted. The fair was not open to the public at the time.

Instead of backing off and letting the obviously stressed animal calm down, police decided to hop in a large SUV and drive after her. When that brilliant technique failed, it was decided the cow should be killed.

Ultimately, both mother and fetus died; “experts” – including a veterinary – swiftly commenced a shameless round of victim-blaming that was both ableist and misogynist in nature. For trying to escape her captors, a pregnant cow was labeled “crazy”; “a nutcase.” Meanwhile, the enslavement of billions of sentient nonhumans for human want and convenience – resulting in untold environmental degradation and no small threat to human safety and health – continues unchallenged. Who’s “crazy” again?

Vegans Against PETA: Thanks PETA, now I just spit all over everything.

PETA, on Janet Jackson’s decision to model for “luxury fur” company BlackGlama:

“It’s amazing what celebrities will do when their careers are on a downslide, but we didn’t think that Janet was this desperate. Surely, she knows enough about suffering and unjustified death to recognize that both occur in the production of a fur coat. We are asking her to think again and to donate these stolen skins to be used as bedding for animals orphaned by other human-caused disasters, such as loss of habitat,” PETA spokeswoman Amanda Schinke said in a statement.

Click on through to deconstruct this press release with The Venerable Vegan Empress.

Suicide Food: Sexy Hot Dog Tattoo

In which some shitbag actually shells out money to have the image of a sexy, busty, makeup-wearing, climaxing hot dog/lady hybrid tattooed onto his person. The upside? Vegan feminists the world over will know to steer clear of this loser. It’s like a Scarlet Letter, but in reverse.

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