Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 10: Feminist Dilemmas, Light Switches & Veg/an Vampires

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

I know y’all hear this entirely too often, but it’s been a long time since I last posted an intersectionality link roundup. Too long! What can I say? VeganMoFo monopolized my October. (But seriously, we have to stop intersecting like this.)

Alas, many of these links are a little older, but still worth a look.

Jennie @ That Vegan Girl: Vegans and vampires and

Breeze Harper @ Vegans of Color: Twilight and Vegetarian Vampires? New Philosophy book…

Though I’ve shied away from the Twilight series due to its not-so-subtle misogyny, I may have to reconsider, given the books’ allusions to vegetarianism. Nor is vegetarianism an uncommon theme in vampire fiction. In the first link, Jennie explores vegetarianism and veganism in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, as well as the HBO TV series True Blood (which is based on another series of books, Charlaine Harris’s The Southern Vampire Mysteries). In the second, Breeze Harper of VOC points to a new anthology on the subject, Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality, which has since been added to my wishlist.

Ari Solomon @ The Huffington Post: The Feminist’s Dilemma

Vegan entrepreneur and dudely feminist (or pro-feminist/ally, if you prefer) Ari Soloman argues that the plight of nonhuman animals is indeed a feminist issue. Using the lives and deaths of “dairy” cows as an example, he posits that the human exploitation of nonhuman animals is oftentimes gendered, with the females of the species suffering especially brutal and prolonged abuses – all because they’re capable of perpetuating the species/industry. Naturally, I agree.

(More below the fold…)

Dear Bust, redux:

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

While I love that your latest issue features a cover story on “funny girls” Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho and Kirsten Schaal, I’m less than amused by your “green party” menu, which reads as follows:

Bread and cheese
Maple-glazed acorn squash
Green beans with onion sprinkles
Golden-crusted Brussels sprouts
Turkey with gravy
Sage, walnut, and dried-fig stuffing
Rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie
Vanilla ice cream with ginger-pear preserves
Artisanal dark chocolate bars
Hot apple cider
Beer, red wine, and sparkling cider

Turkey, cheese and ice cream are not “green” – not even close. Factory farmed cows – you know, the milk machines who produce all those bodily secretions found in your dairy products? – are, according to the U.N., “responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.”

As summarized at treehugger, the U.N. also reports that:

“Ranching, the report adds, is “the major driver of deforestation” worldwide, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert.Cows also soak up vast amounts of water: it takes a staggering 990 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.

Wastes from feedlots and fertilisers used to grow their feed overnourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. And the pesticides, antibiotics and hormones used to treat them get into drinking water and endanger human health.

The pollution washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating “dead zones” devoid of life. One is up to 21,000sqkm, in the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the waste from US beef production is carried down the Mississippi.”

Dairy is not “green.” I repeat: Dairy. Is. Not. Green.

Now let’s talk turkey – which, ahem, isn’t green, either.

(More below the fold…)

Dear Bust:

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Rape does not equal sex.

Correspondingly, a “rape scene” does not equal a “sex scene.”

Thus, your profile of actress Summer Bishil in the August/September Bust is disappointingly misogynistic. And anti-feminist. Yes, I understand that you’re about as feminist as Planet Green is, well, green, but still. Even for a superfluffyfunfeminism magazine, this is beyond the pale.

You’re better than this:

The first question I want to ask Summer Bishil, star of Alan Ball’s new film, Towelhead, is what it was like to do a sex scene with Aaron Eckhart. “I thought he was attractive prior to meeting him,” she replies, laughing, “so I was pretty nervous.” The response catches me off-guard, because the scene in question is a harrowing one in which Bishil’s character, 13-year-old Jasira, is raped.

Wow, Jasira is raped and raped while underage. Where does the “sex scene” come in, exactly?

Seriously, I’ve come to expect this sort of woman-hating, rape-denying/-minimizing bullshit from the mainstream media; the mental gymnastics they sometimes perform in order to avoid using the word “rape” in a news story about rape truly are Olympian in nature:

‘World’s greatest dad’ charged in online child-sex sting (USA Today)

Child rape sting! ‘World’s greatest dad’ charged in online child-rape sting!

Mental Health Expert, 78, Charged In Internet Child Sex Sting (Tampa Bay Online)

Child rape sting! Mental Health Expert, 78, Charged In Internet Child Rape Sting!

Police: Men had sex with teen runaways (The News & Observer)

Raped! Police: Men raped teen runaways!

Guilty Verdict In Videotaped Sex Slay Case (CBS News)

ZOMFG! Rape slay case! Guilty Verdict In Videotaped Rape Slay Case!

Richard D. Davis and Dena Riley raped, tortured and killed a woman! While videotaping it! Where the mofo was this “sex” of which you speak!?!

Former Coroner Employee Had Sex With Body (WKRC TV Cincinnati)

Raped! Former Coroner Employee Raped Body!

Seriously, I am this close to losing my shit now. How on earth does a corpse consent to anything? That’s not a rhetorical question, I really would like an answer. I’m talking to you, anonymous WKRC TV Cincinnati headline writer!

Rape is not sex:

“The word ‘sex’ implies consent,” she said. “I never once would describe (what happened) as sex. He’s making me commit perjury.”

“Sex” implies mutual consent, while terms such as “had sex with,” “engaged in sex,” etc., say as much; after all, you can’t mutually engage in an act or perform an act with someone unless your partner is doing it, too. Rape victims aren’t “having sex” with their assailants, they are being raped.

So, Ms. Priya Jain & Bust mag editors, I am extremely disappointed, disgusted and appalled to find you, of all peoples, regurgitating the language of the patriarchy. The language which implies that a rape did not, in fact, take place (no matter what that self-hating whore says the morning after); the language which denies and minimizes rape (what are you talking about, I didn’t rape her; we had sex); the language which allows all of society to turn a blind eye to the realities of rape. After all, if the word “rape” never graces the headlines, where’s the problem?

Call me naive, but I expected more from an indie/feminist media outlet.

Signed,

– A soon-to-be-ex-subscriber. (But not because of your unfortunate choice of words to describe rape. I’d already made the decision not to renew when I leafed through your latest issue. I just totally like Bitch better.)

Oh, and P.S.: Decorating your Twin Peaks fashion spread with a decapitated deer head? Totally uncool. Really, would it have killed you and your grand artistic vision to just substitute in some wrought iron doohickey instead? Random acts of violence are so 1942, dontchaknow.