Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 1

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

I’ve decided to start a new feature (yet another!) on In “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs,” I’ll highlight blog posts and news items that examine the various ways in which speciesism parallels or intersects with the oppression of marginalized human groups. In a word, intersectionality.

Previously, I was linking to these stories in my weekly weekend activist posts, but since they’re easily overlooked in a sea of links, I’d rather give ’em their own home. Deconstructing the patriarchy is hefty shit, yo!

So let’s get started, posthaste:

Stephanie @ Animal Rights @ Change .org: Pregnancy at Slaughter: What Happens to the Calves?, Part 1 and Part 2

Over the past few months, I’ve spent some time examining how modern animal agriculture subjects female animals to especially brutal and prolonged exploitation, turning their reproductive systems against them. Their children suffer greatly, too; the daughters of “dairy cows” are enslaved in the same conditions as their mothers, while brothers and sons, an otherwise worthless by-product of milk production, become “veal” calves; females born to “laying hens” become egg machines as well, eventually replacing their “spent” mothers, while males are simply disposed of in garbage bags and wood chippers; and so on and so forth.

In “Pregnancy at Slaughter: What Happens to the Calves?,” Stephanie turns her attention to the fate of newborn calves and late-term fetuses at the stockyard, where their mothers are faced with imminent slaughter. As she explains, some fetal calves die with – inside – their mothers, while others are harvested for use in “science.”

If you eat “meat,” drink milk, or wear leather, you’re complicit in this species-, sex- and age-based atrocity.

Stephanie @ Animal Rights @ Change .org: Women, Girls, and the So-Called Achievement of Killing

Following up on an earlier criticism of Feministing for celebrating a woman bullfighter as a feminist hero, Stephanie laments the pseudo-feminist news coverage of Teressa Groenewald-Hagerman, a 39-year-old Kansan whose major “accomplishment” is being the “first woman in the world to shoot an elephant dead with a bow and arrow.”

As Stephanie and others have noted, Groenewald-Hagerman’s slaughter of an elephant – someone’s father, brother, son, partner, friend – is no more a feminist victory than Aileen Wuornos’s unprecedented killing spree.

Elaine at Vegan Soapbox also weighs in:

Teressa was “inspired” to kill an elephant after a male friend said “women could never draw such a heavy bow.” But archery is NOT necessarily a hunting sport. My grandmother was an archer and she did NOT kill. She shot targets, not animals.

In order to prove the male “friend” wrong, Teressa needed only to show strength and skill, not a barbaric blood-lust.

Indeed. Sex-based discrimination in athletics (or any field dominated by men, for that matter) is a pervasive problem; the solution, however, does not lie in the slaughter of even more marginalized beings.

Vegetarian Star: Dan Matthews: Get Obamas Naked, Madonna Is Middle Aged Witch

PETA’s Dan Matthews on Madonna:

I was a fan of Madonna in the 1980s but she became this middle-aged witch who thought her style should be defined by wearing fur coats and eating foie gras. We had a long argument over her glamorising bullfighting in her music videos.

While I agree that many of Madonna’s actions are reprehensible, let’s not pretend that 1a) “witch” isn’t a G-rated euphemism for “bitch”; 1b) “bitch,” when used as an insult, isn’t misogynist; and 2a) “witch” isn’t also a sex-based slur, inasmuch as one never hears a man so insulted (e.g., “You warlock!”); 2b) “witch” isn’t also ageist and lookist, inasmuch as (bad) “witches” are conceptualized as old, wrinkled, ugly, scraggly, disagreeable, hideous creatures.

Alternatives one might employ instead of “witch”: killer, butcher, murderer, social carcinogen, Madge the Bunny Slayer. Lose the -ism in favor of creativity – you get the idea.

And also: fuck you, Dan Matthews.

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: "Committed" press and book tour — DC tonight 5/9/07

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at]
Date: May 9, 2007 3:47 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: “Committed” press and book tour — DC tonight 5/9/07

I am bummed I am not in DC this evening (Wednesday, May 9) because PETA vice president Dan Mathews has a reading there of “Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir.” It is at 6:30pm at Borders Books-Downtown (18th & L Sts. NW, 202-466-4999).

If you are a lucky DC person, you can make it over after work. If you already have plans, I recommend you have your friend meet you there. I was at a reading of Dan’s book in Virginia last weekend, and it was a blast. I would happily go to another.

I sent a note out when “Committed” was released a few weeks ago and referred people to the People Magazine and USA Today articles about it. (The USA Today piece is still on line at

I have since read the book while I traveled, and embarrassed myself repeatedly by throwing back my head and cackling loudly on crowded airplanes. I was not only amused, however, I was inspired and reinvigorated by Dan’s raunchy and glamorous tales of his fight for animal rights.

When Matthew Scully published his beautiful book “Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals and The Call to Mercy” a few years ago, I recommended it highly as a gift for any conservative or religious family members. “Committed” is not for that crowd. Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee’s endorsement does a nice job of summing up some of the target market. Lee writes, “If you read only one book this year (like me), this is it.”

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: New book — "Committed" by PETA’s Dan Mathews. April 2007

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at]
Date: Apr 14, 2007 9:10 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: New book — “Committed” by PETA’s Dan Mathews. April 2007

PETA’s glamorous, provocative and definitely committed activist Dan Mathews has new book coming out — called “Committed.”

The Thursday April 12 edition of USA Today included an interview with Mathews. It is on line here.

That web page includes a picture of the book jacket cover, a take-off on our fearless astronauts that made me laugh out loud. And it links to an excerpt from the book.

USA Today’s Craig Wilson introduces the Mathews interview with:

“Dan Mathews isn’t just another pretty face, although he was a model in a previous life. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as the high-profile rabble-rouser for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA. He’s out with a memoir, Committed, in which he recalls everything from a fish that changed his life to getting arrested to running with celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson. He talks with USA TODAY about his life in and out of jail.”

(More below the fold…)