Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 5

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Sarah Palin - Bear Skin

It’s been way too long since my last intersectionality roundup. Between work and drugs (settle down, I’m referring to the prescription kind!) I got a little distracted, with little-to-no time for blogging – or blog reading, for that matter. Thus, many of these links are a little older, as in the beginning of July old. No less interesting, just…they’ve probably been around the blocks a time or two. They still need some love and attention though, mkay?

Striking at the Roots: LGBT Compassion Campaigns for Social Justice

Mark Hawthorne interviews LGBT Compassion founder Andrew Zollman, touching upon animal rights, LGBTQ issues and the confluence of the two. (Y’all might recall that I wrote about LGBT Compassion in the last edition of ‘Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.’)

Animals Rights @ Change .org: Butchers Are Hot. Blood Is Sexy. Killing Is Hip. This Is Not Progress.

No excerpt or explanation necessary. Expect this one to hit Feministing, since it celebrates women killers as well as their male counterparts.

Vegansaurus: The Fat Vegan, or OH HELL NO YOU DID NOT.

Vegan guru/purveyor of meals in a cup Dr. McDougall recently published an article in his newsletter titled “The Fat Vegan.” GREAT. Yet another thing to shame fat people into being embarrassed about their weight but this time from a vegan perspective. […]

At the SF Pride Parade this year, there was a float from the folks at SF Bay Vegetarians, and it made me so proud to see such a diverse group of vegans, not just the stereotypical sallow honkies. We need people of all sizes, shapes and colors to fight against animal cruelty.

(More below the fold…)

On amazing animals and androcentric language.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Sarah Palin - Turkeys Die...

This C. David Coats quote (from the preface to his 1991 book, Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm) has been floating around the animal rights blogspherz for a few weeks now. While I think Coats is dead-on in his analysis, his choice of phrasing strikes me as a little…curious, shall we say.

Take a look:

Isn’t man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife – birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes, and dingoes – by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out a card praying for “Peace on Earth.”

In the course of his patriarchy blaming, Coats assumes the language of the very patriarchy he’s indicting. Specifically, he continually employs variants of the term mankind when he’s actually referring to humankind: man is an amazing animal; he slaughters wildlife so that he can raise and eat “food” animals; man suffers from dietary-induced health conditions, which leads man to torture millions of “lab” animals in search of cures for these self-inflicted illnesses, and so on.

In fact, Coats only switches from androcentric to gender-neutral terms near the end of the paragraph – when he transitions from describing the actions of the oppressor (man) to the consequences of these actions on other human animals. To wit: “millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition”; “[m]eanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter” (“at the absurdity of man,” natch).

Possibly, this is an unintentional example of casual sexism – i.e., Coats accidentally employed largely androcentric verbiage when writing this preface. Since this isn’t primarily a feminist blog, allow me to explain why Coats’s choice of terminology is problematic. By using language which explicitly refers to men – necessarily, at the exclusion of women – we erase women from the public sphere, from our written and oral histories, from our cultural narratives. These seemingly innocuous, male-specific terms have very real, very harmful practical consequences. Language shapes the way we think; words matter. In eliminating women from our discourse, so too do we eliminate them from our consciousness – shoving them from the public (political) to the private (domestic) sphere. “Man,” “mankind” and the like simply are not inclusive, universal terms for “men and women.” Nor is “convenience” an excuse – it’s not very hard to use “humankind” in place of “man” or “mankind,” “people” in place of “men,” etc.

(More below the fold…)

elsewhere, other things

Friday, November 21st, 2008

lol-psycat - sad

In case y’all couldn’t tell, November has all but knocked me on my ass. I can barely manage to eke out a link roundup for easyVegan.info before flopping back into bed with a book, a doggeh, or a blankie for a good read/snuggle/nap (or some combination thereof). Perhaps it’s time to kick the sunlamp up a notch, eh?

Anyway, here’s some random stuff – elsewhere, other things, for your browsing pleasure, until I return. Whenever that may be.

– Yesterday was the 10th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance. I haven’t really been reading a whole lot of non-veg blogs lately, so didn’t catch many of the entries, but I did like Melissa and Jack’s contributions. For more, Cara has a nice link roundup here.

amandaw at three rivers fog lets the fully-abled individual(s) among us know what we can do to improve accessibility for those living with disability. I’ve never been one to unnecessarily take the elevator, though I will henceforth think twice and be more conscious of my surroundings before walking/running on the escalator.

Dennis Kucinich continues to rock.

Me want.

– If you: 1) enjoy the Alien franchise; 2) are a heroine junkie like moi; and/or 3) *heart* pop culture criticism, check out Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley by Ximena Gallardo C. and C. Jason Smith (2006):

“Alien Woman” examines the construction of sex and gender in the four science-fiction films comprising the Alien saga (starring Sigourney Weaver). The Alien saga stands alone in presenting an enduring, self-reliant female protagonist, Ripley, who in the first film ends up as the sole survivor of the beleaguered starship Nostromo. Subsequent writers and directors in the 1980’s and 1990’s, left to grapple with this strong female protagonist, re-envision Ripley for different social, political, and cultural imperatives for women. “Alien Woman” focuses on how these writers and directors have re-written Ripley and how each revision informs our understanding of women in science fiction, and by examining the films’ creation and commodification of the female hero, the book illustrates how changing attitudes toward women and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman’s place in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

Good stuff.

– Finally, no doubt you’ve already seen this video of Sarah Palin pardoning a Thanksgiving Wasilla turkey…

…and then granting an interview while the turkey’s less-fortunate comrades are slaughtered in the background. It’s everywhere, which may or may not be a good thing, I guess.

There isn’t much I can add to what Elaine and Ryan have already said – except to note that the disconnect of meat-eating bloggers, blogging about the disconnect Palin exhibits in pardoning one turkey and then engaging in idle conversation while two more turkeys are brutally slaughtered behind her, is enough to make my (admittedly already fragile) brain disconnect from my body in a violent fucking im-/ex-plosion.

So, yeah, think about that when you’re enjoying your fat, plump, juicy, genetically modified, brutalized and abused “holiday” turkey. Turkeys like Victor, Opal, Gobbles, Elliot, Gertrude and Ariel. Turkeys with feelings, families, emotions, interests and sentience. Turkeys like the one Sarah Palin pardoned – and her barn-mates, who were slaughtered in the backdrop while Ms. Palin gushed, without a hint of irony or self-awareness, about “levity” and “at least this was fun.”

At least Palin is honest enough to acknowledge from whence her holiday corpse comes.

I am seriously gonna lose my shit…

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

…if one more Obamabot trolls my Flickr photostream in order to call Sarah Palin a bitch, a cunt, a whore, etc., and/or call for her murder. Doubly so if they defend their misogyny by saying “I don’t hate all women, I just hate this woman.” Because, um, we’ve all heard that before.

Besides, it’s over, people! What’s the point of all this hate when it’s fucking over!?

I guess misogyny is a Jeanie Kingmaker that’s harder to cram back in the bottle once you’ve encouraged it to run free for the past 21 months, eh?

Oh, and McCain campaign: fuck off. Palin may be as dumb as a box of rocks, but your boss is the one who chose her. What does that say about his intelligence (not to mention, concern for country), hmmmm? And you don’t think his angry outbursts qualify as diva-like temper tantrums? Oh wait, of course not. Silly me, he has a penis, and thus a license to act like one. My bad.

She shoots puppies, doesn’t she?

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Writer-slash-environmentalist Nick Jans gives us an Alaskan’s view of Sarah Palin and her run for the White House.

It’s a great piece – really, I could excerpt the whole damn thing – but this piece in particular is worth noting:

Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

Sarah Palin, “my friends,” is a “pro-life,” God-fearing evangelical. And yet (according to her and hers), it’s atheists like moi who lack morals.

Anyway, Jans explains how Palin can claim to be a genuine Alaskan while simultaneously working to destroy the land she calls home, vis-à-vis her policy of pillaging the environment, to hell with the consequences:

In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

Go read the whole thing.

Note to the rest of the Salon staff: this is a perfect example of how to criticize a female politician without resorting to misogyny and sexist slurs. It’s the policies, stupid! (As opposed to, you know, the vag-n-mams.)

(Crossposted from.)

———————–

Tagged:

Pages from the Palin family scrapbook.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Kinship Circle - 2008-09-27 - Palin's Pro-Death Platform - Hunting

Sarah Palin - Caribou Hunt

Sarah Palin showing off her kill.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: ACT/ Palin’s Pro-Death Platform

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 3:19 PM
Subject: ACT/ Palin¹s Pro-Death Platform

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

9/27/08: Palin’s Pro-Death Platform On Animals

Next Thursday, October 2, Washington University in St. Louis hosts the vice presidential debate featuring Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden. With the spotlight on vice-prez nominees, you have a great opportunity to send comments to newspapers, blogs and discussions. Let voters know about Governor Sarah Palin’s relentless assault on wildlife and environment.

Whatever your political affiliation, Palin is clearly NOT the candidate for animals….and animals are the focus of this list.

Below are talking points and ideas for your comments, but NEVER COPY AND SEND A FORM LETTER to a newspaper or other media. As soon as an “organized campaign” is suspected, comments are discarded.

======================

SARAH PALIN: THE CLIFF NOTES

======================

Top Facts Everyone Must Know About Sarah Palin
http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm

(More below the fold…)

Starring Gina Gershon as Teh Killa from Wasilla

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

My bathroom flooded last night, so no blogging today. Go watch this instead.

(Crossposted from.)

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Tagged:

Defending Carmella Soprano

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Megan at Jezebel identifies 19 (nine! teen!) misogynist slurs in Cintra Wilson’s piece on Sarah Palin:

1. “fuckable”

2. “Christian Stepford wife”

3. “she is their hardcore pornographic centerfold spread”

4. “Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms.”

5. The part where she compares electing Sarah Palin to allowing child-rapist Warren Jeffs to babysit her kids.

6. The part where electing Palin “is akin to ideological brain rape.”

7. “this Republican blowup doll”

8. The part where electing a Republican woman into office equals “women being downgraded to second-class, three-holed chattel.”

9. “the self-abnegating, submissive female Uncle Tommies”

10. “she has done everything but volunteer for her own circumcision.”

11. “She tacitly promises a roll backward into old-fashioned sexual roles” (despite being a breadwinner and the more powerful spouse).

12. “We must regard Sarah Palin as the Carmella Soprano of the GOP — an enabling wife of organized crime”

13. Being a female Republican is performing an “ideological lap dance” for men.

14. “Sarah Palin is the White House [Playboy] bunny.”

15. “Here’s an It Girl vice president who is easy on the eyes.”

16. “She’s like a grown-up version of Mary Ann from ‘Gilligan’s Island.'”

17. “Women, even if they are vice president, can always look pretty, worship their husbands in the fear of God and never, ever resist invasions from unwanted sperm.”

18. “Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa…”

19. “She’s such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty…”

Meanwhile, Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory defends the article as totally not sexist:

Wilson also describes Palin using highly sexualized imagery that’s straight out of the Hustler Hollywood sex shop: blowup dolls, centerfolds, lap dances and Playmates. I can’t speak for Wilson, of course, but what I think she was trying to argue is that Palin is being used as a blowup doll, that for the GOP she activates a reptilian excitement — the same kind of excitement offered by a centerfold. She has been pushed onstage to perform an “ideological lap dance” — in other words, to skillfully pander to baser desires (the least of which are sexual).

Well….perhaps Wilson should have taken more care in articulating her argument, then – especially given that she “describes Palin using highly sexualized imagery.” The onus is on her to make it clear that she’s not a woman-hating asshat.

And I take particular exception to item #6 on Jezebel’s list:

The part where electing Palin “is akin to ideological brain rape.”

There is no excuse for trivializing rape. None.

If I still had a paid subscription to Salon, this is when I’d be firing off an angry cancellation letter, I tell you what.

Oh, and Sarah Palin hates pups. The woman is a pup killer. Literally.

And the Palin-as-fuckhole meme continues…

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Again with Salon and the sexism:

Pissed about Palin

McCain’s running mate is a Christian Stepford wife in a sexy librarian costume. Women, it’s time to get furious.

Yesterday she was a dominatrix, today she’s a sexxxay librarian. When does she get to be the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, I wonder?

I confess, it was pretty riveting when John McCain trotted out Sarah Palin for the first time. Like many people, I thought, “Damn, a hyperconservative, fuckable, Type A, antiabortion, Christian Stepford wife in a ‘sexy librarian’ costume — as a vice president? That’s a brilliant stroke of horrifyingly cynical pandering to the Christian right. Karl Rove must be behind it.” […]

As a woman who does not believe what Palin believes, the thought of such an opportunistic anti-female in the White House — in the Cheney chair, no less — is akin to ideological brain rape. What this Republican blowup doll does with her own insides in accord with her own faith is her business. But, like the worst and most terrifying of religious extremists, she seems very comfortable with the idea of imposing her own views on everyone else.

I did not think that women being downgraded to second-class, three-holed chattel would be a pressing concern in my lifetime. I thought it was like polio, or witch burning — an inhumane error that had already been corrected. But after eight years of Republican hegemony, and now the potential ascendance of this sheep in ewe’s clothing, I am so mortally offended I feel like it is really time for women to be angry, hardcore and disgusted again. Not just with old white Christian patriarchs and their hopelessly calcified, religiously condoned misogyny, but also with the self-abnegating, submissive female Uncle Tommies whose ambitions and eagerness to please the powerful males of their tribe are so desperate that they would sell out their sovereignty over their own bodies. And yours too.

Ms. Wilson, allow me to introduce you to Ms. Kettle.

And yeah, I’m furious. Not just at misogynist women who want to curtail my right to choose while celebrating their own choices, but at misogynist women who denigrate women they don’t like – and, by extension, womankind as a whole – with sexist slurs. Palin the blowup doll? Really? Listen, you might not like the woman – dog knows, I don’t – but she’s not a feminized piece of plastic, an object, ferchrissakes. Stop calling Palin’s status of “human” into question – and start attacking her on the issues, already.

Or should I just shut my fuckhole and be glad y’all didn’t Photoshop Palin’s face on a Real Doll?

Really, Salon?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

The dominatrix

Sarah Palin is trying to seduce independent voters. But she comes across like a whip-wielding mistress who wants to discipline a naughty America.

Seriously? Palin as dominatrix? Sure you don’t want to rethink this one?

null

Hohum, guess not. I see you’ve already committed yourselves to it, Photoshop graphics and all.

Seriously, tho, listen up. Better yet, look up. There’s Sarah Palin. The first second* viable female VP candidate. On the Republican ticket, to boot!

And there you are, reducing her to a sex object.

Nice to know that no matter how far a woman comes, she’ll still be a sex toy and sperm receptacle to a majority of the population.

(Need I remind y’all that Salon is supposedly a member of the “liberal media” cabal? Ain’t nothing liberal, progressive or otherwise hippie dippy about acting like a misogynist douchebag. “Liberal media” my ass. And if members of the so-called “liberal media” feel no qualms about loudly and publicly displaying their disdain for women…well, just sit back and imagine what the rest of American thinks of us.)

And, hey. In addition to being woman-hating fuckwits, you fauxgressives might also just win McCain the election.

It’s true!

Personally, I think Palin’s a despicable excuse for a human being – but this shit makes me feel more than a little empathy for her. Granted, I’ll never be outraged enough to vote for her (since she’s a misogynist fuckwit herself), but some women might well be. Especially those still stinging over Hillary Clinton’s treatment – by the media, left and right; by Republicans and conservatives; by the Democratic Party; and by our supposedly liberal progressive allies. Hey, the misogyny jerk-fest over Clinton’s pantsuits, shrill voice and cankles almost convinced me to vote for her. Just because.

And Joe Biden and Harry Reid ain’t helping. Just saying.

* Updated to add that I am, in fact, a dolt.

Virus, detected.

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Last week, after receiving the umpteenth “Obama is a secret Muslim/chain smoker/Communist/reverse racist/serial liar/anti-Christ” from my father – all of which are easily debunked via Snopes, which he claims to do before forwarding to all – I asked him not-so-nicely to please stop with the racist/sexist/homophobic emails already; and, while we’re at it, please to stop sending me anything even remotely political, as we clearly have radically different views, and I’m not even planning to vote Obama anywho, as he’s not progressive enough for my hippie socialist ass.

A few days later, this arrived in my inbox.

—– Original Message —–
To: Kelly Garbato
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 5:03 PM
Subject: FW: VIRUS WARNING!

—– Forwarded Message —-

Email Warning! –

If you get an e-mail with ‘Nude Photos of Sarah Palin’ in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.

If you get an e-mail with ‘Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton,’ do not open it.

It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.

You know, the man has two daughters. I wonder if the thought even crosses his mind that this sort of misogynist garbage – i.e., that a woman’s worth lies solely in her fuckability – applies to us just as much as it does public figures such as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

Oh, but wait, it’s just Hillary Clinton he has a problem with; I’m sure he doesn’t hate all women. And clearly this was meant as a compliment to the “lovely” Mrs. Palin; in fact, she should be flattered!

Not.

Sarah Palin: Christian, Mother, Killer

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Governor Palin is an active promoter of Alaska’s aerial hunting program whereby wolves and bears are shot from the air or chased by airplanes to the point of exhaustion before the pilot lands the plane and a gunner shoots the animals point blank.

* Palin offered a $150 bounty for wolves to entice hunters to kill more wolves in certain parts of the state, with hunters having to present a wolf’s foreleg to collect the bounty.

* She actively opposed a ballot measure campaign seeking to end the aerial hunting of wolves by private hunters and approved a $400,000 state-funded campaign aimed at swaying people’s votes on the issue.

* She also introduced legislation to make it easier to kill wolves and bears and which would have also removed the aerial hunting initiative from the ballot and block the ability of citizens to vote on the issue.

* The Board of Game, which she appoints, has approved the killing of black bear sows with cubs as part of the program and expanded the aerial control programs.

* The media is currently looking into reports that state officials implementing one of the aerial wolf killing programs illegally killed five-week old wolf pups just outside their dens.

Video and talking points via Defenders of Wildlife, who has more.