Friday, February 24, 2012

Female animal oppression taken up by feminists

Add this story to the category of "Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall."

Ruby Hamad urges mainstream feminism "to acknowledge how animal and women’s oppression are linked." She claims that "the reasons cited for denying rights to animals are the same that were used to do the same to women and black slaves."  See here.

By any measure, cruelty to animals is an abomination, but, you're kidding, Ms. Hamad, aren't you?

She's not, and it gets worse. In Hamad's world, it is female animals that are especially oppressed: "Feminism and animal advocacy make natural allies given that it is the abuse of the reproductive capacity of female animals that perpetuates animal exploitation."

Hide the children, Hamad is about to cite examples. She notes the fact that "egg-laying hens are crammed into . . . cages for up to two years until they are ‘spent’ and slaughtered." And that's not all: "Sows, whose entire lives are spent in a continual cycle of pregnancy and birth, are confined in gestational stalls barely bigger than their own bodies." And the most telling: "Dairy cows are artificially inseminated every year of their lives until their milk dries up. The apparatus in which cows are restrained during insemination is known in the industry, particularly in the US, as a ‘rape rack.’"

What do each of these female animals have in common? They are "unnaturally forced into the reproductive role."

"Unnaturally forced" is reminiscent of "non-consensual."  Hamad stops short of saying female animals are "raped," but that doesn't mean there isn't some seriously unhinged anthropomorphism going on here.

Hamad unloads her money quote: "[The female animals'] milk, eggs and offspring are subsumed into the industry cycle, marketed and sold for human consumption, much as women’s bodies are marketed and sold for male consumption."

There it is.  Human females, animal females -- makes little difference. They're all subjugated, oppressed, and exploited by patriarchy.

It is comical, weird, sad, and a little creepy, all at once, that Hamad studiously avoids mentioning the particular cruelty faced by males of the animal kingdom.  At the risk of being accused of whining "what about teh male animals!", need we remind readers of the obvious? Cockfighting and bullfighting and the baiting of all manner of male animals are still considered entertainments in many places around the world. And cruelty to male animals isn't confined to obviously barbaric "sports." The bulls spared the glory of the bull ring, for example, don't have it especially nice, either. The vast majority -- aside from the few "lucky" ones "unnaturally forced into the reproductive role" -- are castrated as calves, then slaughtered before they are three years old. The "lucky" ones permitted to keep their lives and their testicles often get a nose ring to control them.

Let's leave it at this: we need to hope that when we contribute to charities that battle against animal cruelty (I do), the money doesn't go to people like Ruby Hamad or her like-minded friends. They seem interested only in the cruelty to half the animal kingdom.

Injecting "gender" into issues of animal cruelty, and comparing the insemination of cows to human rape, signal that feminism has been co-opted by fools, hysterics, paranoids, and congenital idiots.