BETWEEN A HUMAN AND A BEAST: Human-Woman-Animal: contexts, paradoxes and ambivalences of the sexual politics of meat

Monika Bokiniec 1
1 - Instytut Filozofii, Socjologii i Dziennikarstwa, Uniwersytet Gdański
2014; 15 (1):
ICID: 1122739
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The direct impulse to write this essay was the recent twentieth anniversary of the first edition of Carol Adams’s famous book-manifesto The Sexual Politics of Meat. One of the most important themes in Adams’s work is the commonality of fate of women and animals in patriarchal culture. I use this idea to point to the ambivalence of women’s anthropological condition in an androcentric world, or rather the world in which “anthropocentric” in practice means “androcentric”, since the model or the standard of humanity is masculinity. A woman only partially fits this model, thus her anthropological state of suspension between culture and nature, humans and animals. Adams draws from this a radical postulate of necessary connection between being a feminist and a vegetarian. There are two main contexts for this idea. Firstly, the broader context of the complex relations between humans and other animals is marked with ambivalence, hypocrisy, simultaneous cruelty and sentimentality. I point to the areas that in my opinion need urgent rethinking from this perspective. Secondly, there is an ecofeminist context: a philosophical theory and activist movement that constitutes the background for Adams’s theory. An especially valid element of Adams’s theory is her description of the mechanism of transforming women and animals into absent referents. From this point of view I refer to controversial PETA campaigns, which use animalized woman’s sexuality in order to promote animal rights.
DOI: 10.5604/20842937.1122739

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