Reconciling Gender and Rationality
While ineffective tactics have beleaguered the Nonhuman Animal rights movement, the reign of sexism and pornographic exploitation is equally disastrous to liberation efforts. The Nonhuman Animal rights movement comprises primarily of women (Gaarder, 2011, p.11),1 and yet it continues to operate according to patriarchal norms. Just as industry-friendly welfare reform deflects movement resources from recruiting potentially thousands (if not millions) of new vegans, patriarchy-friendly tactics that bank on degrading women reduce the potential of the movement’s female majority. If the millions who consider themselves “animal lovers” were to step back from the irrationality of welfare reform and single-issue campaigning and commit to political veganism, real change would be at advocates’ fingertips. If the millions of women were to escape the irrationality of patriarchy and become full citizens both in society and social movements, it is likely that systems of oppression would crumble. In other words, the movement’s greatest source of people power is currently immobilized, as female activists are so often stripped or silenced. The movement must liberate its women before it can liberate other animals.
KeywordsSocial Movement Rational Approach Feminist Theory Nonhuman Animal Feminist Movement
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