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Sunday, May 14, 2017
Cal Poly Professor Argues Squirrels Are Subjected to Racially-Charged Media Bias
assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University argues in a
recent academic research paper that eastern fox squirrels are subjected to a
“gendered, racialized, and speciesist” form of media bias.
Teresa Lloro Bidart
Teresa Lloro-Bidart, an associate
professor of liberal studies at Cal Poly, argues in a recently published postmodernist research paper
that eastern fox squirrels are on the receiving end of racially-charged media
bias. Lloro-Bidart claims that she worked towards such a conclusion by
analyzing the coverage of eastern fox squirrels through “feminist
posthumanist,” and “feminist food studies” lenses.
Lloro-Bidart contends that
eastern fox squirrels, which is the most populous species of tree squirrel
in North America, are on the receiving end of such bigotry due to several factors,
most notably, the “western, modernist,” framework by which humans interpret
their behaviors and actions.
Eastern Fox Squirrel--currently oppressed species
Given that the shift in tree squirrel
demographics is a relatively recent phenomenon, this case presents a unique
opportunity to question and re-theorize the ontological given of ‘otherness’
that manifests, in part, through a politics whereby animal food choices ‘[come]
to stand in for both compliance and resistance to the dominant forces in
[human] culture.’ I, therefore, juxtapose feminist posthumanist theories and
feminist food studies scholarship to demonstrate how eastern fox squirrels are
subjected to gendered, racialized, and speciesist thinking in the popular news
media as a result of their feeding/eating practices, their unique and unfixed spatial
arrangements in the greater Los Angeles region and the western, modernist
human frame through which humans interpret these actions.
The paper, which is titled, “When
‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of
consumption across southern California,” also argues that humans are
responsible for “otherizing” eastern fox squirrels.
Western Gray Squirrel. "Screw you, human."
Eastern fox squirrels, Lloro-Bidart
argues, are facing discrimination as a result of the human tendency to lump the
species in with the western gray squirrel, a species which is much less
tolerant of human beings.
Lloro-Bidart also evokes the concept
of intersectionality, an academic concept popularized by
Kimberle Crenshaw, which describes overlapping human identities and their
relationship to systems of oppression, to analyze the plight of the eastern fox
squirrel in California.
So you made it through
the entire screed.Be honest now…does
ANYONE understand what the hell this woman is talking about?
According to the
Wictionary, “Otherizing” is defined as “making or regarding (a person, social
group, etc.) as alien
is “The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class,
and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating
overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” Systems
of “discrimination or disadvantage.” In other words, treated unfairly; doomed.
It isn’t surprising that
leftists should manufacture a language all their own to define the hopeless plight
of victims and victim classes. You see, even words which no one really
understands can tend to make claims look somehow intellectually “deep,” “thought-provoking,” or official. After all,
there couldn’t be a word unless the object or state of being it describes
So, “otherizing?” Yeah,
yeah…I’ve heard of that. It means,
dissing somebody, doesn’t it? So these eastern fox squirrels are, like, being
insulted and, like, compared with western gray squirrels which like don’t like
get along with people. Wow! The fox squirrels must be like pissed, man.
Of course, the real victim class here is the parents who are footing the bill for Chad and
Buffy attending a “university” pathetic and desperate enough to have hired Teresa