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The following literature review is part of a series for World Vegan Month. Other essays can be accessed by visiting the essays catalog.
Carol Glasser. 2011. “Tied Oppressions: An Analysis of How Sexist Imagery Reinforces Speciesist Sentiment.” The Brock Review 12 (1): 51-68.
All oppression is rooted in the same system of domination and so embracing any form of oppression reinforces all oppressions. Unless social movements recognize oppression as rooted in the same system of domination, they will not be able to reject the foundations upon which their oppression is rooted. Dichotomous epistemology and value-hierarchies are the main characteristics of patriarchy that enforce both sexism and speciesism. I illustrate this by examining two animal rights advertisements that use sexist images. I demonstrate how sexism bolsters speciesism by reinforcing dichotomous epistemology, establishing value-hierarchies and accepting that positioning women as animals is degrading to women.
Many organizations and activists support a “sex sells” notion when promoting misogynistic tactics in the Nonhuman Animal rights movement, but there is no evidence to support that objectifying women encourages people to stop objectifying other animals.
Glasser explores this irrational assumption in “Tied Oppressions,” reminding us that oppression works intersectionally. Treating women like meat only reinforces social norms in treating other vulnerable group like meat, including Nonhuman Animals.
Readers can learn more about sexism in the Nonhuman Animal rights movement and its consequences for anti-speciesism in my 2016 publication, A Rational Approach to Animal Rights.
This essay was originally published on The Academic Activist Vegan on November 17, 2013.