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Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations

By: Carol J Adams(Editor), Josephine Donovan(Editor)

Duke University Press

Paperback | Jun 1995 | #49567 | ISBN: 0822316676
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About this book

Animals and Women is a collection of pioneering essays that explores the theoretical connections between feminism and animal defense. Offering a feminist perspective on the status of animals, this unique volume argues persuasively that both the social construction and oppressions of women are inextricably connected to the ways in which we comprehend and abuse other species. Furthermore, it demonstrates that such a focus does not distract from the struggle for women's rights, but rather contributes to it.

This wide-ranging multidisciplinary anthology presents original material from scholars in a variety of fields, as well as a rare, early article by Virginia Woolf. Exploring the leading edge of the species/gender boundary, it addresses such issues as the relationship between abortion rights and animal rights, the connection between woman-battering and animal abuse, and the speciesist basis for much sexist language. Also considered are the ways in which animals have been regarded by science, literature, and the environmentalist movement. A striking meditation on women and wolves is presented, as is an examination of sexual harassment and the taxonomy of hunters and hunting. Finally, this compelling collection suggests that the subordination and degradation of women is a prototype for other forms of abuse, and that to deny this connection is to participate in the continued mistreatment of animals and women.

"This is an outstanding collection. The authors write expertly on the surprisingly intimate relation between attitudes toward animals and women in our culture. From reading their work on pornography, the treatment of 'laboratory' animals, hunting, wife-beating, and factory farming I have learned a tremendous amount. This superbly edited volume makes an important contribution to the cause of animal and human liberation."
– Jane Tompkins, Duke University – N/A


Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction  1

Part I: Sexism/Speciesism: Interlocking Oppressions  9
1. Sexist Words, Speciesist Roots / Joan Dunayer  11
2. Exploring the Boundaries: Feminism, Animals, and Science / Lynda Birke  32
3. Women Battering and Harm to Animals / Carol J. Adams  55
4. License to Kill: An Ecofeminist Critique of Hunters' Discourse / Marti Kheel  85
5. Speech, Pornography, and Hunting / Maria Comninou  126
6. Abortion and Animal Rights: Are They Compatible Issues? / Gary L. Francione  149

Part II: Alternative Stories  161
7. Beyond Just-So Stories: Narrative, Animals, and Ethics / Linda Vance  163
8. Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals and the Feminine Connection / Karen Davis  192
9. Of Wolves and Women / Diane Antonio  213
10. The Power of Otherness: Animals in Women's Fiction / Marian Scholtmeijer  231
11. Birds Don't Sing in Greek: Virginia Woolf and "The Plumage Bill" / Reginald Abbott  263
12. Taming Ourselves or Going Feral? Toward a Nonpatriarchal Metaethic of Animal Liberation / Brian Luke  290
13. Speciesism, Racism, Nationalism...or the Power of Scientific Subjectivity / Susanne Kappeler  320

Bibliography of Feminist Approaches to Animal Issues  353
Notes on Contributors  363
Index  367

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Carol J. Adams is a writer and a professional consultant on issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence. She is the author of several books, including The Sexual Politics of Meat and, most recently, Neither Man nor Beast.

Josephine Donovan is Professor of English at the University of Maine, Orono. She is the author of many books, including Feminist Theory and the editor of Feminist Literary Criticism.

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