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Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Lactating Man and other scholarly works

Once upon a time a doctoral thesis was ground-breaking, but now with 2.5 million PhD's in the USA, the ground is pretty broken up.

But thanks to Women's Studies and the like, new ground has been found in a place I like to call Crazy Town. Makes climate change seem sane.

All aboard the Crazy Train. Ah, ah, ah, ah...

From Will McKeithen (Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA) on 25 JAN 2017
Queer ecologies of home: heteronormativity, speciesism, and the strange intimacies of crazy cat ladies
This article extends Morrison, Johnston, and Longhurst’s argument that love is spatial, relational, and political by tracing the ways that home situates both intra- and interspecies intimacy. It examines the ‘crazy cat lady’ as a discourse that entangles heteronormative and speciesist rules for loving, living, and making ‘a home.’ In a post-industrial moment when pet love has become a centerpiece of ‘normal’ life, the crazy cat lady occupies a queer periphery. She not only loves cats too much, she loves them more than humans, instead of a husband, and literally in place of heteronormative domesticity. To understand these complicit logics, this article reconceptualizes home as a queer ecology in which the sociospatial politics of nature, gender, humanity, sexuality, animality, domesticity, and intimacy collide. Using this framework, this article examines how women-with-cats–the ‘real’ crazy cat ladies–(re)inhabit normative ideals in their everyday practices and how this multispecies homemaking unfolds through more-than-human agencies. In queering ecologies of home, this article offers animal, posthumanist, feminist and queer geographers of home, as well as everyday homemakers, a wi(l)der bestiary of conceptual tools to understand intimacies that entangle across the boundaries of home/nature, wild/domestic, queer/straight and human/animal.
Purr-fect paper. Written in three languages, and two alphabets. Hence, it is geography. Right?

From Dafina-Lazarus Stewart (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA) on 16 JAN 2017:
Trans*versing the DMZ: a non-binary autoethnographic exploration of gender and masculinity
Using an abductive, critical-poststructuralist autoethnographic approach, I consider the ways in which masculine of centre, non-binary/genderqueer trans* identities transverse the poles of socializing binary gender systems, structures, and norms which inform higher education. In this paper, I assert that non-binary genderqueer identities are products of a particular sense-ing about gender that is reproduced and enforced in US higher education. Non-binary genderqueer identities defiantly take up space within a demilitarized zone that vacates the continuum of gender and instantiates binary genders. In particular, this autoethnography employs promiscuous and high-density theoretical analysis to determine the possibilities of resolving the breakdown presented by non-binary/genderqueer masculinities through a transmasculine critical epistemology.
What a wonderful word pile.

Remember when transmasculine involved getting four friends to help you install a new transmission?

From Tatiana Wara (Department of Political Science, Sociology and Community Planning, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway) and Mai Camilla Munkejord (Uni Research Rokkan Centre, Bergen, Norway) on 5 OCT 2016:
(Re)creating gender hierarchies within northern landscapes: a study of stories about nature and gender
This article examines how gender hierarchies are (re)created within the context of northern landscapes. We analyse data from fieldwork and interviews with middle-class female Russians having settled in a small town in northernmost Norway, most of them as marriage migrants. Inspired by the phenomenology of the body, feminist phenomenology and gender theory, the analysis shows how the participants talk about nature as ‘recreation’ and ‘poetry’, but also as a venue that is vital for (re)shaping their gendered identities. In particular, the Russian women talk about their strong, skillful outdoors Norwegian husbands as ‘experts’ in nature, and about themselves as ‘novices’. This ‘expert–novice’ relationship creates a hierarchical distinction between the Norwegian man and the Russian woman, but also attributes additional value to the equality-oriented, but in several cases neither highly educated nor highly paid, Norwegian husband. Through this ‘re-masculinisation’ of their Norwegian partners, the Russian women create a complementary, but subordinate space for themselves. The analysis reveals that our participants situate themselves in contrast to the Norwegian equality ideal while creating a room of their own where they can form a separate and unique Russian femininity. This illustrates how constructions of gender are interwoven in translocal ‘minoritising’ and ‘majoritising’ processes.
So it turns out that Russian women are hot for Norwegian men. Brings new meaning to the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood."

From Donna M. Hughes (Department of Applied Social Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK) in July–August 1995:
Significant differences: The construction of knowledge, objectivity, and dominance
The scientific method is a tool for the construction and justification of dominance in the world. The invention of statistics was a major methodological advance in the descriptive sciences causing a shift from descriptive analysis to mathematical analysis. The new methodological techniques were invented by men who were interested in explaining the inheritance of traits in order to support their political ideology of natural human superiority and inferiority. The statistical techniques transformed the scientific method and resulted in a process that constructs knowledge and establishes “significant differences” between the dominant group as the norm and the subordinate group as the “Other.” The five steps in the process that integrates domination into the scientific method and results in the scientific construction the Other are: (a) Naming, (b) Quantification, (c) Statistical Analysis, (d) Reification, and (e) Objectification.
Oh no. She caught on to how one and one making two is really a way to suppress women and non-white men. She must be eliminated.

From Athena Nguyen (BSc/BA(Hons) Monash University) on 12 DEC 2008:
Patriarchy, Power, and Female Masculinity
This article examines the place of “butch” within the women's movement. The political potentials of butch in both her refusal of patriarchal constructs of femininity and her transmutation of masculinity will be explored. It will be argued that the butch lesbian threatens male power by severing the naturalized connection between masculinity and male bodies, by causing masculinity to appear “queer,” and by usurping men's roles. However, for “butch” to truly have feminist potential, it also needs to be accompanied by a feminist awareness and a rejection of aspects of masculinity that are oppressive to women. Hence, “butch feminist” need not be an oxymoron, but a strategy for challenging male domination and power.
Lemme guess: she wears plaid and drives a pickup.

From Maura Ryan (Department of Sociology , University of Florida , Gainesville, FL, 32611) on 20 MAR 2013:
The Gender of Pregnancy: Masculine Lesbians Talk about Reproduction
Heterosexism and patriarchy collude to create an expectation of pregnancy for all women. In addition, the bodily production of pregnancy has been socially gendered as feminine because of its association with female-bodied people. These two ideological codes—that all women should become mothers through pregnancy and that pregnancy is a femininely gendered endeavor—suggest conundrums for masculine lesbians. This study relies on interview data with 14 childfree masculine-identified lesbians about the ways in which they are able (or unable) to imagine themselves as pregnant people in their future lives. Participants’ navigation of the concept of pregnancy reveal the complexity of gendered bodies and gender practice.
So the butch in relationship turns out to be the one that isn't pregnant. Good detective work, Sherlock.

From Mathilde Cohen (University of Connecticut -- School of Law) on 16 FEB 2017:
The Lactating Man
Lactation and breastfeeding are typically viewed as inherently female activities. Evolutionary biology designates females as the generators of the mammalian class’ milk supply. The assumption is that only female mammals lactate and, therefore, only female mammals nurse their own. Taking on the biological, social, and cultural aspects of male lactation, this chapter questions this gender normativity of milk. It argues that male lactation can be seen along a continuum, from the literal production of milk by mammals of the male sex, to male-identified parents and caregivers breastfeeding their children, to males’ role in shaping breastfeeding norms and practices. Male lactation thus understood blurs the distinction between male and female, between genders, between sex and gender itself, between sexual orientations, between nature and culture, as well as, perhaps, between humans and animals.
I am udderly devastated to know that males across the mammalian class fooled all those females of the various species into nursing our offspring.

(Off blog, high-fives a male dog.)

From Phyllis L. F. Rippey (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) and Laurel Falconi (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) on 11 APR 2016:
A Land of Milk and Honey? Breastfeeding and Identity in Lesbian Families
This article explores the relationship between breastfeeding and identity in lesbian-identified families based on a pilot study of qualitative interviews and a short survey of six lesbian families in Canada and the United States. Although breastfeeding is assumed to be “natural” and a biological function, we problematize the practice as both gendered and heteronormative. In our research we found that breastfeeding has a complex role to play within the construction of one's identity as a mother, of one's gender, and of one's sexual orientation. These women's experiences offer interesting insights into the nebulous boundaries of biology and the ways in which assumptions about what is “natural” are actually social and cultural constructions.
Turns out butches treat their women the same as men do.

OK, I am really milking this, aren't I?

But women's studies is so 2005. Time to move on to Celebrity Studies. Yes, it is a field.

From Stephanie Patrick (Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa) on  11 MAY 2016:
I want my Snooki: MTV’s failed subjects and post-feminist ambivalence in and around the Jersey Shore
As a sexually promiscuous and outrageously flamboyant young woman, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of MTV’s Jersey Shore (2009–2012) Jersey Shore. 2009–2012. Television Series. Seasons 1–6. USA: MTV could be said to be the ultimate example of Angela McRobbie’s post-feminist subject. However, as pervasive as post-feminist narratives have become in popular culture, the figure of Snooki problematizes its ideal forms of femininity and meritocratic success. In this paper I argue that Snooki’s potential challenges to post-feminist ideology were contained by news reporting on her at the height of her fame. This analysis posits a noteworthy divide in that those most inclined to watch/consume Snooki-as-text (the MTV audience) likely remained beyond the reach of the news media’s attempt to re-inscribe hegemonic ideologies onto her star image/text. I examine the relation between Snooki-as-text (the Snooki presented on Jersey Shore) and the extra-textual attempts to undermine her popularity and legitimacy. I frame this discussion along three axes of transgression and containment: the sexual empowerment/threat paradigm; the physical markings of class and ethnic subjectivity; and the textual boundaries of meritocratic success. Despite efforts to contain her, Snooki’s short-lived success hints at an ambivalence toward post-feminism today that could help chart a revitalized form of feminist politics within youth-driven popular culture.
What? Too good for "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"?

Sounds like a down-market Camilia Paglia.

But it is not just humans the patriarchy screws up, but the plant kingdom as well.

From Hannah Stark (University of Tasmania, School of Humanities) in January 2015:
Deleuze and Critical Plant Studies
While much philosophical work on the nonhuman has focused on animals, objects, forces, as well as the monstrous and the divine, it is only recently that scholarly attention in the Humanities has been directed toward plants. The last few years has seen the eruption of a vigorous and intensifying debate about the place of plants in human systems of meaning, including their cultural life, their discursive framing in academic and popular understandings, and their philosophical meaning. Adopting many of the same agendas as critical animal studies, critical plant studies challenges the privileged place of the human in relation to plant life and examines this through a series of lenses: ethical, political, historical, cultural, textual and philosophical. The implications of critical plant studies are significant: it has an impact on the understanding of plant life and of human/plant relations in a diverse set of arenas including plant science, agriculture, food practices and politics, forestry, gardening, and environmental ethics. Much of the current critical attention directed at plants coalesces on Michael Marder’s Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (2013), which is emerging as the seminal text in critical plant studies.1 This book is a provocation to account philosophically for plant ontology and to cultivate a new respect for plant life.
Plants. Helped by the matriarchy of the beehive. Crushed and eaten by the patriarchy of mankind.

Thanks to New Real Peer Review for finding these gems.

We keep being told as taxpayers how important education is, and how we must continue to fund student loans and such. But this work shows that instead of adding to the knowledge of mankind, we're undermining it.

Too many scientists. Not enough science.

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  1. For a minute there I thought you were morphing into Robert Stacey McCain without the nevertrumpism.
    After the Sokol hoax and the Postmodernism Generator you would have thought that this crap would go by the wayside, but proving something stupid is not going to stop it. Heck, look at our own Nonnyass.
    The problem begins when we have practical solutions that work for society and someone comes up with an exception that looks reasonable to some and maybe enough people that matter to get the rule changed. This is an extension of the logical proposition that any exception found to a rule or supposed natural law based in reason negates that rule or law. The fallacy is that rules for practical living are not based in reason, nor is there any greater or higher law, as Corwin might put it, that states that all rules for practical living must adhere to some system of logic worked out by some philosopher. There is a metaphysic to developing how people are to live just as there is to philosophy, only the philosophers always seem to forget or deny this. The best way to describe this to a trained philosopher might be to say that this metaphysic is developed in the intellectus mind of society as a whole, but most of even the trained ones would look at you blankly if you said this.
    No. We as a society have been fooled into the idea that the exception determines the rule and everyone else must shut up.
    This is a perversion of reason. When you look into a mirror you see a perverted image of yourself. Everything looks in perfect order, it looks just like you. But everything is backwards. This is where the left has society right now. Punching our way back through that looking glass is not going to take place on the field of logic or reason. Those terms literally have no meaning anymore, and the citadels of "learning" are all held by the enemy.
    They need to be destroyed.

  2. There's a University of Tasmania??

    Lemme guess...their school's nickname is the Devils.

    Those pieces are unreadable garbage. Like the old saw about a monkey eventually typing Shakespeare. Keep at it, monkeys. Maybe some day you'll write something intelligible.

    1. Maybe you should ask an Aussie gal if she has a map of Tasmania you could borrow.

      Or not. Try Googling "Map of Tasmania slang" and see what you come up with.

  3. Actually it has four mascots for its various colleges: Black Pigs, Raiders, Hellfish, and Possum. I am as disappointed as you are.

  4. Geography used to address issues like agricultural and conservation practices, soil erosion, natural hazards and mitigation and preparedness activities, river systems, water quality and water quality standards .... but it has been taken over by the marxists, feminists, and postmodernists. Whereas faculty used to specialize in things like human adjustments to changes in environment, forestry, comparative studies, they have specialties in queer theory. It has become quite the spectacle and most of these programs should be shut down and put out of their and their poor students' misery. The discipline is a textbook example of what leftism and diversity have done to liberal arts and humanities. Complete contamination and destruction by violent mentally ill people.

  5. From "Lil' Abner" circa 1950:

    "Thass a BIG word - ah respeks big words"!

  6. From "Lil' Abner" circa 1950:

    "Thass a BIG word - ah respeks big words"!

  7. These articles made my head hurt. If this is the result of higher education, I want no part of it.

  8. Life advice for prospective college students - if a course has the word "studies" after it, run like hell.

  9. The thing about all of that trash is it cannot be diaproved. The more insane the claim, the for fame for the "doctor".

  10. Too many poseurs. Not one a scientist.

  11. If I could paraphrase a quote from somewhere:"Those scholarly works were so stupid, they made everybody else dumber.".

  12. And the snowflakes who major in these "studies" wonder why they can't find jobs.

  13. "Word pile?" Really? I believe it's a pile of something else. - Elric

  14. I re-read this and now I am the vomiting man.

  15. Sorry. I couldn't make it all the way through any of the abstracts. (Maybe they should be called subtracts?)

  16. After reading that academic word goulash, all I can say is, way to rip off Surrealistic Pillow, Pointdexters.

  17. Don, you have taken, not one,not two, not three, but TEN hits for the home team.

  18. "Too many scientists. Not enough science." Do you mean not enough REAL science? Leftists love the "soft" sciences like sociology and such. Now they impose their ideologies on those specialties and make the whole bunch look insane. And they grant PhD's for this drivel? I AM NOT liking contemporary post-secondary education. -- BJ54