Teresa Lloro-Bidart is an Assistant Professor in the Liberal Studies Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: “As a feminist political ecologist and multispecies ethnographer, I work in the fields of environmental education, animal studies, and food studies.”
So, naturally, she published When ‘Angelino’ Squirrels Don’t Eat Nuts: A Feminist Posthumanist Politics of Consumption Across Southern California. No, it’s not advice to Californians that they needn’t worry about squirrels gnawing their brains.
Eastern fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), reddish-brown tree squirrels native to the eastern and southeastern United States, were introduced to and now thrive in suburban/urban California. As a result, many residents in the greater Los Angeles region are grappling with living amongst tree squirrels, particularly because the state’s native western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is less tolerant of human beings and, as a result, has historically been absent from most sections of the greater Los Angeles area. ‘Easties,’ as they are colloquially referred to in the popular press, are willing to feed on trash and have an ‘appetite for everything.’ 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. I conclude by drawing out the implications of this research for the fields of animal geography and feminist geography.
Who knew animal geography and feminist geography were different? Isn’t that either speciesist or an insult to squirrel geography? Or both?
Who knew feminist food studies were a thing? I mean, you could probably guess it was, but it sounds like studying whether or not you’re ingesting enough estrogen.
You could probably wrap the words “feminist,” and “studies” around any noun, or a random bit of Marxist jargon, and some SJW coddling University has a course in it.
Maybe Feminist Rodent Gormandization Studies:
This course is an intersectional investigation of nutritional consumption patterning of the single largest order of Mammalia. Because of the order Rodentia’s size we know quantitative instances of sexual harassment, rape and transmission of Yersinia pestis far exceed other mammalian orders. Anyone who has observed squirrels chasing each other has witnessed this behavior. Utilizing Martin Heidegger’s original post-modernist contributions to the Third Reich, we will re-theorize the ontological givens of the later ideas of Derrida and Foucault. The course includes lessons in field preparation and recipes for a wide variety of male rodents.
I don’t have any problem with vilification of tree rats, and I don’t even care what color they are, but it would be far kinder just to shoot the buck-toothed vermin than to appropriate them into a new feminist victim cadre.
My problem is that red, gray or black, all of them eat my birdseed – when not scrabbling on the skylights seeking entry to my attic where they plot to chew on my electrical wiring. I have gone to considerable, and non-lethal, time and expense to dissuade them from these activities, but for those who persist, the western, “modernist human frame through which I interpret these actions” is a 3×9 Tasco. If they insist on suicide by bird feeder, it’s within their reach.
And don’t get me started on chipmunks.
It takes an extremely wealthy and decadent society to provide gainful employment for such persons as Ms. Lloro-Bidart. There are many other things you could say about such a society based on her example. None of them good.