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Feminism Telesummit - Sexism in the Animal Rights Movement with Lisa Kemmerer

"Sexism in the Animal Rights Movement is not new—it’s part of our culture and has been in the movement since women first started working to protect animals! Male privilege and white privilege are connected with human privilege—they are connected with the problem of animal abuse. We need to recognize these interconnections and make the necessary changes in our lives if we want to bring change. Going vegan is critical, but we also have to root out sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression to welcome a world of peace." Lisa Kemmerer

Lisa Kemmerer - Sexism in the Animal Rights Movement 

It's naive to think that sexism, racism, ableism, ageism do not exist as a very real problem in the Animal Rights Movement. The movement of Animal Liberation is largely white, way too male powered, and that's creating real sexism and racism in the movement. It is men in power, CEOs, donors, and board members who are the perpetrators.

Instead of women who do all the work feeling empowered and safe in these organizations, they are exploited and kicked to the curb, and men continue to exploit the women.  We have to face it, deal with it, and root out the men of power who are causing these problems. Check out #ARMeToo for women speaking up.

Lisa is doing a survey for women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed or discriminated against inside the Animal Rights Movement. Find the survey at CANHAD.org - Coalition Against Nonprofit Harassment & Discrimination. You can submit testimonials here and read others here. Survey information is coming soon. We will provide a link to Lisa's paper at that time.

Initially, women wanted men to lead so the message of the movement would be heard. But now, men control a lot of the wealth in the movement, and there is a lot of sexism and sexual assault in their organizations. A lot of women leave these organizations, and people leave in groups all at once. Males that are driven out of an organization are welcomed into one of the other male led organizations.

Watch for shake downs in the Animal Rights movement, and who is taking sexism on: Carol Adams (Sexual Politics of Meat) has a blog allowing anonymous postings. You can read Carol's Blog here.  

It's wonderful to change your diet, you are helping the earth and helping the animals, but if you tolerate racism or sexism you are hurting the animals, and you have to get that link and start making those bigger changes in your life. The men in the movement are more willing to change their diet than to give up their male privilege. 

Women are valued as reproductive animals just like housed chickens.

Solutions:

Hire Women & People of Color as leaders of organizations.

No relationships inside organizations.

If someone says something is wrong, believe & support them!

Have policies in place against harassment and discrimination.

Have recurring required education.

Don't let problems within organizations disappear.

Get educated about overlapping oppressions: intersectionality.

Make sure that in your language and your behavior that you are not contributing to other oppressions.
This is the problem with the white male privileged perpetrators, they are contributing to other oppressions.
 

Lisa Kemmerer is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religions at Montana State University, Billings. She is an author, and philosopher-activist, dedicated to working against oppression on behalf of the environment, nonhuman animals, and disempowered human beings. She is an animal advocate in cattle country.

Education formed Lisa's sensitivities, and becoming a teacher allows her to challenge her students and explore controversial issues with passion and integrity. She says, "Everyone is different, and at the core of our personal ethic is caring. Lisa's books "Eating Earth" with practical solutions, and "Sister Species" with women's personal narratives are available at GreenWomanStore.com.

"We can't save the animals until we get rid of sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, and the destruction of the environment because they are all linked. It's such a change for me to say it's not just about the suffering of the animals. It's a system of oppression. If we are supporting one part, we are not going to get rid of another part."

More information on Lisa's work here: LisaKemmerer.com

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