In a world where billions of female animals’ bodies and reproductive systems are owned, controlled, and exploited by men, the dismantling of Roe v Wade in the so-called “land of the free” sadly makes too much sense.
Animal studies scholars have pointed to the emergence of domestication (the biological, physical and psychological control over animals to manage and exploit their reproduction) as a major turning point in human history whereby women’s social status, alongside that of other animals, plummeted. Women, too, were subject to “husbandry” to manage their reproduction for men’s aims.
In the United States, this is buttressed by a patriarchal religious institution and a patriarchal legal system that both normalize and enforce subservience to (human) male rule. Women and other animals alike are to be sacrificed and suppressed under men’s “stewardship.”
In this anthroparchal society within which the controlling and exploiting of animals is normalized, women will never be free. Feminists and their allies who will be sitting down to breakfast with milk and eggs in the morning might consider the systemic violence happening with other reproductive systems and what this means for us all.
Dr. Wrenn is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with Colorado State University in 2016. She was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar, 2016 by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She served as council member with the American Sociological Association’s Animals & Society section (2013-2016) and was elected Chair in 2018. She is the co-founder of the International Association of Vegan Sociologists. She serves as Book Review Editor to Society & Animals and is a member of the Research Advisory Council of The Vegan Society. She has contributed to the Human-Animal Studies Images and Cinema blogs for the Animals and Society Institute and has been published in several peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Gender Studies, Environmental Values, Feminist Media Studies, Disability & Society, Food, Culture & Society, and Society & Animals. In July 2013, she founded the Vegan Feminist Network, an academic-activist project engaging intersectional social justice praxis.
She is the author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory (Palgrave MacMillan 2016), Piecemeal Protest: Animal Rights in the Age of Nonprofits (University of Michigan Press 2019), and Animals in Irish Society: Interspecies Oppression and Vegan Liberation in Britain’s First Colony (State University of New York Press 2021).
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