…a proper style for what’s claimed to be a serious, scholarly journal? Here, via The Wall Street Journal, is the abstract of Teresa Lloro-Bidart’s When ‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of consumption across southern California [sic] in the journal Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography [also sic]:
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.
Unfortunately, the full article is behind a paywall, but the abstract is sufficient unto the day. And it raises a question: how much of the…research…behind this piece was done with the proceeds of a Federal grant to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where Lloro-Bidart is an Assistant Professor in the Liberal Studies Department? Is our tax money funding satire, now? If so, Congress does need, indeed, need to revisit funding for the NSF and similar entities.