6 Absurdly Demeaning Conservative Attacks on Women
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Farm animals don't act independently. They have sex for breeding, not for pleasure, and the choice of partners and conditions of the sex they have are controlled by their masters. They certainly don't try to disturb the natural order of things, namely male dominion.
When women are not domesticated -- i.e., operating beyond the control of white men -- whether they're white or women of color, if they demand the right to free agency or a social safety net that spares their children from starvation, they're depicted as sexualized and base, making them dogs or wild animals.
Regardless of race or ethnicity, all women are by implication of this language and imagery closer to animals. However, comparisons like these are more extreme in this country for women of color, who have to live with a level of racialized sexual aggression that white women don't, enduring the double-whammy of both gendered and racialized animalistic insults.
An enduring racial trope paints American blacks of both sexes as " savage and untamable." African-American women have long been described as "wild" and "exotic," and are often portrayed as actual African animals. (Consider this on the "innocent" side of the spectrum: until Disney released The Princess and the Frog in 2009, the only vaguely black prince and princess characters in a Disney film were wild animals on the African savannah ( The Lion King). Even in the The Princess and the Frog, Tiana, Disney's first African-American princess, spent at least half of the movie as a green amphibian.)
To be sure, there are instances of men referred to as asses or pigs, but just Google images for "women as animals" and then "men as animals" and see what happens. When men are compared to animals, it is usually because they do something disgusting. It is an undesirable behavior, not an undesirable essence. The salient aspect of the animal names that girls and women are called is not their behavior, it is their gender. (Virtually all of the worst words one can call a woman, like the word "slut," are gender-specific.) Girls forge their identities through this dense fog of linguistic subjugation while boys tacitly infer their own superiority. Girls and women suffer direct harm because of it -- and boys and men, the indirect harm of living in a disordered and unjust society.
In the worldview of many right-wing legislators, it seems that a woman can only be one of two things: dangerously wild, incapable of reason and therefore decision-making on her own behalf, or a docile, breedable resource, entirely dependent and subject to compulsory pregnancy determined by others.In either case, these are dangerous grounds for justifying legislation that subordinates a woman's rights to her reproductive capacity.