Violence against women and animal rights: the highly unpopular connection
- Published: 18 March 2014
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Advocates working to stop violence against women and those in the animal rights movement need each other as neither will reach their goals in isolation. It’s time to get over being offended by these comparisons and work together to end all gendered violence, says Ashley Maier.
18 March, 2014
- Going beyond limited links between violence against women and animals, such as the fact that pets are often victims of domestic violence, is very unpopular yet essential.
- Animal products such as eggs and dairy represent gendered violence. Once we know what lies behind their production, the connection cannot be denied.
- Animal exploitation and consumption promotes rape culture and the very norms that those who work against violence against women hope to change.
- The violence against women movement champions countless concepts that fall short of realization when non-human animals are excluded: intersectionality, consent, bodily autonomy, comprehensive prevention, and many more.
- Like many movements, the animal rights movement has a violence against women problem and, in not addressing, ignoring or defending it, pushes away some of its most likely allies.
- While focusing on different subjects, both movements are working to prevent gendered violence. To move forward, those who make the connections must do so with intentionality, make their messages accessible, build from connections already being made (like health equity and food justice, or the sexism inherent in selling animal products), and more.
This presentation is part of the online conference Neither Man Nor Beast: Patriarchy, Speciesism and Oppression, organised by Animal Liberation Ontario (ALO). View more presentations including those from Carol Adams, Breeze Harper, Ruby Hamad, Sunara Taylor and more on ALO’s Youtube channel.
Ashley Maier has worked in the movement to end gendered violence for well over a decade. She is currently employed at a state sexual assault coalition where she primarily conducts national sexual and domestic violence prevention work.
A preventionist at heart, Ashley has also managed a state’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program and grantees, coordinated pediatric residency training programs in community health and family violence, served as an advocate and support group therapist for women experiencing domestic and sexual violence, worked as Psychology faculty, and more.
Ashley holds an MSW from Washington University in St Louis with an individualized concentration in violence against women and will obtain an MPA this May.
She is a contributing author to Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and The Sexual Politics of Meat and co-authored Links between sisters’ sexual and dating victimization: The roles of neighborhood crime and parental controls in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Visit her website to learn more about her work and making connections between human, animal, and environmental well-being.
Ashley's views in this presentation are her own and not representative of any organisation she works for or is involved with.