Sexual Politics of Meat: Race, Gender and Food

by Rohisha Adke, ’15 

How does what we eat relate to gender issues that persist today? 
What does it mean for women to be turned into “meat,” as in the Carl’s Jr. advertisement?
How do both women and animals become “meat”?
How does this relate to racism and violence against women?
Why would someone write a book called Fifty Shades of Chicken?
Answer these questions and more this Thursday with Carol J. Adams at “Sexual Politics of Meat: Race, Gender and Food” in Toyon LoungeDinner and dessert will be served. Click here to RSVP
Carol J. Adams has written around twenty books on the links between the oppression of women and that of animals, domestic violence, sexual assault, and the ethics of diets. Her book The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory drew international recognition for its examination of the historical, gender, race, and class implications of meat culture. As an undergraduate in the early 1970s, Carol worked to bring women’s studies courses to the University of Rochester. Carol continued on to Yale Divinity School and did field work at the New Haven Women’s Liberation Center and an abortion clinic at Yale Medical School. With her partner, Carol later started a hotline for battered women. She has served as Chairperson of the Housing Committee of the New York Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence (1984-87), coordinated a challenge to a local radio station license because of its racism and misrepresentation (this resulted in the first revocation of a radio station license brought about by a community group during the Reagan years), and coordinated a suit against a city for racism in its housing practices.

Carol’s presentation draws upon images that have been sent from around the world and is constantly being updated as it tracks changes in popular culture. She provides an ecofeminist analysis of the interconnected oppression of sexism, racism, and speciesism by exploring the way popular culture presents images of race, gender, and species to further oppressive attitudes. It also suggests forms of resistance against the construction of individuals, human or non-human, as “meat.” She has presented on campuses across the country. From Oregon to Maine, from experimental schools to universities with slaughterhouses on their campus, the slide show attracts a diverse audience and prompts spirited discussions. 

This event is offered as a part of the WCC’s Herstory month and is co-sponsored by Appetite for Change, Women’s Community Center, Program in Modern Thought and Literature, American Studies, Feminist Studies, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, SSQL, STATIC and ASSU.

Rohisha Adke is a sophomore exploring Sociology and Mathematical & Computational Science. She is the co-founder of Appetite for Change.

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