Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Take a break from grading and remind yourself of how wonderful… May 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 7:40 pm

students can be:

And here we are keeping them idle enough to notice and care about the squirrels.


7 Responses to “Take a break from grading and remind yourself of how wonderful…”

  1. hippocampa Says:

    I utterly enjoyed watching that! thanks JJ.

  2. Michelle Says:

    Totally cute and hilarious!

    One question, though: Was the baby squirrel male?

  3. jj Says:

    Thank you both for the comments; I was worried in retrospect that I went over the top with my enthusiasm.

    Michelle, I wonder. It didn’t really give up. Does that argue M or G? Or maybe baby squirrels are uni-sex. Does Beatrix Potter speak to this?

  4. Michelle Says:

    Ah, I should have given a bit more back story! I have noticed that, unless an animal is specifically identified as female, it tends to be assumed to be male. (If this doesn’t make intuitive sense right away, give it awhile. It happens all the time!)

    My partner is an ornithologist and I have learned (I’m on the 200-year plan for a degree in Birds) that some species of birds (and other animals) are sexually dimorphic (males and females look different) and some are not (you can’t tell sex just by looking). So, when he uses a masculine pronoun in reference to a bird, I ask, “IS it a ‘he’?” Quite often, it’s impossible to tell! (My partner is getting much, much better at this game, and I am getting so in the habit of asking that I occasionally surprise someone else with the question.)

    In this case, the baby squirrel was referred to as “he” a couple of times in the video. Now, It’s quite possible that it is possible to tell the difference between a “him” baby squirrel and a “her” baby squirrel, that the video captioner knows the difference, and that the reproductive parts of the baby squirrel in question are those which science classifies as male … but I would wager a larger sum that this is a case of androcentrism, pure and simple. Lacking feminine markers, masculinity is assumed.

    Whee! And I bet you thought this was just a fun video! :-)

  5. Jender Says:

    Jender-Son is now avidly trying to convince the Jender-cats to re-enact this video.

  6. jj Says:

    HaHa. He is being the student, if they get that far?

  7. jj Says:

    Michelle, of course. I wasn’t thinking.

    Why don’t they use “it,” I wonder. I suspect I do.

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