Short Take: Queer Theory At Its Logical Extreme

I can’t, and won’t, vouch for the credibility or accuracy of Nathan Winograd’s assertions. He’s pretty deep down the rabbit hole of animal rights, not a particular concern of mine per se. But  his points raise some curious and bizarre issues at the intersection of critical race theory (in its broadest sense) and the care and feeding of critters.

In books and journal articles, CRT advocates have:

Whether Winograd’s assessment is correct is a matter for someone else to figure out, mostly because it’s not worth my time and attention. Although the “reasoning” he proffers doesn’t strike me as beyond the pale.

Underlying these claims are the racist beliefs that viewing animals as family members, letting them sleep in the house, providing them medical care, and showing them affection are “middle class,” “white” values, while people of color treat animals “as resources, whether protective (as in guarding) or financial (as in breeding or possibly fighting).”

But he notes that a Duke University Women’s Studies professor has plumbed a new depth for our furry little friends.

In LGBTQ…Z? — the “Z” standing for zoophile (a person who is sexually attracted to animals) — Kathy Rudy, a professor of women’s studies at Duke University, argues that,

[T]he widespread social ban on bestiality rests on a solid notion of what sex is, and queer theory persuasively argues we simply don’t have such a thing. The interdict against bestiality can only be maintained if we think we always/already know what sex is. And, according to queer theory, we don’t.


Antisex positions rest on the idea that all humans are different from all other animals, and the wall between them can never be breached. Like the ways we used to think of race or gender ‘identity,’ these positions contend that one’s species rests on physical markers that are immutable, that belonging to the categories of ‘animal’ or ‘human’ is grounded in a biological essence untouched by culture.

Ridiculous? Insane? Well, sure, for now. But as lawyers are painfully well aware, things eventually reach their logical extreme given our human capacity to screw up whatever we touch. While we’re surely not there yet, are we sure that this Duke queer theorist won’t be the puppy version of Robin Diangelo some day? As our norms are reduced to “social constructs” so that facts no longer stand in the way of fantastical reason, what’s to prevent the unduly passionate from loving their kitten a little too much if some academic from a big time university says its the totally woke thing to do?

23 thoughts on “Short Take: Queer Theory At Its Logical Extreme

  1. Scott J Spencer

    I thought explicit consent in triplicate was needed before you could have sex with something… does a cat give consent? Is this person now saying rape is okay because…Queer?

    1. SHG Post author

      Consent can be give verbally or by enthusiastic conduct. It’s not clear, however, how a sheep would challenge the lack of claimed consent. Especially in Kentucky.

  2. orthodoc

    According to Justice Scalia, defending his take on homosexuality, there are certain behaviors that are worthy of being banned simply because people have a gut feeling that they are immoral. His list included incest, bestiality and child pornography. When given some pushback on his insinuation that homosexuality belonged on that list, he claimed that his argument was reductio ad absurdum, just to point out “things eventually reach their [il]logical extreme”. But unless you want to get religious about it (or invoke a Natural Law synonym), is he wrong?
    CRT just accelerates the reduction to absurdity. Choices will be made. And as that great philosopher, Vizzini The Sicilian, said about choices, once we decide, we will “find out who is right…and who is dead.” (figuratively only, I hope!)

    1. SHG Post author

      According to Justice Scalia, that never happened and you need to stop sniffing glue. See how that works?

      1. orthodoc

        According to The New Yorker, (Amy Davidson Sorkin, December 12, 2012) it did, and FWIW, it’s iocane powder I am sniffing, and by the standards of Lloyd Bridges, this would be a bad week to stop sniffing glue.

        1. SHG Post author

          So this was the point you were trying to make?

          Scalia did not. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against these other things?” he said to Hosie. “Of course we can. I don’t apologize for the things I raised. I’m not comparing homosexuality to murder. I’m comparing the principle that a society may not adopt moral sanctions, moral views, against certain conduct. I’m comparing that with respect to murder and that with respect to homosexuality.” He said that it was an argument by way of reduction to the absurd—and, since this is Scalia, he did so with a note of something between sarcasm, condescension, and stubbornness: “It’s a type of argument that I thought you would have known…. I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”

          In the scheme of Nino’s args, this was not his best.

  3. B. McLeod

    I think this has been the position of the species dysphoric Furries for some time. For now, they are left on the frontier of the marginalized, as no openly-Furry nominee has been put forth for any cabinet position or judicial vacancy.

  4. Bryan Burroughs

    Wow. That claim of a slippery slope for homosexuality to beastiality actually happened. I did not actually see that coming.

      1. johnburger2013

        Well, now, that is a disturbing interpretation of that song. Sheesh.


        PS: Those of you SJ posters who mocked by argument that “transpeciesism” is a real thing (á la I believe I am an aardvark) should reconsider your misplaced mockery. Yes, you should!


  5. Beverley Watts

    After queer was a pejorative for hundreds of years against homosexuals, why are they now forced to embrace the term because a new generation has created the crazy class of identities?

  6. Turk

    I’m a bit late to this game, but Harry Chapin’s Dogtown, probably the most obscene song of his catalogue:

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