Cal Poly Professor Argues Squirrels Are Subjected to Racially-Charged Media Bias

An assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University argues in a recent academic research paper that eastern fox squirrels are subjected to a “gendered, racialized, and speciesist” form of media bias.

Teresa Lloro-Bidart, an associate professor of liberal studies at Cal Poly, argues in a recently published postmodernist research paper that eastern fox squirrels are on the receiving end of racially-charged media bias. Lloro-Bidart claims that she worked towards such a conclusion by analyzing the coverage of eastern fox squirrels through “feminist posthumanist,” and “feminist food studies” lenses.

Lloro-Bidart contends that eastern fox squirrels, which is the most populous species of tree squirrel in North America, are on the receiving end of such bigotry due to several factors, most notably, the “western, modernist,” framework by which humans interpret their behaviors and actions.

Given that the shift in tree squirrel demographics is a relatively recent phenomenon, this case presents a unique opportunity to question and retheorize the ontological given of ‘otherness’ that manifests, in part, through a politics whereby animal food choices ‘[come] to stand in for both compliance and resistance to the dominant forces in [human] culture’. I, therefore, juxtapose feminist posthumanist theories and feminist food studies scholarship to demonstrate how eastern fox squirrels are subjected to gendered, racialized, and speciesist thinking in the popular news media as a result of their feeding/eating practices, their unique and unfixed spatial arrangements in the greater Los Angeles region, and the western, modernist human frame through which humans interpret these actions.

The paper, which is titled, “When ‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of consumption across southern California,” also argues that humans are responsible for “otherizing” eastern fox squirrels.

Eastern fox squirrels, Lloro-Bidart argues, are facing discrimination as a result of the human tendency to lump the species in with the western gray squirrel, a species which is much less tolerant of human beings.

Lloro-Bidart also evokes the concept of intersectionality, an academic concept popularized by Kimberle Crenshaw, which describes overlapping human identities and their relationship to systems of oppression, to analyze the plight of the eastern fox squirrel in California.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com


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