Ok, so this is so bizarre, I don’t even know where to begin. First of all there is someone with a Doctorate of Feminist Studies, (which is a pretty high degree of education) who thinks groping dogs is a way to study rape culture. So many directions to go with that one, I don’t even know where to start. I just think of how much money went into attaining those degrees and I shudder to think of what better ways it could have been spent, but I digress.
Back to the point. Yes, Helen Wilson, Ph.D. actually conducted a study, and published a paper, on how dogs relate to rape. Here it is, in PJ Media.
This thread on Twitter started the conversation about the published piece.
The author of the article in question is Helen Wilson, Ph.D. She holds a doctorate in feminist studies and is the lead researcher at the Portland Ungendering Research Initiative. Her paper is entitled, “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon.” Since that doesn’t actually mean anything, and performativity isn’t even a word, I’ll summarize: She hung around some dogs parks for a year and watched a ton of dogs having sex.
Wilson goes on to say a couple more incomprehensible things like “human geographies” and “geographies of sexuality” and to call dog owners “human companions” before revealing three questions that her article will attempt to answer. Here they are:
1. How do human companions manage, contribute, and respond to violence in dogs?
2. What issues surround queer performativity and human reaction to homosexual sex between and among dogs?
3. Do dogs suffer oppression based upon (perceived) gender?
She then explains that she will apply “Black feminist criminology categories” (to what, I don’t know) and will suggest “practical applications” to disrupt “hegemonic masculinities” and improve access to “emancipatory spaces.” The author then helpfully introduces us to the concept of the “oppressive human with relationship to that of the oppressed dog, which is subject to the often speciesist, typically anthropocentric hegemonic presence of the human subject.”
Personally, I see all this as quite creepy and perverse. If you are at a dog park in Portland, and you see this gal there, take your dog and run. Run as fast as you can. This is just too far over the top for me. And I bet the dogs don’t like it much, either.