The Human: More than White Able Masculinity? – Zine Text by Aga

Here is a copy of the text as it is published in the second issue of our zine, themed ‘Human Impacts’:

(hu)man masculinity aga antispeciesist collective zine 2

Text Transcript:

As anti-speciesist feminists we recognise the sexualisation of animals as well as the gendered violence against them. We also acknowledge the animalisation of humans who aren’t white, educated, middle-class, able-bodied, cis men. In other words, we perceive the process that dehumanises people of colour and/or not ‘properly’ educated, working class, disabled, queer, women and trans people. A society that normalises specific identities, such as that of the able white man, is a society that others and oppresses us. Not that we are all the same, we are all different from him and from each other. That’s what scares him. Navigating imperialist legacies and the neoliberalism of today, we cannot help but continuously collide with the white able masculine subject who defines what it means to be human. Long ago we realised, that our human, humanist and humane culture is based on nothing more than this subject, the (hu)man subject who can only exist through maintaining these hypermasculinised notions of ability and whiteness. It is through establishing these identity markers that the Eurocentric cultural tradition prescribes a very narrow idea of manliness and masculinity that goes hand in hand with ideas of what it means to be human. Properly human. Fully human. (Hu)man.

Being (hu)man means enjoying rights and privileges. Not being human-enough or being non-human means being deprived of those rights and those privileges. The process of dehumanising humans is the process of turning a person into an object. We become objects by being divorced from our individual personalities, from the intrinsic and unique value each and every one of us carries deep inside. The process of animalisation is nothing else than the procedure that turns a person into a thing. That thing is then a consumable object and an object of exchange, and thus nothing more than a currency that establishes the consumer’s value in society. Just as neoliberalism prescribes, the more we consume others, the more rights and privileges will we be granted. The more we consume (others) the more we become (hu)man. So, we are made to believe that we can achieve what he, the (hu)man has, by working harder on our own assimilation. We are taught to betray our selves and become more like him, more (hu)man, less animal (less driven by our nature, by our emotions, by our feelings and desires).

 

Animals cannot assimilate their way out of their non-humanness, neither can most not-sufficiently-human humans. Perhaps as humans we try. We try to be more like him, more (hu)man. We learn his language, we learn his gestures, we go where he goes, we buy what he buys, we wear the same clothes and we sing the same songs. Yet, we never become human-enough.

This is why we are exhausted and drained, perhaps. Or perhaps we are tired from being strong and being true to ourselves all the time. It takes energy to take up space, to be loud, to be visible, to be perceptible in a (hu)man society when humanness and humanity is so narrowly defined.

So let’s take a rest, gather our energy and create spaces that aren’t (hu)man but anti-speciesist and perhaps even ahuman as Patricia MacCormack prompts us to do. We are many, all of us are different. We thrive off our plurality and solidarity. The anthropocentric world exists only in its monolithic singularity that crumbles away with every revitalising breath that makes us so much stronger.

None are free until all are free.

~aga