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Professor Examines ‘Feminist Fuzzy Sciences’ Of Dog Training

By: Grace Carr 

Feminist dog training reveals the importance of “interspecies intersectionalities” that exist between humans and animals, a Kansas State University professor wrote in a 2017 paper.

Dr. Harlan Weaver seeks to examine the relationship between humans and animals which allegedly reflect and shape the experiences of gender, race, sexuality, class, nation, species and breed, according to her study “Feminisms, Fuzzy Sciences, and Interspecies Intersectionalities: The Promises and Perils of Contemporary Dog Training.”

Weaver’s study tries to trace the history of dog training to examine the divide between dominance and positive reinforcement training practices, published in the Catalyst Journal of feminism, theory and techno science. She seeks to interrogate the ways that relationships between humans and dogs shed light on the differences between concepts like gender, race and sexuality.

Using herself as a subject, Weaver says that “my whiteness, queerness, and middle-class status tended to make other humans” think her dog was not dangerous. “Interspecies intersectionalities also highlight how disparities in power and discursive erasures figure in human-animal relationships,” she adds. She posits that feminist ethics align closely to obedience, respect and dominance, and become evident in both dog and trainee.

Weaver concludes that thinking through the lens of “interspecies intersectionalities” elucidates a “promising expansion of the feminist fuzzy sciences of dog training,” and adds that feminism shapes these very sciences.

Some of Weaver’s other works include, “Pit Bull Promises: Inhuman Intimacies and Queer Kinships in an Animal Shelter,” “Monster Trans: Diffracting Affect, Reading Rage,” and “The Tracks of my Tears: Trans Affects, Resonance, and Pit Bulls and Parolees.”

Weaver did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.

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