Tag Archives: Happy 20th Anniversary InCity Times

Upending the sexist status quo to benefit all females

By Michelle Kretzer

Would you intervene if a female were being sexually assaulted? What if she were of a different race? Nationality? Religious group? Political affiliation? … Species?

Cows and other female factory farm animals are forcibly impregnated by owners. Frightened, often impregnated via mechanical means … Is this RAPE? photos: Peta

If you stopped saying “yes” when you came to “species,” ask yourself why it’s OK to sexually abuse a female who didn’t happen to be born human. Isn’t that like saying men have the right to abuse women because they’re superior?

There was a time when most men believed that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. “They’re just women. They don’t have the same brains as us,” they said. Similarly, they claimed that God created women to serve men. Now, the same argument is often wielded as an excuse for exploiting other species. When Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, Cambridge philosopher Thomas Taylor quickly issued a parody called A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes to make her seem ridiculous — if we start believing that women are individuals, what’s next? Treating animals like individuals, too? The horror!

Thankfully, nowadays it’s getting harder for people to get away with excuses like “But they’re just animals.” We know from science, experience and our own common sense that female animals feel pain and sorrow, love their young and experience loneliness and distress. Yet, every year in the U.S., billions of female animals are confined against their will, sexually assaulted and forcibly impregnated to serve human desires. Breeders and puppy mills do it. Marine parks do it. The horse-racing industry does it, too. Mother cows are restrained and impregnated to keep them producing milk. Chickens are held in cramped wire cages, their reproductive cycles manipulated to force them to produce more eggs. Farm workers observe and touch female pigs’ genitals to decide when they’ll shove a tube of semen into their vaginas.

Pigs are as intelligent as dogs. They, like the dogs in horrific puppy mills, are forcibly impregnated.

Those in power have always cited inconsequential differences to justify their own preferential treatment and their right to decide what happens to those who are not in power. And decide they have.

Among the many atrocities committed by Christopher Columbus and his men, Spanish soldiers tore Native Caribbean women’s infants from their breasts and bashed their tiny heads against the rocks. PETA investigations have shown that workers on pig farms commonly kill unwanted “runts” by slamming their heads into the floor, often in view of their helpless mothers. Doctors used to experiment on enslaved Black women’s reproductive systems — without anesthetics — claiming that they couldn’t feel pain. Today, we do the same thing to female primates, mice, rats, dogs, cats and other animals. After Tiger King’s Bhagavan “Doc” Antle gained notoriety for exploiting big cats and forcing them to have babies to fuel his cub-petting enterprise, numerous women accused him of sexual and physical abuse and psychological torture — when most of them were underage girls.

When some forms of abuse and oppression are allowed to continue, it’s easier for other forms to flourish as well.

We no longer believe the lie of white supremacy or male supremacy. We must also dispel the lie of human supremacy.

Race horses, too!

On this International Women’s Day and throughout Women’s History Month, let’s reflect not just on the biases against our own gender but also on our own biases against other species — and decide to show solidarity with all exploited females. To everyone who opposes sexism: Take a stand, not just against the oppression of human females, but against the oppression of females of all species. Because choosing kindness to animals is not just an act of compassion. It’s a powerful rebuke of injustice.

Calling all CECELIA interns🙂!

By Rosalie Tirella

Christmas CECELIAs delivered!

CECELIA in the city! photo: R.T.


Hoping to bring in some young writers – interns – in the spring. CECELIA needs youthful spirit! Yes, you can be “young at heart” – but up to a point! 60 is … well, 60! 90 is miraculous … but not 20.

A year ago we had a Doherty High School student write for us. She was born and raised (her early years) in Iraq. Sweet person, solid writer, who wanted to major in the sciences in college. I loved her story on her grandmother’s garden in Iraq, the growing and the eating of dates, what they signified back in her homeland. … Four years ago we were chatted up by the METRO counter girl while paying our cell phone bill on Cambridge Street and decided to make her our intern. She gushed: I WANT TO BE CARRIE IN SEX AND THE CITY!!! That sealed the deal for me!

“Mary” turned out to be the opposite of Carrie: poor, husband incarcerated, lived in a shelter with her kids for two years before ending up in an apartment in Main South. She had a fraught relationship with her mother … and yet she was Carrie! … young, pretty, romantic, deeply in love with her man, a deeply personal and open writer. Gifted! We jumped in to make it all better: Dorrie gave her bags of cute clothes. I gave her my new twin bed and mattress set (with new comforter and sheets) because Mary said her little boy needed his own bed.

The big-hearted Bill Riley, head of the St. John’s Food for the Poor program, drove up to my Vernon Hill three decker in his van and picked up my bed set and drove it to Mary’s apartment. We even pushed – former District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller and I – for Mary to get hired by a local social service agency. Mary got the job and left her Mcjob behind for a CAREER, a position that paid more money and that she loved.

She never thanked me for her “good luck.” Not once. Ahh, youth!

So, if you’re young and want to write for me, send me two essays. I don’t care if you have a high school degree or plan to go to college. We can tell if you’re any good by your second paragraph. Don’t inundate me with your brilliance, please! – just email me two essays: