Thursday, May 7, 2015

Intersectionality with Egalitarian Concepts.

From Black Beauty:
Jerry: “If they would break their own bones, and smash their own carts, and lame their own horses, that would be their own affair, and we might let them alone, but it seems to me that the innocent always suffer; and then they talk about compensation! You can't make compensation; there's all the trouble, and vexation, and loss of time, besides losing a good horse that's like an old friend -- it's nonsense talking of compensation!”
One particular intersection with class, race, gender/sex, etc. that we see in this class’s animality discourse is the concept of equality. The logic states that if equality can be extended to one group, it should then be applied to another or else produce a double standard of social treatment.
The paragraph I have quoted here is somewhat problematic toward this intersection. While Jerry grieves the damage to horses, he specifically notes that such infractions only apply as infractions when one does it to his/her own horse. He also notes that the loss of a good horse is like losing an old friend.
Here, Jerry clearly measures entitlement to right & suffering by performance and property. Jerry sets up qualifications for horses that are good, which must obviously be subjectively determined. It is implied that if a horse doesn’t meet Jerry’s standard of good, then it isn’t worth lamenting. If a horse is a person’s property, then they could, using Jerry’s words: break, smash and lame them. It would be their own affair.
While denouncing the horses’ poor treatment, Jerry inadvertently promotes values of slavery (horse as property) and classism (a good horse is an old friend implying that non-good horses are less valued).

While an intersection of egalitarian values is generally noted in this class, I notice that the stock placed in such values are inconsistent at best and contradictory at worst.

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