Heather MacDonald reports on the latest academic breaktrough in gender equity. Naturally, it occurred in California.
Another day in academia, another twist in the bizarre world of identity studies. The Center for the Study of Sexual Culture at the University of California, Berkeley, is presenting a talk next week on â€œQueering Agriculture,â€ dedicated to the proposition that â€œit is absolutely crucial queer and transgender studies begin to deal more seriously with the subject of agriculture.â€
Queer theory has taken over student life on many campuses. Now that gay identity has been thoroughly institutionalized, declaring oneself â€œtrans*,â€ â€œgenderqueer,â€ â€œpangender,â€ or any of the other rapidly multiplying alternative sexes has become the last frontier of self-engrossed agitation available to students. But apart from the odoriferous leavings of female ginko trees, the â€œproblemâ€ of gender and plants did not seem to be a pressing one, making the application of queer theory to agriculture an innovation that even the most dogged observers of identity studies might not have seen coming. The talkâ€™s presenter, a Ph.D. candidate in American studies at the University of Maryland, will allegedly show that â€œthe growing popularity of sustainable food is laden with anthroheterocentric assumptions of the â€˜good lifeâ€™ coupled with idealized images and ideas of the American farm, and gender, radicalized and normative standards of health, family, and nation.â€