Why should feminists be concerned about the treatment of animals?
Why should there be a feminist perspective on the status of animals?
This collection of articles begins to answer these questions.
It could be argued
that theorizing about animals is inevitable for
feminism. Historically, the ideological justification for women's al-
leged inferiority has been made by appropriating them to animals:
from Aristotle on, women's bodies have been seen to intrude upon
their rationality. Since rationality has been construed by most West-
ern theorists as the defining requirement for membership in the
moral community, women-along with nonwhite men and animals-
were long excluded. Until the twentieth century this "animality"
precluded women's being granted the rights of public citizenship.
At least three responses to this historical alignment of women and
animals have appeared in feminist theory. The first approach is per-
haps the most familiar. It argues that women are not like animals,
but are distinctly human. In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir