A liberal professor of politics and global security at Virginia Tech says that the continued use of fossil fuels for energy is contributing to a concept she made up called “petro-masculinity,” which in her own words represents “a reassertion of white masculine power on an unruly planet that is perceived to be increasingly in need of violent, authoritarian order.”
In the eyes of Cara Daggett, fossil fuels are a near-direct representation of the masculine traits about men that she apparently hates. She also believes that this nonexistent phenomenon of petro-masculinity has dramatically increased following the election of Donald Trump as America’s president in 2016.
In a recent essay entitled, “Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire” that she wrote for Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Daggett discusses her perceptions about the convergence of “climate change, a threatened fossil fuel system, and an increasingly fragile Western hypermasculinity” – the point, of course, being that all men are inherently evil and in need of women, who are automatically good, to save the day.
Oil and gas, for instance, represent two of the prolific fossil fuel systems that Daggett says define masculinity as “a socially constructed identity,” somehow keeping women from achieving equality with men. Other fossil fuels are similarly offensive to women’s rights as they reinforce what Daggett describes as “a power relation between men and women as groups,” pitting masculinity in opposition to femininity.
The “hegemonic” masculinity of the past, she insists, largely stemmed from the built-in systems of patriarchy that existed at the time, while petro-masculinity is a more recent phenomenon that she says was ultimately triggered by global warming. It’s also a reactionary system perpetrated by men, she contends, the ultimate aim of which is “to defend the endangered status quo, entrenching the petrocultures that have historically propped up Anglo-European fossil-burning men” – because no radical feminist criticism of men is complete without an anti-white backdrop.
Presumably typing from a computer run by electricity derived from fossil fuels from her office that she drove to in her fossil fuel-burning vehicle, Daggett goes on to describe the burning of fossil fuels as “a knowingly violent experience” from which men are allowed to thrive. It’s okay when she does it, in other words, but not when men do it.
Daggett describes “fossil-fueled life” in general as being “violent,” reiterating her position that “fossil violence,” as she calls it, represents a “misogynist tactic” to keep women down. Burning fossil fuels is also a way for men to express their hatred for women, she claims.
“The concept of petro-masculinity suggests that fossil fuels mean more than profit; fossil fuels also contribute to making identities, which poses risks for post-carbon energy politics,” she writes. “Moreover, through a psycho-political reading of authoritarianism, I show how fossil fuel use can function as a violent compensatory practice in reaction to gender and climate trouble.”
Several years back, Daggett published a similarly bizarre manifesto that took aim at another modern technology – in that instance from a twisted sexual orientation perspective rather than the gender one she applied to fossil fuel use in this most recent instance.
Entitled. “Drone Disorientations: How ‘Unmanned’ Weapons Queer the Experience of Killing in War,” this earlier paper tried to argue that unmanned drones represent an “unresolved disorientation” in times of war, deviating from the “militarized masculinities” that she sees as being more common on the battlefield.
When approached by reporters at Campus Reform about conducting an interview, Daggett reportedly declined.
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