Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Anonymous" historically was a Woman

At the risk of getting on the wrong side of the law and/or of dangerous vigilantes, I'm wondering aloud if the hackers from "Anonymous" are eco-feminists (whether they know it or not). "Anonymous" helped get the Steubenville rapists convicted. And now they've hacked private information about executives who profit from the dolphin and whaling industries.

I admit, the saddest thing I ever saw was a dolphin alone in a swimming pool in Florida, an inflatable toy his only companion. Then I saw one in a holding tank at the Hilton in Kona, salve on his head because the regular pool wasn't deep enough for him to avoid a sunburn.

At the very least, pack animals need to be together.

Some humans are loners. What about hackers? I know almost nothing about "Anonymous." In a world clammering for fame and celebrities, they usually remain nameless... yet are willing to go to prison to bring a little more justice to victims. This is the sort of selflessness usually contained to mothering. As Virginia Woolf said, “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” It is quintessentially feminine to sacrifice yourself for the good of others, especially when you don't even know who benefits. Yes, Saint Francis was a man. But you know what I'm talking about. (Hi, Mom!)

The Fanged Wilds and Women Program empowers women to tap into that urge to do good, even when it puts you at risk. You dislike attention? Let's offer each other moral support to be brave and escape all confinement.

Do cetaceans have anything to do with sexism? SeaWorld executives blamed the ponytail of the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, when the orca pulled her to her death. Sexism is a ready dodge for the guilty: anything girlish - like a ponytail - implies incompetence, right? (Wink, wink.) Just like a rape victim asked for it.

I called them "dangerous vigilantes" above; but, in truth, Anonymous hackers are only a danger to themselves. The wealthy SeaWorld corporate lackies are inconvenienced by a data breech. They may deserve jail, but won't get it. And they won't have their children taken from them, enslaved, and made to jump on cue.

Helpless creatures exploited for our entertainment and greed are similar to rape survivors. What makes animals less important than humans is that they can't sign a petition or hack computers. Animals are not even good at hacking each other.

VC Bestor

Fanged Wilds and Women Program is a 501c3 Tax-Exempt Organization

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fangs Look Good on a Woman

"Vampire V" was my favorite nickname when I was five. My next-door best friend Elizabeth ("Smashed Lizard Guts" Liz) would watch Creature Features on TV with me and imitate Bela Lugosi. (This was before Buffy and Twilight.) Lizard and I would create dramas with our troll dolls in the dirt between our houses, enacting warfare under the shrubbery, triumphing over Gumby, and humiliating the Barbies with their grotesquely long legs.

My big sister's nickname for me was "The Little Pest." I lost my Vampire status when my mom took me to the dentist and had him pull the canines that protruded above my more "normal" teeth. Perhaps orthodontia saved me from looking like a freak. But I felt something had been lost... and not just because "Lizard" moved away.

I was learning how to be standard and fit in.

"Smashed Lizard Guts" Liz would make me laugh so hard, I'd pee all over the floor. I learned that laughing was dangerous, as was any wild behavior. Paradoxically, anything pretty and girlish was stupid, yet it was clearly my safest choice. I grew civilized. And there's no question I was one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Now I'm asking all the other lucky people in the world to join me in saving wildness. The "Fanged Wilds and Women Program" harnesses laughter, ladylike behavior, and grotesquely long legs to celebrate our love of the wilds.

Climate Change will increasingly put everything out of balance. Few things can repair that. A woman's touch is one thing. And vicious fangs are another. So many Pollyannas nowadays are influenced by "The Secret" and the "Power of Attraction," they ignore human accountability and negate anything scary like wild predators. Yet predators are 'keystone species" that keep forests and grasslands healthy so we can all tiptoe through the tulips.

Speaking out means that sometimes people look at me as if I'm Bela Lugosi. Words can feel too sharp when they challenge our comfort. 

Yet the rewards are legion. 

Fangs may save civilization.

VC Bestor

Fanged Wilds and Women Program is a 501c3 Tax-Exempt Organization

Monday, December 16, 2013

Women & Extinction

We must choose which animals to save: National Geographic says 20,000 species are near extinction. All grrls like me care about cute fuzzy things. How best to select the survivors on Earth Island? 
People are passionate about charismatic megafauna. My vote:
Lions, tigers and bears!  I'm choosing predators, and here's why: post-Climate civilization will need women to keep the peace. Women can learn leadership by identifying with predators and -- like the rangers at Gir, India -- training to be intermediaries between humans and animals who would kill them.  
Women have unique qualities to defuse situations otherwise fatal to fanged beasts. Ranchers, loggers and farmers worldwide may kill predators that escape poachers and bush-meat hunters. A woman who takes a stand for a lion or cheetah transforms preconceptions.

"Fanged Wilds and Women Program" aims to engage ladies with the "ecology of fear" for the good of ALL species. Climate crises may snowball into civic chaos. We can prevent mayhem. And we'll have fun in the process! How? Mimic the 'ecology of fear' by associating women with wild predators.
Woman Ranger in Kenya

Fear not. Fashion can be a first step. Leopard-spot apparel can empower even the most disadvantaged girl, and it's already everywhere. "Fanged Wilds" garb - leopard spots given meaning - can inspire teens to protect wilderness. Ultimately, ladies may enlist to patrol and prevent clashes between citizens and, say, snow leopards in Nepal... cougars in Santa Monica... bears in Switzerland... and wolves in Montana.

Can females really confront poachers? Or even lions, tigers and bears? All-female ranger teams are found throughout the world. Respect for femininity grows just at the idea of it. Respect can only strengthen social bonds when civilization faces climate collapse.

"Charismatic megafauna" are the most cherished wild animals in the world. Could our love for them be what saves humanity? A leopard can't change his spots... but his spots can change us! Fanged Wilds can tame the future.

VC Bestor

Fanged Wilds and Women Program is a 501c3 Tax-Exempt Organization