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A2 Animacy

Leaves binaries in check only focuses on movement, never escape gender


Irni 15 [Sari, Book Review, animacies: biopolitics, racial mattering, and queer affect, Irni, S. Fem Rev
(2015) 109: e20. doi:10.1057/fr.2014.48] //ELmer

Mel Y. Chen focuses on animacies as conceptual orders of things in which binariessuch as animate/inanimate,
live/dead, animal/human, mobile/immobilemove, effectively suggesting
that accounting for these movements is
crucial for the analysis of power relations. The books research strategy adopts an Ahmedian cultural studies style of writing; I
refer here both to the broad interest and inspiration stirred in Feminist Studies (including this study) by the works of Sara Ahmed, and to the
gathering of examples for analysis from wide-ranging sources and contexts, also called queer scavenger methodology (Halberstam, 1998: 13).
In Chens work, examples range from the monkey in J.L. Austins classic marriage example, which is at the centre of
performativity theory, to the BP oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, to Hayao Miyazakis animated film Ponyo. To
any reader who might criticise this work for being eclectic, Chen offers the following: My archive of apes, theories, turtles, sensoria, cartoons,
mercury particles, airborne skin, signifying lexemes, and racialized humans has seemed entirely logical, that is, to me; yet the label of
eclecticism rings true, in my view, from a perspective that is wedded to institutional typologies of intellectual reference and styles of thinking
(p. 234, emphasis in original).

Leaving any part of humanism intact makes oppression inevitable humanism is


maintained by binaristic logics that allow it to be turned against others
Weinstein 16
(Jami Weinstein arrived at Linkping University, Tema Genus, in September 2010 as a LiU forskarassistent to direct her project entitled: The
Zoontology Research Team. Now an Associate Professor and director of the newly named Critical Life Studies Research Group, Weinstein
pursues research in areas such as: contemporary continental philosophy; feminist, gender, and queer theory; critical life studies; animal studies;
posthuman studies; and science and technology studies. From January 2015, she has been working on her Vetenskapsrdet (Swedish Research
Council) funded project, "Vital Signs: Life, Theory, and Ethics in the Age of Global Crisis." She is the series editor of the Critical Life Studies book
series on Columbia University Press (with Claire Colebrook and Myra Hird). Vital Ethics: On Life and In/Difference in Against Life,)//ELmer

Up until now, I have been taking for granted that humanism is something we might want to renounce. But this is not at all apparent nor is the
linkage between any eventual rejection of humanism and the framing of a more promising ethico-politics. While providing a full argument here
would be beyond the scope of this chapter, I would like to pause briefly to provide a little background for why I
insist that we must
eschew humanism and its particular brand of life sanctification. Overall, humanism is, rather than being an
inclusive theory, excessively exclusive and perhaps even supremacist. Importantly, there are a host of
detrimental ethico-political assumptions hidden beneath that exclusivity and the fact that they are
largely unacknowledged unwittingly produces a variety of unwelcome consequences. Cary Wolfe provides
further insight when he claims that the humanist discourse of species will always be available for use by some
humans against other humans as well, to countenance violence against the social other of whatever
speciesor gender, or race, or class, or sexual difference . . . We all, human and nonhuman alike, have a stake in the
discourse and institution of speciesism; it is by no means limited to its overwhelmingly direct and disproportionate effects on animals.26 In
other words, conserving humanism, even partly, has the effect of ensuring that at least some forms of
oppression are inevitable. While one could reasonably wonder why posthuman theorizing can be considered a queer/feminist
project, the interconnectedness of the logics of oppression under humanism provides us with a clear answer. Accordingly, without a
thoroughgoing repudiation of humanism, there is little chance that any form of feminism can reach its
goals. For, so long as humanism and any of its binaristic logicslike man-woman, human-animal, culture-
nature, reason-emotion/instinct (i.e., norm-deviance)remain intact, even in part, there is scant hope of
overcoming any single binary. They are all intertwined and mutually interdependent categories. For
instance, it is not difficult to hear the connections among emotion/instinct, woman, nature, and animal
nor those among reason, man, culture, and human. Thus, it is imperative to feminists aims to dispense
wholesale with the anthro-ontological27 questions of identity hidden beneath theories of sexual
difference and theories of gender and to embrace materially interdependent, post-identity,
posthumanist theory. It should be noted that the implementation of Enlightenment humanism performed an
essential role in the history of ideas: it rid the Western world of its theological absolutism with regard to truths about the world,
both ontological and moral, and put knowledge in the hands of humans and, therefore, extricated knowledge from frameworks riddled with the
obstacles of theological universals. With Enlightenment humanism, we see the instantiation of Friedrich Nietzsches famed God is dead . . . we
have killed him!28 Yet, lest we rest on our laurels for having eradicated supernatural epistemologies, Nietzsche asserts that we quickly
supplanted them with an equally orthodox faith in a scientific epistemology. Keenly prescient in his proclamation that science in a sense is the
new God, in a section titled, In what way we, too, are still pious, he reminds us that it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in
science restseven we knowers of today, we godless antimetaphysicians, still take our fire, too, from the flame lit by the thousand-year old
faith, the Christian faith.29 Thus, while
turning to science appears to be an advance on theistic absolutism and,
further, opposed to religion, man has merely supplanted faith in one absolute truth with another.

Their understanding of toxicity is static its not a question of being toxic, but
becoming in proximity of toxicity vote negative to understand the 1AC as becoming
toxic.
Engel and Lorenz 13 [Antke Engel and Renate Lorez, Toxic Assemblages, Queer Socialities: A
Dialogue of Mutual Poisoning, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/44/60173/toxic-assemblages-queer-
socialities-a-dialogue-of-mutual-poisoning/] //Elmer

Mel Y. Chen echoes this argument when she argues that discourses of toxicity often produce or uphold social
hierarchies and racist assumptions.20 One of her examples is toys produced in China for export and marked by Western media as
toxic and dangerous to kids. Apart from the fact that this danger seems to target white, middle-class kids, the media coverage also ignores the
toxic working conditions in China grounded in Western consumerism. For the matter of understanding the complex effects of toxicity, her text
makes a couple of interesting twists and turns. Once the reader feels sure about comprehending her argument on the hierarchizing effect of
discourses on toxicity, she unexpectedly shifts attention to her personal condition of multiple chemical sensitivity. She explains that she
cannot leave the house without a mask, and when shes outside she perpetually scans her surroundings: Some passenger cars whiz by;
instinctively my body retracts and my corporeal-sensory vocabulary starts to kick back in. A few pedestrians cross my path and before they
come near, I quickly assess whether they are likely (might be the kind of people) to wear perfumes or colognes, or sunscreen. I scan their
heads for smoke puffs or pursed lips prerelease; I scan their hands for a long white object, even a stub. In an instant, quicker than I thought
anything could reach my liver and have it refuse, the liver screams hate, hate whose intensity each time shocks me.21 The reader becomes
aware that Chens critical attitude towards discourses of toxicity does not help her in keeping her personal relation to toxicity and its harmful
effects at arms length. Recognizing her intense hatred of those who might expose her to a toxin, she draws another unexpected connection:
she is reminded of the hatred she experienced in others when they confronted her, the adolescent butch of Asian origin, with homophobic and
racist comments. Obviously, the relationship between bodies and toxins cannot be explained by chemical reactions, but depends upon and
affects the organization of the social. Chen, in addition, does not only see others as potential danger, but she is seen as dangerous herself;
wearing a mask, she appears to others as a potential bearer of a virus, such as AIDS or SARS. Following these considerations, I
would like
to rethink the connection between body and toxin. Instead of understanding it as an encounter of two
entities (the body confronted with a substance that might be either healing or destructive), the body-
toxin relationships come into view as an assemblage of elements. Fueled by power relations, the assemblage is flexible
in its configuration, functions, and effects. Thus, not a toxic substance, not an intoxicated body, but becoming-toxic:
an embodiment without differentiation between taking poison and being poison, a body
configuration which cannot be understood by applying common categories. Ambivalences are not only
allowed but facilitated: between poison and cure; between the drug, which is enjoyable and enables different
body practices, and the substance, which intoxicates, paralyzes (holds in place), or even kills.