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Fine Print On Queer Dog Parks

Behold, the violence inherent in the system. (Spiky and I/Shutterstock)

The three heroic academic pranksters who published a number of fake papers in Grievance Studies journals have made the academic reviewers’ comments on their papers public. They make for fantastic reading.

Here are excerpts from reviewers’ comments on the (fake) paper examining dogs humping each other in a dog park from the perspective of  “queer performativity” and “feminist geography”:

page 9 – the human subjects are afforded anonymity and not asked about income, etc for ethical reasons. yet, the author as researcher intruded into the dogs’ spaces to examine and record genitalia. I realize this was necessary to the project, but could the author acknowledge/explain/justify this (arguably, anthropocentric) difference? Indicating that it was necessary to the research would suffice but at least the difference should be acknowledged.

In other words, the reviewer is worried that the author of the paper might have invaded the private spaces of dogs humping each other at the dog park.


page 22 and the definition of “oppressed dog”: it is reductive and inaccurate to say that the only dogs that are oppressed are those that “were engaging in queer behaviour.” I understand the point that the author wants to highlight with the specific definition in the analysis from Taylor here, but all animals are oppressed/made vulnerable by their legal non-subjectivity and personhood status, even those companion and humanized animals such as dogs who are favourably treated. To not at least mention and then bracket this if need be seems too abrupt of an analysis. I would strongly encourage the author to nuance this statement or better yet, reconsider using Taylor’s definition of oppression, for as the author notes, it doesn’t make sense to exclude the raped female dogs.


The second substantive point relates to Question 3’s discussion about dog fur colour. Could the author introduce this question with some mention of the literature exposing the tight correlation between race and species, but then consider why fur colour does not seem to matter from her observations? Is colour variation within dogs as a species (as opposed to humans as a species) not thereby racialized in the author’s informed opinion because perhaps the species difference is already so highly constitutive/reflective of racial anxieties?

I am not making any of this up.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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