Virginia Tech Professor Warns Of “Petro-Masculinity”

download.jpgWe recently discussed the seemingly endless examples of binary gender stereotypes in our society, including the scourge of hot wings.  Now Virginia Tech Professor Cara Daggett seems to have found a form of toxic masculinity that is actually toxic: “petro-masculinity.”  Daggett has an essay entitled “Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire” in Millennium: Journal of International Studies.  She warns that fossil fuels are actually combustible mixes of “masculine identity” and “authoritarianism” among men. It seems the favorite GOP slogan of “Drill, Baby, Drill” is sexist on multiple levels.

Daggett’s summary states:

“As the planet warms, new authoritarian movements in the West are embracing a toxic combination of climate denial, racism and misogyny. Rather than consider these resentments separately, this article interrogates their relationship through the concept of petro-masculinity, which appreciates the historic role of fossil fuel systems in buttressing white patriarchal rule. Petro-masculinity is helpful to understanding how the anxieties aroused by the Anthropocene can augment desires for authoritarianism. 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. 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.”

“Anthropocene” is a reference to the the current geological age. It appears to be a favorite term for Daggett’s past work like Energy at Work: Fossil Ethics in the Anthropocene; “Thermodynamics.” In A Lexicon for an Anthropocene Yet Unseen; and “World-Viewing as World-Making: Feminist technoscience and the aesthetics of the Anthropocene.”

Apparently, the “post-carbon energy politics” will change “identities” is a less masculine order.

Daggett sees a convergence of “climate change, a threatened fossil fuel system, and an increasingly fragile Western hypermasculinity.”  It is not clear why the West is being singled bout for its hypermasculinity other than it may not be as acceptable to criticize African or Asian or Latin American identities despite the heavy production of oil in some of those areas.  Indeed, the West has led the world in the push for equal rights and opportunities for women despite our “petromasculine” issues.

Daggest distinguishes her newly identified “petromasculinity” from run of the mill “hegemonic masculinity” though the dividing line can be a bit difficult to discern. She explains “Petro-masculinity approaches masculinity as a socially constructed identity that emerges ‘within a gender order that defines masculinity in opposition to femininity, and in so doing, sustains a power relation between men and women as groups.’”

Again, she prefers to keep her criticisms out of the Third World and explains that petromasculinity “defend[s] the endangered status quo, entrenching the petrocultures that have historically propped up Anglo-European fossil-burning men.”

Those “Anglo-European fossil-burning men” of the West are the driving force of this new field of toxic masculinity.

The article is instructive in how identifying new forms of gender bias or toxic masculinity can propel one into academic publishing, including in combing masculine with common terms.  With oil and hot wings and other common objects taken, the race is on.  I would like to claim a few terms as a place holder just in case:

–carbo-masculinity (the use of high carbohydrate foods for male bonding and the marginalization of women).

–turbo-masculinity (the use of high-performance cars to perpetuate macho, male-dominated, speed-focused society”)

harpo-masculinity (the use of a blond wig, horn and humor to marginalize and objectify women)

All of these new forms, of course, are focused on Anglo-European men in the Anthropocene.

25 thoughts on “Virginia Tech Professor Warns Of “Petro-Masculinity””

  1. “petro-masculinity, which appreciates the historic role of fossil fuel systems in buttressing white patriarchal rule. ”

    I am all about the patriarchy so I guess I should dig oil too? I dont get it. Here I thought I was just sexist, maybe racist too, but what other labels should append, when I am next expected to self denounce before the thought police?

    1. Next to gender studies, this is possibly the stupidest program of studies in today’s universities. I’m sorry BUT these “professors” need to get out and get a real job.

  2. Virginia Tech just boasted that it admitted the “most diverse class in its history.” Here’s the kind of “academic” waiting to teach these diverse minds about all the man-caused oppression In their midst. Car wrecks are prettier to watch. Where’s a Meletus when you need one?

  3. 1. She’s handsome. That’s the only agreeable thing I’ll say about her.

    2. Some time ago, Camille Paglia had a road mishap (breakdown or flat tire, I forget). Her car was towed to a garage and fixed up on site. She noted that every single person who worked toward getting her car back on the road was male, a social reality to which she noted purveyors of American feminism are simply oblivious. Working oil rigs is the sort of occupation which is 96%+ male.

    3. My $0.02: the Commonwealth of Virginia has a history of multiform error in higher education planning. They’re overbuilt to the tune of about 25%, the geographic allocation of their assets is eccentric (the smart money says that the state legislators in gatekeeper positions were from western Virginia), distasteful boosterism has been the order of the day (everything has to be a ‘university’), and the enabling legislation governing campuses has rendered the institutional personality of some of them clear as mud.

    4. Virginia Tech incorporates all of these pathologies. They turned a polytechnic which had an enrollment of fewer than 6,000 in 1960 into a globular research university with an enrollment of 31,000. It’s located in a burg in southwest Virginia which has a population of 43,000 people in it. Given the dimensions of the enrollment, it’s a reasonable inference that the entire population of the town is attributable to students, institutional employees, and service providers whose presence is a knock-on effect of the presence of the university. It’s like Ithaca, NY or State College, Pa., a castle in the desert.

    5. If Virginia Tech had stayed in its lane – i.e. built an engineering school which covered the waterfront (allowing the other state universities to concentrate on high-census engineering disciplines), maintained the state’s premier agricultural school (state systems can get by with one or two), maintained the state veterinary school, and maintained a faculty for miscellaneous technical disciplines – this woman and every other professor in the arts and sciences would be teaching for distribution credits and nothing more. The school would also have < 1/2 the enrollment it does today. One grasps for an explanation as to why Virginia Tech's institutional personality had to be trashed to build a general research university when you have more than enough of that in NoVa, the Tidewater, and Richmond.

    1. Camille Paglia is worth more than a trainful of feminists headed for work camps. Not that there have ever been such camps, but, one day, they may find gainful employment

  4. My hope is that someday archeologists will find an Australopithecus skin cell preserved in Amber and extract its DNA for cloning. We could then replace useless academics with these hominidae. They would offer equally plausible theory yet do so for only a few boxes of berries and the occasional lizard as compensation.

  5. Professors such as this who comingle this ridiculous SJW nonsense with environmental issues damage the conservation cause. I would prefer the professor essentially shut up because she is damaging the credibility of the noble cause of protecting the Earth.

    I don’t want to see conservation associated with extraneous claptrap for eventually nobody will listen to them and many will do the opposite of what they want just to spite them. We don’t need any more pollution.

  6. Really, ?

    Prisoners and Petro masculinity???? And America after having the WORST DAY of its existence
    yesterday.????

    No mention of that. ?
    Even A rare few of Fox News Staff, found the courage and words to weigh in. That, is a rarity, indeed. !
    One for the history books.!! But silence here.!?!?

    1. Guinness – you know you are doing your job if the Lame Stream Media starts clutching their pearls.

      1. Sadly, when the lame stream is markedly more outraged than usual about some topic, the opposite of what they say must be the truth or the best method in addressing a problem, or the person is the best to tackle the problem.

    2. Worst day of its existence? Funny, I don’t remember any British troops patrolling the streets to quash in any resistance to the crown, or thousands dead in a field otherwise known as a civil war battlefield, or explosions decimating our naval fleet or planes flying into sky scrapers. A little over the top don’t you think?

  7. Elon Musk must be right we are living in a computer simulation because real educators couldn’t be this stupid.

    1. The Great Zambini – I would not take Elon Must too seriously right now, he just called one of the Thai rescuers a pedophile. The guy is considering the number he should pick when filing suit.

  8. How about grillo-masculinity, the idea of men dominating women by forcing them out of the kitchen by cooking dinner over an open fire. Or roofo-masculinity, the concept of keeping women on the ground while men soar into the air to repair roofs and skylights. Or plumbo-masculinity, the penchant for men to deprive women of the satisfaction of unstopping toilets. Or lawno-masculinity, men using machines to show dominance over helpless growing objects. Or invento-masculinity, the propensity of men to invent useful objects like the internal combustion engine, AC current, refrigeration, the airplane, etc.

    1. Vince Jankoski – and let us not forget the ever-present danger of garbagecano-masculinity. Will we be saved from this before I die? I think not, he says, as he took out the garbage again today.

  9. This professor never drove with my mother who was infused with petro-feminity. She liked to drive 120 mph and drag race anything near her. The need for speed is not just for men, it is also for women who are self-assured. 😉

  10. Where is more petromasculine than Venezuela? It has the largest reserve of heavy, got that, heavy, crude, got that, crude.

  11. If driving big trucks counts as Petro-masculine, I would say that Hispanic men, along with blue-collar white men, are the winners. Educated millennial white men drive small, fuel efficient cars. In all seriousness, immigration from 3d world countries has a significant impact on the environment. Folks from Africa, Mexico and Central America, India, Asia, and so forth come to the U.S. and buy large SUVs and trucks, and become two and three car families. They didn’t have one car, much less three gas guzzlers in their countries of origin. I took a class 30 years ago on Environmental Economics in college, and the situation has only gotten worse. But you can’t criticize the impact of 3d world Immigration, or the conversation will stop with the cry of “raaaaaaacist!”

    1. Around here the Hispanics drive the cheapest thing they can find. Usually used pickups these days.

  12. Virginia Tech is a sexist place. To be a tech is to have your hands on things. Women in Virginia go to tech school to learn to touch and go. A better school in Virginia which is not sexist is called Virginia Virgina and it is associated with Virginia Long Dong West.

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