Having bad sex with the Earth

Reading Elizabeth Wilson’s Gut Feminism tonight…and yesterday a colleague and I sent off a panel proposal called, yes, “Having bad sex with the Earth” (more details on that asap, as soon as we’re accepted–and how could we not be with that title? I predict full house! Free condoms all around!).

Wilson writes about the need for aggression, for bile, in feminist theory, and how the gut thinks. My gut has been thinking a lot about wheat lately. Here are some raw ingredients percolating through my head in the little time I have to stare out the window of the bus and philosophize.
1024px-Landing_of_Columbus_(2)Here is a painting, Landing of Columbus, John Vanderlyn, 1847. I can see two women, naked, dancing or (more hopefully) running away as fast as they can. Otherwise there are mostly men here. Men who have been on a boat for a long time. These men would have been made of hard tack, standard military rations in 1492 and still important to military and paramilitary cultures today.

What’s hard tack? I gave a short talk about it last week. Here’s the abstract:

By tasting and writing an eating body, Extreme Baking invites radical speculative reimagining of the kitchen as a vector for war, peace, and care. We will be hacking our digestion with hard tack, a survival food that sustained European voyages of conquest. White supremacist patriarchal colonial culture continues to reckon with the bodies hard tack made. How might we taste differently?

I served some hard tack while giving the talk. It looked like this:

IMG_20160328_172407-2After a casual remark in the Q&A where I said I wanted to know more about bad sex with the planet, bad ecosex, the kind of sex you have when your stomach isn’t right, coupled with reading Wilson, I’m asking myself, what kind of sex is a body made of hard tack ready to have?

Have we moved on from hard tack, really? How far have we moved on? How do endurance diets inform our sexual choices today?

And I then thought about bushdick. When you google bushdick you come up with a lot of George W. Bush/Dick Cheney content, but I’m not as interested in that as I am in the Australian version of bushdick. After being out in the bush (what in the US we might call “the wilderness” or “the wild”) for a significant length of time, perhaps on a training exercise, Australian servicemen will wrap their penises in cling film before showering. This lets them clean their bodies, but preserves the “bushdick”–in all its filth and stank–for their visit to nearby sex workers.

I won’t speculate too much about bushdick beyond considering, with Wilson, that our guts are thinking organs. And suggesting that we should be more concerned than ever about MREs and the composition of conquering bodies.

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