Eating the other in "Mei's Last Barbecue": Kyriarchal speciesism as a social paradigm




Merenda, Kimberly Christine

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Texas Woman's University


In 1999 a compositionally challenged piece of cannibalistic snuff pornography entitled "Mei's Last Barbecue" made the rounds of the burgeoning Internet. Loosely adhering to a genre of magical realism, the story horrifically details the slaughter, cooking, and consumption of Mei, a young Malaysian woman. My thesis considers the story as paradigmatically prototypical, positing that within the atrocity of this story lie archetypes both universally recognizable and experienced. My thesis identifies the social paradigm authorizing consumption of the degraded as one of "kyriarchy," analyzing and expanding upon Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza's construction of the neologism. Examining speciesism, sexism, racism, and classism as interdependent, reinforcive systems conveying stigmatization, animalization, and manifold consumption, my thesis develops the theory of kyriarchy through presenting "Mei's Last Barbecue" as an amplified albeit accurate representation of the prevailing social paradigm. The conclusion of my thesis reflects upon the planetary impact of kyriarchy and the possibility of paradigmatic shift.



Social sciences, Cannibalism, Classism, Kyriarchy, Racism, Sexism