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Attack of the Heteronormative Turtle Keepers! June 27, 2012

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Onely B*tchslaps Mother Nature.
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2 comments

We here at Onely feel confident that you have never seen a blog post with this title. But get used to it. Heteronormative turtle keepers (HTKs) are in the news lately. They’re trying to impose their couple-centric worldviews onto their amphibian friends, and no one (except us) questions whether the HTKs are out of their minds–least of all the media, who love this stuff:

Some turtles “divorce,” others are “lonesome” – at least according to two news stories that have been published over the last month. First, Bibi and Poldi, giant turtles at an Austrian zoo, are apparently getting a “divorce” after 115 years together. Beirut’s The Daily Star laments:

The world’s oldest marriage looks like it has come to an end.

What’s more:

Management at the Austrian zoo in Klagenfurt tried everything – from couples’ counseling to feeding them romantic mood food to getting them to play games together, but to no avail.

Which begs the question, What the hell constitutes romantic turtle mood food, and where can we get some for our. . . uh, never mind. It also begs the question, Why must the media and keepers anthropomorphize these poor turtles? Actually, what the articles have done is dizzyingly weird, albeit great Onely fodder: they’ve created a misrepresentation within a misrepresentation. These stories attribute arbitrary human habits to turtles (lonesome, divorced) and then within that paradigm they tack on stereotypes about those human habits (single=lonesome, divorced=worse than married).

Man-made heteronormativity is bad enough – surely we don’t have to infect Mother Nature too? Despite their caretakers’ not-at-all-bizarre behavior, Bibi and Poldi never did reunite, nor even play games. As the saying goes, Turtles that play together, stay together. Obviously Bibi and Poldi didn’t try hard enough to keep the spark alive. Now all the other (coupled) turtles in the zoo will be saying that (now single) BiBi is irresponsible with tons of free time, and that (now single) Poldi can’t commit and eats TV dinners while standing up at the kitchen counter (not always a bad thing, in our opinion). (more…)

Single, Single, Little Star January 7, 2012

Posted by Onely in Look What Google Barfed Up, Onely B*tchslaps Mother Nature.
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8 comments

Welcome to the latest installment in our series, Onely B*tchslaps Mother Nature, where we rage against mistreatment of singles–whether animals, plants, or extraterrestrials.

Onely’s long-time mission is to fight discrimination against singles. But lately we’re considering abandoning our quest. Why bother, when the very fabric of the universe is stacked against us?

Today we’re examining the super-fast “runaway” stars that streak through the Milky Way. Scientists originally thought that the stars used to be one of a pair of stars. A runaway star, they reasoned, was “fleeing a partner that exploded in a supernova,” according to  an article in New Scientist magazine (26 November 2011, p.17).

I liked this theory. The runaways had left their volatile, oppressive partner stars, preferring to zip around the galaxy as single stars. Or I guess you could say maybe the runaways had been dumped–it all depends on how you interpret, And so, then my significant other exploded in a supernova. . .

Either way, I was like “Go Single Star Power! Rah rah!” But then New Scientist burst my bubble. It turns out that runaway stars are actually victims of couplemania, or the privileging of the couple unit. Researchers have recently learned that the runaway stars are not halves of broken-up pairs at all. They are actually single stars that tried to hang out in orbit with a committed star couple. They gained their burst of speed when they were

booted out because the trio was gravitationally unstable.

Well you know the old saying, Two’s company, three’s gravitationally unstable. Or as New Scientist puts it,

Single stars that try to come between a stellar pair are flung away at breakneck speeds

Even though the star was just trying to be friendly. And that’s why Onely is giving Mother Nature a B*tchslap this week.

–Christina

Photo credit: Jem Yoshioka

Single? Then DIE! December 11, 2011

Posted by Onely in Look What Google Barfed Up, Onely B*tchslaps Mother Nature.
5 comments

Welcome to the first installment in our new series, Onely B*tchslaps Mother Nature, where we decry instances of discrimination against singles–in the natural world.

Onely’s regular readers know we hate it when couples are privileged over us singles. We hate paying more than couples at the gym. We hate that the beneficiaries of our IRAs have to pay taxes on that money, just because they’re not our spouses. We hate movies where the hero’s life magically becomes all hunky-dory just because she pairs up with someone. We hate singlism, and we’ve encountered a lot of it in our time.

But at least no one has ever tried to kill us because we were single.

No such luck for single cannibal shrimp. According to this article in New Scientist magazine,

Cannibal shrimp are so hell-bent on living in pairs that when placed in groups of three or four, they attack their peers until just one couple remains alive.

No matter what your stance on marital status discrimination, you have to admit that would make a really gripping reality show.

–Christina

Photo credit: oogoom

P.S. Yes, all you taxonomists out there, that photo is not actually of cannibal shrimp.  It’s a copulation between two male and one female Amano shrimp, who are apparently much more freespirited and less heteronormative than cannibal shrimp.

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