Woman, Nature, Feminism
- Historically “woman” has been connected to “nature,” “as woman is to nature, man is to culture.”
- In the nineteenth century (and into the 20th and perhaps still today) this mindframe or ideology was used to keep women in their place – as nurturers, mothers, in the home. The mindframe still lingers: nature is called “she,” we say mother earth
- Many feminists have wanted to embrace the woman/earth connection – seeing it as powerful and positive.
- But feminists also critique simple binary oppositions that are used to justify differential treatment and oppression.
- Read Rethinking Eco-feminism by Isy Moisy, Savage Journal, 2018
- Read Black Feminist Ecological Thought: A Manifesto by Chelsea Mikael Frazier
- Makes connections between oppression of nature and oppression of women.
- Makes visible and critiques ideologies that:
- treat women and the earth as possessions to be exploited, used up, thrown away
- understand the world in terms of strict hierarchies and divisions
- see capitalism and competition as a “natural state”
- Focuses instead on
- diversity – of peoples, of plants and animals
- connection between humans and non humans
- co-operation, symbiosis
- sustainable living for humans only possible with sustainable living for non humans
- Eco-feminists range from
- Scientists e.g.Lynn Margulis
- Historians of science and culture e.g. Donna Haraway
- Fiction and political writers e.g. Arundhati Roy
- Black feminist ecocritics e.g. Chelsea Frazier
- Global activists e.g. Vanessa Nakate
Mad Max: Fury Road some questions
- What are the pros of using a mass/popular culture franchise to discuss environmental themes?
- What are the cons of using a mass/popular culture franchise to discuss environmental themes?
- Are there contradictions in Mad Max Fury Road?
Mad Max: Fury Road and eco-feminism
- spawned a new feminist movie test – The Furiosa Test – here is the original Bechdel Test
- contains a explication/visualization of patriarchy: women, war-boys, and poor all exploited/controlled by the men at the top (literally at the top)
- pits violence/patriarchy/death against non-violence/co-operation and life/seeds
- although they fight, the women also resist killing
- explicit dialog, e.g. guns called anti-seeds, war-boy asked “who killed the world?”
- visual metaphor of everyone hurtling down road using up gas, even the older women who can be read as the environmentalists
- metaphor of the women turning around i.e. not continuing down same road to destruction
- post-apocalyptic but not hopeless – in these days of pandemic what do you think about apocalyptic media? Does this context change your opinion?
- contradictory (?) messages:
- anarchic glory of the war-boys and their customized vehicles, we can enjoy this even if we condemn what they stand for
- SM overtones of Joe and his war party i.e. bearded accountant in suit with holes cut to reveal nipple rings – suggestion that we export domination and control from the real world to play?
Mass Media and Environmentalism
- What kinds of emotional registers do we find in mass media works that deal with the environment.
- Hope? Fear? Doom? Mockery? Death-wish? Shock? Awe?
- How effective are ecological messages in Mass Media?
- What are some other contemporary metaphors about our environment? How do they work?
Hope – As the corona virus rumbles on, there is a lot of a negative and frightening news. As something of an antidote, please listen to this podcast. Trusting in Abundance: The Native Seed Podcast, August 10, 2018. It’s about a hour long.