Ecofeminism as Third Wave Feminism? Essentialism, Activism and the Academy | SpringerLinkFeminism and the mastery of nature. Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. Download PDF. Recommend Documents. Freedom, feminism, and the state: An overview of individualist feminism.
Feminism and the mastery of nature
Having women in power won't automatically make for caring, sensitive environmental policies as Stacy Alaimo implies in her review of Carolyn Merchant and Val Plumwood. At a recent conference, I attended a performance on ecofeminism that presented a convincing barrage of slides, mainly from advertisements, depicting women and the earth in similarly degrading ways. Sympathetic to the environmentalist and feminist politics, I was nonetheless dismayed by the finale, which baldly celebrated a slide of a naked, pregnant woman, implicitly evoking that old connection between the fertile female and the fecund earth. I begin with this example to suggest that "woman" and "nature" converge upon a perilous terrain that solidifies the very representations of "woman" that feminism, especially poststructuralist or postmodern feminism, has worked to dislodge. Centuries of misogynist thought that has justified the oppression of women by casting women as "closer" to nature and that has made nature synonymous with essentialism has produced a discursive landscape which makes it nearly impossible to forge productive alliances between environmentalism and feminism without raising the doubly baneful double-entendre of a "female nature. Yet, it would be difficult to imagine an environmental feminist politics that did not, in some way, affirm nature, especially since "nature" and the "natural" are such potent discursive nodes. As much cultural studies work demonstrates, cultural struggles often gain more ground by articulating their aims with already potent ideological elements, rather than attempting to create an entirely original vision.
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