Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ecofeminism, a scholarship essay

In 1974 French writer Françoise d'Eaubonne wrote Le Feminisme ou la Mort which coined the term “Ecofeminism”. The term denotes neither a single movement nor philosophy. The term denotes neither a single movement nor philosophy. It is described in the broadest sense as a loosely knit philosophical and practical analytical tool. More specifically, the term examines and critiques the mutual devaluation of women and nature*.
As a woman, I relate strongly to this topic. Anthropologically speaking, many cultures view the earth as feminine. In Shiatsu, a modality I am currently learning at Massage School, we practice the Taoist concepts of
Yin(feminine) and Yang(Masculine); Yin being earth, and Yang being heaven. In Greek mythology, Gaia is "Mother Earth". There is no such deference today from the large corporations in power, generally headed
by men. Though some of the exploitation and destruction is a necessary product of overpopulation, which has been an issue since the Industrial Revolution, with over-development, over-fishing, and generally
disastrous chemical and genetic modifications of existing organisms, we have become, quite literally, a virus upon our so-called "Mother Earth".
It isn’t just today that mankind has been abusing nature and being unconcerned with future generations. In the Roman era, a type of fennel was beneficial as a form of natural birth control. However, they harvested it to extinction when lust and gluttony were rampant. If that strain were available up to today, who knows how much the population growth could have been prevented. Even the Ancient Egyptians, whose culture lasted for thousands of years realized the importance of birth control. Nature saved us again however, since today’s modern birth control pill’s roots were formulated after Russell Marker studied for three years extensive botany, and in the early 60s, oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA to unmarried women. Now it is available to all women in the United States.
Oral contraceptives aren’t the only useful means of birth control and unwanted pregnancies. Now we have many options from IUDs, to abortion. With abortion though, comes other opposition. While driving through Harrisburg Pennsylvania on State Street, one might find with disgust radical anti-abortion protestors showing shocking images of aborted fetuses. What’s even more disgusting and shocking is that there is a daycare four buildings down. Prejudice and hate has become so blind that these radicals are injuring and traumatizing the very children they are trying to protect. Society however, has proven statistically that pro choice is widely beneficial to the safety of our population. According to the book “Freakonomics”, in the 1980’s crime was rampant and then by the mid 90s started drastically dropping. There were many theories about why, but it was discovered that the crime drop was linked to women’s right to abort unwanted pregnancies. The main group that is statistically more inclined to become criminals is children of poor single mothers.
With my education I plan to spread awareness of how humans cannot live without nature, and living in balance and harmony. Many classes, races, and even gender, are being oppressed by their worldviews, or just by who they are. Same sex couples for instance, help balance overpopulation as well. The sex for procreation only agenda is an example of a majority leader(s) pushing their religion on the general population. When church and state are truly separated, then we can have more tolerance. The balance that I speak of is very delicate as well. There does become a point when a minority group can go too far to push their agenda. Our constitution states “Justice for all.”; And the right to embark on “The pursuit of happiness”. 

*(Kheel, Marti. "Chapter 1." In Nature ethics: an ecofeminist perspective. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. 8.)

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