Imagine you are speaking with someone who has never before taken a Women’s and Gender Studies course.
Please explain to them what a “false dichotomy” is.
Your explanation must be a minimum of three (3) sentences long.
In your explanation you are required to quote from/cite/reference *either* assigned course content *or* scholarly, peer-reviewed academic sources from one of these fields of study:
Women’s and Gender Studies,
sexuality studies, and/or
To begin, be sure to read or reread the following works: (attached)
Do independent research in order to find at least one (1) example of a dichotomy or dualism (yes, it can be a false dichotomy).
Your example must directly relate to gender *and* environments (“environments” should be broadly defined; consider how we study “environments” in this course: physical, political, and social environments, for example).
The example should come from the independent research that you do.
In your answer you are not permitted to draw on your own life experience.
You are required to formally cite the source/s that you use.
You are required to use outside source/s- i.e. beyond this class’s assigned content.
Your explanation must be a minimum of three (3) sentences long.
Remember, for this assignment, your example must directly relate to gender *and* environments.
Explain in detail how the example you provide in your answer to question two:
illustrates a dichotomy or dualism, and
directly relates to gender *and* environments (remember, “environments” should be broadly defined; consider how we study “environments” in this course: physical, political, and social environments, for example).
Please offer details to justify your answer.
Please directly quote from an appropriate academic source (course content and/or outside source/s) at least once in your response.
Your explanation must be a minimum of three (3) sentences long.2 attachmentsSlide 1 of 2
UNFORMATTED ATTACHMENT PREVIEW
Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues KAREN J. WARREN The past few decades have witnessed an enormous interest in the women ‘s movement and the ecology (or environmental) movement.’ Many feminists have argued that the goals of these two movements are mutually reinforcing and ultimately involve the development of worldviews and practices which are not based on models of domination. O ne of the first feminists to do so was Rosemary Radford Ruether who, in 1975, wrote in New Woman/New Earth: Women must see that there can be no liberation for them and no solution to the ecological crisis within a society whose fundamental model of relationships continues to be one of domination. They must unite the demands of the women’s movement with those of the ecological movement to envision a radical reshaping of the basic socioeconomic relations and the underlying values of this [modem industrial] society. (204) Subsequent feminist writings by animal rights activists and ecological and other environmental feminists have reinforced Ruether’s basic point: There are important connections between feminism and environmentalism, an appreciation of which is essential for th e success of the women’s and ecological movements. Just what are some of the connections between “feminism and the environment” that have attracted the attention of ecological feminist philosophers? How has recognition of these connections affected and informed the ph ilosophical perspectives of feminism and environmental issues? In this introduction I attempt to answer these questions by doing three things. First, I identify some of the connections between the domination of women and the domination of nature wh ich h ave been suggested in the scholarly ecofeminist philosophical Literature. Second, I identify a range of ecological (“eco”) feminist X Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues philosophical positions which have emerged, particularly in the field of environmental ethics, in an attempt to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the connections between feminism and the environment. Third, I suggest what the philosophical significance of this emerging literature is, not only for feminism and environmental philosophy but for mainstream philosophy as well. While no attempt is made to provide an exhaustive account, hopefully this overview highlights some of the relevant issues and acquaints the newcomer with the nature and range of philosophical positions on “feminism and the environment,” or ecological feminism. A CHARAcrERLZATLON oF EcoFEMINISM Just as there is not one feminism, there is neither one ecofeminism nor one feminist philosophy. “Ecological feminism” is the name of a variety of different feminist perspectives on the nature of the connections between the domination of women (and other oppressed humans) and the domination of nature. “Ecological feminist philosophy” is the name of a diversity of philosophical approaches to the variety of different connections between feminism and the environment. These d ifferent perspectives reflect not only different feminist perspectives (e.g., liberal, traditional Marxist, radical, and socialist feminism); they also reflect different understandings of the nature, and solution to, pressing environmental problems (see Warren 1987). So, it is an open question of how many, which, and on what grounds any of the proposed ecological feminist philosophies are properly identified as ecofeminist positions. What one takes to be a genuine ecofeminist philosophical position will depend largely on how one conceptualizes both feminism and ecological feminism. What all ecofeminist philosophers do hold in common, however, is the view that there are important connections between the domination of women (and other human subordinates) and the domination of nature and that a failure to recognize these connections results in inadequate feminisms, environmentalism, and environmental philosophy. What the nature of these alleged connections is and which, if any, are accurate descriptions of the nature and root sources of the twin dominations of women and nature is largely what ecofeminist philosophers debate. SOME ALLEGED CONNECTIONS BETWEEN fEMINISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT There are at least eight sorts of connections which ecological feminists have identified as important to understanding the connections between feminism and the environment . No attempt is made here to critically assess the claims made about these connections. Furthermore, these eight categories are not to be viewed as competing or mutually exclusive. Indeed, many of the important claims made about one kind of connection (e.g., conceptual and theoretical) Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues xi often depend on insights gleaned from others (e.g., historical and empirical) . The aim in this section is simply to present for consideration the various elements of the overall “feminism and the environment” picture. 1. Historical and causal. One sort of alleged connection between feminism and the environment discussed by ecological feminist philosophers is primarily historical. When historical data are used to generate theories concerning the sources of the twin dominations of women and nature, it is also causal. In fact, some feminists characterize ecofeminism in terms of just such historical and causal claims: “Ecofeminism is a recent development in feminist thought which argues that the current global environmental crisis is a predictable outcome of patriarchal culture (Salleh 1988, 138, n.l). What are some of these historical and causal claims? Some ecofeminists (e.g., Spretnak 1990; Reisler 1988) trace the historical and causal connections to prototypical patterns of domination begun with the invasion of Indo-European societies by nomadic tribes from Eurasia about 4500 B.C. (Lahar 1991). Riane Eisler describes the time before these invasions as a “matrifocal, matrilineal, peaceful agrarian era.” Others (e.g., Griffin 1978; Plumwood 1991; Ruether 1975) focus on the historical role played by rationalism and important conceptual dualisms (discussed at 2, below) in classical Greek philosophy. Still other feminists (e.g., Merchant 1980, 1989; Shiva 1988) focus on cultural and scientific changes that occurred during the scientific revolution and sanctioned the exploitation of nature, unchecked commercial and industrial expansion, and the subordination of women. What prompts and explains these alleged historical and causal connections between the domination of women and the domination of nature? What else was in place to permit and sanction these twin dominations? To answer these questions, ecofeminist philosophers have turned to the conceptual props which keep the historical dominations of women and nature in place. 2. Conceptual. Many ecofeminists and ecological feminist philosophers (e.g., Cheney 1987; Gray 1981; Griffin 1978; Y. King 1981, 1983, 1989a; Merchant 1980, 1990; Plumwood 1986, 1991; Ruether 1975; Salleh 1984; Warren 1987, 1988, 1990 [reprinted in this volume]) have argued that, ultimately, historical. and causal links between the dominations of women and of nature are located in conceptual structures of domination and in the way women and nature have been conceptualized, particularly in the western intellectual tradition. Four such conceptual links have been suggested. One account locates the conceptual basis of the twin dominations of women and nature in value dualisms, i.e., disj unctive pairs in which the disjuncts are seen as oppositional (rather than as complementary) and exclusive (rather than as inclusive), and value hierarchies, i.e., perceptions of diversity organized by a spatial Up-Down metaphor which attribute higher value (status, prestige) to x ii Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues that which is higher (”Up”) (see Gray 1981; Griffin 1978, 1989a; Y. King 1981, 1983, 1990; Ruether 1975; Zimmerman 1987). Frequently cited examples of these hierarchically organized value dualisms include reason/emotion, mind/ body, culture/nature, human/nature, and man/woman dichotomies. T hese theorists argue that whatever is (historically) associated with emotion, body, nature, and women is regarded as inferior to that which is (historically) associated with reason, mind, culture, human (i.e., male), and men. One role of feminism and environmental ethics, then, is to expose and dismantle these dualisms and to rethink and reconceive those mainstay philosophical notions (e.g., reason , rationality, knowledge, objectivity, the self as knower and moral agent) which rely on them. A second, related accoun t expands on the first by housing the value dualistic, value h ierarchical thinking (described above) in larger, oppressive patriarchal conceptual frameworks-ones undergirding all social “isms of domination,” e.g., racism, classism, heterosexism, sexism as well as “naturism,” or the unjustified domination of nonhuman nature (see Warren 1987, 1988, 1990). A conceptual framework is a socially constructed set of basic beliefs, values, attitudes, and assumptions that shape and reflect how one views oneself and others. It is oppressive when it explains, justifies, and maintains relationships of domination and subordination . An oppressive conceptual framework is patriarchal when it explains, justifies, and maintains the subordination of women by men. Oppressive and patriarchal conceptual frameworks are characterized not only by value dualisms and value hierarchies, but also by “power-over” conceptions of power and relationships of domination (Warren 1991) and by a “logic of domination,” i.e., a structure of argumentation which justifies subordination on the grounds that superiority justifies subordination (Warren 1987, 1990). On this view, it is oppressive and patriarchal conceptual frameworks (and the behaviors which they give rise to) which sanction, maintain, and perpetuate the twin dominations of women and nature. Revealing and overcoming oppressive and patriarch al conceptual frameworks as they are manifes t in theories and practices regarding women and nature are important tasks of feminism, environmentalism, and environmental ethics. A th ird account locates the conceptual basis in sex-gender differences, particularly in differentiated personality formation or consciousness (see Cheney 1987; Gray 1981; Caldecott and Leland 1983; Salleh 1984). The claim is that female bodily experiences (e.g., of reproduction and childrearing), not female biology per se situate women differently with respect to nature than men. This difference is revealed in a different consciousness in women than men; it is rooted conceptually in “paradigms that are uncritically oriented to the dominant western masculine forms of experiencing the world: the analytic, non-related, delightfully called ‘obj ective’ or ‘scientific’ approaches” (Salleh 1988, 130)just the sort of value dualisms which are claimed (above) to separate and inferiorize what is historically female-gender identified. These socio-psycho- Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues xiii logical factors provide a conceptual link insofa r as they are embedded in different conceptualization structures and strategies (different “ways of knowing”), coping strategies, and ways of relating to nature for women and men. A goal of feminism and environmental ethics, then, is to develop gender-sensitive language, theory, and practices which do not further the exploitative experiences and habits of dissociated, male-gender identified culture toward women and nature. A fourth account draws on some of the historical connections mentioned earlier (at 1). It locates the conceptual link between feminism and the environment in the metaphors and models of mechanistic science which began during both the Enlightenment and pre-Enlightenment period (see Merchant 1980; Easlea 1981). The claim is that prior to the seventeenth century, n ature was conceived on an organic model as a benevolent female, a nurturing mother; after the scientific revolution, nature was conceived on a mechanistic model as a (mere) machine, inert, dead. On both models, nature was female. The claim is that the move from the organic to the mechanistic model conceptually permitted and ethically justified the exploitation of the (female) earth by removing the sorts of barriers to such treatment that the metaphor of nature as a living organism previously prevented. The challenge to feminists, environmentalists, and environmental ethicists, then , is to overcome metaphors and models which feminize nature and naturalize women to the mutual detriment of both nature and women. 3. Empirical and experientiaL. Many ecofeminists and ecological feminist philosophers have documented empirical evidence linking feminism and the environment. Some point to various health and risk factors caused by the presence of low-level radiation, pesticides, taxies, and other pollutants and borne disproportionately by women and children (see Caldecott and Leland 1983; Diamond 1990; Kheel1989; Philipose 1989). Others provide data to show that First World development policies fos ter practices regarding food, forests, and water which directly contribute to the inability of women to provide adequately for themselves and their families (e.g., Mies 1986; Salleh 1990; Shiva 1988; Warren 1988, 1989). Feminist animal-rights scholars argue that factory farming, animal experimentation, hunting, and meateating are tied to patriarchal concepts and practices (Adams 1990, 199 1; Collard with Contrucci 1988; Kheel1985, 198788). Appeals to such empirical data are intended to document the very real, felt, lived connections between the dominations of women and nature and to motivate the need for feminist critical analysis of environmental concerns. Some ecofeminists and ecofeminist philosophers cite experiential connections which honor and celebrate important cultural and spiritual ties of women and indigenous peoples to the earth (see A llen 1986, 1990; Bagby 1990; Doubiago 1990; LaChapelle 1978; Woman of Power 1988). Indeed, documenting such connections and making them integral to the project of “feminism and the environment” is often heralded as one of the most important contributions to xiv Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Over11iew of the Issues the creation of liberating, life-affirming, and post-patriarchal worldviews and earth-based spirituality or theology (see Christ 1990; McDaniels 1989, 1990; Ruether 1989; Spretnak 1989a, 1990; Starhawk 1989, 1990). Appreciating these connections and understanding the “politics of women’s spirituality” is viewed as an important aspect of feminism, environmentalism, and environmental ethics. 4. Epistemological. The various historical, conceptual, and empirical/experiential connections which have been claimed to link feminism and the environment (discussed at 1-3, above) have also motivated the need for different feminist environmental epistemologies. Typically these emerging epistemologies build on scholarship currently underway in feminist philosophy which challenges mainstream views of reason, rationality, knowledge, and the nature of the knower (see APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 1989; Jaggar and Bordo 1989; Code 1987; Garry and Pearsall 1989; Harding and Hintikka 1983 ). Douglas Buege, for instance, argues for a feminist environmental epistemology that builds on Lorraine Code’s respons ibilist epistemology (Buege 1991 ). As Val Plumwood suggests, if one mistakenly construes environmental philosophy as only or mainly concerned with ethics, one will neglect “a key aspect of the overall problem wh ich is concerned with the defin ition of the human self as separate from nature, the connection between th is and the instrumental view of nature, and broader political aspects of the critique of instrumentalism” (Plumwood 1991). A feminist environmental epistemology would address these political aspects of the human/nature dichotomy. Other ecofeminists appeal to the Critical Theory of Horkheimer (1974), Adorno (1973, 1974), Balbus (1982) , and the Frankfurt circle, claiming that “their epistemology and substantive analysis both point to a convergence of feminist and ecological concerns, anticipating the more recent arrival of ecofeminism” (Salleh 1988, 131). For these feminists, Critical Theory provides a critique of the “nature versus culture” and an epistemological structure for critiquing the relationship between the domination of women and the domination of nature (see Salleh 1988; Mills 1987, 1991). 5. Symbolic. Many ecofeminists (see, e.g., Heresies #13; Bell 1988; Murphy 1990; Salleh 1988) explore the symbolic association and devaluation of women and nature that appears in art, literature, religion, and theology. Drawing on feminist literature (e.g., the literature of Atwood 1985; Bagby 1990; Corrigan and Hoppe 1989, 1990; Doubiago 1990; Gearhart 1979; Kolodny 1975; LeGuin 1985, 1987, 1988; Oliver 1983; Piercy 1976; Rich 1986; Silko 1987; Zahava 1988), some argue that patriarchal conceptions of nature and women have justified “a two-pronged rape and domination of the earth and the women who live on it” (Murphy 1988, 87), often using this as background for developing an ecofeminist literary theory (Murphy 1991). Others explore the potential of (eco )feminism for creating alternative languages ( e g., Daly 197 8; Griffin 1978), Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues XV religious/spiritual symbols (e.g., “Goddess” symbols), hypotheses (e.g., the “Gaia hypothesis”), theologies (e.g., Christ 1990; Daly 1978; Gray 1988; Ruether 1989; Spretnak 1982, 1989a; Starhawk 1989, 1990), and societies (e.g., the feminist utopias suggested by Gearhart 1979 and Piercy 1976). Other ecofeminists explore the symbolic connections between sexist and naturist language, i.e., language which inferiorizes women and nonhuman nature. This may involve raising questions about whether the sex-gendered language used to describe “Mother nature” is, in Ynestra King’s
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