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    Feminism: The Movement With Many Causes

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    “No political movement on the contemporary scene has achieved the astonishing range of feminism . . . the movement has generously grown to embrace issues of race, poverty, sexual preference, child abuse, war, the Third World, religion, endangered cultures, endangered species, the global environment.

    ” (Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology, p. 238. )The term “ecofeminisme” was first used in 1974 by a French literary critic who encouraged women to develop their potential at preserving the ecological balance of the earth. Francoise d’Eaubonne considered this potential to be realized in an ecological revolution.

    As such, present ecofeminism is considered a social movement on the leading edge, and includes peace, feminist, and ecological concerns, as well as drawing content from ancient traditions. Ecofeminism identifies patriarchal dominations: sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, plus naturism. It is the union of radical or cultural feminism with radical ecology. Ecofeminism’s approach further develops feminism in relation to the natural environment. Its tenets include diversity through relationship, mutuality rather than use, and rejection of the either/or approach that encourages exclusion.

    The idea is to identify patriarchal culture in its forms of domination: industrial, mechanistic, militaristic and hierarchical. “The domination of nature originates in society and therefore must be resolved in society . . . it is the embodied woman as social historical agent, rather than as a product of natural law, who is the subject of ecofeminism . .

    . . In ecofeminism, nature is the central category of analysis. An analysis of the interrelated dominations of nature – psyche and sexuality, human oppression, and nonhuman nature – and the historic position of women in relation to those forms of domination, is the starting point of ecofeminist theory. ” (Ynestra King, “Healing the Wounds” in Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, p.

    117. )Other compatible movements are deep ecology, Green Politics, bioregionalism, creation-centered spirituality and animal rights. To open any gate one’s brain must first receive the message. The physical action through body follows. Direct experience of our environment is required to perceive the “nature of the wild. ” Nature is a whole system.

    Earth’s circulatory system is complex and alive. Water is a common thread for life’s continuance. The weather is another indicator of the health of the planet. “By changing the weather we make every spot on earth manmade sic and artificial. We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning.

    ” (Catherine Keller, “Talk about the Weather,” in Ecofeminism and the Sacred, p. 33. )Quality is of utmost importance in consideration of all relationships and relatedness. Myriad life forms are placed logically and naturally rather than artificially. The result is a becoming of a fecund and prolific nature. Monoculture and monocropping result in the reduction of diverse cultures and the desertification of land.

    The human population of Earth increases profoundly daily. With this growth, the earth becomes more and more incapable of abundantly fulfilling the base needs of the planet’s community. Colonialism, militarism, and technological control make up, and have shaped the modern patriarchal world view. Appropriation of lands, of metals and minerals, of agriculture, and now of genetic code and outer space make up the modes of exploitation. Use and consumption is Materialism’s expression (GREED). All take/no give.

    Loss of the patriarchal system could lead to a more egalitarian partnership in which difference signifies neither inferiority nor superiority. “We need to recognize our utter dependence on the great life-producing matrix of the planet in order to learn to reintegrate our human systems of production, consumption, and waste into ecological patterns by which nature sustains life. This might begin by revisualizing the relation of mind, or human intelligence to nature. ” (Rosemary Radford Ruether, “Ecofeminism,” in Ecofeminism and the Sacred, p. 21.

    )Technology has become a very real part of the human existence. As such, it must recognize its responsibilities to sustaining life and become less a tool for domination and oppression. “. . .

    no revolution in human history has succeeded without a strong cultural foundation and a utopian vision. ” (Ynestra King, “Healing the Wounds” in Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, p. 115. )Alienation through disconnection, pessimism, and nihilism of that considered “Other” is at best degradation. Reconciliation of a communitarian ethic to our relationships must be created to continue evolution naturally.

    Our entrance back to nature cannot be in part but rather wholly. Adams, Carol J. , Editor, Ecofeminism and the Sacred. Continuum, N. Y.

    , 1993. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, N. Y. , London, 1990.

    Diamond, Irene and Orenstein, Gloria Feman, Editors, Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1990. Dworkin, Andrea, Intercourse. The Free Press, N. Y.

    , 1987. Faulkner, Douglas, Ocean Realm: Magazine of the Sea, “Palau: What Now for Paradise,” Spring, 1989. Ferguson, Gever, Minh-ha, West, Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures. The New Museum of Contemporary Art, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, London, England, 1990. Fry’ba, Mirko, The Art of Happiness: Teachings of Buddhist Psychology.

    Shambala, Boston & Shaftsbury, 1989. hooks, bell, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Southend Press, 1984. Huang, Chungliang Al, Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji.

    CelestialArts, Berkeley, CA, 1973. LeGuin, Ursula K. , Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Harper & Row, Pub.

    , N. Y. , 1989. Mander, Jerry, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1991. Memmi, Albert, The Colonizer and the Colonized.

    Beacon Press, Boston, 1965, 1969. Mindell, Arnold, Ph. D. , The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy. Harper San Francisco, 1992. Montagu, Ashley, The Natural Superiority of Women.

    Collier Books, N. Y. , 1952, ’53, ’68, ’74, ’92. Plaskow, Judith, and Christ, Carol P. , Editors, Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality.

    Harper San Francisco, 1989. Rifkin, Jeremy, Biosphere Politics: A Cultural Odyssey From the Middle Ages to the New Age. Harper San Francisco, 1991. Roszak, Theodore.

    The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. Simon & Schuster, N. Y. , 1992.

    Schattschneider, E. E. , The Semisovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America. Dryden Press, Hinsdale, Ill.

    , 1960, 1975. Schroyer, Trent, The Critique of Domination: The Origins and Development of Critical Theory. Beacon Press, Boston, 1973. Shepard, Linda Jean, Ph. D.

    , Lifting the Veil: The Feminine Face of Science. Shambala, Boston ; London, 1993. Snyder, Gary, The Practice of the Wild. North Point Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N. Y. , 1990.

    Spretnak, Charlene. States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age. Harper San Francisco, 1991. Swimme, Brian, and Berry, Thomas, The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era – A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos. Harper San Francisco, 1992.

    Tavris, Carol, Mismeasure of Women: Why Women are not the Better Sex, the Inferior Sex, or the Opposite Sex. Simon ; Schuster, N. Y. , 1992.

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