Raising Your Hand in the Council of all Beings: Ecofeminism and Citizenship


Sandilands, Catriona. 1999. "Raising Your Hand in the Council of all Beings: Ecofeminism and Citizenship." Ethics and the Environment 4 (2): 219-233.

Author: Catriona Sandilands



“This paper is part of an ongoing conversation that I have had with (other) ecofeminists on the general theme of democracy and citizenship. Some of these conversations have been held in relative privacy; others have appeared in a variety of published fora. But they are—necessarily, as I suggest below—conversational utterances, designed more to open questions than to answer them, inspired more by a desire to include new voices and topics in the discussion than to establish my (tenured) place in an academic establishment. This paper should thus be read as an argument to a community. More than anything, this means that I insist on the "I" of its composition in order to highlight my public appearance as the bearer of these ideas (if not always their creative source) and as a citizen of this political community. 

This conversational desire also means that I take certain tenets of our community conversation as established wisdom (if not as truth), and give them my own spin rather than rely primarily on the original desires of the authors involved (which may get my in trouble, but that's the risk of appearance.). Thus, this article is not a good introduction to ecofeminism; there are plenty of these about. It is, however, an investigation designed to get us— and the broader community of environmental thinkers—to think more systematically about citizenship as a key tenet of ecological thought. As I said, this is a conversation (and one in which I owe particular thanks to Greta Gaard): from my doxa to yours, with the hope of mutual creation” (Sandilands 1999, 219).

Keywords: eco-feminism, public sphere, nature, care ethics, morality, citizenship, public life, environmentalism, political ethics, democracy

Topics: Citizenship, Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Ecofeminism

Year: 1999

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