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Gendered Power Relations

The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism

Citation:

Warren, Karen J. 1990. “The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism.” Environmental Ethics 12 (2): 125–46.

Author: Karen J. Warren

Annotation:

Summary:
Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 1990

Eco-Feminism: Lessons for Feminism from Ecology

Citation:

Rosser, Sue V. 1991. “Eco-Feminism: Lessons for Feminism from Ecology.” Women’s Studies International Forum 14 (3): 143–51.

Author: Sue V. Rosser

Abstract:

For almost two decades feminists have successfully used the lens of gender to critique the extent to which androcentric bias has distorted the theory and practice of science. More recently ecofeminists have extended this critique to ecology, recognizing male domination and exploitation of both women and the environment. In this paper I pose the question in the other direction, to explore what the science of ecology in its theories, methods, and practice might contribute to the critique of feminism. In their fusion as ecofiminism both theories can intertwine and complement to form a strong framework for praxis.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 1991

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature

Citation:

Plumwood, Val. 1993. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge.

Author: Val Plumwood

Annotation:

Summary:
Two of the most important political movements of the late twentieth century are those of environmentalism and feminism. In this book, Val Plumwood argues that feminist theory has an important opportunity to make a major contribution to the debates in political ecology and environmental philosophy.

Feminism and the Mastery of Nature explains the relation between ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, and other feminist theories including radical green theories such as deep ecology. Val Plumwood provides a philosophically informed account of the relation of women and nature, and shows how relating male domination to the domination of nature is important and yet remains a dilemma for women. (Summary from CRC Press)

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 1993

Re-Writing Corporate Environmentalism: Ecofeminism, Corporeality and the Language of Feeling

Citation:

Phillips, Mary. 2014. “Re-Writing Corporate Environmentalism: Ecofeminism, Corporeality and the Language of Feeling.” Gender, Work & Organization 21 (5): 443–58. 

Author: Mary Phillips

Abstract:

For ecofeminism, the rationalist and instrumentalist responses of most corporations to multiple ecological crises are characteristic of a ‘logic of patriarchy’ based on interrelated and cross-cutting dualisms that support the subordination of nature and other oppressed groups. Dualisms such as culture/nature, reason/body justify corporate denial or appropriation of the feminine, the maternal and nature. Combining ecofeminist philosophy and the work of Helene Cixous, the paper suggests that a subversive approach utilizing embodied, poetic writing could begin to move corporations, and those who work with and in them, to value feeling and organic embeddedness and encourage a more ecocentric engagement with the world.

Keywords: ecofeminism, Cixous, embodiment, nature, ecological crisis

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2014

Gender Equality and State Environmentalism

Citation:

Norgaard, Kari, and Richard York. 2005. “Gender Equality and State Environmentalism.” Gender & Society 19 (4): 506–22.

Authors: Kari Norgaard, Richard York

Abstract:

There are several compelling reasons to expect that gender equality may serve to foster state environmentalism. However, most previous research on environmental politics has neglected gender. To help further our understanding of the connection between gender and environmental politics, the authors empirically assess the association between the representation of women in national Parliament and environmental treaty ratification, using a large sample of nations. The findings indicate that nations with higher proportions of women in Parliament are more prone to ratify environmental treaties than are other nations. The results point to the importance of considering the role of gender in analyses of state behavior and environmental politics and are consistent with the argument of some feminist theorists that the exploitation of nature and the exploitation of women are interconnected.

Keywords: ecofeminism, environmental treaty ratification, state environmentalism

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2005

Ecofeminism

Citation:

Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. 2014. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Maria Mies, Vandana Shiva

Annotation:

Summary:
This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva argue that ecological destruction and industrial catastrophes constitute a direct threat to everyday life, the maintenance of which has been made the particular responsibility of women. In both industrialized societies and the developing countries, new wars, violent ethnic chauvinisms and the malfunctioning of the economy pose urgent questions. Is there a relationship between patriarchal oppression and the destruction of nature in the name of profit and progress? How can women counter the violence inherent in these processes? Should they look to a link between the women's movement and other social movements? These two world-renowned feminist environmental activists offer a thought-provoking analysis of these and many other issues from a unique North-South perspective. (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Violence

Year: 2014

Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?

Citation:

Mellor, Mary. 1992. “Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?” Environmental Politics 1 (2): 229–51.

Author: Mary Mellor

Abstract:

Many commentators have seen a ‘natural’ affiliation between the ecology movement and the feminist movement. The green movement has attracted many women members and supporters although the German Green Party has adopted the most overtly feminist stance. In Britain, neither feminism nor the presence of women appears to have had a profound effect on green politics. Ecofeminists argue that green politics should start from women's experience as women share with nature a common oppression at the hand of male‐dominated ‘progress’. They also share with the natural world a common experience of nurturing and life‐giving. The failure of mainstream (male) green thinking to incorporate women's experience of caring and nurturing is most clearly revealed in the debate around the future of work. Some aspects of women's lives have been incorporated into green thinking, particularly in the distinction between the feminine and masculine ‘principles’. Without a distinctively feminist perspective these principles are seen as cross‐gender and no account is taken of the imbalance of power between men and women that these ‘principles’ represent. In the absence of a positive integration between feminism and green thinking, green politics is in danger of reverting to, or never leaving, a masculinist stance reflecting the values of patriarchal society.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation

Year: 1992

Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment

Citation:

Dillon, Brian, and Alessandra Voena. 2018. “Widows' Land Rights and Agricultural Investment.” Journal of Development Economics 135: 449-60.

Authors: Brian Dillon, Alessandra Voena

Abstract:

This paper examines the connection between widows' land inheritance rights and land investments in Zambia. We study whether the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood deters households from fallowing, applying fertilizer, and employing labor-intensive tillage techniques. Variation in inheritance by widows is based on customary village practices, which we observe in surveys of village leaders. Controlling for possible confounding factors, both OLS and IV estimates show lower levels of land investment by married couples in villages where widows do not inherit. Concern over prospective loss of land by the wives reduces investment in land quality even while the husband is alive.

Keywords: land tenure security, widowhood, land investment, gender discrimination, African development, farm productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2018

Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man'

Citation:

Mellor, Mary. 1997. “Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man’.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 129–40.

Author: Mary Mellor

Abstract:

This paper argues that the social construction ‘economic man’ is the product of a hierarchical dualism in western society that has also created ‘rational man’ and ‘scientific man’. Women and the natural world form the subordinated half of these dualisms. Central to this paper is the claim that this dualism is not only a cultural/theoretical one, but also a material one. The social construction of ‘economic man’ is the product of a bifurcated knowledge system and a materially divided society. ‘Economic man’ reflects a society in which the embeddedness and embodiedness of humanity is hidden by the division of mind from body, and science/culture from the natural world. For this reason it is not possible to incorporate women and nature into the ‘economy’ through the commodity form by according them a value as price. It is argued that the economic system can only exist if women and nature remain externalised, as women form the bridge between an autonomous individualised ‘man’ and the biological/ecological underpinning of his existence. Central to this analysis is the distinction between social and natural/biological time. ‘Economic’ man lives in social time (clock time) while women are responsible for biological time. This is not because women are closer to nature/biology in an essential sense. Rather, this relationship is imposed upon them by a male-dominated society.

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 1997

From the Ground up: Ecofeminism and Ecological Economics

Citation:

McMahon, Martha. 1997. “From the Ground up: Ecofeminism and Ecological Economics.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 163–73.

Author: Martha McMahon

Abstract:

Speaking from the margins, ecofeminist analysis exposes many of the assumptions of neoclassical economics as gender biased and as anti-ecological. It identifies the abstract individual of neoclassical economics as a privileged male individual whose apparent ‘autonomy’ is predicated on the oppression of women, marginal people and nature. Thus ecofeminists tell a different story about economic man — from the grounds of others' experience up. Ecofeminism points to the limits of models of sustainability built on extending market rationality to non-market spheres of life. Ecofeminist economics contains a creative tension between a commitment to social justice and a determination not to colonize the wild.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Justice

Year: 1997

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