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Re: [EcoFeminism] Re: Disappointed with how the group turned out

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  • Mischa Standingwolf
    ... In short, I wanted positive reasons to ... It has been awhile since I thought about ecofeminism. Perhaps one of you folks would offer a current definition.
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 27, 2004
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      Hi, Benny, Maggie:

      --- Benny Edwards <benny@...> wrote:
      In short, I wanted positive reasons to
      > follow a
      > particular ecological ideology because that is the
      > angle I was
      > interested in persuing.

      It has been awhile since I thought about ecofeminism.
      Perhaps one of you folks would offer a current
      definition. My interest stems in great part from a
      "numbers" game, the idea of EFFECTIVE organizations
      directed toward social change. During the 60's, a
      positive vision was established for a while under the
      banner "Woodstock Nation," a movement beautifully
      articulated in the song "Woodstock," by Joni Mitchell.
      60s radicalism soon dissolved without the focal point
      of the Vietnam War, but there are more ominous reasons
      for this shattering, such as focused and pervasive
      disruption of group activities by government
      operatives, disruption that may well have included
      assassination of our most promising leadership.
      Obviously, the messianic vision of Woodstock lies in
      ruins, at least in terms of effective organization.
      Another coalition needs to be formed, one that
      encompasses ecology and feminism. Whether or not the
      very word "ecofeminism" is useful is certainly a point
      that could be argued, for, as Benny has well
      perceived, "feminism" has come to mean "man-bashing,"
      as a result of some emotionally crippled women and, I
      am quite certain, deliberate government disruption of
      feminist organizations. Concerning the gender freedom
      thing, very few folks really understood that this was
      a major component of Woodstock Nation. Some of us do
      remember the "Are You a Boy of Are You a Girl" song,
      but most of us fail to appreciate the degree of which
      we in the 60s were changing perceptions of what it
      meant to be a man. The public consciousness shift from
      the "hard" Green Beret to the "soft" Beatle idea of
      manhood was a major gender revolution, and this is
      feminism at its best--for the most critical aspect of
      feminism's hope for a better world lies not in the
      change of women, but in the change of men.
      >
      > It was very disheartening to see people espouse doom
      > and gloom for
      > their chosen belief system instead of
      > percieved(/real) good reasons.

      What, exactly, do you mean? Are you referring to the
      so-called "Christians" who seem so bent upon making
      the horrific destruction of "Armegeddan" into a
      self-fulfilling prophecy? It is a pity, for they can
      very possibly succeed in bringing about the massive
      destruction, but they will be in for a complete
      disappointment when it comes time for the
      establishment of a Heavenly Kingdom! Such
      foolishness...

      Well, as much as I distrust the idea of embracing a
      vision with an intensity described as "religious
      ferver," it is clear that this is just what is needed.
      Even such a simple person as St. Francis of Assisi lit
      a major fire for social change, attracting thousands
      and thousands of followers. What if someone like him
      did the same thing today? Yes, it could happen--and
      all our lives would be so much better, so much richer!
      Yes, we need spiritual leadership right now, and it is
      time for the musician/prophets to once again sound the
      call, which, in some modest capacity, means that I
      need to roll up my sleeves, put this computer to
      sleep, and go work on some meaningful music!

      Thanks, Benny, folks, and all my best!
      Mischa

      P.S. By Judy Chicago:

      And then all that has divided us will merge
      And then compassion will be wedded to power
      And then softness will come to a world that is harsh
      and unkind
      And then both men and women will be gentle
      And then both men and women will be strong
      And then no person will be subject to another�s will
      And then all will be rich and free and varied
      And then the greed of some will give way to the needs
      many
      And then all will share equally in the Earth�s
      abundance
      And then all will care for the sick and the weak and
      the old
      And then all will nourish the young
      And then all will cherish life�s creatures
      And then all will live in harmony with each other and
      the Earth
      And then everywhere will be called Eden




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    • Benny Edwards
      Howdy Mischa, When I was talking about people s 100% guilt-filled ecological ideology, I was thinking of what I d read about Deep Ecology, EcoFeminism, et al
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 30, 2004
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        Howdy Mischa,
        When I was talking about people's 100% guilt-filled ecological
        ideology, I was thinking of what I'd read about Deep Ecology,
        EcoFeminism, et al (including capitalism). These ideologists dont try
        to advocate changes in something just because it makes sense to, they
        do it in a way that attacks a current social norm for creating and
        maintaining the flawed ecological system in place. For example,
        instead of arguing "We shouldn stop cutting down old growth forests
        because it's centuries old and harbours multitudes of life forms that
        are fully adapted to it which cannot live elsewhere", I read entire
        pages that could genuinely be paraphrased (sometimes it was even
        explicitly declared, and not as a misquote or something taken out of
        context) down to something that went along the lines of "cutting down
        these forests is a direct masculine domination of Mother Earth, it is
        the established patriarchal exploitation of Mother Nature, Man is
        raping Mother Nature for His own needs, feminity is under attack by
        the male dominated world".

        The problem I have with this style of eco-preaching is fairly simple,
        and I feel is entirely rational. Last I heard, there were two genders
        that inhabit this planet, and the last I heard, both genders shared
        the benefits of the harvested trees in the above example (those
        antique Mahogony Armoires everybody loves didnt just come out of of
        ebay by magic). This is the kind of intense, malformed fervour I
        wanted to avoid in my essay. I ended up discussing that while
        capitalism may be the unintentional cause of many percieved/genuine
        problems, it is also the only current rational system capable of
        protecting the things it may destroying.

        To everyone who has so far entered into the discussion, thankyou very
        much. :)
      • Mischa Standingwolf
        ... This argument gets MY attention. I read entire ... This looks like it might, in fact, be a basic premise of Ecofeminism, with concepts worded more for
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 30, 2004
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          Hi, Benny:
          --- Benny Edwards <benny@...> wrote:

          > Howdy Mischa,
          > When I was talking about people's 100% guilt-filled
          > ecological
          > ideology, I was thinking of what I'd read about Deep
          > Ecology,
          > EcoFeminism, et al (including capitalism). These
          > ideologists dont try
          > to advocate changes in something just because it
          > makes sense to, they
          > do it in a way that attacks a current social norm
          > for creating and
          > maintaining the flawed ecological system in place.
          > For example,
          > instead of arguing "We shouldn stop cutting down old
          > growth forests
          > because it's centuries old and harbours multitudes
          > of life forms that
          > are fully adapted to it which cannot live
          > elsewhere",

          This argument gets MY attention.


          I read entire
          > pages that could genuinely be paraphrased (sometimes
          > it was even
          > explicitly declared, and not as a misquote or
          > something taken out of
          > context) down to something that went along the lines
          > of "cutting down
          > these forests is a direct masculine domination of
          > Mother Earth, it is
          > the established patriarchal exploitation of Mother
          > Nature, Man is
          > raping Mother Nature for His own needs, feminity is
          > under attack by
          > the male dominated world".

          This looks like it might, in fact, be a basic premise
          of Ecofeminism, with concepts worded more for
          emotional appeal than for logical appeal. Yet, this
          may simply be the way Ecofeminism has developed thus
          far. Is this fair to say? I honestly don't know beans
          about Ecofeminism, the basic word appealed to me
          because feminists are a major part of the consortium
          of folks I would like to see organize to address
          social freedom and ecological issues.

          Going back, is it fair to say that you are actually at
          odds with the "packaging" of how Ecofeminists are
          approaching their goal? Are you simply saying that you
          support Ecofeminist goals, but feel that the
          Ecofeminists are approaching the political forum in a
          manner that is counterproductive?

          >
          > The problem I have with this style of eco-preaching
          > is fairly simple,
          > and I feel is entirely rational. Last I heard,
          > there were two genders
          > that inhabit this planet, and the last I heard, both
          > genders shared
          > the benefits of the harvested trees in the above
          > example (those
          > antique Mahogony Armoires everybody loves didnt just
          > come out of of
          > ebay by magic). This is the kind of intense,
          > malformed fervour I
          > wanted to avoid in my essay. I ended up discussing
          > that while
          > capitalism may be the unintentional cause of many
          > percieved/genuine
          > problems, it is also the only current rational
          > system capable of
          > protecting the things it may destroying.

          I'm not sure exactly how you're approaching this, but
          I don't see how any particular system--capitalism,
          socialism, or otherwise--would have a basic
          operational dynamic that would be likely to address
          the ecological nightmare that we're creating on this
          planet. If you have nations in competition, some
          capitalist and others communist, and others socialist
          or whatever, it would appear to me that PATRIARCHY is
          a dynamic that is involved at a much, much more
          fundamental level: the level that is creating a lot of
          incentive for all nations, regardless of economic
          systems, to pillage the environment in order to
          achieve dominance over the other nations.

          Have you read any anthropological studies of
          patriarchy and the great apes? What you have to
          realize is that patriarchal groups (which means
          male-dominated, not male-exclusive) have some basic
          genetic programming in humans and even in our cousins,
          the chimpanzees. First, the males dominate the
          females, that's what patriarchy is. Then, the males
          compete with each other for individual status within
          the patriarchal group, often via violence. Now, the
          next level of genetic programming is responsible for
          the fact that our species now faces extinction via
          high-tech warfare. This is the simple fact that
          patriarchal groups are inwardly driven to aggressively
          compete with other patriarchal groups for territory.
          This group instinct toward aggression is so powerful
          as to be fairly blinding to many--if not most--group
          members. Somehow, this level of human organization,
          Patriarchy, must be addressed, or we may not have a
          future as a species. To stop our thoughts and actions
          at the level of capitalism or whatever just doesn't
          get to the core of the problem.

          My thoughts on the matter is that a strong consortium
          of women and men who can think past patriarchial
          instincts is our best chance of survival. The big
          issue to me seems to be how to light a fire, how to
          create a powerful social movement. You're right, of
          course, it is not productive to do the man-bashing
          thing. It may, in fact, be counterproductive to
          identify Patriarchy as the evil that it, in fact, is.
          Moreover, I don't know that a great awareness of the
          ultimate dynamics of what is going on is all that
          important. In the 60s, many of us laid claim to a
          great deal of gender freedom (meaning a substantial
          retreat from de facto Patriarchy) without even
          realizing it in an intellectual sense. So, again,
          you're right, Benny, great thought needs to be given
          to effective packaging if environmental causes are to
          have any success.

          >
          > To everyone who has so far entered into the
          > discussion, thankyou very
          > much. :)
          >
          Thank you as well, Benny!

          All my best,
          Mischa



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