Re: [EcoFeminism] Re: Disappointed with how the group turned out
- Hi, Benny, Maggie:
--- Benny Edwards <benny@...> wrote:
In short, I wanted positive reasons to
> follow aIt has been awhile since I thought about ecofeminism.
> particular ecological ideology because that is the
> angle I was
> interested in persuing.
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.
>What, exactly, do you mean? Are you referring to the
> It was very disheartening to see people espouse doom
> and gloom for
> their chosen belief system instead of
> percieved(/real) good reasons.
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
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!
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 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
And then all will share equally in the Earth�s
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and
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
And then everywhere will be called Eden
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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
- Hi, Benny:
--- Benny Edwards <benny@...> wrote:
> Howdy Mischa,This argument gets MY attention.
> When I was talking about people's 100% guilt-filled
> ideology, I was thinking of what I'd read about Deep
> 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
I read entire
> pages that could genuinely be paraphrased (sometimesThis looks like it might, in fact, be a basic premise
> 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".
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?
>I'm not sure exactly how you're approaching this, but
> 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
> problems, it is also the only current rational
> system capable of
> protecting the things it may destroying.
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.
>Thank you as well, Benny!
> To everyone who has so far entered into the
> discussion, thankyou very
> much. :)
All my best,
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