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‘Ecofeminism and the Gendered Politics of Consumption’ Socialist Feminist Day School Christchurch 26 th April 2014 Sionainn Byrnes. 1. Focus Questions . 1. Focus Questions . - What’s the worst thing you can call a woman?. 1. Focus Questions .

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‘Ecofeminism and the Gendered Politics of Consumption’

Socialist Feminist Day School Christchurch

26th April 2014

Sionainn Byrnes


1. Focus Questions


1. Focus Questions

- What’s the worst thing you can call a woman?


1. Focus Questions

- What’s the worst thing you can call a woman?

- What are some of the colloquial terms used to describe a woman’s body?


1. Focus Questions

- What’s the worst thing you can call a woman?

- What are some of the colloquial terms used to describe a woman’s body?



Invectives and Colloquialisms Function According to 3 Types of Logic:

- ‘Animalized Slurs/Not a Human’

The B Word, The P Word, The C Word


Invectives and Colloquialisms Function According to 3 Types of Logic:

- ‘Animalized Slurs/Not a Human’

The B Word, The P Word, The C Word

- ‘Not Masculine/Not a Man’

Feminist(!?)


Invectives and Colloquialisms Function According to 3 Types of Logic:

- ‘Animalized Slurs/Not a Human’

The B Word, The P Word, The C Word

- ‘Not Masculine/Not a Man’

Feminist(!?)

- ‘Pejorative Reference to Sexuality/the Body’

Immodestly Sexual, Emotional, Hysterical, Anything Menstrual


2. Ecofeminism of Logic:


2. Ecofeminism of Logic:

- Rooted in Second Wave Feminism, though more closely associated with critical theory


2. Ecofeminism of Logic:

- Rooted in Second Wave Feminism, though more closely associated with critical theory

- Intersectionality = tied or shared oppressions


2. Ecofeminism of Logic:

- Rooted in Second Wave Feminism, though more closely associated with critical theory

- Intersectionality = tied or shared oppressions

- Identifies (and to some extent embraces) the historical, metaphorical, and performative interrelationships between femininity and nonhuman nature


“Drawing of Logic:on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology which authorizes oppressions such as those based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology which sanctions the oppression of nature. Ecofeminism calls for an end to all oppressions, arguing that no attempt to liberate women (or any other oppressed group) will be successful without an equal attempt to liberate nature. Its theoretical base is a sense of self most commonly expressed by women and various other nondominant groups – a self that is interconnected with all life.”

-- Gaard (1993)


“Drawing of Logic:on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology which authorizes oppressions such as those based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology which sanctions the oppression of nature. Ecofeminism calls for an end to all oppressions, arguing that no attempt to liberate women (or any other oppressed group) will be successful without an equal attempt to liberate nature. Its theoretical base is a sense of self most commonly expressed by women and various other nondominant groups – a self that is interconnected with all life.”

-- Gaard (1993)


“Drawing of Logic:on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideologywhich authorizes oppressions such as those based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the sameideology which sanctions the oppression of nature. Ecofeminism calls for an end to all oppressions, arguing that no attempt to liberate women (or any other oppressed group) will be successful without an equal attempt to liberate nature. Its theoretical base is a sense of self most commonly expressed by women and various other nondominant groups – a self that is interconnected with all life.”

-- Gaard (1993)


“Drawing of Logic:on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology which authorizes oppressions such as those based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology which sanctions the oppression of nature. Ecofeminism calls for an end to all oppressions, arguing that no attempt to liberate women (or any other oppressed group) will be successful without an equal attempt to liberate nature. Its theoretical base is a sense of self most commonly expressed by women and various other nondominant groups – a self that is interconnected with all life.”

-- Gaard (1993)



3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity


3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity

- Human/Animal and Culture/Nature


3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity

- Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

- Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms


3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity

- Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

- Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms

- The Ontological ‘I’


3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity

- Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

- Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms

- The Ontological ‘I’

- Progress necessitates/is predicated on domination


3. Metanarratives of Logic:

- Towards a Definition of Humanity

- Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

- Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms

- The Ontological ‘I’

- Progress necessitates/is predicated on domination

- Ecofeminism deconstructs metanarratives and challenges binaries


“The major attack against ecofeminism, however, has been that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.”


“The major attack against ecofeminism, however, has been that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.”

“The very idea of one group of persons being ‘closer to nature’ than another is a ‘construct of culture.’ ”

-- Birkeland 1993


“The major attack against ecofeminism, however, has been that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.”

“The very idea of one group of persons being ‘closer to nature’ than another is a ‘construct of culture.’ ”

-- Birkeland 1993


4. Binaries/Dichotomies that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


4. Binaries/Dichotomies that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Self/Other, Subject/Object, Man/Woman, Human/Animal, Culture/Nature


4. Binaries/Dichotomies that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Self/Other, Subject/Object, Man/Woman, Human/Animal, Culture/Nature

- Epistemological Precedent by which all other qualities and behaviours are valued/ negatively constituted


4. Binaries/Dichotomies that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Self/Other, Subject/Object, Man/Woman, Human/Animal, Culture/Nature

- Epistemological Precedent by which all other qualities and behaviours are valued/ negatively constituted

  • - Historic associations different for white women (pure, benevolent) and women of colour (animalized, fetishized, wild) - Invokes other binaries like virgin/whore


5. Intersecting Oppressions that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


5. Intersecting Oppressions that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- P.E.T.A (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)


5. Intersecting Oppressions that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- P.E.T.A (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

- Micro-aggressions stem from failure to understand and critically engage with intersectionality, thus perpetuating a broader scheme of oppression


5. Intersecting Oppressions that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- P.E.T.A (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

- Micro-aggressions stem from failure to understand and critically engage with intersectionality, thus perpetuating a broader scheme of oppression

- P.E.T.A advertisements necessarily work within the parameters of a capitalist society


5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Rape Culture


5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Rape Culture

- Commodification of Female Bodies


5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Rape Culture

- Commodification of Female Bodies

- Reproductive Rights


5b. Animal Welfare that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


5b. Animal Welfare that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Industrial Meat Production/Consumption


5b. Animal Welfare that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Industrial Meat Production/Consumption

- Meat Packaging


5b. Animal Welfare that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Industrial Meat Production/Consumption

- Meat Packaging

- Exploitation of Female Bodies


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others

Systematic Oppression of Nonhuman Nature


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others

Systematic Oppression of Nonhuman Nature

Intersecting Oppressions in Practice


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence


6. Shared Sites of Oppression that it allegedly claims that women possess an essential nature – a biological connection or a spiritual affinity with nature that men do not.

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions





Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants

- Limb Loss

- RSI

- Workers’ Organization Disincentivized/ Claims Delayed


Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants

- Limb Loss

- RSI

- Workers’ Organization Disincentivized/ Claims Delayed

- Migrant Workers


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry

- Environmental Degradation


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry

- Environmental Degradation

- Racism


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry

- Environmental Degradation

- Racism

- Pornography


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry

- Environmental Degradation

- Racism

- Pornography

- LGBQT+


6. Shared Sites of Oppression Poultry Plants

- Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

- Domestic Violence

- Industrial Working Conditions

- Cosmetics Industry

- Environmental Degradation

- Racism

- Pornography

- LGBQT+

- Commodification of Menstrual Cycle and Disposal of Sanitary Items



7. Challenging Metanarratives Poultry Plants

- According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice


7. Challenging Metanarratives Poultry Plants

- According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice

- Theory and Practice another binary?


7. Challenging Metanarratives Poultry Plants

- According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice.

- Theory and Practice another binary?

- Is it enough to think differently? What about real life?


7. Challenging Metanarratives Poultry Plants

- According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice.

- Theory and Practice another binary?

- Is it enough to think differently? What about real life?

- What kind of worlds/forms of social organization can we envision and enact by challenging these metanarratives?


9. Discussion Poultry Plants

  • Is ecofeminism theoretically/practically viable? Thoughts? Critiques?

  • Should all feminists be environmentally active/conscious? Should all environmentalists be feminists?

  • Is ecofeminism too Eurocentric? Does it apply outside of Western culture?

  • Can we consume animals in an egalitarian society? Is ethical consumption accessible to everyone?

  • Would our values change if we thought of humans in nature, rather than the binary humans and nature?

  • Is it okay to use words like The B Word etc.? Can we successfully hijack them, or do they need to be avoided?

  • How will advances in technology affect these dynamics?


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