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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

‘Ecofeminism and the Gendered Politics of Consumption’

Socialist Feminist Day School Christchurch

26th April 2014

Sionainn Byrnes


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

1. Focus Questions


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

1. Focus Questions

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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?


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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?


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

Invectives and Colloquialisms Function According to 3 Types of Logic:


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

Invectives and Colloquialisms Function According to 3 Types of Logic:

-‘Animalized Slurs/Not a Human’

The B Word, The P Word, The C Word


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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(!?)


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

2. Ecofeminism


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

2. Ecofeminism

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

2. Ecofeminism

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

-Intersectionality = tied or shared oppressions


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

2. Ecofeminism

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“Drawing 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)


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“Drawing 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)


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“Drawing 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)


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“Drawing 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)


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-Towards a Definition of Humanity


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-Towards a Definition of Humanity

-Human/Animal and Culture/Nature


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-Towards a Definition of Humanity

-Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

-Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-Towards a Definition of Humanity

-Human/Animal and Culture/Nature

-Self/Other = Privileged Terms and Degraded Terms

-The Ontological ‘I’


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-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 and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

3. Metanarratives

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“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.”


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

“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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

4. Binaries/Dichotomies


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

4. Binaries/Dichotomies

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

4. Binaries/Dichotomies

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

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

4. Binaries/Dichotomies

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5. Intersecting Oppressions


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5. Intersecting Oppressions

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5. Intersecting Oppressions

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5. Intersecting Oppressions

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues

-Rape Culture


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues

-Rape Culture

-Commodification of Female Bodies


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5a. Contemporary Feminist Issues

-Rape Culture

-Commodification of Female Bodies

-Reproductive Rights


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5b. Animal Welfare


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5b. Animal Welfare

-Industrial Meat Production/Consumption


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5b. Animal Welfare

-Industrial Meat Production/Consumption

-Meat Packaging


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

5b. Animal Welfare

-Industrial Meat Production/Consumption

-Meat Packaging

-Exploitation of Female Bodies


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others

Systematic Oppression of Nonhuman Nature


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

Systematic Oppression of Women and Others

Systematic Oppression of Nonhuman Nature

Intersecting Oppressions in Practice


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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

-Limb Loss


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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

-Limb Loss

-RSI


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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

-Limb Loss

-RSI

-Workers’ Organization Disincentivized/Claims Delayed


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

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

-Limb Loss

-RSI

-Workers’ Organization Disincentivized/Claims Delayed

-Migrant Workers


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions

-Cosmetics Industry


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions

-Cosmetics Industry

-Environmental Degradation


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions

-Cosmetics Industry

-Environmental Degradation

-Racism


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions

-Cosmetics Industry

-Environmental Degradation

-Racism

-Pornography


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-Colonization of ‘Virgin’ Landscapes

-Domestic Violence

-Industrial Working Conditions

-Cosmetics Industry

-Environmental Degradation

-Racism

-Pornography

-LGBQT+


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

6. Shared Sites of Oppression

-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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

7. Challenging Metanarratives


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

7. Challenging Metanarratives

-According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

7. Challenging Metanarratives

-According to Poststructuralism/Critical Theory, Theory is Practice

-Theory and Practice another binary?


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

7. Challenging Metanarratives

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

-Theory and Practice another binary?

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


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

7. Challenging Metanarratives

-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?


Ecofeminism and the gendered politics of consumption socialist feminist day school christchurch

9. Discussion

  • 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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