Gender and agriculture
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Gender and Agriculture. Perpetuating Gender Inequalities . Social Construction . Gender is not biological, but rather a social construction Although many stereotypes of masculinity and femininity change with different time periods, some remain enduring over time.

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Gender and Agriculture

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Gender and Agriculture

Perpetuating Gender Inequalities


Social Construction

  • Gender is not biological, but rather a social construction

  • Although many stereotypes of masculinity and femininity change with different time periods, some remain enduring over time.

  • Through patriarchy femininity and masculinity are both defined and perpetuated.


Media’s Role

  • Agricultural media displays patriarchical families.

  • The machinery used on the farm is closely related to the stereotypes given to men and women

    - Tractor

    - Oven


…continued

  • Agricultural product names, such as pesticides and herbicides, are almost always masculine.

    • Warrior

    • Prowl

    • Bicep

    • Counter Lock’n Load


Race and the Media

  • Kroma suggests that race is also a social construct rather than a biological one.

  • Agricultural product advertisements only contain Caucasians.

  • “Whiteness” in these advertisements is a norm that perpetuates racial segregation in the farming community.


  • “The imagery embodied in pesticide advertisements bears out the critical feminist theoretical position that power is not a monolithic force that men, as a social group, have over women. Rather, the imagery attests to the multiplicity of relations of subordination and power that is consistently played out in the agricultural sphere: men dominate other men, just as they dominate women.”


The Poisoning of Indigenous Migrant Women in Mexico

  • The visions and experiences of indigenous women are silenced.

  • Indigenous groups are viewed as lazy and unwilling to live civilized by Mestizos (the Mexican middle class).

  • These groups have not benefitted from industrialization or modern agriculture.

    - forced to migrate to urban areas

    - plantation hard labor


Mothers and Children

  • Children are forced to go with their mothers to the plantations to work.

    -Starting at 9 years of age or younger

    -too poor for daycare (non-existent)

    -some are forced to bring their infants

    -accused of being negligent parents

    This exposes the whole family to harmful pesticides and herbicides.


Empty Promises

  • Indigenous families are promised adequate housing and wages.

  • When they arrive many times housing is still in the process of being “built” and are forced to build cardboard homes.

    • Fires

    • Water


On the Plantation

  • Mestizo and Indigenous women are structurally segregated.

    • Indigenous women are not informed about the toxicity of the pesticides.

    • Many times indigenous women are too poor to purchase protective gear such as gloves, face masks etc.

    • Mestizo women receive 2-3 times better pay and indigenous women.


…continued

  • These structures set in place perpetuate stereotypes which “normalize indigenous women’s exclusion.

  • Indigenous women are neglected health care because they are too “dumb” and cannot speak Spanish.

  • Often times women are forced to drink water from containers used to mix the pesticides.


Acute Symptoms

  • Racing heart beat

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Pounding headache

  • High temperature

  • Nausea

  • Burning skin


Chronic Symptoms

  • Long term symptoms have not been determined yet.

  • Pesticides contain “inactive” ingredients, which are not required to be tested for possible acute or chronic heath effects.


“Behind the perfect looking tomato, there are thousands of hidden oppressive realities.”

  • What, then, is our responsibility in the North?

  • How can we build solidarity?

  • How can we raise our consciousness so that we are aware of the food we are eating, where it comes from and who, in fact, puts it on our tables?


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