Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction

By Rosemarie Putnam Tong | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
Ecofeminism

LIKE MULTICULTURAL AND GLOBAL FEMINISM, ecofeminism strives to show the connections among all forms of human oppression, but it also focuses on human beings' attempts to dominate the nonhuman world, or nature. Because women have been culturally tied to nature, ecofeminists argue there are conceptual, symbolic, and linguistic connections between feminist and ecological issues. According to Karen J. Warren, the Western world's basic beliefs, values, attitudes, and assumptions about itself and its inhabitants have been shaped by an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework, the purpose of which is to explain, justify, and maintain relationships of domination and subordination in general and men's domination of women in particular. The most significant features of this framework are:

(1) value-hierarchical thinking, i.e., "up-down" thinking which places higher value, status, or prestige on what is "up" rather than on what is "down"; (2) value dualisms, i.e., disjunctive pairs in which the disjuncts are seen as oppositional (rather than as complementary) and exclusive (rather than as inclusive), and which place higher value (status, prestige) on one disjunct rather than the other (e.g., dualisms which give higher value or status to that which has historically been identified as "mind," "reason," and "male" than to that which has historically been identified as "body," "emotion," and "female"); and (3) logic of domination, i.e., a structure of argumentation which leads to a justification of subordination.1

Patriarchy's hierarchical, dualistic, and oppressive mode of thinking has harmed both women and nature in Warren's opinion. Indeed, because women have been "naturalized" and nature has been "feminized," it is difficult to know where the oppression of one ends and the other begins. Warren emphasized women are "naturalized" when they are de

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Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • Introduction: The Diversity of Feminist Thinking 1
  • Chapter One - Liberal Feminism 10
  • Conclusion 43
  • Chapter Two - Radical Feminism: Libertarian and Cultural Perspectives 45
  • Chapter Three - Marxist and Socialist Feminism 94
  • Conclusion 127
  • Chapter Four - Psychoanalytic and Gender Feminism 130
  • Conclusion 171
  • Chapter Five - Existentialist Feminism 173
  • Conclusion 191
  • Chapter Six - Postmodern Feminism 193
  • Conclusion 193
  • Chapter Seven - Multicultural and Global Feminism 212
  • Chapter Eight - Ecofeminism 246
  • Conclusion 276
  • Conclusion: - Margins and Centers 278
  • Notes 281
  • Bibliography 317
  • Index 349
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