Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction

By Rosemarie Putnam Tong | Go to book overview
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Likewise, even if a person is not willing to devote the bulk of his or her time working for environmental causes or feels overwhelmed by them, there is always some positive difference, however small, he or she can make. Doretta Zemp, creator of the satirical comic strip Roseanna of the Planet, commented:

Too often the environmental issues are bigger than we are, and we feel helpless in the face of their enormity, such as the greenhouse effect, the rape of the rain forests, and the Bophal pesticide lead, which killed 2500 people and permanently injured 17,000 more. What can we do about that? But Roseanna, my character, is down to our size. She and her best friend, stuffy old Egmont, wax in passion over concerns that are on our scale: chemicals in the home, neighborhood pollution, and the malathion spraying against our will. They disagree on everything except where to go for solutions. He uses ivory tower rhetoric and blind faith. I see Roseanna as every woman, and I see Egmont as exemplifying conventional wisdom, government, and big business.100

While Egmont stands idly by, trusting Big Brother will save everyone from environmental doom, Roseanna is busy throwing out the ozone- damaging deodorants in her bathroom, the poisonous bug sprays under her kitchen sink, and the herbicide-laden cosmetics on her bureau. There is, she insists, always something one can do.

Finally, even if a person is not a pacifist, he or she can be antimilitary. To be opposed to the waging of wars--the intention of which is domination by means of destruction of life--is not the same, explained Ruddick, as being opposed to participating in any act of violence whatsoever. Self- defense and wars waged for the purpose of liberating one's self and one's people from the forces of death are not incompatible with socialist ecofeminist ideals. To be sure, socialist ecofeminists will try to resolve conflicts creatively (i.e., nonviolently) and peacefully (i.e., through rational destruction). However, when they realize their voices will not be heard and the destruction of everything and everyone (especially their children) precious to them will continue, even the most peaceful ecofeminists will fight for life.


No matter the differences that exist between social-constructionist and nature ecofeminists or between socialist and spiritual ecofeminists, all ecofeminists believe human beings are connected to one another and to the nonhuman world: animal, vegetal, and inert. Unfortunately, we do not always acknowledge our relationships to and responsibilities for other people, let alone those we have to the nonhuman world. As a result,


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Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction


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