Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Ecofeminism

BARBARA L. WHITTEN


Introduction

Ecofeminism means many different things to different people, ranging from completely apolitical goddess worship to highly academic analysis to grassroots political activism. I will use the term to mean any feminist analysis of environmental issues, though I will briefly discuss some of the different threads of ecofeminism.


Founding Mothers and Founding Texts

Rachel Carson and Silent Spring

Feminists and environmentalists and ecofeminists all claim Rachel Carson, although she died before the women’s or environmental movements began. There are good reasons to think of her as an ecofeminist; she lived a very woman-centered life, and her appreciation for the natural world was expressed in her early work. She used all her gifts: her scientific training, her deep love of nature, and her extraordinary eloquence to write the book that defines her—one of the most important books of the 20th century. When it was published in 1962, Silent Spring and its quiet retiring author were widely praised and as widely reviled. Attacks by conservative politicians and chemical industry officials were highly gendered; she was called unscientific (despite her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins), overemotional (despite her careful marshaling of scientific information), and a spinster who cared more for birds than people. She made use of her fame to speak out to groups all over the country and to testify before Congress and the president’s Science Advisory Council. Many believe that Silent Spring was the trigger for the environmental movement. The first Earth Day was in 1970, and the Environmental Protection Agency was formed the same year. Rachel Carson did not live to

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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