Ecofeminism k framework

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Ecofeminism K


Ecofeminism provides a new perspective that would otherwise be lost, making it necessary to weigh it as a factor in this debate.

Schmonsky 12

(Jessica, The Growing Importance of Ecofeminism, October 22 2012,

There are countless ways of viewing the environment. In modern societies, it is important to consider the ways in which we connect with nature as industrial practices move us away from the earth and as biodiversity is lost. Pollution is on the rise, and people all over the world are suffering the consequences of projects constructed in the name of progress. Ecofeminism offers a way of thinking and organizing ourselves by encouraging interconnectedness with our environment and addressing the subjugation of women and marginalized peoples. As a result of this kind of thinking and organizing, new human and environmental connections can be made with a broader perspective, involving less overt social recognitions. Categorizing women and subjugated peoples with the environment allows for the recognition of social and environmental injustices from a unique and often forgotten perspective, which in turn allows for solidarity and solace. 

Raises questions that would otherwise be ignored under the aff’s gender-biased point of view.

Warren 96 --- Prof of Philosophy at Macalester College

(Karren, Ecological Feminist Philosophies: An Overview of the Issues, June 1996,

In the preceding I have identified eight sorts of connections alleged by ecofeminists and ecofeminist philosophers between feminism and the environment. I have indicated why and how, if indeed there are these connections feminism, environmentalism, and environmental ethics will need to take them seriously. What are some of the implications of these connections for mainstream philosophy? I suggest a few here. The conceptual links (given above at 2) suggest that philosophical conceptions of the self, knowledge and the "knower," reason and rationality, objectivity, and "nature versus culture"-mainstay philosophical notions in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, political philosophy-will need to be reconceived. The value dualisms which seem to pervade the western philosophical tradition since the early Greeks (e.g., reason/emotion, mind/body, culture/nature, human/nature) and the historical sex-gendered association of women with emotion, body, and nature will need to be examined for male-gender bias. The historical and empirical links (given at 1 and 3, above) suggest that social scientific dam on women and the environment is relevant to the theoretical undertakings in many areas of philosophy. In ethics, for example, this data on women and nature raises issues of anthropocentric and androcentric bias. Can mainstream normative ethical theories generate an environmental ethic which is not male biased? In epistemology, data on the "indigenous technical knowledge" (see Warren I988) of women who globally constitute the main agricultural production force (e.g., at least 80 percent of the farmers in Africa are women) raises issues about women's "epistemic privilege" about farming and forestry (see Warren I988): If there is such privilege, does it generate the need for "feminist standpoint epistemologies," as some feminists have claimed (see Garry and Pearsall I989; Harding I986; Harding and Hintikka I983; Jaggar and Bordo 1989)? In metaphysics, data of the cross-cultural variability of "women-nature connections" raise issues about the concept of nature and the nature/cultural dichotomy. Is "nature" a given, a cross-cultural constant that stands in contrast to socially evolving and created ''culture,'' or is nature, like culture, a social construct? Even if there really are trees, rivers, and ecosystems, does the way nature is conceived and theorized about reflect historical, socioeconomic factors in much the same way that, according to many feminists, conceptions and theories about "humans" and "human nature" are constructed? In political philosophy, data about the inferior standards of living of women globally raise issues about political theories and theorizing. What roles do unequal distributions of power and privilege play in the maintenance of systems of domination over both women and nature? How do they affect the content and methodology of political theories and theorizing? In the history of philosophy, data on the historical inferiorization and associations of women and nature raises issues about the nature and substantive content of the philosophical theories advanced in any given time period: Do they inherit biases against women and nature which bear on the critical assessment of the theories themselves? In philosophy of science, particularly philosophy of biology, the data raise issues about the relationships between feminism and science, particularly ecology. As Carolyn Merchant asks, “Is there a set of assumptions basic to the science of ecology that also holds implications for the status of women? Is there an ecological ethic that is also a feminist ethic?” (Merchant 1985, 229). Are there important parallels between contemporary feminist environmental ethics and ecosystems ecology which suggests ways in which they are engaged in mutually supportive projects (see Y. King 1989; Warren and Cheney 1991)? These are the sort of questions raised by a philosophical look at the significance of issues concerning “feminism and the environment.”

That which we regard as “objective” still contains bias and requires vision through an ecofeminist lens.

Wall 12 --- Prof of Philosophy and Religion at University of Alberta

(Chloe, The Nature of Knowledge: Toward an Ecofeminist Epistemology, Metamorphosis Fall 2012)

What, then, is the alternative? If we are to shed entirely the notion of universal, disembodied knowledge and reason, then what remains is local, situated knowledge. This is not to say, however, that in the absence of universal knowledge we must settle for situated knowledge, which might be construed as being simply a matter of opinion. Rather, situated knowledge can in fact withstand tests of knowledge evaluation that universal knowledge cannot, and can do so more self-reflectively and authentically. For example, in traditional epistemology, the principle that objectivity is integral to knowledge is upheld, and it is endorsed as being value-free, neutral, and definitive. According to the feminist philosopher Sandra Harding, however, even the knowledge we laud as "objective" is incredibly value-laden. If the natural and social sciences are supposed to be value-free, why is there "a rampant sexist and androcentric bias [. . .] in the dominant scientific (and popular) descriptions and explanations of nature and social life? [. . .] How should one explain the surprising fact that politically guided research projects have been able to produce less partial and distorted results of research than those supposedly guided by the goal of value-neutrality?"9 For example, Lorraine Code points out that "Cynthia Russet documents the intellectual climate of the nineteenth century, when claims for racial and sexual equality were threatening upheavals in the social order. She notes that there was a concerted effort just at that time among scientists to produce studies that would demonstrate the 'natural' sources of racial and sexual inequality. Given its aptness to the climate of the times, it is hard to believe that this research was 'dislocated,' prompted by a disinterested spirit of objective, neutral fact-finding."10 Science, which we take as our paradigm for knowledge, is always socially interested and initiated. Sandra Harding argues that our traditional notion of objectivity is insufficient even for the goals it purports to accomplish. It does not effectively discard all values, and worse, the values that make it through the net are invisible.

An ecofeminist pedagogy allows for discussion about dominant practices and the possibility of an alternative.

Harvester 09 --- Bachelor of Education, Simon Fraser University

(Lara Jean, Ecofeminist Pedagogy: Framework for Ecosocial Justice in Education, Spring 2009)

An ecofeminist pedagogy needs to have a theoretical base that lacks domination, champions marginal voices (including that of more-than-human nature), and emphasizes identifying oneself in relation to others (both human and more-than-human). Teaching through an ecofeminist lens means that issues of social and ecological justice are paramount, thus ecofeminist pedagogy is ecosocial in theory and practice. Ecofeminist pedagogy must be critical in orientation if it is going to address social and ecological injustices. To be critical involves problematizing "the taken-for-granted assumptions, and unjust outcomes, of conventional educational and cultural practices" (Funnan & Gruenewald, 2004, p. 58). Ecofeminism provides a place from which educators can question dominant discourses and practices, and interrupt hegemonic power relations in schools (Houde & Bullis, 2000). Ecofeminist educators set themselves two principal tasks: to expose the logic of domination and to seek alternatives that replace this destructive way of relating to each other and nature (Hallen, 2000). There is certainly no lack of places where ecofeminist pedagogy can start to challenge the logic of domination in education. Deciding which places would provide the most fertile ground for change would be a start. These places would be different depending on the teacher, school, students, and political climate. Wherever an ecofeminist educator decides to start, they act "in the hope that the resultant splash and ripples cause a dissonance that impels the larger pool of education to change shape in response" (Blenkinsop & Beeman, 2008, p.85). To work for change is an act of hope, a trust that the process will bring about the desired results. I feel a deep need for this hope, especially when trying to change deeply entrenched ways of being-in-the-world that are undergirded by a logic of domination. This thesis is, in part, an act of hope for me: hope that approaching education from an ecofeminist, ecosocial justice, perspective will help me be a positive agent of much-needed change in education. I would aim to be one of hopefully many "nuclei" for a new system, where these nucleus act as attractors for a new system which then grows in influence. Eisler argues that fundamental change is possible, even within a relatively short timeframe, when enough "nodules for change come together as the nucleus...for a new system" (2000, p. 249). These fundamental changes need to be mostly second-order change, which alters the ways in which education is put together, including new goals, structures, and roles (Steen, 2003)."

Ecofeminism aims for social change and in doing so invites conflict, allowing for good debate as well as providing an effective framework.

Harvester 09 --- Bachelor of Education, Simon Fraser University

(Lara Jean, Ecofeminist Pedagogy: Framework for Ecosocial Justice in Education, Spring 2009)

Ecofeminism, and thus ecofeminist pedagogy, aims to disrupt hegemonic power relations. Doing this invites questions and perhaps conflict, partly because people may have a sense of duty to the prevailing system and so defend it against detractors (Leppanen. 2M4). Conflict and crisis should not take the ecofeminist educator by surprise. It is to be expected. Ecofeminist, anti-oppressive, and critical pedagogy are all overtly political and deal with controversial issues, and are thus likely to invite criticism from those desiring to uphold the status quo. Those committed to this course of action may face opposition, or at the very least, questions about their chosen theory and practice. Hence the need, for me at least, to feel adequately equipped to answer these questions, using the writing of this thesis (as a culmination of all that I have learned throughout the masters) as a starting point. While writing a thesis and then working for change in one's classroom might seem like a solitary activity, the building of cooperative and supportive alliances with other educators has been, and will continue to be, a key part of the process of examining my world-view and its effect on my theory and practice as an educator. Ecofeminist, anti-oppressive, and critical educators all aim for social and political change. This will not happen unless people recognize their own involvement in systems of oppression and find different ways to relate to each other (hooks, 1989) and more-than-human nature (Houde & Bullis, 1999). Coming to terms with this fact and doing some self-analysis before entering the classroom is a key part of preparing to teach within an ecofeminist pedagogy." Consider hooks: ''If we do not change our own consciousness, we cannot change our actions or demand change from others" (1989, p. 25). Furthermore, "Deep personal and political change requires more than an interruption of hegemonic power and rituals of resistance. It also entails recognizing one's own involvement within those systems of oppression and finding alternative practices that help people to live tranformationally" (Houde et. al., 1999, p. 151). As an ecofeminist teacher, I need to think deeply about how I act out the part of oppressor towards other humans and more-than-human nature, and then work towards appropriate changes in thinking and behaviour. As the Buddha is quoted as saying, "First, cease to do evil; then learn to do good." The first step for an ecofeminist teacher is to take time to see where s/he might be "doing evil" by acting under the influence of the logic of domination. Then do everything s/he can to stop that behaviour. Only after this first step has been taken should one begin to "learn to do good" by enacting an ecofeminist pedagogy which aims to break down the logic of domination and offer an alternative framework that does no (or at least as little as possible) evil.

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