Brennan and Lo 2008 – Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University and Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University
(Andrew and Yeuk-Sze, Environmental Ethics)
Emphasizing the importance of feminism to the environmental movement and various other liberation movements, some writers, such as Ynestra King (1989a and 1989b), argue that the domination of women by men is historically the original form of domination in human society, from which all other hierarchies -- of rank, class, and political power -- flow. For instance, human exploitation of nature may be seen as a manifestation and extension of the oppression of women, in that it is the result of associating nature with the female, which had been already inferiorized and oppressed by the male-dominating culture. But within the plurality of feminist positions, other writers, such as Val Plumwood (1993), understand the oppression of women as only one of the many parallel forms of oppression sharing and supported by a common ideological structure, in which one party (the colonizer, whether male, white or human) uses a number of conceptual and rhetorical devices to privilege its interests over that of the other party (the colonized: whether female, people of colour, or animals). Facilitated by a common structure, seemingly diverse forms of oppression can mutually reinforce each other (Warren 1987, 1990, 1994, Cheney 1989, and Plumwood 1993).¶ Not all feminist theorists would call that common underlying oppressive structure “androcentric” or “patriarchal”. But it is generally agreed that core features of the structure include “dualism”, hierarchical thinking, and the “logic of domination”, which are typical of, if not essential to, male-chauvinism. These patterns of thinking and conceptualizing the world, many feminist theorists argue, also nourish and sustain other forms of chauvinism, including, human-chauvinism (i.e., anthropocentrism), which is responsible for much human exploitation of, and destructiveness towards, nature. The dualistic way of thinking, for instance, sees the world in polar opposite terms, such as male/female, masculinity/femininity, reason/emotion, freedom/necessity, active/passive, mind/body, pure/soiled, white/coloured, civilized/primitive, transcendent/immanent, human/animal, culture/nature. Furthermore, under dualism all the first items in these contrasting pairs are assimilated with each other, and all the second items are likewise linked with each other. For example, the male is seen to be associated with the rational, active, creative, Cartesian human mind, and civilized, orderly, transcendent culture; whereas the female is regarded as tied to the emotional, passive, determined animal body, and primitive, disorderly, immanent nature. These interlocking dualisms are not just descriptive dichotomies, according to the feminists, but involve a prescriptive privileging of one side of the opposed items over the other. Dualism confers superiority to everything on the male side, but inferiority to everything on the female side. The “logic of domination” then dictates that those on the superior side (e.g., men, rational beings, humans) are morally entitled to dominate and utilize those on the inferior side (e.g., women, beings lacking in rationality, nonhumans) as mere means.
Men dominate and control women in the same way that nature is exploited and destroyed
Forsey no date -- writer and activist
(Helen, Feminism and Ecology: A Matter of Survival, Natural Life Magazine)
I am not quibbling over the choice of words. The “drive to dominate and control” has typically been seen as a mark of manhood, and the threat it poses is far from new. For women, children, and other living things, it has always been dangerous.¶ The view of the universe described in the poster is certainly the one that predominates in our culture, but it is a view of reality as men tend to experience it. If we accept it as gender-neutral we are making a grave mistake.¶ Historians tell us that mechanistic science, which gave rise to modern industrial society, was very much a masculine enterprise right from the start, filled with explicit images of the all-powerful male mind conquering a female Nature. Women pacifists, suffragists and abolitionists have long pointed out the linkages between war, male dominance, and other oppressions. Today, ecofeminists extend those understandings to the environmental crisis, recognizing a common thread in the oppression of women, of nature, and of all those somehow defined by the dominant culture as “other”.¶ We don't necessarily have to use the terms “patriarchy” or “eco-feminism”, but we do have to acknowledge the reality and the connections. To deny them is to neglect a key set of contributing factors in the ecological crisis.¶ Images like “Mother Nature”, or “the rape of the Earth” reflect a view of Nature as female. In male-dominated cultures, this linkage can be harmful to both women and Nature: just as women are viewed as being there to serve men's needs, Nature is seen as existing for “man” to exploit at will. Within this patriarchal mentality, powerful men all too often use and abuse women and children, peasant and tribal peoples, and Nature itself, for their own short-term gain. This has led to the devastation of the natural environment and the further oppression of those who live most closely with it.¶ In the environmental movement itself, sexism, like other forms of oppression, seriously undermines our work. Sexist behavior at the personal level ranges from the use of sexist language or “jokes”, to discounting or trivializing women's input, to patronizing, objectifying, or ignoring us There are even cases of threats or outright exploitation of the trust built in a common cause. And it's hard to challenge a “brother” who is fighting in the trenches beside us against those nasty corporate and government enemies, especially if others pretend not to have seen or heard.
Patriarchal mentality creates an escalation of violence against women
Brinker 2009 – PhD
(Rachel, Dr. Vandana Shiva and Feminist Theory, Conference on Earth Democracy: Women, Justice, and Ecology)
“Ecofeminism” was a term first used by Francoise D’Eaubonne in 1980 and gained popularity in protests and actions against continued ecological disaster. Shiva and Maria Mies explain:¶ “We see the devastation of the earth and her beings by the corporate warriors, as feminist concerns. It is the same masculinist mentality which would deny us our right to our own bodies and our own sexuality, and which depends on multiple systems of dominance and state power to have its way” (14).¶ From Shiva’s perspective, women’s liberation cannot be achieved without a simultaneous struggle for the preservation and liberation of all life on this planet from the dominant patriarchal/capitalist worldview (Mies and Shiva, 16). Ecofeminism distinguishes itself from other theories of feminism, which maintain the hierarchical worldview of the Western world. “Rather than attempting to overcome this hierarchical dichotomy many women have simply up-ended it, and thus women are seen as superior to men, nature to culture, and so on” (Mies and Shiva, 5).¶ Shiva and other ecofeminists are explicitly anti-war and anti-capitalist, because both war and capitalism are seen as patriarchal structures. “The capitalist patriarchy perspective interprets difference as hierarchical and uniformity as a prerequisite for equality” (Mies and Shiva, 2). For Shiva there is connection between the escalation of war, “musclemen” culture, and rape and other violence against women. “It is no coincidence that the gruesome game of war—in which the greater part of the male sex seems to delight—passes through the same stages as the traditional sexual relationship: aggression, conquest, possession, control. Of a woman or a land, it makes little difference” (Mies and Shiva, 15).¶ The historical context that radicalized Vandana Shiva and many others was the Green Revolution and the vast globalization of the mid to late twentieth century. Shiva refers to this model of economic development as maldevelopment. “Maldevelopment militates against equality in diversity, and superimposes the ideologically constructed category of western technological man as the uniform measure of the worth of classes, cultures and genders” (Shiva, Staying Alive, 5).
The logic of domination is what causes hierarchies and the oppression of women
Warren and Erkal 1997 – A scholar and former Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Macalester College, and Erkal is has a PhD in Philosophy
(Karen and Nisvan, Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature, pg 21)
Barbara Smith articulates a feminist politics that challenges all forms of¶ social domination: “Feminism is the political theory and practice that¶ struggles to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor¶ women, disabled women, lesbians, old women—as well as white, economically privileged, heterosexual women. Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement."¶ Ynestra King extends this analysis to include the domination of nature¶ prevalent in mainstream Western society: “[Ecofeminism's] challenge of¶ social domination extends beyond sex to social domination of all kinds,¶ because the domination of sex, race, and class and the domination of nature are mutually reinforcing.“¶ The term ecofeminism may seem to imply that ecofeminists are con-¶ cerned only about the oppression of women and the oppression of earth.¶ But,as Karen Warren argues, “Because all feminists do or must oppose¶ the logic of domination which keeps oppressive conceptual frameworks in¶ place, all feminists must also oppose any isms of domination that are main-¶ tained and justified by that logic of domination.“¶ Many ecofeminist theorists argue that there is no primary form of op-¶ pression, as all oppression: are related and reinforce each other. However,¶ depending on one’s position in society, there is often one form of oppres-¶ sion that seems most pressing in one's everyday life. For instance, King’s¶ statement that “domination of women was the original domination in hu—¶ man society,from which all other hierarchies—of rank,class,and political power--flow.