pass me the eye liner … i mean scalpel

Upon walking into Ecofeminism the first day, I knew immediately that my opinions and views would be tested, critiqued, and expanded every time our class met. Ecofeminism, from what I can gather so far, is a mix of  many different specific interests that have been meshed together with aspects of feminism and environmental studies. It is a broad title for connecting all things “women” with nature. Truth be told, I believe that women are a large component of  the natural cycle (you are born, you live and then you die). However, I am struggling with the concept that men are part of a separate  system of their own; one that dominates over all nature and therefore women.  Whether man or woman we are [humans] destroying nature.  Rosemary Radford Ruether says it best in her article, Ecofeminism, Symbolic and Social Connections of the Oppression of Women and the Dominations of Nature. “We need to think of human consciousness not as separating us as a higher species from the rest of nature, but rather as a gift to enable us to learn how to harmonize our needs with the natural system around us, of which we are a dependent part.”

One way I feel we can help preserve the Earth is to answer the question: what is nature?  This is tough question because everyone has contrasting views about how to categorize and identify nature. Many of these ideas about nature come from presumptions or ideas that may have arisen from school or the media, maybe even your own experience. For me, it is easier to describe what is not nature because I believe so much of the world is natural.


1. Anything man-made: made not from products from the Earth

2. Anything that is a product of a man made “thing.” This could be pollution.

Nature comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. As a part of nature [we] humans do as well. Our bodies are all unique, but together complete to form a spectrum of individuals.  Our bodies as a whole can be looked at in many different ways. I look at my body in two ways: the interior and exterior. This deconstruction stems from my mother. She is a nurse and has always taught me about my physiology, bringing pictures of the brain to the dinner table and texting me stories about operations. I always think of her as being a smart, brave and strong stomached individual. While sharing these experiences with me she would be simultaneously apply her make up or complain about losing weight.  I always felt this was normal until I came to college. Now, I wonder how could she care about her appearance when she is saving peoples’ lives? Why does it matter if she ate 3 huge cookies when she  is doing a liver transplant? The conclusion I have come to is that the pressure of societal norms is to blame. Depending on the gender roles that you perform or others that you are assigned you stereotypically see yourself  as needing to be a certain way.  When you  show yourself differently then the strived for norm you tend to feel bad about yourself. No matter how great of a person or the amount of good that you do, society  and yourself will always guide your feelings

  1. #1 by Breanna Marr on September 17, 2010 - 2:42 pm

    I LOVE the graphic at the bottom. It’s so true. I think most American women our age look into that mirror occasionally. I certainly know that some of the men do.

    Anyway, I’d like to challenge your list of things that you argue are “not natural.” You put man-made products on that list. What about “products” produced by other creatures, such as bird nests and the magnetic termite mounds in Australia? Why are bird-made and termite-made products more natural than man-made products?
    The list also includes things “made not from products from the Earth.” What is a product not from the Earth? All the inputs to plastic, such as oil, come from our planet. I’m really interested in what you have to say, since these are questions I’ve wondered myself…

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