Righteous ecofeminist takedown


Guest post by Heather McNamara

In my Women’s literature class, all of the books we read had ecofeminist themes. Obviously I got an A. I know. I can’t help it.

Even though the class is over, it got me thinking about ecofeminism. I read a few articles about it and the widest criticism I can find is that the narrative is typically centered around white women. In case there are a few 101s in the audience, I’ll briefly explain why this is a problem. While obviously white women have legitimate feminist agendas,when white women dominate the narratives, the concerns of people of color are at best ignored and at worst willfully invalidated. More on this in a minute. So, when I went to the library to get a book about ecofeminism, I intentionally overlooked the eight volumes that appeared to center mostly on white women’s concerns and went straight for the one book that had chapters about colonialism and women of color. Simply titled “Ecofeminism,” I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Chapter two, “Ecofeminism through an Anticolonial Framework” on account of the name of the author, Andy Smith. Generally speaking, when I want to read about anticolonialism, I don’t want to read it from the perspective of somebody who shares a name with some of the most notorious English colonizers. I prefer to hear from those who have personal experience. Andrea Lee Smith is a Cherokee feminist scholar and not a white man as her name suggests. Silly me. She has written a whole lot of awesome books that I now have to read. That being said, I soon found Andy actually had quite a lot of interesting stuff to teach, and I wanted to share them with you. Below are some selected quotes:

The Inuit of Canada reported that NATO war exercises had been wreaking environmental havoc where they live. The 8,000 low-level flights that had already taken place over Inuit land had created so much noise from sonic booms that it had disrupted the wildlife and impaired the hearing of the Inuit. Furthermore, oil falling from the jets had poisoned the water supply.

The Shoshone reported that low-level flying also takes place over their land. One man was killed when his horse threw him because it was frightened by the noise of the jets. They reported that the flying had been scheduled to take place over the cattle range until the Humane Society interceded, saying this would be inhumane treatment of the cattle. Consequently, the war exercises were redirected to take place over Indian people instead.

Wow, way to go Humane Society.

In the interest of being brief and not just quoting an entire chapter on my blog, I’ll just let you know that what we learn next is that waste dumping on Native land, since it’s not “American land” does not need to meet the same EPA requirements. Because of this, it’s cheaper and therefore preferable for some unscrupulous companies to dump their waste on native land and cause miscarriage, cancer, and birth defects.

Now, here’s where we learn about exactly how racist white-centered feminism is:

The inability to fully embrace an anticolonialist ideology is the major stumbling block in developing alliances between Native people and members of the mainstream environmental movement and the feminist movement.

For instance, in “Deep Ecology and Ecofeminism,” Michael Zimmerman argues in favor of eradicating the dualism between humans and nature. “only by recognizing that humanity is no more, but also no less, important than all other things on earth can we learn to dwell on the planet within limits that would allow other species to flourish” However, deep ecologists and other environmental theorists are often not consistent in applying this theory in practice. For instance, sentiments that have been expressed in Earth First! Journal include that “the AIDS virus may be Gaia’s tailor-made answer to human overpopulation” and that famine should take its course in Africa to stem overpopulation. Such sentiments reinforce, rather than negate the duality between humans and nature, because they imply that humans are not part of nature and that their destruction would not also mean environmental destruction… In addition, it is noteworthy that the people that are targeted as expendable (victims of AIDS and Africans in the foregoing example) are people of color or Third World people who have the least institutional power or access to resources in society… To even make such a comment indicates that one has to be in a fairly privileged position in society where one is not faced with death on a regular basis. It also assumes that all people are equally responsible for massive environmental destruction, rather than facing the fact that it is people in positions of institutional power who are killing the earth and the people who are more marginalized to further their economic interests. It is racist and imperialist to look at the people who are dying now from environmental degradation (generally people of color and poor people) and say that it is a good thing that the earth is cleansing itself.

All emphasis mine. So in other words, all that crap that you hear about overpopulation killing the planet and all this disease being a perfect cure for it? Sorry to burst your bubble, but allowing the deaths of millions of poor and marginalized or those in developing countries is not going to bring the earth back to balance. It’s not Gaia undoing the damage. It IS the damage. Removing poor and indigenous people is the least efficient way to save the earth.

It’s a slightly pricey book but your local library may have it. Just follow the link I’m not doing MLA citations outside of school.


Heather McNamara writes about indie literature, politics, and civil rights at HeatherMcNamara.net.

Comments

  1. Pen says

    Generally speaking, when I want to read about anticolonialism, I don’t want to read it from the perspective of somebody who shares a name with some of the most notorious English colonizers. I prefer to hear from those who have personal experience

    I really hope you’re kidding and the author’s pronouncements didn’t just suddenly become palatable because she’s a Cherokee feminist. Because if you’re not, perhaps you should start reading every text and see what you get out of it BEFORE you check the name/identity of the author. If they have biases due to their identity, it should be evident in the text, not their name and other labels, and if you have biases based on people’s identity you’ll become very aware of them.

    • says

      The author’s pronouncements became palatable before that, in fact, which you can tell because I wrote the whole damned post before I realized she was Cherokee.

      But yes, it does change things, because frankly white men shouldn’t be speaking for Cherokee women. Cherokee women can tell their own stories, and when white men tell the stories *for* them, then they are telling a story that they’ve already adjusted to be palatable to themselves. It doesn’t do people justice. Can you imagine if feminists of color showed up every time white men needed something discussed? If every time the question of child support or circumcision or whatever else white men are getting all worked up about these days came up, the only people anyone paid any attention to were the feminists of color? If a white man wasn’t anywhere to be found?

      Of course not. White men are used to speaking for themselves. So much so in fact, that they’ve decided this gives them the requisite experience to speak for everyone else.

      • Ballzack says

        What does it matter, English weren’t even the greatest colonialists, the Turkish empire was. You guys are just anti white. Anyway Indians were colonialists in a sense too considering they would constantly murder and raid mexicans. BREAK FREE OF YOUR MARXIST INDOCTRINATION HEATHER.

      • Pen says

        I wouldn’t expect a text about anti colonialism in an academic environment to necessarily be about anyone telling ‘their’ story. In this case, it appears she was making points about the experiences of the Inuit, the Shoshone and the representation of people affected by AIDS in the third world – all groups she isn’t a member of. Obviously, she would have to do that in order to build her case, as anyone would.

    • says

      No, there’s a real problem when the only people who are heard and noticed in the discourse are white people.
      Don’t get me wrong, they might be very well-meaning, they might be brilliant. There’s tons of really good literature, one of the best books I read on the aspect of colonialism and language was by Alastair Pennycook who’s as white male as they can get. What made his work particularly good was that he concentrates on the colonial side of the story, the history, the tropes, the writings of the colonialists.
      But white people cannot relate the experiences of non-white people to other people. Every story you have been told and you then re-tell has changed. Not because of ill-will, but because you will already interprete the story. You have to interprete it because while you can directly ask the original narrator “what do you mean by that, what’s the most important aspect of this” you have to make that decision once you become the narrator. This might go dangerously wrong because you make the wrong interpretation. And now you’re the one whose being listened to, not the person whose story it originally is, and quite often, the person whose story it is will be figuratively jumping up and down in the background, trying to correct the narrator and will be ignored. That’s why we need authentic voices.

      In this case, it appears she was making points about the experiences of the Inuit, the Shoshone and the representation of people affected by AIDS in the third world – all groups she isn’t a member of. Obviously, she would have to do that in order to build her case, as anyone would.

      No, not exactly. Because the point is “treatment of PoC by white people in the name of environmentalism.” Your point would be valid if the question was “how is it to live in an AIDS stricken country in Africa”, in which case she would also not be qualified to tell that story

  2. Ballzack says

    How can you label any female a ratfem just for being a female and not accepting men who wish they were females, as literal females? Anyone who has a normal functioning brain that isn’t drenched in liberal indoctrination doesn’t accept you. You are a MALE. All you will ever be doing is trying to emulate a female. Thats why you are a TRANSGENDER. Its a reference to your pathology of gender dysphoria. Why do transgenders get sex changes if gender is only mental. Like f2m wearing dildos? trying to look like men. Yet they will spout the rhetoric “gender is only mental organs dont matter”.

    Transgenderism is a pathology, not genetic. Thats like acknowleging a schizophrenic who thinks hes a penguin, as an actual penguin. Just because it seems more realistic, doesnt mean its real. Left alone humans act in accordance with their instincts.

    You are just a gay guy who feels the need to give them self their own pronoun purely because they like to suck cock and dress up as a girl at the same time. Homosexuality is the manifestation of intense sexual perversion in anti social attitudes, and its not at all linked to physical desire.

    Notice the sudden surge in gay guys who think theyre female AKA transgenders? Its because the world and being run by Marxists(Communism). They follow many teachings, one of them being Marxist Critical Theory. Marxist Critical Theory is a way of critiquing a society to the point where everyone becomes androgynous and equally stupid.

    My email is real if you wanna get back to me, id love to intellectually slaughter you any day of the week.

    do you find yourself abiding to this: Beware the Commie-Criminal Debating Methods that are always being used by the LGBT crowd.Beware of such methods as: Deny Everything, Admit Nothing. Demand Limitless Proof and when valid Proof is offered claim to be unconvinced and Demand More Proof. Answer a Question with a Question. Use a Red Herring and Change the Subject. Tell Lies. When the argument is lost, attack the credibility of the messenger. Become enraged and use ridicule, labeling, mockery and name-calling.

    • says

      My email is real if you wanna get back to me, id love to intellectually slaughter you any day of the week.

      This is kind of cute comming from the person who’s too stupid to notice that this was written by the cis co-blogger.

      • Ballzack says

        Doesnt matter theyre supporting LGBT look at all the tags. Not to mention looks like a straight up militant dyke rofl.

        Since the dawn of history the Negro has owned the continent of Africa – rich beyond the dream of poet’s fancy, crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare black feet and yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed to him its glittering light.

        His land swarmed with powerful and docile animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled.

        A hunter by necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrowhead worth preserving beyond the moment of its use. He lived as an ox, content to graze for an hour.

        In a land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or built a house save of broken sticks and mud.

        With league on league of ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail.

          • ballzack says

            Yes because i expected you to think i wrote that? Sorry didnt know i was dealing with an autistic. What do you think your neo-marxism is? lol. The idea that somehow everything is outdated, and changing it is good. Meanwhile the world was in way better shape before.

            THIS IS NOT MY WRITING AUTISTICS BEWARE

            between the years of 1917 and 1991 predceding the collapse of the soviet union, it is estimated that the communist jews murdered somewhere between 60 and 135 million innocent people. Jew inventors of communism: Karl Marx (mordechai levy), Moses Hess, Leon Trotzky aka lev bronstein, Vladimir lenin(ulyanov), Lev kamenev (rosenfelt), grigory zinoviev (apfelbaum), Alexander Pavrus (israel gelfand), Jacob Sverdlov, Yankel Yurovsky, Solomon Lozovsky, Maxim Litivinov(wallach), Lazar Kaganovich, olga kameneva (bronstein), Genrikh Yagoda, Lavrenti Beria, martin “gray” (later claim to be holocaust survivor and wrote a fake memoir LoL),N.K Pauker, Babel, Shpiegelglas, Slutsky, Karl Radek (sobelsohn), Nikolai bukharin, Ilya Ehrenburg, Jacob Schiff, max warburg, House of rothschild, jacob berman, hilary minc,Boleslaw Beirut (rotenshwanz), Roman Zumbrowski, Saloman Morel, Bela Kun (cohen), Tibor Szamuely, Matyas Rakosi(rosenfeld), Erno Gero, Milhaly Farkas, Ana pauker, Rudolf Slansky, and more.

            On Jewry, Communism and Autotheism

            Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov a.k.a. “Lenin” was an Ethnic Jew, and so was his Inspiration; Lev Davidovich Bronshtein a.k.a. “Leon Trotsky”. So it was with Bronshtein’s Inspiration; Rabbi Moses Mordecai Levy a.k.a. Karl Heinrich Marx.

            Vladimir’s Paternal Grandfather (also his Great-Grandfather, via Incest), Nikolai Blank, Changed Their Surname to Ulyanov (Adapted from the Town of Ulyanovsk) so as to Pretend to be Russian and Christian; he took this Marrano Alias so as to Enroll Vladimir in a Prestigious School, which only Permitted Professed Christians.

            Heinrich, whose Surname is Alternately Registered as both Mordecai and Levy, only Assumed the Marrano Alias Marx in order to be Permitted to Practice Law; as Jews were not.

            Bronshtein kept Ties with his Jewish Family; as his Rabbi Indicated: “Trotsky waged the wars… and the Bronshtein’s paid the bills.”

            Furthermore, Bronshtein Coined the Inherently Anti-White Term “racists” to Refer to Slavophiles, Teutons and other Traditionalist Whites as “backwards”.

            This is Important, in Regards to its Jewishness, as he believed that which was not Communist to be “backwards”; and Communism, even before Rabbi Levy a.k.a. Karl Marx, was Jewish. Rabbi Steven Wise, for Instance, said: “Some call it Marxism – I call it Judaism.”

            Additionally, Genocidal Terrorist “Iron” Lazar Kaganovich was both Jewish and one of the last Old Bolshevists; in addition to having been a close Confidant of Azeri Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili a.k.a. The Asiatic a.k.a. Joseph Stalin.

            Further Proving further that the Differences between Leninism and Stalinism were merely Superficial, it was actually an Argument between Lazar’s Sister (Dzhugashvili’s Wife; Rosa Kaganovich) and Dzhugashvili over an Affair that Caused Lazar to Dissent from him; According to his Nephew, Stuart Kahan, Lazar then Partook in The Poisoning of “Joseph Stalin”.

            In Fact, Lazar’s Surname Indicates his Mongrel Origin; Literally: Son of Kagan. Given his Appearance, it is Obvious that Mamzer Prince is Khazarian. Therefore – Prince of Jewry!

            Ultimately, by Their Nature, Jews are what is Mislabeled Atheist; for They know that Our God is Lord; but They Idolize Their Father, Sama’el; and They Venerate Demons, such as Azaz’el, Ba’al, Baphomet,Moloch, Trudd, Gog and Magog. The later two are actually Realms of a Japhetite Prince; Chamites, Ishma’el’ites and Edomites, however, Blasphemed them to be Names of Their Gods. Similarly, Invading Cinites Blaspheme to be Descendants of Japheth.

            Baruch Levi, additionally, another Jewish Terrorist, Professed in a Symbolic Letter to Karl Marx (Deceased), Published in La Review de Paris, p.574, on June 1st, 1928: “The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world dominion by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of Monarchy, and by the establishing of a World Republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The governments of the different peoples forming the World Republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish leaders to abolish private property, and everywhere to make use of the resources of The State. Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled. In which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands.

          • says

            No, cupcake, you’re dealing with somebody who’s literate and who actually knows the standards of academic writing. Common decency says that when you use somebody else’s words you give them credit, even if they are white supremacist anti-semitists like you are.

          • ballzack says

            modern day jews arent even semitic they are just whats left over from the khazar empire. Khazaria isnt semitic. Im proud to be white but i dont think im superior to anyone, afterall thats in the eye of the beholder. I do acknowledge the disproportionate amount of criminals and low lives who derive from other races, but acknowledge facts i dont consider racist. There is a reason jews have been expelled from 109 countries, even portugal during the same period blacks were considered equals in portugal, that says a lot. Its not “THE R JUS RACISS! POOR JEWS!!!”

          • ballzack says

            what is and isnt inferior is in the eye of the beholder. I simply quoted someone pointing out things about africans. You perceived it as inferiority. Looks like youre the racist. Everyone race is different, acknowledge the differences isnt racist.

  3. Ballzack says

    Atheists are philosophically naive, theyre mainstream, extremely politically correct. High iq but not truth seeking, highly critical of christianity but no other modern delusions. They are a sect of christianity.

  4. says

    book recommendations bookmarked.
    as with all other feminist critiques of anything, it’s useful but needs to be more intersectional or else just ends up being shallow and perpetuating injustices.

  5. says

    Is Ballzack for real? Hard to believe someone could be quite that bigoted while at the same time having any sort ofcomputer competency. Then again, it’s hard to believe Flat Earthers exist, too. Regardless, obvious troll is obvious given the insistence on bringing up non sequitur bigot issues.

    • Rasmus says

      His copy-pasta is basically the usual slew of neo-nazi lies and half-truths. It’s relatively common stuff. I don’t think he’s a pure troll. I think he’s probably aged 15-35 and at least a semi-true believer, maybe someone who is experimenting with some of these ideas.

      There are a lot more of these people than you might think. They easily make up 0.1% of the white population in Europe. They don’t self-identify as neo-nazis, but their beliefs are identical to the beliefs of neo-nazism and their groups tend to be formed by former neo-nazi leaders.

      The basic beliefs are that Hitler started WW2 to stop a Jewish plot to dominate the world through Communism and that although some of Hitler’s actions were wrong, he was fundamentally acting for the good of mankind. They generally believe that the Jews are now plotting to conquer the world by allowing Muslims into Europe and the US, or something, and by allowing destitute Romani people to panhandle in European cities, or something… It’s a massive (supposedly sinister) sock gnome theory.

    • Rasmus says

      Or now that I think of it, it could be “German Lyrics Guy” who’s having another episode. There’s this guy who according to himself has a psychiatric problem that causes him to have episodes where he trolls obsessively.

  6. Deb says

    I think depopulation would do a lot of good for our species, for a number of reasons. But to callously suggest that it’s all part of God’s (excuse me, GAIA’s) plan to have millions die in such a painful, awful way… it suggests a real lack of empathy. I’m starting to think that the lesswrong crowd has it, well, wrong – what we need to be improving first is the average human’s compassion, not their ability to reason abstractly.

  7. sillose says

    so i know im a few days late here, but ima post this anyway:
    to the troll: ☺/10 (you lost a few points for the wall of text(without so much as a tl:dr-ive only met two trolls spectacular to read text walls for), and while you said a lot of counterfactual shit, you could have contradicted yourself a little more, waited til people caught you, then pretended that it all made sense. points off for that too. the only reason im giving you the score i did is the competent entrance and the staggered double-post of the video-that part at least was inspired

    also: definitely picking up that book.

    • sillose says

      gah! so many missing words! never try to write coherently in 100 degree heat!
      *spectacular enough
      *but you could have

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