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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 2 months ago


Fights against domination

Mother earth's mother?



What is an ecofeminist? Are you an ecofeminist? (Please add your thoughts at the bottom!)


Is an ecofeminist more than just an environmentalist who is also a feminist?

Are there many kinds of ecofeminism? (Is the answer to that harder to agree on than whether there are multiple kinds of feminism?)

How do feminist and ecologist discourses complement or contradict each other?

Should we include anti-militarism as another part of the movement?

What advantages or disadvantages do ecofeminist discourse and action face in Japan?




Random moments in Japanese ecofeminism:


1960s-'70s: Increasing environmental activism, especially in response to "Big Four" pollution scandals.

1985: Debate between Aoki Yayoi and Ueno Chizuko over appealing to a "women's principle."

1990: Seikatsu Club founded (by a man...and while mostly women are involved, it's not really feminist...should this count?).

1994: Symposium brings Eastern European feminists to Japan, rekindles hope for movement?

1997: Kyoto Accord (Al Gore cancelled appointment to stop by and speak at Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies, where I was studying--shucks!). Not mentioned much in ecofeminism...maybe because it was high-level political talks instead of grassroots?

2006: ...?





__If you need 4 books for your summer beach reading--all the while keeping in mind that going to the beach exposes you to bad environmental and gender rays--try these four by authors whose last names start with the letter M__:



For an oft-cited work that also makes a good introduction to ecofeminist perspectives:


1. Merchant, Carolyn. Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. 2nd Ed. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Read about her 4 types of ecofeminism: liberal, cultural, social, and socialist.




For some thought-provoking essays on global ecofeminist perspectives:


2. Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books Limited, 1992.




For a look at environmental activism in Japan up until about 1980:


3. McKean, Margaret A. Environmental Protest and Citizen Politics in Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.




For an up-to-date look at feminism in Japan:


4. Mackie, Vera. Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.








__If you could read 3 articles or chapters in English, with grains of salt, they might be__:



For an early feminist stand against unsustainability:


1. Firestone, Shulamith. The last chapter of The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. New York: Bantam Books, 1972.


"Pregnancy is barbaric." (p. 198)

"Natural childbirth is only one more part of the reactionary hippie-Rousseauean Return-to-Nature, and just as self-conscious." (p. 199)



On the affinity of women and nature:


2. Ortner, Sherry. "Is Male to Female as Nature is to Culture?" In Women, Culture, and Society, eds. Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo and Louise Lamphere. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974.


She says that women are conditioned into biological, social, and psychological roles that are seen as closer to nature. Meanwhile, culture is discursively separated from nature and elevated above it.



On Japanese religious and philosophical attitudes towards dualism:


3. Maruyama, Masatsugu. "Deconstructive Ecofeminism: A Critical Japanese Interpretation." In Ecofeminism and Globalization: Exploring Culture, Context, and Religion, eds. Heather Eaton and Lois Ann Lorentzen. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.


He examines "deconstructive ecofeminism" and its three principles: non-duality, mutual self, and an ethic of care. Then he looks at Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions in Japan to show that these do not preclude sexism or destruction of nature.




__If you are lazy and want 2 links to instant gratification__:



On the political involvement of Japanese ecofeminists:


1. Danaher, Mike. "On the Forest Fringes?: Environmentalism, Left Politics and Feminism in Japan." In Transformations, No. 6, Feb. 2003.



On the role of Japanese housewife activists:


2. Noguchi, Mary Goebel. "The Rise of the Housewife Activist." In Yomiuri Shimbun, July/Sept. 1992 (339-352).


(Scroll down to #6.)




__If you are too lazy even for that and just want 1 site with pretty graphs of survey results (but ya gotta know some Japanese)__:



iMi Research Bank: http://www.imi.ne.jp/blogs/research/2006/03/post_125.html

Compare your attitudes about behaviors with the respondents and see if you too are a "Minister of the Environment" in your household or community!

Some findings: Top environmental concerns: 1. household trash, 2. global warming, 3. water pollution.

Lowest environmental concerns: 1.salt damage, 2. monoculture, 3. genetic contamination.

Most environmentally conscientious behavior: 1. using refill packs for shampoo and liquid soap, 2. separating trash, 3. turning off room lights.

Most likely to be "Ministers of the Environment": mothers in their 40s and 50s







Please post your thoughts about ecofeminism here (or email me at nea@uchicago.edu if you don't have access to edit). Anything from the most abstract to the most concrete...ideologies, practices, etc.


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