Earth Day: Celebrating Our Mother!

There is a reason we call our planet Mother Earth. She protects and provides for us. Along the same lines, we should not bite the hand that feeds us. We cannot simply return the favor by expressing gratitude for all she has done for us; thanks will not save the planet!

We must work to achieve harmony between the Earth and all those that inhabit her. a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.

On this International Mother Earth Day, I want to encourage everyone to reconsider how they interact with the natural world.

You might be wondering how to help Mother Earth today. Here are some useful tips:

  1. REDUCE
    • The first thing to go should be plastic straws! They are completely unnecessary and aren’t recyclable!
    • Eat local, grow your own food, and incorporate meatless meals if you don’t already!
    • We know fast-food is wasteful, but so is fast fashion. Try purchasing your clothes second-hand and donating or giving away the clothes you don’t wear!
    • When possible, buy high quality items because generally they will last longer!
  2. REUSE
    • Reusable water bottles are a must!
    • Using reusable bags at the grocery store is also an easy way to reduce waste too!
  3. RECYCLE
    • If you do find yourself with a water bottle, aluminum can, or other recyclable material, please recycle!
    • Make sure what you put in the bin really is recyclable in the area and is clean. It’s a real bummer if the materials aren’t recycled due to contamination.

These are simple tips, but they could help change your life and lead you to have a positive impact on our planet and those around you! It also won’t hurt when you save money on clothes and water bottles!

Let me know how you are showing love to Mother Earth today!

Ecofeminist Philosophy and the English Language

As mentioned in my recent post about Ecofeminism, these philosophies can be divided into three different categories. This post will cover the second of the three. The first one was covered here and the third is yet to come!

We already have been introduced to ecofeminist philosophy in connection with animal ethics, Leopold’s Land Ethic. This section explores the nature of ecofeminist philosophy as a distinct kind of environmental philosophy.

In 1974, a French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne called attention to women’s potential to bring about ecological revolution. Initially, ecofeminism referred generically to a wide variety of women-nature connections, often based in other disciplines such as history, literature, political science, sociology, and religion. Because of this, ecofeminism was not considered its own philosophical position until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

The Distinct Discipline of Ecofeminist Philosophy

  • Explores the nature of the connections between the unjustified dominations of women and nature
  • Critiques male-biased Western canonical philosophical views (assumptions, concepts, claims, distinctions, positions, theories) about women and nature
  • Creates alternatives and solutions to such male-biased views

The Intersection between Ecofeminism and Language

According to these philosophers, language plays a key role in the formation of problematic concepts of women, animals, and nature—concepts that reinforce the five features of an oppressive conceptual framework and contribute to the “justification” of the dominations of women, animals, and nature. Consider some examples of how language does this.

The English language animalizes and naturalizes women in cultural contexts where women and nonhuman animals are already viewed as inferior to men and male-identified culture. Women are referred to pejoratively as dogs, cats, catty, pussycats, pussies, pets, bunnies, dumb bunnies, cows, sows, foxes, chicks, bitches, beavers, old bats, old hens, old crows, queen bees, cheetahs, vixen, serpents, bird-brains, hare-brains, elephants, and whales. Women cackle, go to hen parties, henpeck their husbands, become old biddies (old hens no longer sexually attractive or able to reproduce), and social butterflies. Animalizing women in a sexist (or, patriarchal) culture that views animals as inferior to people reinforces and attempts to legitimate women’s alleged inferior status to men. Similarly, the English language feminizes nature in cultural contexts that view women and nature as inferior to men and male-identified culture. Mother Nature (not Father Nature) is raped, mastered, controlled, conquered, mined; her (not his) secrets are penetrated, and her womb (men don’t have one) is put into the service of the man of science (not woman of science, or simply scientist). Virgin timber is felled, cut down. Fertile (not potent) soil is tilled, and land that lies fallow is useless or barren, like a woman unable to conceive a child.

These exploitations of nature and animals are justified by feminizing  them; the exploitation of women is justified by animalizing and naturalizing women. Language that feminizes nature and naturalizes women describes, reflects, and perpetuates unjustified patriarchal domination by failing to see the extent to which the dominations of women, nonhuman animals, and nature are culturally analogous and sanctioned.

Of course, some examples provide a small amount of a counterargument, but there are very few examples of this kind. In the English language, animal terms also are used pejoratively against men. For example, men are called wolves, sharks, skunks, snakes, toads, jackasses, old buzzards, and goats. In Western culture, it is generally complimentary to describe someone as busy as a bee, eagle-eyed, lion-hearted, or brave as a lion. Regardless, the majority of animal and nature terms used to describe women, and the majority of female terms used to describe animals and nature, function differently from the animal and nature terms used to describe men. Within a patriarchal context, they function to devalue women, animals, and nature in a way that reinforces the unjustified dominations of all three.

During the 1980’s, women’s activism in a variety of social movements—environment, peace, animal liberation, and environmental justice movements—came together and a new form of activism emerged, ecofeminist political activism, which is what I always envisioned this blog to be a part of. By the 1990’s, this political activism had given rise to a diversity of ecofeminisms: liberal, Marxist, socialist, radical, cultural/spiritual, and social ecofeminisms, which are rooted in a different ecofeminist political perspective—liberalism, Marxism, socialism, radical feminism, spiritual politics, anarchism, and social ecology.

Ecofeminist philosophical ethics or ecofeminist ethics is the sub-field of ecofeminist philosophy that has received the most scholarly attention, which relates to the last post discussing The Land Ethic. Ecofeminist ethics is a subcategory of feminist ethics. It involves a commitment to critique male bias and to develop ethics that are not male-biased. As a feminist ethic, it also involves articulation of values often considered unimportant in mainstream Western ethics. What makes its critiques of traditional ethical theories “ecofeminist” is that they focus on women-nature connections

Terminology

Many ecofeminist philosophers distinguish between the oppression of women and the  domination of nature. They do so on the grounds that only sentient and rational beings can be oppressed. In Western contexts, nonhuman natural entities are presumed to not be sentient and/or rational. As such, unlike women, they cannot be oppressed, although they can be unjustly dominated.

What about nonhuman animals? Many ecofeminist philosophers include animals, especially domesticated animals, among those beings that are capable of being oppressed, but deny that nature as a whole has this capability. They talk about the oppression of animals (but not of nature).

What do y’all think? Are nonhuman animals sentient and rational? Regardless of that answer, can they be oppressed? What about nature as a whole?

 

Plogging on Global Running Day!

Today is Global Running Day! This day is very near and dear to my heart because I used to run cross country in high school. I have been pretty inconsistent with my running since I injured my knee in high school, but this new Swedish trend is getting me back into it!

What trend?

PLOGGING

What is plogging?

Sweden’s latest exercise trend, plogging, has made its way across the world, including my hometown in Mississippi and here in Germany! The term is a mash-up of jogging and  “plocka upp” in Swedish or “pick up” in English.

There are plogging groups across the world, but they seem to be the most widespread in Scandinavia and Germany. I’ve been doing it for years without a term for it and I’m sure others have as well. I’ve heard of people calling the activity Trashercize. Honestly, I think that term might actually be even cooler!

Whatever you call it, the activity helps more than just the environment (as if that’s not a good enough reason), it’ll also get you killer leg muscles. It’s essentially squats and running.

I hope this trend catches on. Most people could use some extra exercise and the activity definitely won’t be the same movements over and over again! And we all know the Earth could always use some extra loving!

 

You don’t even have to run!

My friends and I did a variety of things during my last week in America.

Walking Around the Neighborhood

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Marissa (MarissaHaas.com), Kris (ErdlingmitFernweh.com) and Rebecca

Hiking a Trail

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Me and the girls at the Tuxachanie Trail!

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Our first experience carrying tires!

 

 

Strolling the Beach

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Rebecca and Kris at Ocean Springs Beach which had more Cigarette Butts than people!

 

 

 


Exercise is good for the body and the mind AND NOW the environment too! I hope you enjoy Global Running Day and a good plog!

Peace out,

Kris