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Rana, this is the best thing I have read this year as far as interesting me in my primary themes as a liberal feminist wanting to live a high impact life while living lightly on the earth.

I meant to write you when I first read it this week. What you have said keeps coming into my thoughts as I planted and painted for the community this week. The green is re-enforcing the hierarchical roles as far as I can see.

There is one thing I hope to spend some time developing and that is the pleasure part of simpler living. Despite more domestic labor, the connections to nature and to people are gratifying. This makes it enviable (read: valued) in a way I never imagined in the early 70's equivilents.

Living to consume and working too many hours in unfulfilling work for not enough money is just vile. More people want out I think. This is too long. I will link and let you know if I formulate a more coherent thesis.


Great - I look forward to your further thoughts.

This is also cross-posted at Shakesville (I keep spazzing on adding the link) if you want to read the conversation there.


(Ignore the "0" comments note; there are in fact nearly 90 comments - it's a glitch in the system.)


I wrote something on Quantum">">Quantum Mechanicas (ahem) today that references your post. I have links to you here and at Shakesville. I haven't read those comments and I think I should now.

Barbara Rubin

Wonderful points - I would just like to add another to the mix. Your first examples cited the men who began the enviro movement by speaking to broader issues of the rape of the countryside. That is understandable, given the fact that few women had the opportunity to become educated, travel, enjoy solitude in the rough or gain prominence in the writing of naturalist subject matter. The works of these men also happened prior to the development of the most harmful synthetic poisons currently killing us. The understanding of these gentlemen spoke more to their attachment to beauty and the natural world with perhaps a basic understanding of more gross examples of poisoning (lead, mercury) known in those years.

The women you cite knew/foretold of the fact that modern chemicals tear at the foundations of human biochemistry. They realized that women were the primary victims in number and scope (autoimmune ailments are predominantly found among females) along with the risks to children.

To be very blunt, women are again the victims of male greed with the brunt of the damage done by poisons falling upon our heads.

I know as I became disabled from pesticide poisoning at the age of 45. Now brain damaged and chronically ill, I live in isolation with a poor prognosis.

It is personal. I know men whose lives have been terribly altered as well by these poisons but the majority of the affected are women and children (developmental disabilities now afflict one in six children).

Gender is significant in this battle with toxicity assessments based upon tolerances of healthy adult males. Gender is definitely one of the reasons this battle has yet been won.

Barbara Rubin

Barbara Rubin

Oops, meant that last line to read, "...yet to be won." A function of my dysphasia...

Rahul Saha

Very insightful post.Thanks. Your comments on "rape" of "mother earth" reminds me of something Carolyn Merchant once said: "The image of the earth as a living organism and nurturing mother served as a cultural constraint restricting the actions of human beings. One does not readily slay a mother, dig into her entrails for gold, or mutilate her body...As long as the earth was considered to be alive and sensitive, it could be considered a breach of human ethical behaviour to carry out destructive acts against it."


Barbara - thank you for your comment - you make excellent points.

Rahul - Merchant is indeed the go-to person these days for these issues. I don't always agree with her theoretical constructs, but she has useful things to say in the big picture.

katecontinued - thanks - that's an interesting post!

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