Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eco-Feminism for Another Possible World

A rich exchange is required between ecology and feminism

Presse-Toi A' Gauche
April 23, 2013
(google translation)

Puleo Alicia García Doctor of Philosophy at the University Complutense of Madrid, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University and Board Member of the Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Valladolid. She recently published "Eco-feminism for another possible world", Madrid, Cátedra, 2011.

Juan Tortosa - What is eco-feminism?

Alicia García Puleo - I understand that as the encounter between feminist consciousness, environmental, animal rights and peace in the twenty-first century, when it becomes necessary to revise our understanding of the place of humanity in our land.Eco-feminism is not only the conservation of endangered species. Eco-feminism combines the concern for justice for the human social ecology. I must, however, emphasize that I answer the question from my proposal eco-feminist. But there are different ways of thinking about eco-feminism, for example, some do not care about the "other animals."

That everyone shares is the concern for environmental issues that affect mostly women. We women are biologically and hormonally vulnerable to toxic chemicals currently in use, and we are concerned both as consumers as producers.

For example, farmers and even women who live in nearby areas of crops, they are highly exposed to herbicides and pesticides in these areas. Toxic chemicals used in farming are endocrine disruptors, chemicals similar to estrogen, can produce specific female pathologies. Obviously, this does not mean that men are immune to chemical attack. But the multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome affects especially women and many studies confirm that the increase of breast cancer in recent decades is due to exposure to toxic agricultural, dioxins released into the environment by the furnaces of incineration, synthetic resin paints, etc..

On the other hand, as already pointed Vandana Shiva, the situation of rural women and the poor called "Third World" has worsened with the "bad development". The Green Revolution (not "green" in an ecological sense, because this name was given to discuss the intensification of industrial production of monocultures) destroyed the peasant family production. With the globalization of capitalism, was converted large wild areas. One reason for the birth of eco-feminism in the South is just the large decline in the quality of life for millions of women who now have to walk many kilometers to find water or wood for their homes because their land is devoted to the global market. The mega mining or destruction of land by the transgenic soybean require from human and destroy "non-human". Stocking water, land and air is the new and latest form of colonization. Most monstrous and most complete we've ever seen. Eco-feminism is a form of resistance against domination, lust and limitless fantasy of omnipotence that makes a human being totally different and detached from nature.

What are the contributions of eco-feminism feminism and ecology?

Feminism is enriched by the environmental sensitivity and understanding of the serious ecological crisis we are going through. It also opens doors to the critique of extreme anthropocentrism which sees human beings as worthy of moral consideration. It helps to see an ecological dimension exists in some problems plaguing the female group, as in solutions.Feminism has always been open to new theories and themes. It is not surprising that now opens to ecology.

Ecology wins both because key analytical feminism finds useful and equality claims make it more attractive for women. One of the fears aroused by the ecological discourse among women, is to see their poor living conditions still péjorées. Ecology must be clear and reflect the rights of women and should be ready to work against sexism and androcentric.

Finally, I would note that there are similarities between what has been called "ecological citizenship" as a desirable form of living in the world and the "ethics of care" studied by feminist theory in recent years. Both are models of cooperation, responsibility, and both offer the abandonment of the selfish and the tyranny of market logic.

You support an eco-feminism Illustration. What is it?.

I spoke of "critical eco-feminism" or shown to define my theoretical position. This involves a review of the legacy of the Enlightenment (Enlightenment), which distinguishes between what is needed to turn and what to keep. For example, we can not deny human rights, the triad of liberty, equality and fraternity are the source of emancipation movements as socialism, anarchism, feminism or consideration of animals "non-human" in the Western world.

We try to apply critical thinking shown in Illustration even without coming to erosion. The illustration has a dual heritage, as evidenced by denouncing feminism forms of fraternal patriarchy that arise with the bourgeois revolutions. Or, for example, the practices of domination over nature.

Eco-feminism that you defend and one defend women in the south have in common, or eco-feminism in Illustration speaks only women in the North?

Of course the critical eco-feminism that I support has in common with eco-feminism in the South. Indeed, the Women's Manifesto for Food Sovereignty (Nyeleni Mali, 2007) seems to me a text completely in line with our ideas. For example: "Signing up our struggle for equality between the sexes, we no longer want or suffer the oppression of traditional societies, or those of modern societies, or those of the market. We want to take this opportunity to leave behind all the gender bias and to develop a new vision of the world based on the principles of respect, equality, justice, solidarity, peace and freedom. "They recognize two types of oppression of women and express the need to fight against both. There is no mystification of the past, nor uncritical vision of "development" destructive. Eco-feminist North and South must be united in international solidarity to build the joint of another possible world.

Why is there so much resistance in feminist sectors and social movements to appropriate it?

I think, for the majority, there is a lack of knowledge most recent constructivist currents. It identifies eco-feminism with a polarizer bi spirit equality without informing that there are other options. Many feminists believe that eco-feminism is synonymous with identification of women with nature and motherhood. For a long time I fight to show that this is not true.There is also the fear of the sacredness of this life, this could endanger the sexual and reproductive rights, especially the abortion. One of the critical areas of eco-feminism that I propose, is the recognition of the rights won with much effort by generations of women who fought for it. I'm not the only eco-feminist who has this. The same eco-feminist Latin American spiritualists Con-Spirando network are part of "Catholics for the right to decide."

Is it possible for a man to defend eco-feminism?

Of course yes! Eco-feminism, as I present, if not a constructivist essentialist philosophical anthropological basis. We, men and women are individuals with social identities change over time and improve. A key point is the adjustment of attitudes and practices of care, widespread in the non-human world and its universality. Men and women, we are able to develop. This is why environmental education is needed, especially to fight against stereotypes disconnected manly feelings like empathy and compassion, destructive stereotypes in the history of hegemonic domination. Today there are many men who are critical of these models and want to change. Eco-feminism can be their choice!

Interview: Juan TORTOSA, Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt (CADTM) and the Third World Commission of the Catholic Church (COTMEC-Geneva) 23.02.2012.

* Translation Ines Calstas.

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