Eco-feminism. Mass Media and the Environment.

Screenshot 2017-03-27 at 2.52.47 PM - Edited

Eco-feminism:

  • Makes connections between oppression of nature and oppression of women
  • Historically “woman” has been connected to “nature”
    • “as woman is to nature, man is to culture”
    • nature called “she,” mother earth
    • see Naomi Klein chapter 5, section The Ultimate Extravist Relationship
      • 1870s on, earth to be mastered and controlled – Bacon etc. rational, scientific thinking
  • Feminists problemmatize terms “woman” and “nature”
    • resist binaries and categorizations
    • although some embrace the woman/earth connection
  • See problem as ideologies that:
    • treat women and earth as possessions to be exploited, used up, thrown away
    • understand the world in terms of strict hierarchies and divisions
    • see capitalism/competition as a “natural state”
      • social-Darwinism
  • Instead, eco-feminists focus on
    • diversity – of peoples, of plants and animals
    • connection between humans and non humans
    • co-operation
    • sustainable living for humans only possible with sustainable living for non humans
  • Eco-feminists range from

Mad Max: Fury Road and eco-feminism

  • spawned a new feminist movie test – The Furiosa Test – here is the original  Bechdel Test
  • contains a explication/visualization of patriarchy: women, war-boys, and poor all exploited/controlled by the men at the top (literally at the top)
  • pits violence/patriarchy/death against non-violence/co-operation and life/seeds
    • although they fight, the women also resist killing
  • explicit dialog, e.g. guns called anti-seeds, war-boy asked “who killed the world?”
  • visual metaphor of everyone hurtling down road using up gas, even the women who can be read as the environmentalists
  • metaphor of the women turning around i.e. not continuing down same road to destruction (thanks Mike(?))
  • post-apocalyptic but not hopeless
  • contradictory (?) messages:
    • anarchic glory of the war-boys and their customized vehicles, we can enjoy this even if we condemn what they stand for
    • SM overtones of Joe and his war party i.e. bearded accountant in suit with holes cut to reveal nipple rings – suggestion that we export domination and control from the real world to play?

Mass Media and Environmentalism

  • What kinds of emotional registers do we find in mass media works that deal with the environment.
    • Hope? Fear? Doom? Mockery? Death-wish? Shock? Awe?
  • How effective are ecological messages in Mass Media?
  • Mass Media is often read for repressed/subliminal content that reflects wishes, fears and anxieties of a particular society or period of history – (read Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams)
    • e.g. monsters represent the marginalized, politically or sexually oppressed (African Americans, homosexuals etc etc)
    • “last girl” in horror films or Lara croft in video games – gives teenage boys license not just to look at but to identify with a female body
  • What are some other contemporary metaphors about our environment? How do they work?

Hope of the Day

  • Delivering Clean Air
    • clip and full podcast:
    • innovative solutions to cut down emission from delivery trucks.