Question 3: Plant’s Searching for Common Ground

      One quote that I found surprising from Judith Plant’s essay “Searching For Common Ground: Eco-feminism And Bio-regionalism” was “Just as ecologists have paid critical attention to the attitudes, social structures and rationalizations that have allowed the rape of the earth, so have feminists dug deeply to understand why society has rendered them second class citizens, at best.” (258) The use of the word “rape” I found surprising and somewhat out of place. The action of rape in my opinion is very human oriented. I have never heard the word used towards anything else except someone taking advantage of another person sexually. I do understand the implications of the word regarding human’s actions towards the earth though. Many people do have a superior attitude towards nature, which is often characterized as the innocent, helpless victim of mankind’s abuse that is slowly withering away. Many people are negligent towards nature by taking all of its resources without any concern about the damage they are doing to the different spheres of the earth such as the biosphere, atmosphere, or hydrosphere. Plant’s use of the word rape does embody the poor management of nature by certain people. The humans do what they want without regard of consequences and as long as they get what they want they are satisfied. The use of the word rape also captures her resentment and anger towards those who abuse the earth. She describes the many injustices humans have done to earth such as the change of the perspective of earth. “The earth was seen to be alive, sensitive; it was considered unethical to do violence toward her.” (259) Also, Plant states that “the new image of mastery allowed clearing of forests and the damming and poisoning of rivers.(259) The same injustice, pain, and suffering women undergo when they are taken advantage of sexually, Plant believes the earth suffers too. I understand her point of view, but the use of the word rape to refer to human’s abuse of earth was surprising.

Plant, Judith. Home! A Bioregional Reader. Ch./Art: Revaluing Home: Feminism and Bioregionalism; Searching for Common Ground: Ecofeminism and Bioregionalism p.21-23, New Society Publishers 1990

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