Question 3

“The image of earth as passive and gentle receded. The ‘wrath and fury’ of nature, as woman, was the quality that now justified the new idea of ‘power over nature.’ With the new technology, man [sic] would be able to subdue her.”

This quote was particularly interesting to me because it was something that had not occurred to me, this historical shift in rationalizing the exploitation of nature. Judith Plant is arguing that because people stopped living in a close relation to the land they began exploiting it, and the prominent idea became that nature needed to be controlled, as well as a historical connection between views of women and nature.

However, while I agree there was this need to rationalize the exploitation of nature I have to argue that historically people feared nature, and so revered it, but as scientific knowledge, as well as technology became more readily available then people began to exploit it more, it wasn’t just the connection of living off the land, or the change to a market economy, but a lack of power humans had. Patriarchal society has always tried to find a way to have “control over life” (80)  in some form or other. Women are a prime example of that.

Rarely have women been revered despite the connection to nature they have had. I think the literal connection Plant makes between women and nature is really eye opening, however, most people do not think of “killing a mother or digging into her body for gold, or mutilating her,” (80) but those events happen, and have happened before a shift to an industrial/urban society. The subjugation of women has always existed in major civilizations, although some have given them more liberties. Women have more often than not been restricted to the home, and have been “in need” of being subdued from their natural ways. While nature is considered to possess feminine aspects, women themselves have never been held so highly. There is much more to their subjugation than a shift in the historical perception of nature, and the reasoning behind our destruction of it.

Basically, what I realized from the reading was that while we associate nature with women, we do not associate women with nature – we do not give them the importance we give nature, never have.

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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