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Week 8 Lecture Notes (along with Powerpoint Notes)

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Victoria Tahmasebi

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WEEK 8: Ecofeminism
Human Nature
Not separate from the natural environment
Ecology: the relationship between organisms and their environment
Economic & social formations create their own specific relationship with nature
Industrial capitalist societies:
- Ongoing conversion of Nature into industrial products
- Domination the nature
Human nature is not separate from the natural environment that nourishes us, sustains us
Ecology (the relationship between organisms and their environment) creates human
Every economic and social formation creates its own specific relationship with nature;
(e.g.) hunting-gathering societies had a different relationship with nature than modern
societies have with nature
Hunting-gathering societies characteristics: they had a peaceful co-existence with the
natural environment; therefore, because they had a peaceful balanced ecology, the
individuals in these societies were less dominating and less aggressive; their nature is
more in-tune with the natural cycle of life
The modern, capitalistic societies: these societies are based on the ongoing conversion of
nature into industrial products; for this society to survive, it needs to dominate the
nature; the system’s survival is based on dominating nature, and in the process, to
destroy it; we must expect systematic violence against nature; this violence is not
accidental it is the structural necessity of industrial capitalist societies; for eco-
feminists, we humans pay a big price for this; there are two very specific harms that eco-
feminists say about this: in this process, (1) we turn into competitive and aggressive
human beings; and (2) we destroy the nature that sustains us
These traits alienate us
Human Nature
Since 17th century:
- Nature as the “other”
- Violence against the nature
- Violence: not accidental
- Artificial dualism of nature/culture
Human beings in industrial capitalist societies= alienated, individualistic, aggressive and
The conflict between men and women come after the violence and conflict between
human and nature
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