Ma(R)King Essence-Ecofeminism and Embodiment

Ethics and the Environment 6 (2):31-58 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper argues that ecofeminism can consolidate its tradition of elucidating the interconnections between different oppressions by expanding upon its philosophy of the body. By looking at the ways in which particular bodies become 'marked', and so devalued, ecofeminism can point towards various unexpected and creative coalitions. Here I concentrate especially upon two intertwined sets of markings, namely those related to aesthetic discourses and those related to discourses of Western reason. I argue that both of these ultimately revolve around notions of control of the body as being constitutive of Western ideas of human identity. Moreover, I want to affirm that those ideas which encourage us to devalue certain bodies stem from discourses related to nature and animality. Through considering how ecofeminism might re-think embodiment, I argue for an alternative conception which stresses the inherent vulnerability and agency of human embodiment.

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