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Response to Sarah’s reflection by Kristina Berglund
Sarah, I agree that a lot of the contents of Merchant’s ideas are not new for us in the global environmental history program but as the quote ironically enough goes “repetition is the mother of knowledge” I however found it quite good to be reminded about these ideas once again. I also agree with you that Merchant provided a relevant input in the field of history of science and ideas.
I too have some trouble in making entirely sense of eco-feminism, I hoover between thinking it is an absolutely relevant and important contribution to being quite skeptical about it, and especially the idea of women’s intrinsic affinity towards ‘nature’. However, at the same time I find it interesting to engage in the discussion about the research arguing that more women in decision-making positions can have positive effects, not only for the obvious sake of equality but also for the possibility that it might be beneficial for sustainable and more thoughtful decisions in for example climate change related industries that today are quite conspicuously dominated by men. Either way, I find it worth exploring and also to open up for a wider range of both women and men from different backgrounds to be heard. As you write, a matriarchal society does certainly not necessarily have to be something to strive for, but an important mission remains to find a balance that is not tilting towards either side.
Reply To: Mon 31 March: Science History, Ecology and the Idea of Nature
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