Reply To: Mon 31 March: Science History, Ecology and the Idea of Nature

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 31 March: Science History, Ecology and the Idea of Nature Reply To: Mon 31 March: Science History, Ecology and the Idea of Nature

Author Replies # Posted on April 1, 2014 at 21:57

Response to Kristina Berglund, by Yaqi Fu

I saw the concept of eco-feminism is of your main interest and your reflection mostly spread around it. To me, it’s also a complete new idea from Merchant definition of eco-feminism but unfortunately I did not reflect upon it so much. It’s good to hear you comments on it.

I totally agree with your judgment that eco-feminism brings the light of a gender perspective in environmental debates. The new perspective and such new methods will thus help a lot in discuss of environmental issues. It seems that you tend to suppose the rising of eco-feminism has based on the similar condition of nature and women that they are both oppressed by the force of men. Besides the oppression, I think the similarity between woman and nature can be also seen from nurturing mother perspective as Merchant seemed to depict in the ancient time part that nature nurtures human and mother their children.

In your discussion about the relationship between industrialism and the status of women, what I think this would be a complicated issue and I agree with you that in many ways, women’s situation has improved after the industrialism. On another side, it’s obvious the environment was getting worse during the mechanistic age. Maybe Merchant made a not proper link between the degradation of environment with women’s status. But it would be hard to deny that the morals like women’s obedience to men in patriarchal order was in a sense strengthened in the early modern time as showed in many moral books and more. It would be a question to choose and judge, either based on the writing materials to believe women have suffered in the industrial age, or to deduce from the condition of women today that women’s situation experienced improvement during industrial age. Whatever, it by no means can be drawn to a simple conclusion on the issue of women status during scientific age.

Finally, the connection between woman and nature is a good inspiration to our environmental history. Thanks for you sharing this idea and understanding more of the eco-feminism is what I get from your thoughtful reflection.