SevenQUEEN: The Ecofeminist Edition

Created by Pardes Lyons-Warren (Editor), Mazlyn Freier (Editorial Assistant), Carol Holan (Journalist), Rhetta Power (Journalist), and Mia Altenau (Graphic Designer)

“Our goal is to provide a relevant publication for you: the queer youth of America. We are inspired by the Riot Grrrl philosophy of craving ‘records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways’ (Bikini Kill 478). We know that there are a lot of
magazines targeted to teen girls, but we also know straight girls aren’t the only teens who want to read magazines. We’re here hoping to add something different to the mix, because we rarely felt spoken to or included.”
Pardes Lyons-Warren, Editor

Click here to read SevenQUEEN: The Ecofeminist Edition!

 

 

 

 

Animal Rights and Misogyny: The Problem with PETA Advertisements

original-print“In recent advertisements, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has released intensely grotesque images of women, hoping to stop animal cruelty. In the process of dehumanizing female figures in their ads, PETA contributes to the normalized misogyny of image-based advertising, and thereby fails to fulfill a humane approach to animal rights. By examining PETA’s advertisements through an ecofeminist lens, we show how the organization contradicts their own claim that animals deserve to be treated with respect, by implying that women do not deserve the same.”
—Katie Lawrie, Lauren Milliet, Anna Wermuth, and Willis Zetter (Block 4 2016)

“The severing of the female body in the print ad corresponds to what Jane Caputi calls ‘symbolic dismemberment’ in ‘The Pornography of Everyday Life.’ In this case, the dismemberment is more literal than symbolic: it plays on the “male sexual objectification, and possession unto death of both women and the Earth’s substances” (Caputi 379). The symbolic aim of the advertisement appears misguided and confused—while it associates the harm and mutilation of non-human animals with images of an abused and dismembered female body, it does so in a way that aims to shock and arouse the (presumably male) viewer rather than educate him.”

“To suggest that these women enjoy more pleasurable sexual encounters is one thing, but to source that pleasure from vegetarianism and the use of vegetables as sexual objects is another. Ultimately, the commercial fails to communicate anything legitimate about the relevant environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet. It only perpetuates hegemonic standards of sexuality, and emphasizes the marketability of the sexy female body. In doing so, PETA degrades women to a commodified status like that of animals, and thereby effectively dehumanizes them.”

new-print“Resisting PETA in the actual sphere of advertising might look like an ecofeminist-minded organization which campaigns for animal rights in a more just manner; therefore, we attempted to conceptualize such an entity. Even the abbreviation for our organization’s name, EFFWAR, is an allusion to anti-war and anti-violence principles adopted by feminists all over the world, and is a way for us to articulate a rejection of the problematic violence seen in PETA’s advertising.”

“In today’s culture, advertising companies feed off the new and rising consumerism, or an undeniable need to ‘keep up.’ Due to this social comparison and manifestation in the bigger, better, and faster products, advertising companies prey on the ethos of viewers instead of logos. Therefore, our new company targets the critical thinking of viewers by using a helpful and informational narrative to stand out in an advertising world dominated usually by the objectification of women in flashy, sped up images.”

Ecofeminism and the Dakota Access Pipeline

By Judy Fisher

no-daplThe Dakota Access Pipeline Project is an approved project proposed by Energy Transfer Partners to create a pipeline that would transport crude oil through North and South Dakota and Iowa. Despite the different advantages to the economy and local communities that this company would provide for the development and function of this pipeline, there has been a large amount of backlash from native communities. This is because the pipeline would break treaty boundaries, affect sacred grounds and the tribe’s main source of drinking water. This directly relates to the topic of radical feminism discussed by Vandana Shiva and Susan Hawthorne and a Gender, Justice, and Decolonization thesis proposed by Dory Nason. More specifically, according to Shiva, it relates to a subgroup of radical feminism called ecofeminism, which links the exploitation of women and of nature, and the concept of biopiracy, or the commercial use of natural resources. These concepts are integral to the analysis of this event because of its exploitation of nature for monetary and material gains.

The Energy Transfer Partners claim construction will help the economy and create local jobs for communities surrounding the pipeline. However, ecofeminist ideology, especially according to Hawthorne, supports the claim that indigenous communities are more likely to lose traditional knowledge and control over that knowledge when capitalistic agendas such as this come into play. Hence, not only could the tribe lose places of cultural, religious, and spiritual importance during the construction of the pipeline, but they could also lose their only source of drinkable water. Another promise made by the Energy Transfer Partners is that this pipeline will reduce the use of trucks and trains to transport oil which would be more cost efficient and “safe.” Safe is a vague term here, because any transport of oil creates the possibility of death, destruction, oil leakage/spills, land/water contamination, or a mixture of these things. This community would suffer and, in a sense, become poorer from this pipeline.

Native communities have lived in the areas that will be affected by the DAPL for many years, and know how to take care and protect those lands. However, according to ecofeminist theorists like Shiva, this capitalist company is likely not going to recognize Native knowledges, because they do not understand the interconnectedness of nature nor the connections between women’s lives, work, and knowledge with the creation of wealth. The native people understand the difference between exploitation and using natural resources for sustenance, while the Energy Transfer Partners wants to loot the land for profit without returning anything to the community.

Indigenous women have always fought on the front lines, defending tribal rights and protecting their families during conflict, and the DAPL protest is no different. The love that Indigenous women have for their families inspires other Indigenous people to resist, protest, teach, and hold allies accountable, according to Nason. This power that Indigenous women have is vital to the progression of Native movements like the DAPL protest, but it also catalyzes the oppression that these women face. The power and confidence wielded by Native women makes them the target of epidemic levels of violence, sexual assault, imprisonment, and cultural and political disempowerment, as Nason also points out. The parallel between man’s destruction of nature and exploitation of specifically Indigenous women is evident here. There is a clear relationship between the ways that companies want to exploit the earth for monetary gain and simultaneously disenfranchise Indigenous women for getting in the way.

According to the ideas proposed by Shiva, Hawthorne, and Nason, the construction of this pipeline would only be beneficial to the capitalistic organization and not to the Indigenous people. This company would gain a profit from marginalizing specifically Indigenous women and destroying their homes. Opposition to this pipeline would in turn be opposition to man’s exploitation of women and nature.

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The Monthly Rag: Block 3 2016

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GREEN QUEEN

Green Queen

Created by Sam Saccomanno (Editor), Anna Regan (Journalist), Susie Simmons (Journalist), and Ivy Wappler (Graphic Designer) during Block 6 2016

GREEN QUEEN is directed towards all people, not just those who identify as women. Historically, ecofeminism has been dominated by middle class white women, which has proven to limit its effectiveness. In our magazine, we aim to create a safe place for all people to read and learn about ecofeminism! Ecofeminism means different things to different people and it is not a unidirectional movement. We hope that GREEN QUEEN provides the necessary information to learn about ecofeminism in a non-gender restricting way and also provides the tools to define ecofeminism for yourself! We hope you enjoy reading our first issue of GREEN QUEEN as much as we enjoyed putting it together!”
—Sam Sage Saccomanno

Click here to read GREEN QUEEN!