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Mapping Women's Resistance to Social and Ecological Degradation


Mapping Women's Resistance to Social and Ecological Degradation

Osprey Orielle Lake

We stand at a crossroads. To one side, the path of ‘business-as-usual’ - environmental devastation, social inequality, and a world hurtling towards climate chaos on a scale not seen for tens of thousands of years. To the other side, a glimmer of hope - a vision for a healthy world founded on justice for people and planet.


Like other enlightened women, I've been saying this very thing for years here (in this forum) and elsewhere. Perhaps if it comes from an alternative voice, those who have opposed its wisdom will open their eyes to it instead:

"For long-lasting change, it is essential that we recognize, understand, and transform the dominant social constructs that lie at the root of such gender inequality as well as the destruction of the Earth. We need to look at systemic change and challenge old paradigms of patriarchy, colonization, imperialism, and capitalism – which are based in great part on power over women and the planet. Violence against the Earth is directly linked to violence against women. It is long past time to end these old constructs and welcome a new worldview of gender equity and respect and harmony with Nature."

I also hope that the Pope will see these connections. At least he "gets it" about global warming and DOES refer to the natural world as Mother Nature (coming from the South American tradition that honors Pacha Mama).

Thank you, Ms. Osprey Orielle Lake for the powerful words.

I wish the current Pope could recognize this:

"The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) was founded in response to the knowledge that climate justice and gender justice are inseparable, and that women’s leadership is critical to climate solutions."


"Women’s participation in decision-making has direct impact on climate change policy and action. Research involving 130 countries demonstrated that countries with larger numbers of female parliamentary representation are more likely to ratify international environmental treaties."

The above statement goes out to all the apologists for patriarchal capitalism who typically prop up the handful of women who traded in their souls for positions of power within the paradigm built on the basis of a dominator culture (and its related system of rewards and punishments). In attempts to refute the fact that decision making alters when equal numbers of women are represented, they instead prop up Maggie Thatcher, Condi & Susan Rice, Samantha Powers and Hillary as if the character of a few tokens somehow speaks for the billions with NO VOICE.

Such persons can't stand the idea that gender matters and that human beings have two distinctly different brain hemispheres, just as DNA is a composite of equal genetic sums taken from both parents. The insistence that the male voice speaks for both is possibly the oldest arrogance on this planet... and the biggest lie. Counterbalance requires equal input from both Yin and Yang. THAT is the language that life itself is writ in!

Just as Gandhi, when asked what he thought about Western CIVIL-ization answered that IT would be a good idea, it is impossible to understand how differently national and international policy would run if there were more women, persons of color, and Indigenous individuals at key decision-making tables.

The idea that white males still run it all is hardly a parody. In just about every photo-op, the character of those making decisions proves the cliché.


Can we have ecologic progress without economic democracy?


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REAL men are equals with their women, if that is who they choose.


Yep... I agree with all this .... now, let's get down to brass tacks... first of all, we should not be making makeup or hair die or nail polish anymore... all of that creates Co2... to produce... changing the paradigm means changing the expectation that women have to wear a mask in order to be acceptable to society... Naomi Klein presents with her probably died hair and make up... along with many other women... I myself... although use a minimal amount of make up... very minimal...and not even every day.... should not feel the need... Gray hair should be respected....Also, women should not have to feel the need to buy clothes every freakin minute... I buy all of my clothes and shoes from second hand stores... that is all I can afford... so, I think there is plenty of clothing around so that much less needs to be produced... buying much less often would help to mitigate co2....
Then we have to find a a way to stop the dependency to eat out so much... We rarely eat out... and we need to stop buying prepared foods... I make 95 % of my food from scratch.. i do buy spaghetti and pastas... but most of my food is not prepared.. some is from my garden..
AND... I'll have to say that if one wants to make a sustainable home... then SOMEONE has to be in it... a lot... may it be man or woman... a sustainable home is not very doable if everyone is gone 10 hours a day 5 days a week, then out for hours at a time on the week end... I propose that the only way out of climate change is to DEMAND A SHUT DOWN OF ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS AROUND THE WORLD... NOW... before Peak oil really begins to take it's toll ... and that demand comes from the knowledge that it takes approx 50 years to shut down a nuke plant so we cannot afford to run out of oil...meaning what we do get should be used for shutting these down and for medical care .. and that's about it... no more professional sports ..... and we bring down industrial civilization ... to a slow grind... we are IN A SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION RIGHT NOW... so, why keep something around that is not working.... and killing us at the same time... there are ways to do this... PROACITVELY ... So that people can survive... but those at the top... will not take that kind of action... methinks that they would like billions to disappear...


Are you familiar with Naomi Wolf's work--The Beauty Myth?

You seem to put the onus on females for wearing make-up without showing any understanding of the roles played by mass media, the music industry, and Hollywood in sexing up the female image starting with the Barbie Doll and "progressing" into the whorish depictions of females in all of these venues.

Films like "Zero Dark Thirty" try to make it cool for women to act as callous warriors and obedient members of the military state while films like "Fifty Shades of Grey" push the female-as-submissive AS sexual turn-on.

I have offered video links that are VERY disturbing in proving the degree to which media is teaching young girls to identify with grossly over-sexualized images of themselves and these include make-up, artificial thinness, factory-style breasts, etc.

You cannot talk about what females do without discussing the way that patriarchal culture defines them. I did a really radical work on this subject during my college years and plan to publish it NOW. Its title is: Mannequintessence.

it shows how the male world portrays the female and holds up to her a mirror of distortions. Since social ostracism is painful, and most people want to belong to a family, group, or marital partnership, MOST go along with "the program" ... distortions and all.

Just as the libertarians who occupy C.D.'s forums push the individual meme--that each person should drive less (if at all), get off the grid, and so forth... the real power comes from the social messages telegraphed 24/7.

And by the way, I like to buy my clothes at consignment shops. Not long ago I got a Ralph Lauren dress with the $275 price tag ON IT, for less than $40.


Ecological progress? We just need to stop the REGRESS.


But, I do address the "culture male of male domination or patriarchy in our society, in many of my posts... I mentioned above, that "women should not feel that they have to...."... so, I should have been clearer about what would make women FEEL the need to mask themselves. .... You are right, our lives are bombarded with this message, but, then again, there are plenty of powerful women who should come to understand their importance in putting a stop to this message... but, if they are running a company that produces this "stuff" well, then they will probably not be turning their backs on it any time soon. I listened to a woman, (thought it sounded like Vandana Shiva, but it was someone else.) on David Barsamian's program a couple of weeks ago.... the women from the west, were trying to "liberate" the women in India and Africa with helping them to be "beautiful" with all this make up.... I do believe that there is so much brain washing in this direction that it will take collapse before we ever see the real faces of most women.


There's no accounting for biology's call. The mating dance is happening whether we honestly acknowledge it or not.

I have a little restaurant on the Gulf that I dine at once in a while to just be in that expanse to clear my thoughts, and I know all the waitresses. They know that I know a good deal about astrology so they confide in me and ask me questions about their new boyfriends, and such.

One waitress who is as cute as a button confided that her boyfriend read "50 Shades of Grey" and that he had all these ropes and likes to tie her up and I got the feeling that she was going along just to have this guy as her boyfriend.

So many girls, many who never had the solid love of a father or both parents, long for that love and they become very vulnerable to a man's affections and attention. To secure both, they will compromise themselves.

I've seen women who must weigh close to three hundred pounds squeezing all that weight into high heeled shoes. And some of those heels? Looking at sidewalk cracks one knows it's just a matter of time before some unfortunate female twists her ankle or worse.

Fashion--as an industry--enslaves females (and now it also impacts all those Metro males, too). Make-up, high heels, and tossing perfectly fine clothing because it's not in style the following year? It's the very parody of excess.

But don't forget, women in earlier times had to wear corsets that likely damaged their internal organs. And how about chastity belts?

Until there is true and full equality and a society with more depth than appearances/packaging... a lot of women will embrace the ritualistic tortures imposed by the fashion world in order to win a mate. For many, it's a biological necessity.


I understand what you are saying, but I am not sure that anything will change as long as we are in capitalism's death grip. The ability of the rich and powerful to make money from mass production and mass media advertising is a cancer on the human race. The psycho path has seemed to gain the upper hand in this culture.
As for Astrology, if you'll remember, I have studied also... since 1977. Any thoughts on Pluto in Aquarius ...if we make it that far?... I say, it is either the "Rebirth of the Human Race"... in terms of understanding our true place on this planet and in the universe... to live in harmony with the rest of the living organisms here... or, it will be the DEATH OF THE HUMAN RACE.... because we have not learned to live in harmony with the rest of the living organisms.


How is that a way out of climate change?


Exactly. And look at the length of the article and the length of all the comments. Not a word about ending agribusiness, the source of more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions. Deafening silence on the biggest issue facing all human beings in the 21st century. Everyone beats about the bush, talking about stuff that is secondary. I don't disagree with any of her arguments. I simply point out that this article ignores the 500 pound gorilla in the room. So typical of articles like this. Humanity seems to be sound asleep.


Please see my reply to the comment made by Trog. I understand and applaud your position on make up and things like that, but focusing on relatively minor issues and ignoring the major issue is not a good thing. The large environmental groups have failed in their mission which is to educate the public about the number one cause of climate change. Instead, they are happy to focus everyone's attention on secondary issues.


As you know, violence against the earth includes violence against animals. Please see my reply to The Initiate and to Trog. Thank you!


If Yoko Ono did not write the lyrics for Imagine, I suspect she strongly influenced them. The lyrics come from the East, not the West. No religion; that's Zen.


Oh, I wrote that at work, under stress.... I meant, the way out of extinction... we need to make sure we have enough energy, ff's to shut down all the nuclear power plants and for medical care, and to make renewables...education... there is not need for professional sports, casinos NASCAR.... ETC ... and many other frivolous things... and activities... think about it. Without enough energy to shut them down, since it takes about 40 years or more, we will be in trouble eventually, if we use up what ff's we have now on stupid stuff......


OMG!!! AAAAAhhhhh!!!! ... I just want to scream when people do not understand what I am getting at.... I'm not JUST TALKING ABOUT MAKE UP ... for crying out loud.... LOOK we are way behind the 8 ball on slowing/stopping climate change..... so, gee what to do?... Wow, let's make a whole lot of renewable equipment and get rid of fossil fuels... Okay, that's a very good plan, but, it's one that should have been put to use about three decades ago.... We can still do it... but, since it is so late in the game and we are kissing the ass of abrupt climate change ( or we are in it so the point is moot).... but, we have to find ways to reduce emissions by a gazillion right away.... how to do that... get people to understand that PURCHASING PRODUCTS THAT ARE MANUFACTURED THERE BY PRODUCING CO2 ON A MASSIVE SCALE... then we might be able to have a fighting chance... you see, not many people are running out and purchasing electric cars or renewables... Imean, come on, the scaling up we have to do is phenomenal.... and we are leaving it up to the free market for people to decide, "Oh, hum, gee maybe I'll buy some solar panels for my house today... or not"...Do you see rich people running out and doing this?... not really... they are too concerned with their next glass of champagne or buying their second yacht.... How is convincing people to not buy frivolous items produced on a mass scale because it is part of the problem, not a good idea.... we needs all hands on deck and all ideas we can come up with..