Connect: Body, Health, Environment with Consumption, Globalization, and Immigration.
One example:Synthetic estrogens in plastics, hormones in meat and milk have been implicated two fold: 1) they are suspected of indirectly stimulating sexual maturity by making girls fatter (which reduces age of Menarche) and 2) they are suspected of directly stimulating sexual development. Concerns about the role of food are reinforced by the fact that we see differences across race and class as we know that access to whole, natural foods is limited among the poor, working class, and communities of color. This has negative long term health effects but near term social and psychological health. Early developers have lower “self-esteem,” poorer body image, higher rates of teen pregnancy, less time between births (and probably many other effects that are immeasurable).
In fact it is a woman who is often credited with launching the environmental movement.
as quoted in Kirk & Okazawa-Rey p. 505
The most common way of thinking about environmentAs we’ve learned by now, rights based approaches are important but must be continually fought as rights can always be rolled back.
Note the eugenical overtones to concerns about “overpopulation”Bioregionalism thinks it's not that simple, deep ecology doesn't do anything good for marginalize people,
WGST 202 Day 18 Environment
WOMEN AND ENVIRONMENT
•Why is the environment a part of the
•How do environmental problems
affect women’s bodies and women’s
Environment & Women’s Health
• Breast cancer
• 1 in 8 women will be
diagnosed with breast
• Early menarche
• Average age of
Menarche (onset of
first menstrual period)
• Rates of early onset (7-
8 yr/old) higher in
communities of color
1830 1920 1980 2006
Average age of
Gendered & Environment
• Gendered Division of
• Collecting wood to burn
• Finding clean water
• Nurse ill children/elders
• Work in off-shore
production zones with
Lots of Women Activists
• Rachel Carson
• Wangari Maathai
• Erin Brokovich
• Vandana Shiva
• Lady Bird Johnson
• Sandra Steingraber
• Many local activists
Rachel Carson - Silent Spring
• Drew attention to the dangers of pesticides
• Wants us to see human and non-human animals
as part of a single living system (Ecosystem).
• Documented the “silencing” effect of killing
insects on food chain (birds, small
mammals, predators, humans).
• The book created the contemporary
• She died of breast cancer in 1964.
•What are Steingraber’s main
• “…pregnant women are urged to drink no alcohol. … no
one knows if an occasional glass of wine is harmful.
Nevertheless, caution dictates … “In ignorance, abstain.”
Yet the same principle is not applied to nitrates in tap
• “Why is there no public conversation about
environmental threats to pregnancy? …. Why does
abstinence in the face of uncertain apply only to
individual behavior? Why doesn’t it apply equally to
industry or agriculture?”
• Steingraber, 516-517
“When an activity raises threats of harm to human
health or the environment, precautionary
measures should be taken even if some cause
and effect relationships are not fully established
scientifically. In this context the proponent of an
activity, rather than the public, should bear the
burden of proof.”
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