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Non-Committal Answer (Or, I will not be moved! I refuse!! I....all right, fine. I answer.)

Consider Terry Tempest Williams’ discussion with Sandy Lopez regarding the relationship of women and the land. Williams and her friend discuss how the both the bodies of women and the body of the earth have been mined, how men subjugate women and nature because they’ve lost intimacy with themselves. What do you make of the conversation between Willams and Lopez? Do you agree that there’s a connection between the way women and the land are treated? Do you think that a culture of domination is part of the problem when it comes to environmental abuses?


Well, I did not see this as an issue when I first read it at all. It was simply one person speaking their opinion to another, nothing more. I did not see the big fuss that was raised in class, and to be quite frank, it took me by surprise that people had such strong opinions on it. Now that I have been forced to think about this along lines that were drawn that I simply did not acknowledge, I have to answer along such lines accordingly.

Yes, people have brought up that the connection between the land and women in regards to how men treat them are similar. I agree. But not all men treat women like trash, and not all men treat the earth like trash either. Some do. Some truly try to treat them both well, and have angelic intentions, but fail miserably anyways. Some excel. Who knows, really. As for being "mined" and "subjugated"? I don't feel like either has been done to me, especially in the negative light that men have been placed for this passage.

I have never encountered said fabled dominating man. I believe said men to be arrogant, and arrogance never got far in my book. If they think they know so much, they can just walk their sorry little behinds out of my life. Seeing as I have never met any that have gotten this bad, I believe most people to be a little more flexible than that. At least with humans. With the environment, I believe that until relatively recently (hmm...geologically recent), humans have tried to grip the land with an iron will. We are now seeing the results. We err, we repeat, we learn. I think we (some of us) are learning finally that iron will snaps in half, it does not bend. We need to be more flexible and loosen our grasp in our approach to the earth, because if we aren't, it'll probably blow up in our faces from all the pressure.

Comments

I definately enjoyed reading your blog. You took an interesting stance, and I agreed with you in that I found the comments made between the girls in the car to have not a lot of significance. It didn't seem to be a huge issue, and I feel we may have dissected a bit too much in class. And you are right, not all men are pigs who treat women badly. I know plenty of them who are great! :)

Christina, I totally agree that I never thought about this until we started to discuss the reading in class. Yes there are some men on bothsides of the playing field when it comes down the the treatment of the earth and women. However, are there not any women who contribute to the destruction of the earth? Is it only men? I feel that Tempest and her friends opinions were definately off in terms of targeting men as the cause of the decline in our environment. Like you said, humans in general need to loosen their grip on the world...

You ended up making many of the same points as I did, so that means I liked it. You make it clear that dominating men are an isolated and rare occurance. When it comes to domination of nature you speak of the entire population in general, because this sort of domination really is part of our culture. There is no reason to single out men in this area. Terry Tempest Williams and Sandy Lopez are terribly generalizing in their conversation.

The iron will/flexibility/pressure analogy was excellent.