Main : ecology, feminism, India, Spinifex Feminist Classic
215 x 137 mm
A SPINIFEX FEMINIST CLASSIC
A new release of Vandana Shiva’s classic with a new introduction. Shiva links the violation of nature with the violation and marginalisation of women in the Third World by examining the position of women in relation to nature – the forests, the food chain and water supplies. She shows how science, technology and politics, along with the workings of the economy itself, are inherently exploitative. Every area of human activity marginalises and burdens both women and nature.
Shiva suggests that there is only one path to survival and liberation for nature, women and men: the ecological path of harmony, sustainability and diversity. She explores the unique place of women in the environment of India in particular, both as its saviours and as victims of maldevelopment.
Her analysis is an innovative statement of the challenge that women in ecology movements are creating and she shows how their efforts constitute a non-violent and humanly inclusive alternative to the dominant paradigm of contemporary scientific and development thought.
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Laced with references to Hindu deities, hard-nosed research into Indian land use and bold attacks on Western science ... Staying Alive has the go of a big personality behind it.Observer
Shiva’s powerful narratives allow us to hold a piece of food in our hands ... lets us trace backwards the story of the land it was grown on, the cultural and economic toll on the ecosystem and people, the sacrifice endured so that it might be made, the full weight of environmental devastation present in its existence.Dalia Sapon-Shevin, www.greens.org
Cogently written, empirically sensitive, and marked by passion and conviction.Rajni Kothari
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Gendered Politics of Food and the Challenge of Staying Alive
1 Development, Ecology and Women 1
Development as a new project of western patriarchy 1
Maldevelopment as the death of the feminine principle 5
Two kinds of growth, two kinds of productivity 6
Two kinds of poverty 10
2 Science, Nature and Gender 14
Modern science as patriarchy’s project 15
The violence of reductionism 21
Profits, reductionism and violence 23
Two kinds of facts 26
Two kinds of rationality 29
Modern science and ecological crises 31
The natural-unnatural divide 34
3 Women in Nature 38
Nature as the feminine principle 38
Nature and women as producers of life 42
Gender ideology vs. the recovery of the feminine principle 48
4 Women in the Forest 55
Aranyani: the forest as the feminine principle 55
Colonialism and the evolution of masculinist forestry 61
The women of Chipko 67
Afforestation projects and reductionism 77
The approaching tragedy of the commons 83
The colonial heritage: commons as ‘wasteland’ 85
Mannu Rakshana Loota: saving the soil, protecting the commons 86
Breeding ‘super-trees’: the ultimate reductionism 89
Recovering diversity, recovering the commons 93
5 Women in the Food Chain 96
Green revolution: a western paradigm 96
The displacement of women from food production 99
Miracle seeds: breeding out the feminine principle 120
The myth of the miracle seeds 122
The myth of high yields and food self-sufficiency 128
From the green revolution to biotechnology 135
The death of soils 140
Soil-building strategies of traditional agriculture 140
Green revolution: a recipe for desertification 143
Diseases of micro-nutrient deficiency and toxicity 145
Waterlogged and saline deserts 146
Groundwater mining and the creation of dry deserts 151
Respecting the rights of the soil 151
Pesticides: poisoning the web of life 153
The farce of ‘improved’ varieties 154
Fostering pests with pesticides 156
Non-violent pest control: learning from nature, women and peasants 159
The violence of the white revolution 165
Hybridisation as genetic violence 169
Fragmentation of nature: integration of markets 173
6 Women and the Vanishing Waters 179
The disappearing source 179
Dams as violence to the river 184
Drilling deep and draining dry: the groundwater famine 195
Women: the water experts 207
7 Terra Mater: Reclaiming the Feminine Principle 219
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