Praxis Part 2

Hey, back for one final post! Overall, I feel that my Praxis results went pretty good! I’m typing this all out after I just gave Yummy a haircut and he looks as good as ever. One thing I’ve unfortunately learned is that when we go on walks he usually picks up a few ticks on the walk back home. So I decided a proper haircut was in order to make it easier to check him after when finish our journey for the day. Aside from that, just pulling out my headphones and listening to the sounds of nature everyday was certainly a nice change of pace. My parents have actually encouraged me by deciding to do a lot of work in the backyard this week. Years ago we used to garden on the edge of our property towards the woods, and they’ve done a lot of busywork here and there to keep themselves busy and sane during this pandemic. I’ve joined them too, and our backyard actually looks nice now! On the vegan side of things, it was interesting to say the least! I’ve learned about a lot of traditional Filipino foods from my step mother, and I think without her help my meals this week would have over been very bland. I also found out how much I missed the taste of rice with boiled carrots and mashed potatoes, so that was nice to revisit something I’d eat all the time when I was younger.

Perhaps the vegan side of things would have been more successful if I had set up a basic menu of things I planned to eat everyday. I saw that others going vegan for their Praxis Project had planned their entire week in advance, and I think the next time I plan to do something like this I’ll do the same. It certainly has given me a kind of relief to think about all of the animals I’ve “saved” this week just by avoiding eating my usual french toast or cereal every morning.  I’m very satisfied with the amount of time I’ve spent outside. I initially had not expected my family to spend so much time alongside me so that definitely helped me out.


Okay psyche. One more post for today since I still wanted to do this even though I’m late as usual.

I want to do two main things for my personal Praxis goals. The thing is, I’ve been really cooped up in my room since this whole corona virus thing started. It’s not only kinda suffocating, but I feel it’s taken a toll on my mental health as well. So my main plan is to spend more time outside to appreciate what I have. Another goal I’ve set for myself is to go vegan for a week. This is more of a side goal for myself, and I personally feel that this one won’t be super hard in the midst of this ongoing crisis. My family is already being super selective with our food, and I’ve found myself surviving just fine living off of peanut butter and toast and water. In all seriousness, this is something I’ve talked about with my parents and my step mom seems to be interested to join me. I’m already excited thinking of all the rice were going to eat this week…

As I mentioned in my first post on this site, I have a little Pomeranian named Yummy. The one good thing about the virus is that I’ve spent every single day hanging out with my four-legged best friend. I’ve taken him on a walk here and there, but I know that he’s getting a little bored being cooped up inside too. Not only would more walks be a good excuse to spend some time with him, but it would be good exercise for the both of us. Aside from my puppy, I can see myself sitting out on my back porch with a pen and paper and just spending my afternoons drawing. When I’m cooped up in my room, I’m usually drawing something, and this quarantine has given me more time to do what I feel I’m the best at. I’ve drawn outside plenty, and its actually a lot of fun for me. It’s literally a breath of fresh air, and besides, I need to get better at drawing environments anyways. It’s a different feeling to be listening to the swaying of trees and chirping of birds rather than listening to music off of your phone. Maybe if I can get a good view I’ll try to draw any birds I see! Regardless, Yummy will probably be hanging outside with me. And as for my Vegan eating, I’ll probably take note of every meal I eat this week and record how many animals I am hypothetically saving.

April 20

Me again. I’m gonna try to get the rest of these blogs and responses out tomorrow night so a weight will be lifted off of my shoulders. Fortunately for me, I’m very familiar with the idea of intersectionality, so hopefully this post will make more sense than the others. Before I even knew the proper term for it, I was aware of the idea of different prejudices and levels or oppression intertwining with one another. For disenfranchised people, there is a number of different oppressions that may effect them throughout their everyday life such as if they are able bodied, a person of color, a woman, man, or something in between. In terms of ecofeminism, I feel that the idea of intersectionality is very prevalent. Most of our discussions have not just linked back to the idea of being a woman, but the idea of being a woman of color living in an entirely separate part of the world that we may not be familiar with. In particular, ecofeminists tend to focus on intersectionality being a web rather than a structured hierarchy. What this means is that rather than weighing one oppression over the other, all of them are on the same level and are simply mixed and connected with one another.

In the reading “Intersectionality and the Changing Face of Feminism”, a very important and interesting point is brought up by Mari J. Matsuda. “When I see something that looks racist, I ask, ‘Where is the patriarchy in this?’ When I see something that looks sexist, I ask, ‘Where is the heterosexism in this?’” and “When I see something that looks homophobic, I ask, ‘Where are the class interests in this?’” Despite two different forms of oppression not initially looking to be interwoven or connected, we can find that there is actually more that meets the eye. There is usually a common oppressor or oppressors that prevents those being marginalized from being treated equally and fairly. It is also very important for one to put them self in this mindset to begin with as not everything is black and white.

It’s honestly a very backwards notion to separate different kinds of women from feminism in the first place. The article “The Necessity of Black Women’s Standpoint and Intersectionality in Environmental Movements” brings up very important points when discussing black women in particular and the ecofeminist movement. It states, “there also exists critique that there is a lack of recognition for black women’s work combating environmental racism within the environmental justice movement. In addition, the environmental justice movement does not specifically address intersections of environmental racism with sex.” Like I said, the idea of leaving out a group of women is so bizarre to me. I am a firm believer in ideas such as, if your version of feminism excludes women of color than it is not truly feminism. It is taking steps backwards to leave a certain group of women out of the picture. And i feel that this couldn’t be more true when it comes to the experiences of black women. I feel that black women and other women of color have SO much to add to the ecofeminist discussion. This is not a white-only issue and in fact I feel that the struggles faced by women of color provide even better examples of the oppression of women and its connection to the environment. Many provleged white women do not want to acknowlegde the provlege they have over other women of color and its a sad fact. I’ve seen the term “white feminism” thrown around here and there to describe this exclusion of women of color from feminist ideas and discussions. Women of color in third world countries are victims of so much subjugation when it comes to environmental oppression. We’ve come to discuss the many hardships such as having your own land taken away, having to travels miles and miles just to obtain clean drinking water, and explored many movements that are lead by women of color. Intersectionality is crucially important with not just ecofeminism, but feminism as a whole.

Okay, I usually think images like these are a bit tacky, but I actually enjoy this one and feel that it fits with the ideas explored in this post.


April 19

Hey! Sorry for the lack of any updates here, staying in all day has had a toll on my mental health but that’s no excuse to shirk work!

Before taking this class I never would have found myself describing nature as being “oppressed”. I certainly thought that were were abusing and having devastating affects on the environment around us, but the word oppressed never really came to mind. It does, however, make sense when you look at the effect humanity has had on the planet we call home. It is even more evident when keeping in mind disenfranchised groups of people, such as indigenous people and the connection that they have with their land.

If I remember correctly, we’ve highlighted the Chipko movement in a previous class. When many people hear the word “treehugger”, a common mental image associated would be hippies clasping trees in order to save their local forest from the big bad corporations. This is exactly the same as the Chipko movement took place in India during the 70’s and involved villagers literally embracing trees in order to protect them from being cut down and used for wood. This was an organized resistance to protect local forests from being torn down, and it was actually very successful. Although a very simple concept, literally putting oneself between nature and any harm that threatens it became an iconic form of activism when it comes to protecting the environment. And this idea of putting yourself in the line of fire can be seen in many forms of environmental activism.

The Standing Rock video was the most difficult to watch, but I feel that it is the strongest example of activism as well as the connection to indigenous women and the land they are raised on. Police violence has always been something difficult to watch and a fact that many choose to ignore or turn a blind eye too, but it is very important that we open our eyes to the cold hard truth. Just looking at the line of white policeman standing as a literal barrier between these indigenous woman and their burial grounds is something so indescribably heartbreaking. Americans would like to push images like this into the dark but its so important to bring these issues into the light as it is something so horrendous to witness. America has never fully atoned for their horrific crimes during colonization and to prevent these women from protecting the land that their ancestors had called home is disgusting and heartbreaking.

It’s something that a lot of white people cannot really come to terms with, being dislocated from your own land. It’s something unfathomable in this day and age in all honesty. But for various native American tribes their land is being utilized for economic reasons such as mining, oil, or lumber. Taking this land is not only physically detaching them from their homes, but erasing generations upon generations of history and traditions. The 2015 Gendered Impact series touches upon these topics and gives more insight into some of the other ideas explored in these articles and readings. Another heartbreaking fact is the number of indigenous people that were murdered and other examples of violence against these people. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but these people are suffering and dying trying to protect their land. This subjugation of these people has not stopped and greedy greedy people will continue to steal the homes of these people in order to fill their wallets. And it’s not just their homes their taking; their ripping away all of the history and traditions of people who have done nothing to deserve it. It’s a sad reality to come to terms with.

Protesters march in Salt Lake City in support of the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The diverse group of over 100 held a rally at the Gallivan Center, then marched half a block to the Wells Fargo Center building. Wells Fargo is one of several major banks financing the pipeline. (Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

March 25 – 2

Hey again, this time, were talking about state environmentalism and how it relates to ecofeminism. In Kari Norgaard and Richard York’s article Gender Equality and State Envoronmentalism, They bring up many good points about the relationship between women in power and the environment. Their abstract mentions that “the findings indicate that nations with higher proportions of women in Parliament are more prone to ratify environmental treaties than are other nations”  and I find this completely believable.

As women progressively gain more and more positions of power over time, its important to consider what we are truly fighting for as women. Of course, there is the BASIC fundamental ideas of women being treated better in the workplace and getting rid on injustices that place women below men on a regular basis, but then there is also the wider array of issues that effect our everyday life.

Before all of this coronavirus stuff happened, I actually visited Sweden for the first time a week or two ago. It’s a long story about how I got back in one piece but anyways! Sweden is none for being super liberal and open minded, and I found that not only my friend Agnes (who I was visiting) was always environmentally conscious, but nearly everyone around us was always thinking carefully about the environment around them. When we went to a fast food place I was surprised that Agnes wasn’t the only one who used renewable and recyclable straws made out of paper, but that was the norm. It wasn’t just that, they even have all of their trash carefully organized into different compartments and mainly rely on trains rather than each having their own car to get from place to place. And that’s because a lot of Sweden is very forward thinking and progressive. They are very open minded about things such as the lgbt+ community and things of that nature, so I suppose it doesnt really surprise me that they care so much about the environment.

An interesting point made was how “In an unequal society, the impacts of
environmental degradation fall disproportionately on the least powerful. Gendered
divisions of labor, land, and other resources have meant that women have been
uniquely and disproportionately affected by ecological destruction” I find this true. When thinking about Sweden, it gets me thinking about other parts of the world where people are not as lucky to have as much freedom and tolerance. As stated in Norgaard’s and  York’s article, “gender is implicated in many facets of the state including a gendered
division of labor within state apparatus, gendered structures of power, and the interplay between social movements and state policies” (Norgaard)

When looking for two outside sources the tackle this subject, I found this article about intersectionality, ecofeminism, and state government. Some food for thought is the idea of pinkwashing, or putting the breast cancer ribbon on items that contain chemicals that lead to cancer. This was definitely interesting to think about, considering how absurd putting the ribbon on something that may give you breast cancer is!

Ecofeminism: Environmental Justice with a Gender and Intersectional Lens

This article was also an intersting find as there is a whole website dedicated to further discussing this topic. I’ll have a to take a closer look afterwards. There’s different tabs that cover all sorts of issues and ecofeminist’s various responses to it, and I’m interested to learn more.

March 24 – 1

This is a tricky subject this time, but nevertheless let’s get started. Abortion has been a very hot topic for the longest time. I personally believe that it is every woman’s right to get an abortion. I’ll be really frank it say that it irritates me when old male politicians are usually the ones deciding whether it right nor not or women to have an abortion. It’s not their right to govern themselves over a woman’s body, especially if that woman is underage or has gotten pregnancy due to a sexual assault. That really irks me. The right to an abortion is fundamental to women’s equality, not just our privacy,” (Valenti) and it really grinds my gears when people who can’t get pregnant try to decide these things for us. Okay okay, besides that, in the realm of ecofeminism, abortion kind of takes a different form. Or rather, the argument around abortion is rather different, as it considers the big impact of a human life.

Hawkins does indeed bring up a lot of interesting points in her essay such as the big idea of the human population. Living our day to day lives the majority of people, including me, often do not think about the much larger impact we have on those around us simply by existing. Every person alive takes up a space that another potential person could use.Every single person alive eats and uses up resources that another potential person could use. When thinking like thus, the impact that one small family could have an a street, their neighborhood, or their whole town is something to really delve deeper and contemplate. For us in a first world country, we often don’t have to worry about such things as resources are nearly always readily available (let’s just ignore all the ruckus that’s been going on these past few months) and there’s always space for a new family to move in as landscapers and retailers of houses will simply just chop away at another patch of land to make room for another new home. Let’s consider that a single family considered having three kids. And through the years, their own children decided on having three kids each. Now, imagine that each family on a single street or in a single neighborhood decided to follow this same formula. If you would even be generous and say that each family would only have two kids, it’s easy to see that this would eventually get out of hand if we bring the scale larger and larger.

This also comes to mind when thinking about species other than our very own, which Hawkins also brought attention to in her article. It is to no one’s surprise that the human population has been increasing exponentially in the past few decades, but its also very crucial to note the number of animal populations that have been decreasing in these very same years. All these spaces that we take up used to belong to them, and they’re finding it harder and harder to live amongst us with the growing population.

Hawkin’s point is one usually not considered when discussing abortion rights. It certainly does make for an interesting one and completely makes sense when thinking of it from an ecofeminist perspective. Upon reading that some ecofeminists describe abortion as a “masculine response to unwanted pregnancy” I sort of sighed to myself. I’m glad to hear that Hawkins does not think the same and states that it is more progressive for a woman to have that own power over her own body, and furthermore have control over the environment in this sense.Her ending statement that abortion is the route deserving the title of prolife left a lasting impression on me. I do not really think that it should be called that myself but it certainly got me thinking about the bigger implications of abortion and the rest of the environment.

March 3

Hey again. I think the subject for this week is another interesting one. I’ve taken the time to sit and ponder the subject. As with a lot of things in this class, things don’t really start to connect until I think long and hard about the relationships they have with women and their position in society. Looking up images to share in my blog post really helped me to get a better understanding of what were trying to tackle here. Now, these first three images share a lot of the same imagery.

Firstly, they depict pigs that appear to be more curvaceous and seductive. However we’re all very familiar that the term “pig” is derogatory and I’m sure we’ve seen it thrown around as an insult plenty of times. The dissonance between the connotation we have of pigs and the enticing manner in which they’re drawn is very bizarre. I think feminizing these animal mascots in a way is meant to make them seem more desirable, whether it be in a campy or I would hope that a man wouldn’t be more likely to grab a package of hot dogs with a sexy pig on the label. But hey, whatever.

And that’s another thing; the target audience for images such as these is usually men. We’ve already discussed last week how men are heavily associated with meats. And by depicting this meat as feminine and attainable it furthers this idea that women are meant to be consumed by men. Not literally, of course. More like, they’re at the mercy or disposal of men. You know what I mean.

In Carol Adam’s book The Pornography of Meat, she states “meat is like pornography: before it was someone’s fun, it was someone’s life.” Not only is this a very thought provoking quote, but I have found that it is very true the more I looked into this. It seems like there are more and more reasons why women are depicted in these ways and it all leads back to the idea that men would find it enticing or at least eye-catching and provoking; similarly to pornography. I’m not gonna bother going into pornography cause I’d imagine this blog entry would become tedious to read after a while. That’s a subject for another day.

Okay, this picture on the other hand is on another level. I can’t really describe what I’m feeling when I see this image. I’ve looked through a lot of PETA’s adverts and posters akin to this and this one was probably the one of the worst in my opinion. The image of a black women caged up and painted in animal print is very uncomfortable to say the least. And I feel that this is an underlying issue with a lot of the comparisons between women and animals; its very dehumanizing. I also find that it has a lot of the issues that Carol Adam states in her writing; it depicts people of color as being more animalistic or similar to savages.

I understand that the point of this is to be outlandish and shocking. I suppose in a way, it does work to get its idea across successfully if it is trying to grab attention from the shock value. But I’ve got a lot of problems with this. It is very dehumanizing and obviously meant to be raunchy and enticing. It’s not as if they got a meek and miserable looking women to play this role and exemplify the effects of animal cruelty. No, they chose an alluring bombshell to stand in the spotlight. Everything from the pose she’s in to the look on her face is meant to give a clear message. Again, it concerns me a little to think that there are people who would probably think twice about circuses because of this picture. One would think it would take more than an image of a woman on all fours captioned “beaten, lonely, and abused” to make them think twice about the circus industry and the mistreatment of its wild animals.

I’m rambling a bit so I’ll leave it at that. I hadn’t realized just how prevalent this issue really was!

Vegetarian Feminism

It’s been a while! Sorry about the absence, life has been kicking my ass lately! Anyways, feminism time. I usually find that feminism and vegetarianism have gone hand in hand in the past. I know that a lot of people who consider themselves an advocate for women’s rights also label themselves as an advocate for animal rights. I understand that a small portion of vegans have given the entire population of them the impression that they are hard-headed and stubborn people. I’m sure we’ve all seen various videos recommended to us on our social media feeds of vegans freaking out or something along the lines of that. And as someone who isn’t a vegan, I certainly wouldn’t like having ideologies about what I should or should not eat shoved down my throat, but I am aware that it’s fortunately only a vocal minority who act this way. Overall, I feel that becoming vegan is admirable and I know it’s not something easy at all to do. I do happen to admire people who do watch what they eat and think so carefully about what they consume on a day to day basis. It’s crucial to be conscious about our wildlife and livestock, and I personally do not think I could ever be capable of being a vegan myself.

Onto the image provided for this week, at first glance, this image seems rather simple. The way I interpret it, the small satutere of the figure could symbolize how much we rely on the meat industry in order to survive. Basically what I’m saying is that I’m connecting this to capitalism. I myself don’t really perceive this figure as male or female but that’s just me.

When it comes to gender and foods, I usually associate foods such as sweets or greens with women. Meatier foods I find myself linking with men. This includes the kinds of food made during barbecues or cookouts. I think a lot of this comes from the benefits of eating these kinds of foods. There is the entire concept of the ongoing diet culture that has consumed a large portion of our society. I feel like this has had a large influence on the kinds of foods associated with gender. Many dieting methods are primarily focused on girls, and there is such oppressive expectation on women to fit a certain body type and size, and because of this a lot of dietary and nutritious foods are associated with women. Or at least, that’s how I feel about the matter. This also applies to men as well, although with men the primary focus is on muscle build up rather than losing weight. This has its own handful of problems on men in society and we could certainly do without these standards and expectations. My father is a little old fashioned and usually is reluctant to eat “more feminine” foods such as smoothies or different kinds of pastries such as cinnamon buns. Unless smoothies are specifically meant for exercise and muscle building, my dad will often stray away from these kinds of foods. It’s rather interesting to think about but again, my dad’s a bit old fashioned.

Whilst reading Zoe Eisenberg’s article MeatHeads, I found that a lot of the ideas I already have were reinforced. A quote that stood out to me was, “it’s argued that the connection between meat and masculinity goes far beyond typical sexist advertising as it articulates the hidden connections between meat eating and patriarchy.” Advertising is a whole different story and brings another level of complexity into the equation. It’s been a while since I’ve watched actual T.V. but when thinking about advertisements relating to food I know there are a lot of advertisements catered to cookouts and barbecues. I’ve also seen a lot of beer and alcohol commercials as well. I don’t recall seeing many food commercials for women other than typical Valentine’s Day chocolate advertisements. But these adverts have certainly swayed us to think a certain way. Or atleast, they’re trying to.

Overall, this was another interesting subject to delve into! I’m looking forward to what you guys think too!

Feb 4

Readings such as these really highlight the differences in lifestyle between western societies and non western ones. Here in the west, we often take things for granted. We do not have to immediately worry about a source of water such as the women in third world countries. Areas being deforested and cut away for industries and places of agriculture is commonplace here and not nearly as jarring as it is in other parts of the world. Here, it is rather hard for most of us to imagine going without a proper source of drinking water for days on end. Most of us have the luxury of being in the vicinity of 1 or more vending machines at any given time, negating any worry of having to go thirsty. But for many disenfranchised people this is simply not the case. This goes for food and shelter as well. If there is a long and heavy drought that plagues a certain area, people will go on without food and water for a long time. Here, we have ways of dealing with issues that arise from the lack of rainfall. We have supermarkets and local farms that are already supplied with water. We do not have to worry nearly as much as individuals do in other parts of the world. In Non western societies, the idea of ecofeminism becomes much more literal. Women are intertwined with the environment for survival and because they have to work side by side with nature in order to survive. When discussing the ideas of ecofeminism it is nearly essential to think of it from a non western perspective. It is very easy to think of it in terms of spirituality but when it comes to everyday survival it is much more important.

Out of the two perspectives we have learned and read about, I personally found that Agarwal’s was more engaging. I found that she has done a lot more in comparison. Whereas Warren and Hobgood-Oster relatively keep their ideas small, Agarwal seems to have bigger things in mind. She has done so much for her local environment as well as the environments of other societies, and you have to admire all of the work she has done and the progress she has made. Something that had stuck with me is when she described the Chipko movement. During an interview she explained how “peasant women were coming out and embracing trees to prevent logging. My father had been a forester and I had grown up on those hills. I had seen forests and streams disappear. I jumped into this movement and started to work with the peasant women.” This seems like such a noble cause; not only is she fighting to protect the environment but she is fighting for women born into poverty and women with no money to their names. I do not want to undermine the efforts of Hobgood-Oster and Warren, but in my opinion Agarwal has done much more for both the sake of women and the environment. The mental image alone of a poor women clinging to a tree is a perfect representation of what ecofeminism is. We need to bring attention to those who are treated unjustly and those who do not have all of the same luxuries we do.

Well, that was a bit wordier than last week’s post but the topic this week made my mind go off a bit. This class has definitely made me think a lot harder about these sorts of things.

Jan 27

Admittedly looking in the subject of ecofeminism, I was not very familiar at all with this idea of joining together gender and the environment. I’ve always enjoyed discussing gender politics however so this was definitely something that I was interested to further look into. Looking further into the subject of ecofeminism, I eventually stumbled upon photographs of the Montreal Botanical Garden. I’m absolutely enamored with this depiction of mother nature. I believe it’s absolutely breathtaking. Thinking about it further and considering Karen Warren’s eight connections between women and nature, I have found that both women and nature are beautiful and something to be appreciated. I personally enjoy intertwining subjects such as this with artwork. I consider myself a passionate artist, and I honestly have always enjoyed different depictions of mother nature in various pictures of artwork. I remember fondly having an assignment in high school where we were instructed to design an illustration that would appear on the side of a bus. We were also told to have an eco-friendly message and bring awareness about how susceptible the environment is and how we should take care of it. There were a wide variety of ways to tackle this, but I chose to draw my own depiction of mother nature. I wish I had kept these drawing and sketches from middle school, but unfortunately they have become buried underneath all of my other school assignments and classwork. I remember looking across the web at different iterations of mother nature and finding many of them beautiful.

Hobgood-Oster describes that “ecofeminism asserts that all forms of oppression are connected and that structures of oppression must be addressed in their totality. Oppression of the natural world and of women by patriarchal power structures must be examined together or neither can be confronted fully.” Having taken a gender studies class in the past and thoroughly studying intersectionality, I fully agree with this statement. When people are marginalized, it is usually due to elaborate systems of oppression that are working together side by side. I find that this can be true about our relationship with the environment as well. We have found many different ways to exploit the Earth of its natural resources and have taken plenty of time to be careless with how we preserve our ecosystem and species found in the wild.

I’m very interested to delve into more about this subject, and I’m looking forward into learning much more. I’m always interested in learning other perspectives especially when it comes to gender studies.