The Environment, Bell Hooks, and Feminist Spirituality
The environment is constantly being sacrificed for food production, toxic dumps, wood distribution, military testing, and other things such as these. And as usual, the root lies in profit. The corporations can’t afford to be concerned with the future well being of the earth and it’s dwellers. Also, environmental pollution can be connected to racism and classism because it is the poor communities that are used for toxic dumps and prisons, and it’s the poor people who work in the factories that require having contact with harmful chemicals and technologies, and generally the poor communities consist of people of color.
Many of the readings were interesting, but the most influential for me was “Power, Authority, and Mystery” by Starhawk. She says that the earth is a living being, and she talked about environmental issues being connected with other issues like social justice, international issues, and women’s issues. The poor are the main people who are exposed to harmful chemicals, and they “cannot afford to buy bottled water, organic vegetables or pay for medical care." No matter if we keep harmful chemicals here in the U.S. or export them to other places, we are still harming the earth which means we are harming ourselves. Women die from toxins, become unable to have children, and are expected to care for the sick.
The solutions for these problems seem simple, but would definitely take many lifetimes to enact. First and foremost, peoples definition of success and progress and wealth need to be redefined into something other than tangible items or currency. And Starhawk says, “We must restore control over land and economic resources to those who have been disenfranchised”.
The article titled “Empowering Ourselves” is indeed very scary. These people were being poisoned, the teachers in the school hid the fact, the corporate-hired health officials tried to cover it up, and the doctors were misdiagnosing because of lack of knowledge. (Or maybe they did know but the patients medical plans didn’t cover that sort of treatment!) Why would anyone be so heartless to put a toxic dump next to an elementary school, make excuses, “little boys rupture their kidneys playing football, not because they are exposed to chemicals”, keep it in secrecy, “The staff was instructed not to tell the parents”, and down right lie about it while children are deathly ill? “We had foam in the community which they kept telling us was agricultural foam.” Why? I can’t comprehend this.
I have often heard the excuse that it would cost too much for cooperations to clean up after themselves, that the expenditure would lead to extensive layoffs, and would be detrimental to the economy of the corporation. In a way I could understand how this could be true and didn’t see a solution to the problem. I thought that it was either/or; one thing or the other. On page 297 it says that “An alliance...