ecofeminist primers


A pal emailed to ask me for some ecofeminist book recommendations, so I thought I’d toss them on the blog. Ecofeminism was my main squeeze in college, but I haven’t been keeping up with the new awesome books I know have come out in the nine years since I was a coed. So here are my picks, what are yours?

-Anything by Carol Adams. First you must RUN to read the Sexual Politics of Meat and/or The Pornography of Meat. I love them about equally, but SPOM is the classic. After that:

-Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development by Vandana Shiva (yeah, my BFF.)

-The Death of Nature by Carolyn Merchant—a classic. A downer. Great.

-Woman and Nature by Susan Griffin—awesome. Another total classic.

-Ecofeminism by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva—a great reader.

-Reweaving the World—another great reader.

-Women Pioneers for the Environment by Mary Joy Breton (I can’t remember this book, but it’s next to everyone else on my little ecofeminist shelf, right next to my college senior thesis on the radical ecofeminist politics of the poetry of Adrienne Rich)

-Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx, and the Postmodern by Ariel Salleh—I vaguely think there might be better books of hers out there, but this is the only one that appears to be visible right now.

-Ecofeminist Literary Criticism—Awesome! If you’re into that kind of thing.

-If you want something totally wild, settle down with some Mary Daly. Gyn/Ecology, yes!! It’s crazy! Oh, I adore that Mary Daly.


8 Responses to “ecofeminist primers”

  1. Kara

    Apologies…I’m wearing my publisher hat. But what kind of publisher would I be if I weren’t yakking about my authors 24/7?

    Your beloved Carol Adams has a new website, and the first inklings of a blog:

    And, though pattrice jones’ book, “Aftershock,” isn’t exactly theory, it gets you there anyway. For a taste, see her blog:

    • lagusta

      Thanks Kara! For some reason your comments went to my spam filter, sorry about that!

  2. Fred McGriff

    Mary Daly said there is only one religion in the world: patriarchy. Mmmmhmm, right on.

    Also, Derrick Jensen is not an ecofeminist per se but he writes a lot about how misogyny and ecological hyper-exploitation are inextricably linked.
    Lagusta, you ought to give some of his work a read! I would recommend A Language Older Than Words. Super readable, but then again you read The New Yorker so then everything must super readable.

    • lagusta

      HA! Trust me, TNY isn’t as highbrow as people think. Sometimes it’s downright stupid, even! I’ve been meaning to read D.J. for years & years. Recently it seems to me that he’s jumped on the idiotic Lierre Keith The Vegetarian Myth bandwagon (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re lucky. You could read this post from Vegans of Color to learn more, or, even better, you could poke out your own eyes), so now my ardor for him has cooled a bit, but I’d still like to read his stuff and decide first hand what his deal is. If he’s one of those primitivist dudes who espouse that paleodiet or some crap like that, I’m not going to touch it though—I just got into a fight with one of those freaks the other day, and it’s not worth it.

      The whole primitivism thing annoys me. I just looked Derrick Jensen up on Wikipedia, and it reported that he calls himself an “anarcho-primitivist.” I sure loves me some anarchism, but I don’t think it’s incompatible with everything I love about what we call “civilization”–The New Yorker and art films and free jazz and whatnot. If I actually read his books instead of his Wikipedia page I would perhaps change my tune, but I am idealistic enough to think we can heal the so badly broken parts of our world without completely dismantling its lovelinesses. Who knows, though?

      • Sara

        I would highly recommend his first two books, A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make-Believe. There are a few non-vegan-friendly parts that are easy to avoid and don’t interfere with the main ideas. The first book starts off beautifully with nature imagery (going off the idea of the title) and goes into how so many voices are silenced in this destructive culture. In the second one, he actually calls the FBI (I think) and asks why rape isn’t considered a hate crime, when it’s done to women because they are women (though some men are raped; he was). There are enough golden parts in there to be worth it IMO. I actually got into eco-feminism through him.

        Also, here’s a great, short essay by him on vivisection: I love it!

  3. ruby

    Regarding Carol J Adams, while I love The Sexual Politics of Meat, I have actually found that Neither Man Nor Beast is an easier introduction for folks unfamiliar with her work or ecofeminism in general.

    Also, in visiting her website I was delighted to find she’s written on Jane Austen – two of my favorite things together! Gotta get it.


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