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Ecofeminism Paperback – October 15, 1993

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books (October 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856491560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856491563
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, a German social scientist from the feminist movement and an Indian physicist from the ecology movement, are ideally suited to author a book of such broad intellectual, geographic, and political scope. while there are some notable differences in their approaches, they are crystal clear their adversaries as patriarchal capitalism, which they hold responsible for the colonization of developing countries, women, and nature.' - Karen T Litfin, University of Washington 'Read independently of the collection, many of the essays have innovative things to say to the political movements involved in fighting large scale development, nuclear energy, violence against women, wars and environmental destruction. Shiva's discussion of the development establishment's misnomer of poverty, her discussion of the biotechnology and the impact of GATT on third world women and informative political critique, and Mies on eco-tourism, German women's response to Chernobyl, and her critique of body as property and self-determination in the context of surrogacy, are enlivening additions to important debates.' - Wendy Harcourt, Development Journal 'In view of the post-modern fashion for dismantling all generalizations, the views propounded in Mies' and Shiva's Ecofeminism make refreshing reading. They show a commendable readiness to confront hypocrisy, challenge the intellectual heritage of the European Enlightenment, and breathe spiritual concerns into debates on gender and the environment. Technology development could benefit from their plea that progress through the control of nature must be replaced by cooperation, mutual care, and love.' - Emma Crewe, Appropriate Technology Journal 'Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies offer an all-embracing vision. They show the interconnectedness of these problems and trace them to their source: how our modern world has been relating to Nature since the time of the Enlightenment right up to the biotechnology of today; how superiority to and dominance over Nature has ensured the violence inseparable from our civilisation. [...] For all those, and certainly for humanists, who are wrestling with the ethical, sexist and racist issues raised by invasive reproductive gene technology, Maria Mies' chapters on these developments are a must: she subjects them to the most thorough and thoughtful investigation based on what I see as sound humanist as well as feminist philosophy.' - Gwen Marsh, New Humanist 'Dual authorship at its best, these complementary perspectives of an Indian physical scientist and a German social scientist combine to bring feminist scruples to bear on the environment, new reproductive technologies and masculinist thinking.' - WATERwheel '[Ecofeminism] presents a very focused, searing indictment of development strategies practiced by the North on the South.' - Anne Stratham, Feminist Collections Endorsements for the new edition: 'This book provides an extraordinarily productive framework for entire generations of scholars and activists' Michael Hardt, co-author of the Empire trilogy 'Ecofeminism is about the similarity of society's relationship with nature and women. Mies and Shiva were the first to show the sad parallels in nearly all spheres of life, in the North as well as in the South. Their book belongs to the classical texts of a feminism that developed a more profound critique of modernity as "capitalist patriarchy" than Marxism, ecoscience and gender studies had done. Twenty years later the global spread of neoliberalism has resulted in the "death of nature", even of Planet Earth, and the death of women in many ways, leading to the emergence of new social movements worldwide.' Professor Dr. Claudia von Werlhof, University of Innsbruck, Austria 'This book is a light in the dark age of social and ecological crises. Not only does it interconnect the destructive tendencies of the capitalist patriarchal global politics of homogenization, fragmentation and colonization, but it also offers the subsistence perspective as a form of resistance and liberation within the limits of nature.' Ana Isla, Department of Sociology and the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies, Brock University 'This book is prescient: its time is now. It helps us to understand why women are taking the lead in the struggle to resist global forces endangering our survival and to forge a new society. The courage, radicalism and lucidity of Mies and Shiva twenty years ago still guide us on the path ahead.' Gustavo Esteva, grassroots activist and author 'The re-release of Ecofeminism after twenty years is auspicious and long overdue. Converging from widely divergent perspectives, Mies and Shiva achieved a profound conceptual synthesis: the rising of women, everywhere, to protect life from the capitalist patriarchal World System. Overturning all, like good cultivators, they prepare the earth for renewal.' Joel Kovel, author of 'The Enemy of Nature' --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Vandana Shiva is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author. She has received honors around the world for her work.
Maria Mies is a Professor of Sociology in Cologne, Germany, and author of several feminist books.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Ecofeminism" by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva is a collection of articles dealing with various aspects of ecofeminism, a relatively new and somewhat controversial philosophy. Ecofeminism isn't a simple combination of Green and feminist ideas. Rather, it's a very specific current, which often runs counter to more regular feminism.

The ecofeminists reject the Enlightenment, the bourgeois revolutions and modern individualism. They also attack modern science for its materialism and reductionism. Women are seen as closer to Nature, and ecofeminists therefore see a connection between patriarchal oppression of women and destruction of the environment. In terms of greenness, ecofeminists could be considered "dark greens" or "fundis", since they seem to reject the entire modern civilization in favour of a society based on subsistence agriculture. Strangely for dark greens, however, they don't consider overpopulation to be a problem.

While ecofeminism is regarded as left-wing (no doubt because of its anti-hierarchic perspective), its anti-Enlightenment, anti-science, communitarian and "organismic" perspective does have obvious affinities with a certain kind of conservative philosophies. And while Mies and Shiva nominally defend the right of abortion, they actually seem to vacillate on the issue. It would seem that they really oppose both abortion and modern contraception (including condoms) in favour of coitus interruptus. This is a very extreme position, reminiscent of certain religious groups. Curiously, there is a mostly-religious group in the United States called Feminists for Life (FFL) which explicitly opposes abortion and is neutral on contraception, no doubt in order to recruit Catholics.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you call youself a feminist, you need to read this book! It will change the way you think about western feminists and the relationships between nature, women, and capitalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By StacyG on July 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a slew of information on feminism up to the early 1990's. Both Mies and Shiva write collectively in the beginning, and then each write individual contributions sorted by chapter. I am a fan of Shiva, and thoroughly enjoy her writing-style. It is informative and very easy to read. She gets her point across well. As for Mies, while extremely informative, her contributions are more accusatory in tone. Her descriptive wording is a bit rough around-the-edges, which, in my opinion, makes her chapters a bit less interesting to read. She lost my attention quite a few times within the first few paragraphs of her chapters. This could also be because I'm extremely interested in the topics Shiva discusses (food security, ecological damage, their direct affectation towards women across the globe) as opposed to those Mies discusses (no war, no nukes, and some first-world womens' issues), so my lack of attention may be a result of my own bias. Regardless, both authors write well and have no difficulty providing excellent information in their chapters.
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