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Metaphors for women.... - Input Junkie
May 20th, 2016
10:00 am


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Metaphors for women....

This reminds me of Michael Pollan's Second Nature, which points out that the typical metaphors for nature about about either virginity (untouched nature) or rape (a tremendous amount about industrialization-- for reasons which are unclear to me, the damage done to nature or people by war is typically not compared to rape*). Pollan suggests the relationship between nature is more reasonably viewed as a rather grumpy marriage, which seems reasonable to me.

*It seems to me that war is frequently left out of both moral and financial accounting. It's as though it's a separate magisterium. The situation is changing toward war being judged by the standards of ordinary life, but it certainly hasn't gone all the way.

Link thanks to andrewducker.

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(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC)
Given the moral and legal content of the classic ethic of chastity, there is a third metaphor in there: marriage to nature. The human beings who seize nature, take what they want, and go their way would be the rapist; the cultivator who settles down to occupy and improve nature and depend on its long-term fertility would be the spouse. In fact we do have that metaphor: "husbandry." Of course this still depends on women's sexuality being property, but then I don't have a problem with nature being property. It's the lack of property status that results in species being overexploited, through a straightforward prisoners' dilemma.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2016 04:14 pm (UTC)
Good point about husbandry.

Pollan's vision of marriage is one where both partners have agency, so there's a combination of cooperation and arguing.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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