Since January I’ve been working with an independent study student from Prescott College on a self-designed course called Breastfeeding and Ecofeminism. Her class ended this month and her final project was a collage making the connection between the world body and the female body and reflecting the idea that how we treat women and their bodies as a culture is mirrored by our global treatment of the planet (and, conversely, if we change how women’s bodies our treated, our treatment of the planet will also change). As she worked on her collage, she also made a series of digital collage images for use on social media (see above), using quotes from her reading for the course.
“Governments and commercial companies will ‘invest’ billions in expensive new technology: roads, bridges, airports, dams or power generation plants, ‘for the good of society’. They may even ‘invest’ in schools and hospitals, but the crucial primary investment in the emotional, physical and mental health of all humans, which breastfeeding and mothering provide, is invisible.”
—Gabrielle Palmer (The Politics of Breastfeeding, p. 333)
As my student remarked, this is an atrocity. AND, it is one that is largely “invisible” to the average person.
I also find this quote relevant from The Politics of Women’s Spirituality:
“Human life is valuable and sacred when it is the freely given gift of the Mother—through the human mother. To bear new life is a grave responsibility, requiring a deep commitment—one which no one can force on another. To coerce a woman by force or fear or guilt or law or economic pressure to bear an unwanted child is the height of immorality…If they were genuinely concerned with life, they would be protesting the spraying of our forests and fields with pesticides known to cause birth defects. They would be working to shut down nuclear power plants and dismantle nuclear weapons, to avert the threat of widespread genetic damage which may plague wanted children for generations to come…” (p. 420).
For one of her digital images, she chose one of my favorite quotes from Reweaving the World in an article that touches on birth as an ecofeminist issue:
Here are some photos of her final collage project:
“Knowledge serves no purpose if it is not spread around. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, an entrenched ignorance is kept in place through a culture created and maintained by commercial interests.” – Gabrielle Palmer, The Politics of Breastfeeding