Bodies Bodies Bodies

The topic of Abortion has always been a sensitive debate between many of people of the world.  typically there are three main views when looking at the discussion of abortion.  The first view is the “extreme conservative” , which typically is a belief that stems from the catholic church. This view considers human personhood beginning at the unicellular zygote level and to have an abortion is the equivalent to homicide.  The second held view is the “extreme liberal” side which believes that for most instances human personhood begins after birth.  The last view is the “moderate” side which argue that there is a morally relevant break between zygote to birth- which determines whether it is justified or not for an abortion.

Hawkins view on abortion is is one that looks at the global picture instead of individual places or societies.   Her view is justifying the need for abortion because of the environmental implications.  Most importantly looking at the growth of populations and seeing the lack of proper care and necessities and how that correlates to abortion/ birth and  the environment.   I was looking at the world clock and some of the numbers that it shows us around the world are quite shocking.  there are 841, 636,915 undernourished people in the world and about 802,634,558 people with no access to safe water sources.   That is around ten percent of the population.   This is something to consider when Hawkins discusses poverty, and environmental degradation.  The importance of abortion and population limitation is specifically important when looking at the third world.

Hawkins makes it clear that developing countries do not always have the resources or birth control to stabilize  the increasing numbers of births and less people dying.  She gives an example of  Japan and Korea’s birth rates and explained that without  abortion their birth rate would have been around 22% higher.  This is detrimental when looking at the long-term welfare of “developing” nations.


The over population in the world is rapidly growing and fellow ecofeminist’s must look at the environmental degradation of the planet and the long term effects of over population has. Without the resource of abortion the sustainability of our planet would be in a much worse position right now.

An article I had from a previous course discusses the UN and its sustainability initiatives and how abortion can help.  the title of the article is

“Reuse, Reduce, Reproductive Rights: How Abortion Can Help Save the Planet”

I think it is an interesting read when looking at abortion on the global scale.





Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access. (2019, July 25). Retrieved from

Bess, G. (2015, October 6). Reuse, Reduce, Reproductive Rights: How Abortion Can Help Save the Planet. Retrieved from

Joanna Erdman: The global abortion policies database-legal knowledge as a health intervention. (2017, November 13). Retrieved from


vegetarian ecofeminism

When looking at this picture, I stared silently for about five minutes just thinking about the relation it has to the topic of vegetarian ecofeminism. The first thing that stood out to me was the white human like figure cutting the ham. The figure looks like a man and this brought my mind to the “Meat Heads” article, “for many men, meat is an inarguable symbol of masculinity” (Elsenberg).   This picture highlights that quote to me because this man like figure is establishing his dominance over his “food”.  The second thing that thing that I focused on was the fact that the figure was blank and just white.  To me this represented the lack of empathy and compassion we as humans show other animals.  The knife in the back of the ham depicts the man asserting his dominance and oppression over this animal. Showing the disregard for the animals in life.  I think it is also no coincidence the proportions used in this image.  The figure is so small and the knife and ham are massive in comparison  I think this can mean many things, however to me personally I see it as we as humans are so minuscule and little in comparison to the rest of the animal life yet we control it because it feeds us literally and metaphorically.


When looking for gendered foods or eating practices I came across a site called Scroll.In,  

This article dives into the late  19th century and how dietary advice was the gateway to the gendered foods and practices that we know of today.  I found it interesting but also weird that corporate marketing and magazines  decided to market male and female tastes separately  starting in 1870s.  I think the biggest impact on the shift in marketing was the women entering the workforce.  some examples of “women foods” are yogurt, salad, and fruit.  “male foods” are things like chili, steak, and bacon.


In the Gaard article, the emphasis is made that all animals, pets, exotic, and farm-raised have absolutely no control over their lives.   ecofeminists draw linkages  between sexism and speciesism .   the article emphasizes this idea by using an anecdote about a pet bird named Bella that Gaard see at a movie store.  there is a huge quote that addresses the social control we use against other animals, choose what they consume, how they reproduce etc.  she compares that to “slavery” . My biggest take away from Gaard’s article is that we are so deeply woven into our negative interactions with other animals that we should  reduce animal cruelty and suffering as much as we can.

The Curtin article was more interesting to me and I would say I aligned more with his thought processes.  Curtin expresses that ecofeminist perceive non-human animals and human relations as an idea of cultures and what that means to cultures.  I think that his comparison of women and the oppression of non-human animals linking together helps envision the views ecofeminists have on the topic of animal suffering and vegetarianism.

I think American culture  in particular does  not acknowledge non-human animals as equal to humans.   when we eat animals they are cleaned and packaged and there is no connection other than a source of food. However we mistreat them and control their lives.  Just like both articles state there is a connection between oppression of women and animals.



history and background of gendering of food.

a photo album of horribly gendered marketing products involving food.






Cliff Walk, Newport RI

My place that represents me the most in this life is the ocean and beach front. I grew up in the City of Fall River my whole life, so I was use to the hustle and bustle and close together housing, little to no nature. So in the summers my family would make it a point to have multiple beach weekends.  although Newport was not very far going to the cliff walk and beaches would take me to another world that was full of peace and serenity.  This place was who I am.  The waves crashing back and forth like the curiosity of my thoughts and the air and freeness of the summer was like my desires for life. I wanted to relax and be free of city life. This place was what my life wanted.

When I take these pictures it is to capture the exact moment of beauty and peace in the world. It is as if I am my true authentic self and calm with nature. In Williams “Home Work”  the first sentence states ” Place +people = Politics” (pg3) the reading dives into Utah and the desert and one of the ways William ignites conversation if over stories.  I feel this to be a very powerful way to get across a point or mission.  Stories can evoke emotion of people and bring a closeness or togetherness that other methods can not.  For example my photos, at first you just see places that have water and light but it is the story that I express that brings to mind a place, a meaning. With story my still image now because more.

Kingsolver’s  theory that we as humans  “need wilderness”  is true in my eyes.  I think often we as people get distracted by life and the things around us. The cities, the technology and we get consumed by the artificial of life. but taking a moment to break and really be one of real life and nature is something we can all benefit from. Kingsolver says

”  I have come to depend on these places where I live and work. I’ve grown accustomed to looking up from the page and letting my eyes relax on a landscape upon which no human artifact intrudes.”

Just like William she states she has places where all her stories begin. getting away and embracing nature for what it is, can be freeing and a form of peace and tranquility that we often forget is available to us.  Coming from a city I do feel like it can be hard to form these connections with earth or build the bond of place but it is not impossible.  I think that anyone can truly experience place you just have to acknowledge the beauty of yourself and the world around you.

I actually think that  my personal experiences and history with being a city girl make me have deeper realizations of the beauty around me and my place.  When I go to the beaches or the cliff walks it is like I am breathing for the first time. It is always an experience that takes over me because I know I don’t get this lifestyle, or this moment often. My mind and body are overjoyed with sense of safety and relaxation that I believe I enjoy more than most people do.

Annotated Sources:

Kingsolver, Barbara. “Knowing Our Place.” Small Wonder. HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.

Kingsolver talks about  her experiences with encountering nature in order to describe how important it is to have a connection to nature and wildness. In the reading, she discusses what it is like to live surrounded by nature and the way in which she sees the value in building a connection with it.  Kingsolver examines nature as it impacts her writings and her daily life.

Williams, Terry Tempest. “Home Work.” Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert. Vintage Books, 2002.

Williams discusses  the struggles between citizens of Southern Utah and the government involvement regarding the protection of nature. Williams writes about the usage of wilderness for commercial development rather than allowing it to be the unregulated wilderness it is meant to be.




Ecofeminism What does it mean?

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Ecofeminism which can also be called ecological feminism.   Most ecofeminist principles are based on the following beliefs.

1.The building of Western industrial civilization in opposition to nature interacts dialectically with and reinforces the subjugation of women, because women are believed to be closer to nature. Therefore,ecofeministstake on the life-struggles of all of nature as our own.

2.Life on earth is an interconnected web, not a hierarchy. There is no natural hierarchy; human hierarchy is projected onto nature and then used to justify social domination. Therefore ,ecofeminist theory seeks to show the connections between all forms of domination, including the domination of nonhuman nature, and ecofeminist practice is necessarily anti-hierarchical.

  1. A healthy, balanced ecosystem, including human and nonhuman inhabitants, must maintain diversity. Ecologically, environmental simplification is as significant a problem as environmental pollution. Biological simplification, Le., the wiping out of whole species, corresponds to reducing human diversity into faceless workers, or to the homogenization of taste and culture . through mass consumer markets. Social lifeand natural life are literally simplified to the inorganic for the convenience of market society. Therefore we need a decentralized global movement that is founded on common interests yet celebrates diversity and opposes all forms of domination and violence. Potentially, ecofeminism is such a movement.


4. The survival of the species necessitates a renewed understanding of our relationship to nature, of our own bodily nature and of nonhuman nature around us; it necessitates a challenging of the nature-culture dualism and a corresponding radical restructuring of human society according to feminist and ecological principles. Adrienne Rich says, “When we. speak of transformation we speak more accurately out of the vision of a process which will leave neither surfaces nor depths unchanged, which enters society at the most essential level of the subjugation of women and nature by men…”(470-471) (The Ecology  of Feminist and the feminism ecology)

Hobgood-Oster Reading 

When looking at this reading we learn that ecofeminism emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a   multitude of feminist theory and environmental theories. It focuses on women and nature, the intersectionality and connection between the world and soul/ body.  It is important to understand that ecofeminism is multi-faceted and multi-located (2)  it challenges  systems rather than individuals.  the Hobgood-Oster discusses how patriarchal structures justify superiority  through dichotomy  hierarchies. their is a focus of binaries and duality. ” heaven/earth”, “mind/body” , male/female”, and “human/animal”. these establish oppressive structures continue to demonstrate their abusive behaviors, in turn reinforce these binaries ideas.  the conclusion of this reading is that ecofeminism continues to shift and grow, many different forms will surely appear and change as the definitions of environment and society change.

In the Warren  Reading she draws on right connections between woman and nature.  The connection that caught my eye was connection number 3. that is is the Empirical and Experiential Connection. she explains that data is shown that proves environmental destruction is often affecting women, children, racial minorities and the poor population.  some of the destruction is from radiation, pesticides and pollutants. When looking at this connection, I immediately thought of the environmental destruction towards indigenous women and children.   There is a Global Women’s Rights site called MADRE.  they collaborated with  Indigenous Environmental Network.  Here is a video that I feel goes with the third connection.




Hello Everyone,

My Name is Cassandra Oliveira. I am currently a senior at Umass Dartmouth and my major is Women and Gender Studies. For most of my Undergraduate time I worked for Child and Family services and I grew a strong passion for advocating and helping others. Now I work as a Site Director for a youth before and after school program. This ecofeminism course is very intriguing to me because I believe that feminist concerns and ecological and environmental concerns are intersected and I want to be enlighten to all the ways that they are. I am excited to expand my knowledge of women and gender studies theory.

The blog that immediately grabbed my attention was from ADIOS BARBIE it is called

It is a very quick read that just hooked you in from the very first  sentence.  This blog does a very good job at keeping neutrality and not pushing strongly in one opinion or the other on a topic that could be sensitive to some people which I enjoy deeply. I think this blog is slightly similar to the approach I will take in my blog. I will focus a lot on intersectionality and how many feminist issues and environmental issues are a circle of reoccurring actions and reactions to things.  One way that may blog may differ is that I will not necessarily be as personal or have many anecdotes about myself unless I see it fit to the topic of discussion.

I have grown up in Massachusetts most of my life living in both Boston and Fall River and one of the largest environmental issues in the state has to do with transportation.  “Transportation is responsible for 40% of MA’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the single biggest source in Massachusetts.”   One of the largest activists organization for improving this issue is Transportation for Massachusetts. It is a coalition of seventy or more organizations trying to improve transportation issues in the state.  The site for this group has an abundance of informative ideas and innovations and quick videos on how to be smarter in regards to transportation  and issues like traffic.   Here is a video that I thought was direct and helpful.

Changing environmental issues is not an overnight fix but with small strides to a very large global issues things like cheapening massdot, or changing traffic patterns make a difference in the grand scheme of things.   I am looking forward to seeing the ideas that these organizations come up with to combat climate change issues.