The Relationship Between Women and Nature Analytical Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

The Relationship Between Women and Nature
Discusses how the common association made between women and nature may be culturally constructed.
# 120279 | 1,614 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper argues that the common connections made between the female and the natural in Western society, literature, and science may be the result of Western cultural constructions and social treatments rather than there being an innate connection between the two. The author breaks down why women and nature seem to be logically associated and discusses possible explanations for this commonly made association.

The "Natural" Connection: Cultural Ideas
Women and Nature: Cultural Mistreatments
Positive Connections Through Cultural Oppressions

From the Paper:

" In order to understand the true connection between women and nature, we must first look at the perceived connection. Throughout the history of Western society and thinking, women have been assigned characteristics in opposition to men: "women love beauty, men love truth; women are passive, men are active; women are emotional, men are rational" (Brandt). Similarly, nature has been assigned characteristics in opposition to culture: nature is passive, culture is active; nature is the absence of man, culture is the presence of man; nature is the product of instinct, culture is the product of reason. Everywhere that the "male is associated with culture, the female seems closer to nature" (Ortner 44).
"Within these oppositional setups, women and nature have frequently been assigned the same characteristics. The reasons for assigning women and nature (and, respectively, men and culture) with some of the same characteristics seem to be biological. Reproduction and maternity seem to be at the heart of the association between women and nature. Because women give birth, a greater percentage of their lives is consumed by "natural processes" than men, who are physically and often socially less involved than women in childbirth and rearing (Ortner 43). Childbirth, then, makes women "closer" to nature than men (Ortner 42). Meanwhile, men have historically socially been free from many of the burdens of reproduction, providing them "the opportunity to assert ... creativity externally, 'artificially,' through the medium of technology" and to create culture (Ortner 43)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bingham, Sallie. "A Woman's Land." Literature and the Environment. Eds. Lorraine Anderson, Scott Slovic, and John P. O'Grady. Milwaukee: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1999. 424-427.
  • Brandt, Galina A. "Women's Nature as a Problem." Russian Social Science Review. December 1999: 73-95. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Marywood University Library, Scranton, PA. 3 March 2006 <>.
  • Feenstra, Gail. "Ecology and Vegetarian Considerations." UC Sustainable Agriculture and Research Program. 1993. University of California. 3 March 2006 <>.
  • Griffin, Susan. Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. New York: Harper and Row, 1978.
  • Heilman, Madeline E. "Description and Prescription: How Gender Stereotypes Prevent Women's Ascent Up the Organizational Ladder." Journal of Social Issues. December 2001: 657-675. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Marywood University Library, Scranton, PA. 3 March 2006<>.

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