“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, March 4, 2013

Treating Objects Like Women

An essay for a book on ecofeminism...finally the proofs are here and I'm checking them. Here is the opening paragraph: 

The rather provocative title comes from that great philosopher, The Dude (played by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski). In a drunken stupor The Dude tells a police officer that the pornographer Jack Treehorn “treats objects like women.” What if we took this observation seriously? In an essay on feminism, no less, in which such an inversion of “treating women like objects” seems not a little suspect? Yet this is indeed what I shall argue. What I shall be proposing here is an object-oriented feminist ecology. We shall of course need to revise what we mean by “object.” In this essay, the term “object” will not stand for objectification or reification. It is evident that in the latter sense, nonhumans are “treated like women” all the time (think of the gendering of cars and ships), and vice versa. What I propose is that ecocriticism revisit the supposed biological essentialism of French and 1970s American feminism. I shall be making a case for this form of feminism, which I will now call weird essentialism


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Greetings Timothy,
But most important what we mean by "women-[nature]"!!! I've been waiting for this!
So looking forward to your essay. The queer-echoes all over your work, but the " question" of woman seems always already left left dangling ...(or perhaps seemingly foreclosed ["deterritorialization" etc] which im sure you'll revisit and sound out accordingly / im-properly]......I daydream of a roundtable discussion with the following line-up:
Elizabeth Grosz, Timothy Morton, Mary C. Rawlinson, and Vandana Shiva.
Warm regards,Ana

Anonymous said...

This sounds great, Tim! Can you tell us the title of the collection it will be published in, so I can keep an eye out for it?