Freshman Seminar: Writing Ecology

Just another UMW weblog


Filed under: Uncategorized April 24, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

In general Moraga has a negative view of the earth as she knows it. She looks around the U.S. Southwest and sees AIDS, drugs, murder, poverty, and environmental contamination. She sees her people being ignored and dumped on and used. She sees the forest disappearing, kids getting high to escape their lives, a mothers breast milk contaminated by poisoned water, and the destruction of her Indigenous and mestizo peoples. Because of all the suffering she sees everyday and all of the hurt done to her people in the past, she does not have a very good view of America. Moraga believes that the U.S. believes in profit over people, exploiting cheap labor and natural resources and not contributing to the betterment of the environment. She even goes as far to say, “If the Soviet Union could dissolve, why can’t the U.S.” This was a very shocking statement for me to read since a United America has been so instilled into me. Then again in today’s history classes the chicano culture is rarely ever studied


One connection made between gender and the environment is when Moraga says that the earth is female. She says that the earth has been raped and exploited for her resources, rendered inert, passive, and speechless. Being that Moraga and Anzaldua were both Chicana women, they could identify with the submissive oppression that they compare Madre Tierra to. In their culture men were always in charge and women were treated more like slaves.


Moraga also compares land to everything in everyday life. As Cronon would say, she found nature in the city. To her land was the factories, water, housing, and “for women, lesbians, ,and gay men, land is that physical mass called our bodies.” This last comparison really strikes me as interesting because I would not normally think of my very body as being “land.”  However, Ybarra goes on to explain that someone who describes land as being all of these necessities of life is often a person who has been deprived those very same necessities. It makes sense that Moraga would say that only women, lesbians, and gay men’s bodies were land because she believes they are the people that are deprived of a sense of self.

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