“…perhaps the most extraordinary nonfiction book to have emerged from the matrix of female consciousness.”—Adrienne Rich
Susan Griffin reveals the connection between feminism and ecology. Among the first to explore this subject, she probes the patterns of thought and behavior that have led to the destruction of nature, the oppression of women and the diminishment of both in the Western imagination. She elucidates the association of women with matter in European culture in the work of seminal thinkers from Plato to Freud, and shows how this prejudicial assumption is an influence on and a consequence of religious ideas, the development of science and reductive views of the material world. The book includes references to diverse events, the witch burnings, 19th century attempts to control female sexuality, strip mining, clear cutting and secretary pools, employed both as realistic examples but also as symbols of a culture that divides spirit from matter, emotion from intellect, nature from consciousness, while inventing ideas of masculinity and femininity that embody these divisions. Now considered a classic of both environmental and feminist literature, the book is at once lyrical, playful and unsparing in its critical perceptions.