chapter
6 Pages

Editors' Introduction

As the control of "motherhood" moves up on the environmental agenda, the reification of "Mother Earth" stands in ironic contrast. The most ubiquitous icon of modern environmentalism is the image of the earth, floating in black space, with the caption "Love Your Mother". The conceptualization of the earth as a mother has a long and honorable history: Earth as Mother, as a sacred and honored female life force, is a powerful icon in non-Christian, non-Euro American, mostly agricultural, cosmography, it rejuvenates a contemporary women-centered spirituality movement; it inspired a generation of Earth Day activists. A number of alternative environmental groups, deep ecol-ogists and ecofeminists among them, are reclaiming the sex-typing of the planet as part of a radical environmental agenda. But sex-typing of a non-gendered entity invokes a male/female, greater than/lesser than cultural dualism; the limitations of female identification in a male-dominated culture undercut the claim that sex-typing the planet can be "radical".