Judith Stacey, 'Can there be a Feminist Ethnography?' (1988)
This chapter argues ecofeminism is riddled with essentialism, and open to all the philosophical critiques levelled at any position which attributes timeless natures to women and men. It shows that even social' ecofeminists, in Mellor's terminology, who steadfastly denounce essentialism and dualism, frequently fall back on their own versions of these. The chapter also argues that ecofeminism must be taken seriously, both theoretically and strategically. It begins with that embodiment of dualism, Greenham Common. The reason for taking ecofeminism seriously, even away from the visual spell of Greenham Common, is well expressed by Joni Seager in her book Earth Follies: Militaries, multinationals, governments, the eco-establishment. The culture of the institutions is shaped by power relations between men and women, and between groups of men in cooperation or in conflict. Institutional behaviour is informed by presumptions of appropriate and necessary behaviour for men and for women.