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Dark Ecology: Race, Gender & the Environment

English 252 @ Hunter College

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awareness

A Stolen Voice

The content may contain subject of disturbance.

Timothy Morton explains ‘dark ecology’ as a means of expressing the “irony, ugliness, and horror” of ecology. So, what does that mean in the real world? It is the deformity in nature, be it environmental or human. One example of this deformity is rape, a subject our culture demeans but does not put an effort to prevent it. It degrades women, if she is the victim, but is not the case for men. If a man were to claim that he was raped, he would be ridiculed by society. According to society, men are not seen as victims but rather seen as the culprit. Hence, we do not hear about those cases often. In cases of rape, the fight that women have to put up with in order to make their voices heard on a larger scale of the justice system, is unbelievable and unimaginable. One would think that in a time where we are incredibly advanced in technology, justice for rape might be clear as well right? Well in reality, compared to technology, justice for rape is similar to the technology in the 1800’s, barely there. That is only because the world is run by men, who do not see rape being a problem and do not see it through the victim’s eyes. They are not able to comprehend what being a rape victim feels like or how undermining their actions are. To them, the idea of rape is not rape, it is a means of pleasure, not only for the man but the woman as well.

I chose this topic because it has been a problem ever since the creation of men and women and it is relatable to our class. Recently, I was asked to watch the movie “Thelma & Louise” directed by Ridley Scott, a movie about two women, Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer. Thelma is a married woman with a controlling husband, who makes her decisions for her, as if she has no opinion of her own. Louise is Thelma’s friend who works as a waitress and has a boyfriend who is a musician. Tired of the same lifestyle, they both decide to go on a two-day mini-vacation away from the problems. Thelma goes without her husband’s “permission” which according to the society at the time that the movie takes place, is inexcusable. On the way to the vacation place, they stop at a roadhouse, where they drink a little and dance with people and let loose. After a while, Thelma starts to feel uncomfortable in the environment and starts to feel sick so, Harlan, the person she that she dances with takes her out of the roadhouse for some fresh air. Once outside, he starts to forcefully kiss her and rip her clothes. He, in this moment would have taken this chance to rape her if Louise had not come to save her. As they walk away, Harlan makes nasty remarks toward the women forcing Louise to kill him. Because Thelma did not give into Harlan’s advances, Harlan takes the chance to ridicule her. This goes to show that if a woman does not give into a man’s sexual intentions, then the woman is the one who gets humiliated because of her choice not to give in. Louise helping Thelma escape from Harlan shows his failure. If Thelma and Louise were to go to the cops to tell of this, they would be the one who will be blamed because they were the ones drinking and they were the ones who decides to dance with Harlan. In the end, they would be the one getting blamed. The fear of no one believing them as they were drinking, forces them to go on the run. Louise asks her boyfriend to bring her life savings which she gets robbed of by a man she had tried to help by letting him hitch a ride. After that moment, they commit a series of crimes, some to survive and others to teach creeps a lesson, all of this escalates only because of one fear, which was whether or not the society would believe Thelma if she were to tell about the attempted rape and Louise killing a MAN in self-defense? Louise knows the answer already because she had been raped in Texas but no one was there to help her. No one stepped in, to help her serve justice. The dark nature of men was revealed to her then. Hence, the answer at large was no.

This issue should not only be raised in a movie, but also has to be questioned in reality. Recently a female was raped by a drunk Stanford student whose father described the rape as, “20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” What the father did not think was, how the “20 minutes of action” had impacted the young woman. He did not think of the pain that the “20 minute of action” had caused. He did not think of his son’s prosecutor who had publically defamed, and humiliated the victim, for his son’s “20 minutes of action.” He did not think the “20 minutes of action” had taken her life from her. Not only did it physically affect her, it affected her psychologically as well. It took her dignity from her. It took away something that she cherished the most, her independency, her freedom. After his son had the “20 minutes of action”, the son told the world “She Liked it.” Not only was the father who believe in the “20 minute of action” but so did the judge. In fear of not causing a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old, the judge gave a rapist only six months of jail time and three years of parole. So, the “20 minute of action” by a 20 years old men was not taken seriously as even grand larceny offenders will receive 1- 4 years of jail time however this man whole stole something so precious from a woman that because of it she will live in fear for the rest of her life however, her dignity, her independency was not enough to be worth of 1000 dollars. This showed that robbery of something worth a 1000 dollars was more criminating than taking someone’s innocence, and her pride from her. This shows that the justice system had failed her and not only her but all other rape victims out there. It failed to show that rape victims should not fear to raise their voices against it. It did not protect the other weak innocents by giving a more meaningful sentence which would instill fear in other perpetrators. Instead a rapist was given jail time so lenient that a year worth of fighting for it and facing the humiliation seemed worthless and embarrassing. The young women walked out with more fear than she had walked in with, fear of the justice system and fear of men. For the man it was a sense of pride for taking something forceful from a women and putting her on display for the mortification. For him, it was a win, something he could be proud of and something his father is proud of, but for the woman, it was a horrid situation, something that will haunt her for as long as she lives and something that she cannot take back from him.

This essay/blog showed the ugliness the world has within it. The aspect of dark ecology that is manmade. That despite being put on trial a rapist got away with a lenient sentence. A woman had lost her privacy and her confidence, two women had lost their freedom and all of the other victims that are out there, had lost their voices because of the unjust done to them along with many other women who or did not try to fight it, because according to the world “20 minutes of action” would ruin a life, the person who has performed the action, not the victim who is the recipient of the malicious crime.

work citation

Movie:

 

Thelma & Louise. Dir. Ridley. Scott. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991. DVD.

 

Picture:

Thomas, Emily. “Rape Is Grossly Underreported In The U.S., Study Finds.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Nov. 2013. Web.                                     <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/rape-study-report-america-                      us_n_4310765.html>.

 

For more information on the case:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/06/04/you-took-away-my-worth-a-rape-victim-delivers-powerful-message-to-a-former-stanford-swimmer/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.5d14a54270eb

 

Mindful Eating

Becoming more health conscious this year has been beyond empowering. Even though I have such a long way to go, I’ve been feeling like the ultimate cleansed goddess underneath my skin… What we choose to consume makes such a difference in our quality of life. Food was once for fuel and now we have it for solely pleasure. It’s no surprise that so many people have a ton of health issues. Instead of eating foods that heal their body, they are eating foods that only provide pleasure.

When I was 19 years old, I had completely stopped eating most of the foods I grew up around. Rice, fried chicken, McDonald’s, artificial salt, packaged seasoning, juice, soda…. I let it all go. I went from getting out of bed at noon feeling sluggish, to waking up at 8am feeling more alive than ever before. I still consumed some of those things occasionally, but it was no longer a daily routine. After beginning my yoga practice and eating healthier, I lost nearly 20 pounds. What I experienced was a rebirth. A mind, body and soul awakening.

I was made fun of by my family and old friends. They called me anorexic and said that I looked better when I was thicker. They were so stuck on who I was, that they couldn’t see my growth as growth. I was viewed as a weirdo for a long period of time. However, I never allowed that to phase me. I understood that I couldn’t judge them for not having the level of awareness that I had. I needed to forgive them and love them regardless. 

In 2016, I slowly began to let go. I disconnected from my health once again. I lost the drive and spark for healthy eating and all that did was cause more bad habits. Yes, I still ate healthy, but not enough to balance out the garbage I had began consuming again. I wanted to change, I wanted to go back to the awakening I had in the beginning of my journey. I knew that in order to reach the level of spirituality that I wanted to reach, I needed to control my diet.

I set a goal for 2017 to be more health conscious and give my body more nurturing foods. One month into the new year and I completely let go of dairy. I was exposed to the truth about the dairy industry and was absolutely mind blown! It’s been about 3 weeks of eating healthy and being dairy free and I can honestly say I feel UNSTOPPABLE. The desire I had for those unhealthy foods is completely gone. I’ve been riding this powerful, productive wave and I couldn’t be anymore grateful for where I am in life right now. My spiritual encounters are more frequent and I can feel my mental clarity expanding.

“The greatest wealth is health”-Virgil

The foods you eat can either give you life or deplete it. At some point in time, we ate food for energy and now most people eat and fall asleep. The complete opposite of what should be happening is happening… You don’t have to alter your diet if you aren’t ready but trust me when I say that the discipline required to do so, can truly change your life. My partner has always told me, if your way of thinking and acting has changed since you were a teenager, then why hasn’t your diet? Here’s a powerful idea to ponder on. 

How do the foods you eat make you feel? Your body is constantly sending you signals and it will tell you when something isn’t right. Being bloated, gassy or sleepy after eating, are all signs that something is off balance. Listen to your body. Honor this physical tool where your soul resides. Bring more quality into your life through the foods that you eat. It will feel like a mission at first. You will come across bumpy roads, but nothing will be more fulfilling than the purity you soak in after.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”-Hippocrates

 

http://www.integrativenutrition.com/?utm_channel=PaidAd&utm_medium=SEM&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=Search%20-%20Branded&utm_adgroup=IIN%20-%20General&utm_term=%2Biin&utm_matchtype=b&placement=&utm_content=66640912806&device=c&gclid=COCX2N3xjdMCFQKBswodt8cGFQ

Insights from Mother Nature

It was a breezy, Spring day. Roaming around with my lover amongst trees, birds and fresh air. We had been walking for the past 30 minutes and I felt my heart beat slowly increasing. We knew where we were going and we couldn’t wait to get there. The water fall at the Botanical Gardens. It had pretty much become our backyard. Our favorite place within the whole garden. We walked, we climbed, we laughed and we embraced. The fresh air kissed our face. By the time we made it, I felt a weight on my shoulders. A sense of heaviness… I was exhausted. It was about 10:30 in the morning and I hadn’t had any breakfast. Perhaps my energy was depleted. As I sat on the bench, admiring the water fall while observing the tree bunches move to the hidden waves of the wind,  I couldn’t tell what was wrong with me.

After a few minutes of subtle discomfort, my partner handed me a peeled tangerine. I began savoring a piece I had removed from the bunch. The flavors bursted in my mouth and in my body. My senses began to heighten and my vision became more clear. Life was being given to me in that moment. As I ate more, I felt myself becoming more alive through my mind, body and spirit. It’s a feeling that was truly unexplainable, however it made sense in every way. In that moment, I understood a truth I had never grasped before. The divine connection. The feedback loop of giving and receiving. The ubiquitous duality that resides in all things. I understood nature in a way I never had before. I felt alive, connected and exactly where I was supposed to be in that moment within the infinite universe. The chirping birds sang as I listened. They fed my ears and soul. All motion being experienced through my senses were pure bliss. I reflected, and as I did, I felt like an animal, in its natural habitat. Before the city, before the artificial noise, before the destruction. This was my home. And in that moment, there was nothing more important. The magical insight given to me, left me with intense awe. This was more than just a nourishing fruit, more than just sightseeing. This was life, youthfulness, joy and gratitude. I knew I was healing. Nature had kissed me with its Universal Intelligence and I was present to receive it.

http://www.nybg.org/home/

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