Language Policy

Gendered language

This website makes use of numerous quotations from the writings of philosophers, psychologists, ecologists and environmentalists who have had an impact on ecopsychological thought in one way or another over the last hundred years or more. Even these wise and learned individuals were subject to the institutionalised prejudices of their era and as such used gendered language in their writings as a matter of course. Consequently their work contained an implicit bias towards the male gender, which, whilst being symptomatic of profound gender inequality, can be understood in relation to the historical and socio-political contexts of the periods in which they were living.

I’ve decided not to attempt to eradicate this bias from the quotes I’ve chosen in order to not get bogged down in the murky waters of political correctness. Sufficed to say that it is my intention to give plenty of room on this website to the ideas of ecofeminists and others whose work focuses on the deconstruction of hierarchy not only in relation to gender but also race and class, particularly with respect to the links which can be found between these oppressive power relations and our destructive, self-serving relationship  with the more-than-human world. For more information on this read about the Critical Task of Ecopsychology.

On this basis I readily describe myself as an ecofeminist despite the fact that I am a man who is still struggling to free myself of the yoke of the sexist (racist/classist) perspective on the world with which I have been indoctrinated and which continues, often in the most unexpected ways, to colour my view of reality.

Academic langauge

It is unfortunate that my particular focus on the human-nature question is at times quite narrowly academic because this means that I use a lot of language which may not be easily accessible for those who do not have an academic background. It could easily be argued that this in itself fosters a kind of power imbalance with respect to the institutionalised academic knowledge I (claim to) possess but which others do not. While I cannot deny I enjoy having a rich relationship with this kind of language, it is not my intention to confuse, frustrate or disempower readers who are new to ecopsychology or have an existing interest in the subject matter of this website but who choose to express their interest using less academic language.

It is one of the main aims of this website to facilitate a process of education and empowerment of readers in relation to the critically important but sometimes complex ideas and concepts that are presented here. However, this process of demystification is one which is only just underway and so it may take me some time to find my feet with. For the time being I hope readers will be content to take advantage of the Wikipedia links sprinkled liberally throughout the pages of the website which are designed to help explain some of the more obscure and academic language which is used. Eventually I hope to provide my own database of useful supporting information  in the Resources section of the website.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any questions or concerns you have which arise out of the content of this (or any other) page on this website.

Notes from a journey towards ecological consciousness