Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Racist, Sexist Rhetoric of "Population Control"

A friend linked me to this facebook photo album (cool use of web 2.0 for activism) from the Population and Development program at Hampshire College.

The album takes a critical look at the rhetoric and imagery employed by population control movements that seek to blame ignorant, poor, brown women for environmental degradation and for the scarcity of resources.

For instance, the album begins with this image:

The caption that accompanies it reads:

Some population, environment and anti-immigrant interests are blaming climate change on population growth as a way to gain support for population and immigration control and divert attention from the real causes of global warming.

Rather than considering the negative role of overconsumption, large oil companies, and militarism, they are raising fears of potentially violent "climate refugees" threatening Western security. Note this exoticized image of a Bangladeshi woman drowning as sea levels rise on the cover of OnEarth magazine. The article implies that poor Bangladeshis displaced by global warming are potential Islamic terrorists.
Check it out. It's an interesting way to take in a lot of information and a complicated analysis, and hopefully, to learn more about what feminists are saying about population hysteria..

1 comment:

T said...

Interesting post. This issue is especially frustrating, given that it is the ostensibly "earth friendly" types pedaling this sexist/racist garbage.

On a similar topic:
http://www.isreview.org/issues/68/feat-overpopulation.shtml