The ecocide and domination of nature that is the Anthropocene does not represent the actions of all humans, but that of Man, the Western and masculine identified corporate, military, intellectual, and political class that long has masked itself as the civilized and the human. In this book, Jane Caputi looks at two major “myths” of the Earth, one ancient and one contemporary, and uses them to devise a manifesto for the survival of nature–which includes human beings–in our current ecological crisis. These are the myths of Mother Earth and the Anthropocene. The former personifies nature as a figure with the power to give life or death, and one who shares a communal destiny with all other living things. The latter myth sees humans as exceptional for exerting an implicitly sexual domination of Mother Earth through technological achievement, from the plow to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. Much that we take for granted as inferior or taboo is based in a splitting
apart of inherent unities: culture-nature; up-down, male-female; spirit-matter; mind-body; life-death; sacred-profane; reason-madness; human-beast; light-dark. The first is valued and the second reviled. This provides the framework for any number of related injustices–sexual, racial, and ecological.
support systems necessary for life and continuance. Caputi looks at contemporary narratives and artwork to consider the ways in which respect for the autonomous and potent Earth Mother and a call for their return has already reasserted itself into our political and popular culture.