Gynocentric Greenwashing: The Discursive Gendering of Nature


Corresponding author: Tema Milstein; e-mail:


This study complicates the gendering of “mother nature,” pointing to an underlying everyday discursive formation of nature that is decidedly androcentric. The dialectic at play, a favorably forefronted gynocentric pole masking a dominant androcentric pole, problematizes past understandings of binaries and offers new ways to understand humanature. Building upon the burgeoning study of critical ecocultural dialectics, we empirically investigate nature framings in North American ocean and forest contexts. We suggest that a gynocentric greenwashing exists in discourses about “the environment,” in which communal, embodied human orientations with nature are favorably forefronted, but individuating, frontal orientations are overwhelmingly practiced. As such, everyday ecologically exultant discourses may obscure deeply embedded exploitive orientations that centrally regulate our perceptions of, and interactions with, nature.