Thursday, March 19, 2015

Man bites Dog? Lady chokes Poison Air in China

While the rest of us go shopping, one woman braved the menace of her government to address the pollution that - as the world knows - is the cost of our "Made in China" economy.
China Pollution - photo by J. Kesler

Chai Jing released her documentary "Under the Dome" via social media, where it went viral before Beijing's iron fist forced it to be widely erased. Chinese citizens still dare to see it and share copies privately.

The film has become China's flashpoint for enraged sufferers to vent: their pollution is often unbearable, a literally breathtaking toxicity. Chai Jing blames it for giving cancer to the fetus in her womb. Amid the scientific evidence in the film, her baby is a poignant leitmotif; Chai Jing's feminine approach - as a concerned mother - probably facilitated her message squeaking past censors in the first place.

Chai Jing, journalist and environmentalist

Chai Jing is only the most visible of women in China who try to do something about the poison that surrounds them.

These ladies risk bullying or worse. It's normal for jailers to beat activists and then deny them any doctor. But, as a member of "Tiananmen Mothers" under house arrest says, "Justice is in our hands." The totalitarian rulers strive to atomize each activist in China. So each woman alone kindles the hope for decency to blossom in her community. Like an atom, she is elemental.

China: Illegal to Protest Domestic Violence
Ecology and feminism go hand in hand. Ironically, Chinese women were arrested for having stickers that said, “Police: go arrest those who committed sexual harassment.” Ladies there must take take drastic measures to confront child molesters. How much more daunting, to stand up to toxic industries and the financiers that run them in cahoots with corrupt officials.

Ram through ethics to sate your greed, or honor what's inconvenient and vulnerable: ecosystems and women's rights.

From the seed of democracy in Hong Kong, nature may bloom
Protest can be successful. Pollution may drive China's people to seize their human rights and demand democracy. What do they have to lose: the air they breathe?

In the West, we too have governments poisoned by industry greed. Our power as citizens is like a fetus within us whose cancer we can cure.

While we struggle here for justice, remember the courage of women protecting their part of the planet in China. Chinese women's activism for the environment: it's lighting the world on Yin/Yang.

We can be tourists on this planet.
Or maybe we can save tigers from extinction.

What China accomplishes with intimidation and imprisonment of its people, we in rich countries do with our unspoken agreement not to mention to acquaintances and neighbors that (for instance) we just snuffed Vanuatu, we'll ignore Climate Change, and let's politely continue business as usual. Ecofeminist friends and I do hand out cards occasionally that read, "Fanged Wilds & Women Program: a hilarious idea to stop mass extinction." Yes, it's fun! We don't get arrested. Our government doesn't erase our video. Silence is the most insidious form of pollution.

We carry extinction in our wombs. Maternal instinct is smothering the planet in a biofilm of humans. When our motherly urges are redirected to all the other species who have to breathe our poisonous air, the Earth who gave birth to us will be herself reborn.

...or Mother Nature may bag us.

V.C. Bestor,

Fanged Wilds & Women Program



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