Save the Earth!

During the 1970s, Americans became increasingly aware of the damage they could cause to the environment around them. In President Nixon’s State of the Union address on January 22, 1970 he too addressed the growing Environmental Movement and its place in the future of the United States. Also written in 1970, Joanna Russ’s, The Female Man, address the issues concerning environmentalists as she creates a utopian society that has technology far surpassing that of contemporary American, yet depicts them as a farming society, living in harmony with nature.

Within his address, President Nixon calls for the action of Congress to establish clean air and clean water bills. He calls for the nation to “meet the concerns” that have come in the wake of “turning the wonders of science to the service of man”. To limit the pollution modern technology, such as gasoline run motor vehicles, has caused. Nixon calls for the protection of both national parks and community parks. He calls for the reclaiming of “our land for ours and generations to come”. To preserve our nation’s resources for the future children of America. Nixon calls for the rebuilding of cities and the renewing of American farm life. He quotes Thomas Jefferson claiming that we as a nation are not acting “for ourselves alone, but for the whole human race.” This quote places the responsibility of the preservation of nature’s resources upon each individual.

In The Female Man, Joanna Russ incorporates these same ideas. Whileaway has technology innovations far more advanced than any present in 1970s United States, or even those present today. However, Russ portrays Whileway as a utopian society in which nature is preserved even in the face of such scientific advancements. She shows that it is possible to have harmony between protecting natural resources and increasing scientific innovations. She responds to the environmental movement by creating a society in which realizing human responsibility to the environment did not mean returning to a pre-industrialized society as may fear.


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