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The Red Planet book cover shows a tree with barren branches and the roots deep into red soil. The title is on the top of the image.

The Red Planet

Gendered Landscapes and Violent Inequalities

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  •    19.95 paperback
  •    9.99 eBook - Purchase eBook
  •    264 pages
  •    28 photos and illustrations
  •    6 x 9
  •    Paperback, eBook
  • Paperback ISBN  978-1-59056-726-5
  • eBook ISBN  978-1-59056-727-2
  • Publisher: Lantern Publishing & Media
  • Publication Date: April 2024

The Red Planet explores why humans went from being peaceful and egalitarian with a preference for plant food to a hyper-masculine paradigm with consequences ranging from misogyny, racism, and environmental abuse to animal cruelty, classism, and warfare. 

We humans have an extraordinary capacity for compassion. Much of it in response to the atrocities we inflict on the planet, its animals, and each other. The popular explanation for this paradox is that we evolved as carnivorous “killer apes,” who gradually curbed our lust for violence, with frequent exceptions, by implementing humane social norms. This explanation is so well worn, especially in the American psyche, that it epitomizes cliché. So, we could be forgiven for believing it, when nearly every word is fiction.

Current research shows that our species narrowly survived extinction in the last Ice Age only because we evolved to become inherently friendly, conciliatory, and nonviolent—all feminine attributes. During that time, we retreated into rich, verdant landscapes that contained foods that didn’t run away from us or bite back; plant foods that our bodies preferred. The verdict is clear: Our original biological and social programming is nonviolent.

So, what changed? What turned us from goddess-worshiping, plant-eating peacemakers into god-worshiping, animal-eating warmongers? The Red Planet answers this question by proposing a Gendered Landscapes Theory, or GLT. In short, the GLT asserts that geography shaped the early human mind, which in turn shaped its first cultures, which were originally nonviolent. Much later, and in a few critical instances, geographies that favored hyper-masculine traits encouraged animal cruelty, punitive gods and religions, and social inequalities. However, we’ll see that it didn’t have to be that way, even in harsh landscapes. And recently, a growing consciousness has rekindled our intrinsically feminine qualities of nonviolence, relationship, and equality.

The Red Planet: Gendered Landscapes and Violent Inequalities explores the way dominant worldviews shrink our possibilities. Bill explains how our historical and cultural narratives have been shaped by socially constructed binaries of gender and sexuality. This book encourages questions about other ways of thinking and living, ways that are perhaps outside of mainstream ability to imagine because of the stories we have been given.”—Jean Alger, PhD, Professor of English, Trinidad State College

The Red Planet reminds us that our stories are part of us and that we remake and retell them as tools. We choose whether to use them for power over one another, animals, and Earth, or for peace. Hatcher leads us to the edge of what we “know” to better reflect on our options.”—Kara Davis, Director of Impact, Unovis Asset Management, contributing author to Letters to a New Vegan, and co-editor of Defiant Daughters

“The Red Planet offers its readers a journey through [the] introspection of self, others, societies, and the narratives that have shaped them. This book provides a pathway of understanding through Bill Hatcher’s careful and thoughtful investigation into the stories that have fashioned traditional perceptions of race, gender, sex, and the environment.”—Jennifer Fluri, PhD, Professor of Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder

“I loved the book! It exposed me to so many new ideas and thought processes that could help save us and our planet!”—Bridgett Larsen, Geography student, Pikes Peak State College

“Reading The Red Planet is an incredible journey that sparked my imagination! It is filled with both thought-provoking fairy tales and profound scientific insights. It not only shed light on the fascinating connection between geography and human evolution but also challenged and informed my understanding of masculinity and femininity.”—Zhen Li, Geography student, Colorado Mountain College

“The power of [Andean mound sites] is a specific example of the long view of humanity taken in The Red Planet. Using a Gendered Landscapes Theory, Bill Hatcher shows how geography may originally have shaped people’s minds and cultures which, in turn, reshaped their geography.”—Kimberly Munro, PhD, Assistant Instructor of Anthropology, New Mexico Highlands University

“I applaud [Bill’s] passion . . . The Red Planet gives important background on the origins of patriarchal policy that prioritizes domination and exploitation, as opposed to prioritizing the well-being of the planet and the acknowledgment of the sacred feminine.”—Dominique Naccarato, Lecturer, Clark School of Environment and Sustainability, Director of the Integrated Public Land Management Track, Western Colorado University

“[The Red Planet] is excellent . . . As an anthropologist, I particularly appreciated the emphasis on the cultural construction of gender roles, norms, and stereotypes. The author is skillful at holistically blending the historical…and [the] contemporary.”—Jaden Netwig, PhD, Professor of Anthropology, Arapahoe Community College

“I really enjoyed reading this book! It challenged ideologies from both sides while providing information on why, which I found very interesting and useful. The overarching understanding and detail about each topic made it much easier to comprehend the ideas behind each chapter.”—Avery Paull-McGurran, Geography student, Colorado Mountain College

The Red Planet connects the history of gendered and violent inequalities to landscapes, physical geographies, practices of food sourcing, valuation of metals, spiritual practices and religiosity to name a few. Breaking from traditional analysis, The Red Planet provides an expansive view of gendered inequalities as woven throughout human evolution; adapting through space and place to demonstrate how gendered violence is not natural, but a product of human socialization and culture.”—Heidi Schneider, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Inclusive Excellence Liaison, Adams State University

The Red Planet is a meaningful contribution to the social sciences of storytelling. This is an accessible inquiry into the tales that are common to various cultures and thoughtful commentary on the hegemonic nature of these stories. This book is a creative blend of folklore and cultural critique, and it makes a strong argument for Gendered Landscapes Theory. This is a useful text for students, scholars, and intellectuals that take interest in the role of stories in human cultures and societal norms.”—Patrick W. Staib, PhD, Professor and Chair of Social Sciences, Colorado Mountain College

“This book was very fascinating and helped me remember how much I enjoy social sciences such as sociology and psychology. It reminded me of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, but on an adjacent topic, and more focused and nuanced.”—Parker Stein, Geography student, Colorado Mountain College

The Red Planet taught me to be proud that I am a woman. No matter how the media, religions or others’ opinions say, I am not weak because of my gender, I know that I am strong and I am just as capable as anyone else. I learned so much about myself and other cultures and beliefs. The Red Planet made me feel validated and heard. I really enjoyed this book and seriously can’t wait for the hard copy to come out. I will definitely be reading this again.”—Andi Stephenson, Geography student, Pikes Peak State College

“I really enjoyed reading The Red Planet. This book doesn’t try to change your mind but presents statements of fact as they are in our history. If we are to evoke change and be a better species then this book is a good guide to learning how to get on a path to change a mindset.”—Josephine Trenkler, Geography student, Pikes Peak State College

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