Ecofeminism: Blowing My Mind.
When I was a sophomore at Saint Mary’s, I remember skipping back to my dorm room in Holy Cross Hall each Tuesday and Thursday after my Intro. to Women’s Studies class. Feminism was all new to me. I felt like I was articulating something that had been under my nose my entire life. Leaving that class always felt like leaving a 90 minute pep talk. I was empowered.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt inspired by a new bit of feminist knowledge. I devoured so much of it so quickly. But then I signed up to present an article on ecofeminism because I thought, well, that’s something I know nothing about.
Consider my mind blown.
I’m working with a classmate to present an article called “Engendering Environmental Thinking: A Feminist Analysis of the Present Crisis” by Ruth Perry. And I figured if this was all new to me, then it’s probably all new to my blog readers. So I figured I’d give you a brief introduction of the theory of ecofeminism according to Perry.
Humans have dominated the earth to make a profit, utilizing the “free” resources the earth has provided. This disrupted women’s historical connection to the earth. (Historically, women, being in the private sphere, have tended to gardens, gathered water for their families, or wood for fuel.) Men, being in the public sphere, have overlooked environmental degradation because it impacts mostly women and children, who are often invisible, contributing to the feminization of poverty. But women are most sensitive to recognizing this degradation. As traditionally responsible for a family’s health and safety, women often see environmental disruptions early. Preferring technically sophisticated data, policymakers and corporations often discount women’s knowledge as superstition or old wives’ tales, even though women are far more locally informed.
That’s a super short version of one brand of ecofeminism (there are plenty!) that I think even CliffsNotes would find brief. But it’s a brand new theory to me and I wanted to share.
Are you environmentally conscious? Does it tie into your feminism? How? Why?