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I have a Part: An Ecofeminist Approach

by Keisiah Dawn Tiaoson | October 31, 2022

What is ecofeminism? Ecofeminism is a movement that draws a link between women’s concerns and environmental issues. It is a movement that seeks to liberate all that has life. 

As Earth’s stewards, it is important to gain familiarity with the varying principles of ecofeminism–such as perception of nature, connection between health and environment, and opportunities for life. Understanding and embodying ecofeminist perspectives and positions can pave a way towards making humans better stewards of living things. 

Karen Warren, a former author and scholar dedicated to studying and voicing out environmental ethics, published an article in an Environmental Ethics Journal that states: “Vision of female liberation, social inequalities and, ultimately, social justice associates with the affirmation of degraded areas and subordinate non-human nature. Thereupon, the promotion of eco-feminist ethics, which is basically a partnership, is promotion of freedom from the dualisms intellectual thought and male-gender bias about women and nature”. These statements of hers are enough justification that there is an interconnected relationship between women and nature. 

Still, it is not surprising to see women’s voices being left unheard due to stigmas attached in gender perspectives. In fact, the relationship between women and nature is something that many overlook, she added. And according to Warren, failure to realize this relationship is simply “inadequate” – here’s why:

Understanding and awareness on environmental issues forms the basis for commitment and meaningful action towards sustainable development for the environment. Ecofeminists generally believe that humans correlate with each other and also interact with non-human objects such as nature. Unfortunately, only few people are aware of this relationship. Because people tend to prioritize their ego and self-esteem, they often resort to violence against others and nature. The outcome manifests itself in numerous human tragedies and ecological crises. 

Efforts to mitigate today’s environmental crisis are put into effect when the role of women is recognized and tapped into. Mother Earth’s figurine as a female symbol that gives life suggests that nature conservation can be fully cultivated by the touch of a woman’s hand. Ecofeminism challenges women and men to re-imagine the world in a non-hierarchical way. In it, the feminist movement and the environmental movement are to collaborate (Barkasay, 2019).

Feminism and the ecological movement go hand in hand, especially when confronted with the logic of capitalist patriarchy. Gender-blind and un-environmentally friendly development practices lead to the collapse of such ecosystems when patterns of dominance over the environment and women emerge. Stereotypes are harmful when they limit a woman or man’s ability to develop personal skills, pursue a career, and make decisions about life and life plans. These stereotypes also limit choices and opportunities.  

Ecofeminism says women are naturally closer to nature than men. Barkasy (2019) claims that this intimacy makes women more caring about their environment, while some cite female biology or cultural and historical factors as the reason for intimacy.  Ecofeminism says women are naturally closer to nature than men. Barkasy (2019) claims that this intimacy makes women more caring about their environment, while some cite female biology or cultural and historical factors as the reason for intimacy. 

Ultimately, it is because of an ecofeminist perspective – which acknowledges the human oppression of nature – that the need to protect, nurture, and preserve nature is at last recognized.


Sources

Barkasy, T. G., ““Living Creatures of Every Kind:” An Ecofeminist Reading of Genesis 1-3”  

         (2019). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/7738.

Warren, Karen J. (1990). The promise and power of ecofeminism. Environmental Ethics 12

(2):125-46.

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