What is Ecofeminism?


My family’s desire to eat local, organically grown produce in the hopes to live a healthier, inclusive lifestyle through the preservation of all life within the environment illustrates the primary foundation of ecofeminist ideals. Ecofeminism , a meta-feminism  of twin oppressions, is based upon the parallels between the destruction and exploitation of the environment, and the oppression and marginalization of women within the same worldview. Components of the feminist movement, the peace movement, and the environmentalist and green movements are intertwined within ecofeminism. Ecofeminism, a global multi-issued movement, assumes patriarchy, as well as anthropocentrism  and speciesism are the root causes of hegemony that impacts even the world’s most remote inhabitants and ecosystems. Patriarchy , anthropocentrism , and speciesism  establish the dominant binary of “man” as superior to all other entities, as they are seen as the most significant entity of the universe. Western society arbitrarily creates binary dichotomies that consider nature to be inferior to culture, and humans as being divergent from, and often superior to, the natural environment. According to Rosemary Radford Reuther, feminist theologian, patriarchal understandings define “nature as a reality below and separated from ‘man,’ rather than one nexus in which humanity itself is inseparably embedded.” These understandings are grounded in Western patriarchal , which is founded by “dualism” as a viewpoint that organizes the world by artificially segmenting it into polarized pairs of binaries (e.g., culture from nature, mind from body, spirit from matter, male from female) that develop imbalanced power relationships. Therefore, the duality of these dichotomies places one binary against the other, assuming that they are polar opposites and that one is inherently superior. This in turn, labels the marginalized binary as the “other,” often causing discrimination and oppression through hegemony because the “other” is viewed as inferior by the dominant binary. Consequently, ecofeminism rejects any form of hierarchy, and demands a radical analysis of the categories of “nature” and “culture” as one entity, not artificially segmented binary dichotomies employing power. Additionally, alternative bounded emotionality of feminist ways of organizing, such as emotion, nurturing, social support, and co-operation could create an accepting and environmentally aware society, as well as emphasize shared power. Shared power includes finding power from within compared to imposing the manipulation and control of power over one binary, as power must be restructured to incorporate collaborative relationships in order to establish an interconnected community, absent of all forms of hierarchy. Ecofeminists  undertake issues such as agricultural development and sustainability, animal rights , water pollution , and deforestation . Through ecofeminism, humankind should pivot and renounce the current division from nature to equally value all life. A major step in achieving this goal is eating local, organically grown produce to manifest a sense of community  (e.g., visiting a farmers’ market  or joining a CSA ), in which views the human species and nature as one nexus. Local farmers  abridge that “when you buy organic you don’t just buy a product, you buy a way of life that is committed to not exploiting the planet,” as Americans eating local organic food  would reduce the amount of water, land, and chemicals utilized to produce the food we eat, as well as the prevalence of health-related diseases (i.e., diabetes), and greenhouse gases from industrial agriculture production.

Photo Source: http://holykaw.alltop.com/how-ecofeminism-works

Photo Source: http://holykaw.alltop.com/how-ecofeminism-works


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