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What You Need to Know About Ecofeminism - Ecological Feminism

The Term:

Ecofeminism, also called ecological feminism, branch of feminism that examines the connections between women and nature. Its name was coined by French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974. 


Why Ecofeminism is important?

Ecofeminism uses the basic feminist tenets “which we really need” of:

  • Equity between genders

  • A revaluing of non-patriarchal or nonlinear structures

  • A view of the world that respects organic processes, holistic connections, and the merits of intuition and collaboration 


What is Ecofeminism?

This philosophy emphasizes the ways both nature and women are treated by patriarchal (or male-centered) society. Ecofeminists examine the effect of gender categories in order to demonstrate the ways in which social norms exert unjust dominance over women and nature. The philosophy also contends that those norms lead to an incomplete view of the world, and its practitioners advocate an alternative worldview that values the earth as sacred, recognizes humanity’s dependency on the natural world, and embraces all life as valuable.


These parallels (oppression of nature and women) include but are not limited to seeing women and nature as property, seeing men as the curators of culture and women as the curators of nature, and how men dominate women and humans dominate nature.


It is both political activism and intellectual critique. Bringing together feminism and environmentalism, that also argues that the domination of women and the degradation of the environment are consequences of both patriarchy and also capitalism. Any strategy to address one must take into account its impact on the other so that women's equality should not be achieved at the expense of worsening the environment, and neither should environmental improvements be gained at the expense of women.


Also, there are several branches of ecofeminism with varying approaches and analyses, including liberal ecofeminism, spiritual/cultural ecofeminism, and social/socialist ecofeminism (or materialist ecofeminism).


Indeed, ecofeminism proposes that only by reversing current values, thereby privileging care and cooperation over more aggressive and dominating behaviors, can both society and the environment benefit.


Ecofeminism emphasizes that both women and nature must be respected!

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