Plant Life: An Exercise in EmpathyApril 25, 2019
The Awe-Inspiring Science Of NatureMay 1, 2019
Ecofeminism is simply a feminist approach to understanding ecology. It can be seen as a “new term for ancient wisdom” and was developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Ecofeminism offers a gendered and interesting approach to understanding relationships between humans and the natural world. Charlene Spretnak categorizes ecofeminism as working through the study of political theory as well as history, through the belief and study of nature-based religions, and through environmentalism. Ecofeminism operates on the tenant that the way in which humans dominate nature in our modern world can be likened to the ways in which men had and have dominated women in our patriarchal society. This way of thinking about the natural world can help us personify and gender our environment and relate to it in more nuanced, personal, and concrete ways.
Vandana Shiva said, “The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it’s the next step of peace that we need to create.” We don’t exist in a vacuum. The way that we treat ourselves and other humans is often mirrored in the way that we treat our environment. Ecofeminism is a reminder that to oppress one species or gender is to oppress everyone, and that everyone suffers when we seek to dominate, rather than revere, Mother Earth, women, and all humans.
Ecofeminist thought is a reminder that we hold the power to transform our relationship with ourselves and the earth. What parts of yourself are you consciously or unconsciously oppressing? What kind of relationship do you have with the natural world and with the opposite gender? What about your own gender? Ecofeminism can help raise our consciousness around all of these ideas and grow as a community of natural beings.
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