The New Ecofeminism

August 19, 2015 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

The environmental movement is a microcosm of other realms of society in one troubling way: women are missing. In journalism, academia, politics – on climate change, agriculture, and the economy – men are the visible decision-makers and spokespeople.

Women know they have been excluded. Exclusion makes it more difficult to take meaningful action, compounding the moral wound. The underlying message to women about helping solve any environmental problem has been to shop responsibly. Use your dollars. Change to energy saving light bulbs. Be the de facto gatekeeper of every purchase for toxic chemicals. But shopping doesn’t work as the sole solution. We tried it. There were too many warning signs, too much evidence of decline and danger. Women can see the mounting costs to their communities from climate change and environmental degradation. In caring for the aged and sick, women become keenly aware of the increase in disease and disability in children. Women, who gather the water and are responsible for their family’s nutrition, can see the damage to the water and to the land that we share. They see the environmental threats to their children wherever they turn. The evidence is overwhelming: future generations are in danger.

Borne out of this history, and given what we now know about the complex environmental issues we face, a new wave of feminism is emerging, predicated not just on claiming rights but on claiming responsibility. This is the crucial difference in this new phase of feminism: a responsibility to act. This responsibility is larger than shopping choices and making small changes in our homes and families. The fierce responsibility is to create the paths to a habitable and healthy Earth. This sacred obligation can only be fully met by making systemic changes, which compels us to do two things: block threatening, damaging policies and technologies, and create new commons-based solutions.

Read The New Ecofeminism by Kaitlin Butler & Carolyn Raffenspergerat at On the Commons.

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Entry filed under: Biodiversity, Climate, Community, Heart/Soul.

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