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  • Melting glaciers, collapsing insect populations, and torrential downpours dowsing towns in

  • unrecoverable floods.

  • Climate change is upon us whether we accept it or not, and the environmental, social,

  • and economic damage in its leaving in its wake is catastrophic.

  • I'll admit, that's a pretty gloomy opener for a video, but these are harsh truths that

  • we have to face.

  • Coastal regions along Mozambique and farmlands across Nebraska drown under storm waters while

  • the the Earth continues to heat up.

  • Globally, we're well on our way to surpass a tipping point that will change our climate

  • for good.

  • It's easy to lose hope when you see these glimpses of what's to come.

  • But often that doom and gloom makes me start searching for a better way to navigate our

  • relationship not only with the environment, but also with ourselves.

  • Recently, I've come across ecofeminism as a possible lens through which to view our

  • current environmental crisis, and I feel like it's important to see what it has to offer

  • as a theoretical framework.

  • So today, I'm going to answer two questions: What is Ecofeminism?

  • And Is it a useful lens for understanding our current social and environmental circumstances?

  • So first, what is Ecofeminism?

  • Ecofeminism is a term coined by Francoise d'Eaubonne in 1974.

  • That's my fellow YouTuber Miriam.

  • She creates awesome, environmentally focused videos on her channel Zentouro.

  • Ecofeminism is so much more than just a term, however, it's a framework that seeks to

  • combine, re-examine, and augment the environmental and feminist movements.

  • Much like other theoretical frameworks, especially in the feminist movement, ecofeminism has

  • grown and evolved in the last 45 years since it first was coined.

  • But at its core, ecofeminism seeks to reveal the connection between the oppression of women

  • and the destruction of the environment.

  • In essence, a primary claim within ecofeminism is that women's liberation is intertwined

  • with the liberation of the environment from human destruction.

  • And there are two key ways that this intersection is explored in ecofeminist scholarship: value

  • hierarchical thinking and oppositional dualisms.

  • These sound pretty complicated so let's quickly break them down.

  • Value hierarchical thinking is simply the notion that cultures establish certain groups

  • as inherently more valuable than other groups.

  • Oppositional dualisms are ways of understanding certain social and cultural binaries.

  • For example, in many cultures, men and women are seen not only as intrinsically different

  • from each other but actually being opposites.

  • We talk aboutopposite gendersall the time.

  • But that idea is itself constructed, instead of being a binary, gender exists on a spectrum.

  • In U.S. culture, humans and nature are another oppositional dualism.

  • And in most cases, cultural attitudes place more value on one side of the binary than

  • the other.

  • Often, these value dualities express themselves in language.

  • For example, nature is characterized as feminine in the phrases Mother earth or fertile ground,

  • both to be plundered, extracted and sown.

  • While slang terms for women tend to be animals, like vixen or chick.

  • Ecofeminists seek to show that this oppositional and hierarchical thinking helps justify the

  • subjugation of both women and nature.

  • And we can see this in an ecofeminist text's Rape of the Wild, which explores the masculinized

  • violence directed at women and animals, and to a larger extent the natural world through

  • language, hunting, domesticity, technology, and slavery.

  • But ecofeminism has experienced a sharp backlash since it rose to prominence in the 1990s,

  • and indeed, it seems to have lost its following as a result of this pushback and its lack

  • of use by activists and scholars.

  • One of the primary critiques of ecofeminism is that it lacks analysis about race, class,

  • disability, and more, or as University of Michigan professor Dorceta E. Taylor points

  • out in an essay on the subject, that

  • In contrast to movements like environmental justice, Taylor and other ecofeminist critics

  • point out that ecofeminism does not have an intersectional framework; because ecofeminists

  • tend to focus only on nature and women, they miss the differences that exist between women.

  • As a result, much of ecofeminist analysis tends to ignore most women.

  • Anecdotally, scholar-activist Gwyn Kirk corroborates this claim in her description of a weekend

  • workshop in 1987 in New York.

  • She writes that the first afternoon of the workshop was led by a group of activists of

  • color talking about environmental racism and community organizing in their neighborhoods,

  • and it was a very lively discussion, but Kirk notes that on the second day she was involved

  • in a workshop on ecofeminism.

  • She describes it as “a small, white group that focused on feminist spirituality.”

  • So, when compared to a framework like that of environmental justice, ecofeminism seems

  • irrelevant for many activists and thinkers.

  • Although environmental justice initiatives are admittedly often less focused on gender,

  • they seem to build stronger coalitions in frontline and marginalized communities because

  • they focus on issues like toxic waste, pollutants, and food issues affecting people in their

  • immediate surroundings.

  • Ecofeminism, as critics like Taylor and Kirk point out, has lost its relevance in part

  • because it only functions at this high theoretical level that groups women of all identities

  • into one category.

  • In short, critics of Ecofeminism write that it's not a useful lens because it only allows

  • us to look at how gender and nature are connected, and in doing so it, leaves out an analysis

  • of how racism, classism, ableism and other methods of domination are intertwined with

  • environmental destruction.

  • Ultimately, ecofeminism is a way through which to interpret and connect the subjugation of

  • the environment and women.

  • It can definitely be a useful lens to understand how misogyny and the destruction of the natural

  • world are connected, but it often leaves out other crucial avenues of subjugation, including

  • race and class.

  • But ecofeminism can be more than just a framework, there are very real instances where gender

  • and environment collide in the world.

  • So, for more on a real-world look at the connections between gender and climate change, I'd highly

  • recommend checking out part two of this video on Miriam's channel.

Melting glaciers, collapsing insect populations, and torrential downpours dowsing towns in

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Is Ecofeminism still relevant?

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    joey joey に公開 2021 年 07 月 11 日
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