#44 Ecofeminism as a solution to the climate crisis

Ecofeminism began with the urge to disconnect women and nature to help overcome the inequalities of patriarchy, but now the concept strives to preserve the ancient connection women have with nature to re-construct societies where the patriarchal hierarchy falls weak against a new equitable social structure in which all rights for all communities and individuals are put first, along with the health of our Earth. 

As the environmental movement has evolved over the years, concerns have been raised about the intersectionality of environmentalism, especially since decision making for environmental policies has been led by white middle and upper class men. Whilst extensive work has been, and is being, done for the intersections of race and class with environmental issues, not enough research has been done on the gendered impacts of climate change.

Despite the fact women and girls are disproportionately affected by the changing climate, women, particularly women of colour and Indigenous women, are constantly left out of decision making for the management/protection of their land. In this episode, Agrita argues that ecofeminism poses as not just a lens for the effects of the climate crisis on women (as well as transgender and non-binary people) but also challenges the role of patriarchy and toxic masculinity in exacerbating anthropogenic climate change by bringing women to the centre of modern environmentalism.

Episode Structure:

  • History of modern ecofeminism and the critique around the oversimplification done by the concept in its infancy
  • Dualism between humanity and nature, making the comparison between the man-woman dualism
  • Studies showing the impacts of the changing climate on women and girls/children
  • Lack of research into impacts of climate change on transgender and genderqueer people
  • Need for environmentalism to be demasculinised to reduce impacts of patriarchy on the environment and those placed at the bottom of the patriarchal hierarchy
  • The issues with the “green feminine stereotype” which leaves men, who strictly maintain their gender identity, out of the movement
  • The extent to which gender biases can threaten the safety of people during natural hazards, such as the male-female naming system for hurricanes
  • Petro-masculinity as a growing force of resistance to the environmental movement
  • Evidence bases for the benefits that improving women’s environmental health and environment policy making has on environmental management efforts
  • The practice of ecofeminism within indigenous cultures and the environmental assaults Indigenous women often face by non-indigenous people
  • Frameworks of intersectional ecofeminism involving indigenous women proposed by ecofeminists Vandana Shiva and Wangari Maathai

Resources:


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