Being ecofeminist: Green and rebellious

Translation
Giorgia Barbiero

The ecofeminist garden that I cultivate does not advocate withdrawal from the world, but a historical commitment against the patriarchal forms of insatiable will of domination that lead to the ecological crisis. Green and rebellious, free and full of life, its sunny paths and shady lanes invite us to imagine and project a future world of equality between the genders and peace with Nature, a world without human or animal exploitation and in which diversity is not a reason for oppression.

Alicia H. Puleo – Claves ecofeministas. Para rebeldes que aman a la Tierra y a los animales

Introducing ecofeminist philosophy

This is how Alicia Puleo begins to introduce us to ecofeminist philosophy.

Alicia (b. 1952) is a Spanish feminist philosopher and professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of Valladolid.

She is widely known for the development of critical ecofeminist thought and has written several books related to this movement.

Ecofeminism claims to be a redefinition of reality, just like feminism, animalism, and environmentalism, which are intertwined in their theory and practice.

It arises from the combination of feminism and ecology. It implies a new empathic vision of Nature that redefines the human being in a feminist key to advance towards a future free of all domination.

This Garden wants to be free from anthropocentrism and androcentrism.

How many times have you read the word ‘man’ as a synonym for ‘humanity’?

This ecofeminist trend also wants to eliminate the concept of “environment”, since it is considered to be what surrounds the human being (anthropocentrism) and replace it with Nature.

Defending nature is also defending human beings.

Origin

It is still difficult to date the beginning of this trend since we already know that any thought that came from a woman was vetoed and deleted.

However, some names have begun to emerge.

At the time of the Enlightenment, there was a minority movement of male and female thinkers. It claimed the equality of all human beings.

Names such as Poulain de la Barre, Olympe de Gouges, Condorcet, Mary Wollstonecraft are still not remembered enough despite their enormous contribution in this regard.

The emergence of ecofeminism as a point of contact between women’s demands and the goals of the environmental movement took place in the 1960s.

Sherry Ortner (UCLA, California) in 1972 showed empirical evidence that the figure of Woman was associated with that of Nature.

Simone de Beauvoir laid the foundations of feminist philosophy with her book The Second Sex (1949), from which ecofeminist philosophy would later be nurtured.

Françoise d’Eaubonne coined the term “ecofeminism” (1974) and highlighted the connection between the exploitation of nature and the exploitation of women.

Ser ecofeminista: Verde y rebelde

Ecofeminist guidelines

The basis of critical (non-essentialist) ecofeminism is made up of: human rights, sustainability, and the way animals are treated.

Although it is difficult to summarize the entire trend in this article, we will give a brief overview of its key features:

  • It defends the freedom of women’s bodies and the right to contraception and voluntary interruption of pregnancy.
  • It defends the equality of human beings in both dignity and rights.
  • We are called to give up the way of thinking that Modernity has brought us: the domination of Nature, while forgetting that we are part of it.
  • In the current Anthropocene era, humanity faces the challenge of achieving ecological civilization and social and interspecies justice.
  • Food without pesticides should not be the privilege of a minority, but a right of the entire population. We will talk about agroecology in the next article.
  • Critical ecofeminism does not imply a dangerous rejection of medical science that could lead to reliance on alternative pseudotherapies capable of curing serious illnesses.
  • Mainstream environmental education still fails to facilitate a critical awareness of gender roles and to make women visible as victims of the ecological crisis and as protagonists of change towards a culture of sustainability.
  • Non-human animals are extraordinary companions on our journey through life. The cause of animals calls for an ethical evolution and a qualitative leap in human consciousness that ecofeminism must promote.
  • Ecofeminism advocates veganism and vegetarianism, either out of consideration for animals or because it considers that meat consumption is unsustainable in industrial society due to the high environmental pollution it produces.
  • It demands reconciliation with bodies and with their vulnerable materiality. Remember that there is love without hate, desire without objectification and violence.

References

Although some names have already been mentioned in the development of the articles, we would like to share with you four women who have laid the foundations of Ecofeminism and we encourage you to read about them and their works:

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