An activist movement that supports environmental issues as well as feminists rights?! Count me in! That pretty much sums it up in as simple a way as possible: ecofeminism also known as ecological feminism is a movement that links both environmental and women’s rights issues to a patriarchal society.
Since this movement was created, around the late 1970s, it has split off into many different trains of belief, so it has been difficult to narrow it down to one main focus. However, there have been two main schools of thought: radical and cultural.
As the name sounds, radical ecofeminists argue that our male dominated society devalues both women and nature. Of particular interest to radical ecofeminists is how both women and nature have been painted in a negative light and made into a commodity. In more simple terms: women and men have been viewed in negative ways and have been used to make money. Women are often used as cheap labor (and a way to make cheap labor- i.e. children) and nature is for human use, to provide cheap resources. Radical ecofeminists are against this patriarchal society and their view of women and nature as commodities.
Cultural ecofeminists see a connection between females and nature because of reproductive cycles and gender roles. Basically, this means that they think that women are more connected to the changes that have been occurring in nature and ecosystems and that society should honor that link more. Cultural ecofeminists use widespread cultural beliefs to support the protection of nature as well as highly valuing women’s role in nature.
Some critics argue that ecofeminism reinforces traditional gender roles and that that will have a negative effect on the treatment of women in general. There are also many arguments both for and against the use of religion and spirituality within these movements.
Overall, this movement has a lot of organizing and defining left to do but it is an exciting start to a movement that cares about the intersection of feminist and environmental issues.