Ecofeminism describes movements and philosophies that link feminism with ecology. The term is believed to have been coined by the French writer Françoise d'Eaubonne in her book, Le Féminisme ou la Mort (1974). Ecofeminism connects the exploitation and domination of women with that of the environment, and argues that there is a connection between women and nature that comes from their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal Western society.
Vandana Shiva claims that women have a special connection to the environment through their daily interactions with it that has been ignored. She says that women in subsistence economies who produce "wealth in partnership with nature, have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of nature's processes." However she makes the point that "these alternative modes of knowing, which are oriented to the social benefits and sustenance needs are not recognized by the capitalist reductionist paradigm, because it fails to perceive the interconnectedness of nature, or the connection of women's lives, work and knowledge with the creation of wealth."
Feminist and social ecologist Janet Biehl has criticized ecofeminism for focusing too much on a mystical connection between women and nature and not enough on the actual conditions of women. Rosemary Radford Ruether joins Janet Biehl in critiquing this focus on mysticism over work that focuses on helping women, but argues that spirituality and activism can be combined effectively in ecofeminism.
In Ecofeminism (1993) authors Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies critique modern science and its acceptance as a universal and value-free system. Instead, they view the dominant stream of modern science as a projection of Western men's values. The privilege of determining what is considered scientific knowledge has been controlled by men, and for the most part of history restricted to men. Shiva and Miles list example including the medicalization of childbirth and the industrialization of plant reproduction.
These authors argue that the medicalization of childbirth has marginalized midwife knowledge and changed the natural process of childbirth into a procedure dependent on specialized technologies and appropriated expertise. Similarly, the dependence of agriculture on industrially produced seed and fertilizer makes a natural, regenerative process dependent on technological input.
A common claim within ecofeminist literature is that patriarchal structures justify their dominance through binary opposition, these include but are not limited to: heaven/earth, mind/body, male/female, human/animal, spirit/matter, culture/nature and white/non-white. Oppression is reinforced by assuming truth in these binaries and instilling them as 'sacred' through religious and scientific constructs.
- Françoise d'Eaubonne - Called upon women to lead an ecological revolution in order to save the planet. This entailed revolutionizing gender relations and human relations with the natural world.
- Sallie McFague - A prominent ecofeminist theologian, McFague uses the metaphor of God's body to represent the universe at large. This metaphor values inclusive, mutualistic and interdependent relations amongst all things.
- Rosemary Radford Ruether - Has written 36 books and over 600 articles exploring the intersections of feminism, theology, and creation care.
- Maria Mies - Mies is a German social critic who has been involved in feminist work throughout Europe and India. She works particularly on the intersections of patriarchy, poverty, and the environment on a local and global scale.
See also 
- ^ MacGregor, Sherilyn (2006). Beyond mothering earth: ecological citizenship and the politics of care. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 286. ISBN 0-7748-1201-X.
- ^ a b (Merchant, Carolyn. "Chapter 8." In Radical ecology: the search for a livable world. New York: Routledge, 1992. 184)
- ^ Shiva, Vandana (1988). Staying alive: women, ecology and development. London: Zed Books. ISBN 978-0-86232-823-8.
- ^ Biehl, Janet (1991). Rethinking eco-feminist politics. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-392-9.
- ^ a b Ruether, Rosemary Radford (2003). Heather Eaton & Lois Ann Lorentzen, ed. Ecofeminism and Globalization. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. vii – xi. ISBN 0-7425-2697-6.
- ^ a b c (Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. Ecofeminism. Halifax, N.S. : Fernwood Publications; 1993. 24.)
- ^ a b (Hobgood-Oster, Laura. "Ecofeminism: Historic and International Evolution." www.clas.ufl.edu/users/bron/PDF--Christianity/Hobgood-Oster--Ecofeminism-International%20Evolution.pdf (accessed March 17, 2012) )
- ^ (Ralte, Lalrinawmi . "The World as the Body of God Ecofeminist Theological Discourse with Special Reference to Tribal Women in India. Www. rethinkingmission.org.uk/articles/The%20World%20as%20the%20body%20of%20God%20article.pdf (accessed March 24, 2012))
- ^ LaRosa, Patricia. "Finding Aid for Rosemary Radford Ruether Papers, 1954-2002". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- ^ "Who's Who of Women and the Environment". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
Further reading 
- Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations, edited by Carol J. Adams and Josephine Donovan
- Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, edited by Greta Gaard
- EcoFeminism & Globalization: exploring culture, context and religion, edited by Heather Eaton & Lois Ann Lorentzen
- Ecofeminism and the Sacred, edited by Carol J. Adams
- The Politics of Women's Spirituality: Essays on the Rise of Spiritual Power within the Feminist Movement, edited by Charlene Spretnak
- Readings in Ecology and Feminist Theology, edited by Mary Heather MacKinnon and Moni McIntyre
- Reclaim the Earth, edited by Leonie Caldecott & Stephanie Leland
- Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, edited by Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein
- Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism, and Religion, edited by Rosemary Radford Ruether
- Journal articles
- Mack-Canty, Colleen. 2004. Third-Wave Feminism and the Need to Reweave the Nature/ Culture Duality, NWSA Journal 16(3):154-179.
- MacGregor, Sherilyn. 2004. From care to citizenship: Calling ecofeminism back to politics, Ethics & the Environment 9(1):56-84.
- Huggan, Graham. 2004. "Greening" Postcolonialism: Ecocritical Perspectives, MFS Modern Fiction Studies 50(3):701-733.
- Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, by Helena Norberg-Hodge
- The Body of God by Sallie McFague
- The Chalice & The Blade: Our History, Our Future, by Riane Eisler
- The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution by Carolyn Merchant
- Ecofeminism by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva
- Ecofeminist Philosophy by Karen J. Warren
- Environmental Culture by Val Plumwood
- Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, by Val Plumwood
- Gaia & God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing, by Rosemary Radford Ruether
- Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, and World Religions, by Rosemary Radford Ruether
- Neither Man Nor Beast by Carol J. Adams
- Refuge: A Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams
- The Resurgence of the Real: Body, Nature, and Place in a Hypermodern World by Charlene Spretnak
- Sacred Longings: Ecofeminist theology and Globalization by Mary Grey
- The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
- Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development by Vandana Shiva
- Thinking Green! Essays on Environmentalism, Feminism, and Nonviolence, by Petra Kelly
- Tomorrow's Biodiversity by Vandana Shiva
- Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, by Susan Griffin
Also see ecotopian literature and feminist science fiction
External links