What is Ecofeminism?

I’d like to start with a brief history of feminism. I know that you can get this information just as easily off a Wikipedia cite, but I think it’s important that if you’ve stumbled onto this blog, you have a grasp of what it is:

Three Waves of Feminism

The first wave of liberal feminism paved a space to challenge the inequalities of between the sexes, where women sought equal pay, voting rights and quite frankly, a lot more respect from the ‘macho’ male. It might remind you of the “We Can Do It” photo. Because of the First World War, women were forced to work outside the house to maintain their nation’s economy and were not willing to pacify themselves for men when they returned home from the war.

The second wave of feminism looked beyond the issues first wave feminists opened and branched between radical, social and cultural feminists who looked at issues of reproductive rights, racial equality, essentialist views of sex and gender, among a vast number of other issues. If you’re interested, check out the works of Angela Davis, Simone de Beauvoir, Donna Harraway and bell hooks to name a few influential second wave feminists.

Third Wave feminism was greatly influenced by the work of the social feminists, and can be looked at as a reaction against essentialist views of biological sex. These feminists looked at structures such as class and race and how they are naturalized in a society through epistemic language and how these can be deconstructed. Another few honorary mentions are the works of Eve Sedgwick, Vandana Shiva, Judith Butler, Margaret Atwood, Nancy Tuana, Carolyn Merchant, Catriona Sandilands; music talents Joan Jett and Peaches – just to name a few (I could keep going)

Ecofeminism is the intersection between third wave feminism and its’ relationship to nature. It is a type of feminism which focuses on environmental justice through reproduction, health, class, race and other social related issues. Ecofeminism speaks to the relationship between women and nature; the sensual, the wild, and the urge for man to dominate.

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