Ecofeminism is a social and political movement which unites deep ecology and feminism.

Ecofeminists argue that a relationship exists between the oppression of women and the degradation of Nature, and explore the intersectionality between sexism, the domination of nature, racism, speciesism, and other characteristics of social inequality.

Ecofeminist analysis[]

Ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, a philosophy and movement born from the union of feminist and ecological thinking, believes that the social mentality that leads to the domination and oppression of women is directly connected to the social mentality that leads to the environmental abuse of Earth. It combines eco-anarchism or bioregional democracy with a strong ideal of feminism. In some tendencies, typically its advocates emphasize moving back to small eco-villages of 100 to 140 people, which studies in anthropology argue historically form the most stable and prevalent type of human society. In both the traditional and modern feminist ideal of such villages, women often function as the only landlords or the only land-owners, and property may be inherited only maternally, i.e. in a matriarchy.

A central tenet in eco-feminism states that male ownership of land has led to a dominator culture, manifesting itself in food export, over-grazing, the Tragedy of the Commons and a land ethic that amounts to land abuse. Some eco-feminists view colonization as being akin to rape, and they also have equally harsh things to say about games such as golf or bobsledding that inherently require destruction of ecologies to be played.

Some scientists generally dismiss ecofeminism as neither feminism nor ecology; most feminists are not part of the radical fringe, and have heavily criticised the radical and anti-science turn that eco-feminism has taken.

Feminist writer Janet Biehl has written: The early radical feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s which most inspires me - called for the equality of women in every aspect of social and domestic life. The more radical feminists who initiated that movement recognized that the full equality of women could not be achieved without far-reaching changes in all structures of society. By contrast, ecofeminism's sweeping but highly confused cosmology introduces magic, goddesses, witchcraft, privileged quasi-biological traits, irrationalities, Neolithic atavisms, and mysticism into a movement that once tried to gain the best benefits of the Enlightenment and the most valuable features of civilization for women, on a par with thinking and humane men. What were once seen by progressive thinkers as the general goals of humanity as a whole, to be attained without any gender restrictions, have been dissolved by ecofeminists into a body of vague parochial notions focused overwhelmingly on women's allegedly special quasi-biological traits and a mystical relationship that they presumably have with nature - a "nature" conceived as an all-nurturing and domestic Great Mother. This highly disparate body of hazy, poorly formulated notions, metaphors, and irrational analogies invites women to take a step backward to an era whose consciousness was permeated by myths and by mystifications of reality. It does not bode well for women - especially those who regard themselves as more than creatures of their sexuality - to follow in this regressive path.

However, this line of criticism may not apply to many ecofeminists who reject both mysticism and essentialist ideas about the connection between women and nature. This antiessentialist ecofeminism has become more prominent since the early 1990s.

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