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My thoughts on Ecofeminism

Polly's picture

When Anne read some information about ecofeminism and speciesism, I found myself immediately rejecting and judging those ideas. I couldn't accept that the next step in equality and inclusion was animals. It sounded ridiculous to me. Why and how would we extend rights to animals? And as Christina said, plants are living too. Including certain non human species in equal rights but not others is just another line to draw. After I left class, I remembered learning about the waves of feminism in my women in history class at high school, and the critiques they received. In the first wave, when women wanted to be able to participate in the public sphere, they were accused of trying to wreck the entire structure of the American family, and therefore the country. I think that every new branch or type of feminism is going to have a counter argument. Sometimes other types of feminists are the ones arguing. I don't want to think of myself as acting/being against a group of feminists, like ecofeminists, but I their ideas don't follow what my feminism is. I hadn't heard any categories besides first, second, and third wave until class on Thursday, and I guess the idea of there being new groups still forming confuses me. Feminism as an ongoing movement seems so different from what we read about in history, and I am having a hard time placing myself. I dont want to be in a box for my type of feminism.


Ann Lemieux's picture

more confusion on the definition of feminism

I feel like eco-feminism shouldn't really be labeled as a branch of feminism, but as more of a related movement. I agree that feminism is about gender, and I believe that it's also a human rights movement. Eco-feminism overlaps with feminism and animal rights, but it shouldn't be labeled as one or the other. I also struggled with seeing it as an inclusive movement. I feel like eco-feminism is trying to tell people that feminists must care about all living things equally, and that anyone who believe humans are better than other species in any way can not consider themselves feminist. I think that this is ridiculous and exclusive. I believe in animal rights and I'm a vegetarian, but I don't equate or even really connect my vegetarianism with my feminism. These are two separate identities for me. Also, I don't agree with saying that all species are exactly the same. All species have rights, but these rights aren't the same. Humans deserve equal opportunities for education, for example, but animals do not have the right to an education because animals can't talk. I really think that eco-feminism is taking the idea of equality too far.

Celeste's picture

I agree.  I found myself

I agree.  I found myself wondering if I was having a genuine disagreement with the idea of "speciesism", or if I was basically having that same incredulous reaction that the world had with the first, second, and third waves of feminism. Another question--I am inclined to think that plants cannot know they are being marginalized.  An animal understands what mistreatment is, but I assume it does not feel the outrage that humans do upon being treated badly.  It's an interesting concept to consider.  It makes me wonder what the next step beyong ecofeminism is, and if there is one.  I still believe that feminism has a gendered meaning.  How can mobilizing against speciesism ever pertain to being a feminist?  It's confusing to me.