Feminism deals with the role of women in society, environmentalism with the relations between men/women and nature. They both can be considered social movements given by the shared awarness of our role in the world; but definitely they have a different story and different purposes. Moreover, environmentalism has a more recent development compared to feminism, that spread out during the Sixties.
Ecofeminism combines environmentalism and feminism directly. Below is a part of a piece explaining ecofeminism.
Although ecofeminism is not a movement in the traditional sense, patterns exist among those who think and act with an ecofeminist consciousness. Ecofeminists affirm qualities traditionally considered “female” such as being cooperative, nurturing, supportive, nonviolent and sensual. Ecofeminists further strive for a balanced synthesis with qualities traditionally deemed “male” that in appropriate contexts are valuable, such as competitiveness, individuality, assertiveness, leadership, and intellectuality.
The concept of “female” and “male,” however, are social constructions and not innate qualities. Both men and women share in the pool of human character traits, some of which came to be categorized as “female” and “male.”
In an effort to be “equal,” many mainstream feminists downplay biological female capabilities such as birthing, lactation, and menstruation. Ecofeminists are proud of women’s unique physiology, and feel that equality with men should not come at the expense of disavowing or understating our physical differences. This does not imply that ecofeminists necessarily perceive women as closer to nature. As with other animals, humans are intrinsically part of nature. Ecofeminists are simply at the forefront in developing a deeper analysis of the human/nature dynamic.
At the heart of that analysis is an understanding that for the past 5,000 years, the “male” has dominated the “female.” Many ecofeminists believe the planet at this point needs massive infusions of female energy to regain balance. Although ecofeminists are immersed in social and political struggles for reform on a variety of fronts to achieve this balance, there remains a certain sympathy for Ynestra King’s classic declaration, “We don’t want a piece of their rotten, carcinogenic pie.”
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