A feminist is a person who is interested in the rights of women; eco is related to the environment.
Therefore, a person who is interested in the rights of women and how these rights are connected to the environment is an “Eco-feminist.”
In my twenties, I had all of these ideas about women’s roles, the state of the planet and how they were interlinked but couldn’t find a way to express it that didn’t seem like garbled nonsense.
I already knew I was a feminist; studying sociology at university cemented that clearly into my psyche. I learned about radical feminism, liberal feminism and feminism that wasn’t even feminism. Yet, I learned nothing about feminism that was linked to the earth.
So imagine my excitement when I googled eco-feminist and found out the term did actually exist!
Yet the more and more I’ve heard, the more this closet-belief has strengthened.
The very nature of the earth as a usable commodity is built into the fabric of our industrial society—and it wasn’t too long ago that we treated women exactly the same (and in some places still do).
According to UN Women, one in three women will suffer some form of violence in her lifetime.
I guess I’m unlucky; in my family circle it’s more like three in three. Either that or the statistics are wrong.
And I’m betting on the statistics being wrong.
Because let’s face it: we live in a society where the creation of the ideal women by the media encourages women to hate our bodies. For me, that’s violence against every single woman, not just one in three.
With the treatment of women and earth the same, maybe it was just coincidence that the rise of modern environmentalism and feminism happened at the same time? Maybe not.
In one corner of the world, women were gaining the first full rights to vote; New Zealand led the way in 1893.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in the United States, John Muir helped pass the National Park Bill in 1890, which created the Yosemite and Sequoia Parks. He then went on to cofound the Sierra Club in 1892, which is now the oldest, largest and most influential environmental organization in the U.S.
Both movements have continued to grow to become, in my opinion, the two most important movements that we, as a society need to pay attention to. If we truly want to change the world, we need to recognize that all other problems are extensions of these.
Take poverty for example: women make up 70 percent of those in poverty according to some estimates by UN Women.
It’s going to be women who are affected first when the effects of climate change really hit.
Conversely, any action to save the planet really helps save women too. The perfect example of this is the Green Belt Movement, which was set up by Wangari Maathai to help Kenyan women save their natural environment and receive an income in the process.
Even though we have the Divine Feminine, which is the idea of a Goddess connected to the Earth, appearing in Spirituality, it’s not enough. While this makes the connection between women and the planet, it doesn’t ground it in action.
We need a clearer link between the divine feminine and environmental action. We also need to show that the connection to the divine feminine isn’t to be found by going within; it’s to be found by going out and taking action to save the earth.
The first step within that action is communicating with the earth and listening to what she’s telling us, even though the language she uses is unfamiliar. It might seem a bit woo woo to communicate with the earth—or, to think that the earth is communicating with us—that is until research starts to support it.
There’s now enough evidence to suggest that the earth is a living, intelligent organism.
This idea, which originated from the Gaia theory by James Lovelock in the 70’s, remains controversial despite Bolivia being the first country in the world to recognize the rights of Mother Earth in 2011.
The biggest challenge for us all is getting past the idea that it’s silly; the paradox is that you have to believe it’s possible before you can experience it for yourself. And why would you believe it if you haven’t experienced it?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a goddess or a god you still hold the power to bring balance back to the divine feminine and the earth.
Get out there and communicate with the earth; the more you do the greater you’ll help change the planet than you’ll ever realize.
Tabi(tha) Jayne, as the G.o.d.d.e.s.s. of Peace Passion and Purpose, helps bright young women who want to change the world create and live the lives of their dreams so they can experience happiness and fulfilment while they make the world a better place. Become your own super heroine at www.tabithajayne.com.
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Assistant Ed: Olga Feingold
Ed: Bryonie Wise