What’s in a name? Juliet from Shakespeare’s play asked at the meaning of a rose.
Ecofeminism, as the name implies, is when issues of environment and gender meet, or when we choose to include both aspects in our way work and actions. They intersect directly such as concerning menstrual products, health and pollution, as well as through an affinity regarding historical narratives of devaluation and structures of exploitation. Women and the environment are connected not in any ‘closer-to-nature’, ahistorical way, but through cultural constructions and associations. The same can be said of issues of race, class and sexuality.
One who asks what’s in the name of ecofeminism and answers the question very eloquently and intelligently is Chaone Mallory in her article ‘What’s in a name? In defense of ecofeminism (not ecological feminisms, feminist ecology, or gender and the environment) – Or “Why ecofeminism need not be ecofeminine – but so what if it is?”‘, and I can highly recommend it. Another place that’s interesting to check out as well as inspiring and explanatory is the book Why Women Will Save the Planet. A nice collection from different perspectives and voices.
In my own definition, however, ecofeminism is about caring enough about people and the planet to change our attitude and behaviour, to act wherever we encounter harmful and destructive practices, whether towards the environment, people of color, queer people, women, or men who don’t fit the norm – and realize how these issues are often connected. Besides, I find it can be very satisfactory to do so. Perhaps you do too?