Ecofeminism— how toxic masculinity is the root of societal issues

Alyshba Ahmed

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               art by Rebecca Lopez

                          art by Zoe Pyne

With the recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, society has seen the impact, along with the controversy, that influential women can have on the world. Whether one supports Ginsburg’s ideas or not, we can all agree that she marked an important moment in United States history by being one of the first women on the Supreme Court. The idea that women such as Ginsburg have impactful roles in society is one that is important in feminism — the ongoing movement for women’s equality. Feminism has existed for several centuries and thus has branched out into many different forms, including radical feminism, i-feminism, and most recently, ecofeminism. 

 

Ecofeminism is a class of feminism that dates back to 1952, although the term was popularized following the 1970s (Glazebrook). The idea is simple: gender inequality, the climate, and social injustice are all interconnected as one broader issue. The three issues are interdependent; without one, the other will not function. As signified by Karen Warren’s Ecofeminist, exploitation of both women and the environment has led to some serious consequences, which include climate change and rapid urbanization. Over the past few decades, these issues have increased in severity primarily as a result of human ignorance.

 

Although it seems straightforward, ecofeminism has garnered a large amount of controversy in the time of its rise. Members and allies of the ecofeminist movement point to male domination in both domestic and extrinsic matters being the cause of several issues that the world faces today. Since men are expected to be cold-blooded, merciless creatures, they begin to normalize harmful behavior through the maltreatment of both women and the environment. We can see this through a superiority that men feel they have over women, along with the rising global warming rates that are caused by male-dominated activities such as fracking and high carbon emissions.

 

Society has brainwashed us into believing that this is acceptable. Stereotypes that depict men as “tough” and women as “gentle” are not only emotionally upheaving, but they can lead to the global problems mentioned above. If we do not steer away from these toxic generalizations, there is no doubt that society will continue to face social and environmental struggles. 

 

To many, it may seem impossible to shift away from norms that have controlled humankind for as long as we can remember. Yet, this may be more possible than we expect. By teaching our male-identifying peers, family, and even acquaintances, that there is no ideal image for a man, we are moving towards a more progressive society. This may seem like a minor change, but moving men, women, and non-binary communities away from gender-specific stereotypes can prevent actions that are harmful to society.

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SOURCES:

Glazebrook, Trish. “Ecofeminism.” SpringerLink, Springer, Dordrecht, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_807. 

Regan, Sarah. “How Gender & The Environment Are Intrinsically Linked.” Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 22 June 2020, www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/ecofeminism-history-and-principles

Warren, Karen. “Ecofeminism.” Ethics and the Environment, vol. 7, no. 2, 2002, pp. 12–26. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40339034. Accessed 9 Oct. 2020.