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Ecofeminism

By John Halstead

[Snip] The term “Ecofeminism” is believed to have been coined by the French writer Françoise d’Eaubonne in her 1974 book, Le Féminisme ou la Mort. Ecofeminism emerged in the 1970s and 1980s as the feminist and environmental movements intersected. The nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island prompted large numbers of women to come together in 1980 for the first ecofeminist conference at Amherst College, titled “Women and Life on Earth: Eco-feminism in the Eighties”. Ynestra King, one of the organizers of the event, declared in the opening address:

We here are part of a growing movement of women for life on earth, we come from the feminist movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the disarmament movement, the holistic health movement. We have come because life on earth and the earth itself is in terrible danger. … We’re here to say the word ecology and to announce that for us as feminists it’s a political word–that it stands against the economics of the destroyers and the pathology of racist hatred. It’s a way of being which understands there are connections between all living things and indeed we women are the fact and flesh of connectedness. … feminism and ecology are where politics come face to face with biology, and where the spiritual and the political come together. … the crisis of this civilisation which has led us to the brink of nuclear annihilation, is spiritual as much as it is economic. … Both (the feminist and the ecology movement) are deeply cultural and even spiritual movements, whose principles explode the categories of the political to include the biological on the one hand and the spiritual on the other.

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