Ecofeminists: Keep fighting to good fight!

June 1, 2012

My last post for Bitch Magazine is as follows.  Many thanks for Bitch Mag for hiring me as a contract blogger!  I had a good time!  But now the season is started full-force, and it is time to concentrate on the farm.  Stay tuned for my updated herbal workshops!

Sometimes—often—the news and media can get you down.  For the ecofeminist, news can be downright devastating.  Climate change is frying our cities, affecting the poorest people first, the majority women and children.  Food deserts are rampant in these poorer areas.  The government doesn’t seem to be slowing down subsidized crop worship, unwilling to help the small organic farms who actually grow food fit to eat, helping the subsidized crops do many other crimes against the earth.  Chemical companies are polluting air and water, but people are seemingly not slowing down from buying toxic materials produced by these companies to decorate and clean their homes with. 

Legal scholar Angela P. Harris wrote in 1990, according the anthology, The Fire this Time, “As feminists begin to attack racism and classism and homophobia, feminism will change from being only women as women to being about all kinds of oppressions based on seemingly inherent and unalterable characteristics.  We need not wait for a unified theory of oppression; that theory can be feminism.”  I would also include environmentalism in this string of oppressions.  These issues overlap, and become stronger and more powerful when aligned.  Feminism needs to be elastic enough to carry all of its combined weight.    

So what is an eco-minded feminist to do amidst this world of depressing destruction?  All I can advise is:  get out there.  Educate yourself.  Do something and know you did that something.  Education and awareness about systems of oppression are more crucial than ever.  It is up to us to be eco-warriors, for the sake for feminism, for the sake of all oppression in the world.  It is not only about buying “eco-friendly products”, which, in terms of greenwashing, people need to be wary of anyway.  It is about not buying new, if we can help it.  It is about lifestyle choices and doing what you can:  make it, buy it used, buy it new if you must, but know what materials are in it, who made it, etc.  It is about powering down at home.  Walk and bike more, make wise food choices, harvest rainwater, hang your clothes up to dry.  And get out into the community.  Work in a community soup kitchen, or start your own.  Participate or start urban farming.  Plan a renegade food forest, permaculture-style.  Become increasingly self-sufficient, and less dependent on chemical-ridden corporations, even if they are little things you do—you’ll feel better and more powerful.  These are not always easy choices, or sometimes even possible ones, but they are a start to get the mind thinking and consciously aware.  There are plenty of books for inspiration and organizations you can volunteer with to find unity and community. 

Making drastic lifestyle choices are scary, but can be done.  My boyfriend (now husband) and I quit our jobs in the hopes that we could make it as organic farmers, though we had no farmers in our family, no real encouragement, and no land access.  We now rent land, and, though I haven’t made so little money owning our business now as I did when I was in high school working at a library, we are making it work.  Starting a business, or having a “green” occupation that is helpful to society and the earth isn’t for everyone, but if it is in you, then go for it.  The earth has your back.  The fairies are listening.  The woodland creatures are on your side.  The plants and trees have hearts and eyes, and they are fighters too. 

Thanks to Bitch Magazine for letting me be one of the many voices of ecofeminism.  Being able to see the world, including media, through an ecofeminist lens is important.  Everything is related, and everything can be dissected.  I’ve had people around me that call me “too sensitive”;  can’t I just buy that  Starbucks iced coffee without thinking of it not being fair-trade and shade-grown, and without thinking about the plastic cup it’s in, its plastic straw and with the straw’s paper cover?  Can’t I ignore the factory-farmed milk it has in it, the sugar in it that is grown in a non-eco way (because all sugar cane is not very sustainable)?  Can’t I just drink the coffee and lighten up?  Well, when you put it all together, it does sound like I’m crazy.  But unfortunately, I’m not crazy; the world is what has gotten so messed up, so deformed in light of humanity’s quest for wealth, personal gain, thoughtless pleasure and material possessions, that it’s the world that’s gone haywire.  I wish it wasn’t all like this, but it is.  I wish I could snap my fingers and it could be different, but it won’t be.  We live in this world, and we have to continue living in it, doing our best to mend its wounds, even in what seems to be impossibly small ways.  Collectively, I really believe all of our actions mean something.  Keep fighting the good fight, and let’s make our uphill ecofeminist battle soar.

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2 Responses to “Ecofeminists: Keep fighting to good fight!”

  1. Christen Steinkuller said

    I agree with you completely! Especially about the fairies;) You are truly an inspiration to me and many others. I have been thinking a lot about starting a sustainable farm/CSA lately. I think focusing on sustainable resources and educating people on sustainable farming is the best thing we can do if we want to see any sort of leveling in the desparity of humanity, and the only way the world will survive. I cannot see how more people are not sensitive to the insane amount of waste and pollution that is created by us everyday to create mostly useless products. What you are doing is key! I would love to visit your farm soon an chat more about it. Can I sign up to volunteer??

    Truly,

    Christen

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