By: Muhammad Rifky Wicaksono
Ecofeminism is a phrase that is rarely heard by the majority of people. It refers to a socio-political movement that believes in the existence of a connection between the destruction of nature and the decidedly masculine patriarchal domination of man. It argues that masculine attitudes are not only responsible for the oppression of women, but also the degradation of nature in general.
The term ‘ecofeminism’ was first invented in 1974 by Françoise d'Eaubonne and stands for ecological feminism. Though the term itself was coined in 1974, ecofeminism was in motion as far back 1962 marine biologist and naturalist Rachel Carson’s book, ‘Silent Spring’ was published. Her work contained the essences this movement, by embodying the idea that ‘even though humans are small, we can make a big difference to the environment’. This idea was taken up and taken a step further by Ellen Swallow. A renowned industrial and environmental chemist, Swallow was the first female student admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the institution's first female instructor. Ellen Swallow was regarded by some as the mother of ecology. But it is her work of educating women about the environment and its connections to their homes that really gave environmentalism its connection to feminism. The connection was made by early ecofeminist on the assertion that women are closer to nature because of their position as a homemaker in the family. They continue by concluding that because it is women who take care of their families and home, it is women who would be more aware of environmental issues than men
The movement gained additional momentum when Ynestra King and activist Grace Paley organized the "Women and Life on Earth" conference at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1980. A subsequent successful conference held at Sonoma State University the following year paved the way to the founding of the first...