As Thanksgiving has come and passed, we are left with little of November left and with Donald Trump popping up at a Navajo veterans event at the White House on Monday to talk about Pocahontas, who was in fact not Navajo.
But today, in honor of Native American Heritage month coming to a close, I want to talk about Native American environmental groups. There are two in particular that I am going to highlight, though there are actually several of them. While they are not directly feminist, it is my belief that feminism and environmentalism are linked and I am using the platform I have to share information about a topic I see little coverage of. Environmentalism and feminism can be linked in the way they are used to help further each other’s campaigns. One example is Honor the Earth, they had a campaign a few years ago to fight sexual assault of native women. They fought this by fighting the man camps that pop up around new oil drill sights. Continue reading “Remember more than one month a year”→
Let’s take a moment to think about all the problems the US is facing today. We have wildfires consuming the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and California. Hurricane Harvey is flooding Texas and Hurricane Irma nearing Florida. The whole country either needs water or it has too much, and that’s only in the US. Here in Moscow, where I live, there’s so much smoke in the air that we are now at a hazardous air quality. The world has become a gray haze outside my windows. I can’t enjoy the breeze at night or else I risk waking up in a cloud of smoke and hurting my cat’s lungs.
Last semester I wrote a post about Ecofeminism. It was tied to the idea that women and nature are linked and that for women to be free, nature must also be free. Today I wantto go more in depth with that idea.
Where did Ecofeminism come from?
Ecofeminism came into its modern state in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in an academic setting. Ecofeminism could be found mostly in the academic world for most of the seventies and then in the eighties, ecofeminism became for prevalent outside of the academic world. It is very popular in India, where the Chipko movement exists, this movement was for the protection of forests against deforestation. The term was coined in 1974 by French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne and combines the ideas of gender equality, of nonpatriarchal and nonlinear structures, and of the world that respects organic processes.
The main book that I used as a base for much of my last post was called Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism which is a collection of essays edited by Judith Plant. It was published in 1989. There are more recently published books on this subject, the most recent one I can find being published in 2014. Although I am very certain that there are more recent books.
As many of you know, I wrote for the blog last semester, and I loved it so much I decided to come back. If you don’t know who I am, let me introduce myself a little better. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Idaho studying Journalism and Environmental Science. I play on the Quidditch team and in my spare time, I like to knit and crochet, I have a passion for reading, and I whole heartedly enjoy watching shitty horror movies, especially with vampires. My other passions include Trevor Noah’s stand up and caffeine.
I lived most of my life in Caldwell, Idaho, but a few years ago I moved to Colville, Washington, and I have found a second home in Washington. It was there that I found my love for the outdoors and the environment.
This summer I got the wonderful opportunity to work in the technician field studying Western Grebes. Grebes are a water bird that lives in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. For this project, we spent the summer in Cascade, Idaho watching the grebes on Lake Cascade. I was part of a program here at the University of Idaho, called the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, that is in other schools like the University of Florida, University of Arizona, Cornell, and North Carolina State. I made so many friends, and I really loved what I did this summer.
I take a special interest in women’s issues because, I am in fact a woman. And even though I come from a place of privilege, I believe that every woman deserves a chance to be heard. And still, I believe that I do not have much experience with some issues. I will try my best to not mess things up. But if I do make a mistake, please let me know; I am still learning. I want to expand my views and fully understand a topic.
I want to talk a little about what I would like to cover this upcoming semester. I want to explore the ecofeminism idea that I wrote about last semester a little more and a few other things that come into my head. This semester I want to explore the many faces of feminism and how it doesn’t have to be about just the normally talked about issues. Feminism is a diverse topic, and I feel that sometimes we forget that feminism can cover many different things.
I am an eco, Marxist, intersectional, radical, dirt-loving feminist. This week, all of the writers for the blog were asked to define what feminism means to them. I find this challenging because it is so open ended. Everyone who has interacted with feminism defines it differently. Different generations have widely different collective notions of feminism. My mom’s generation thought feminism was playing the game like the men do, rather than dismantling the underlying power structures. Ultimately, feminism is equality, acceptance, understanding, and love for yourself and for others.
Indian society has a deeply rooted preference for sons. In recent years, incidents of gender-based violence such as the New Delhi gang rape have proven that strong women speaking out could be most beneficial now more than ever. Women are generally regarded by Indian society as weak and submissive, and treated unfairly without any claim to equality under the law. Misogyny, or the dislike, hatred, mistrust of women, or prejudice against women, is deeply woven throughout India’s history and culture, so much that it is seen as a part of life. The article Misogyny in India: We Are All Guilty describes how violence against women is often minimized:
“The Hindi phrase most commonly used to describe sexual violence or rape against women is “izzat lootna,” which means, “to steal the honor of.” Why should a rapist be given so much credit? Rape is a criminal act of force and perverse subjugation. When a woman is raped, her most fundamental rights as a human being are violated.”