While I don’t particularly agree with everything that I read from this week’s reading, I was able to learn about Intersectional Environmentalism, and how it relates to different feminist issues. I wasn’t aware that Intersectional Environmentalism even existed before the readings for this week. None the less, I can appreciate the diversity of issues that it takes into account, while holding more space for more voices from women of color.
From Leah Thomas’s The Difference Between Ecofeminism & Intersectional Environmentalism, she describes how both are separate from each other, while at the same time allowing her readers to feel ok with identifying to label they feel the most connected with. For her, I’m gathering that the education that she’s giving out (blog post writing), is serving her more than to passively create division among her readers to pick sides. She states that, “Both Ecofeminism and Intersectional Environmentalism explore how the treatment and degradation of the earth exposes a deeply rooted societal problem. But while Ecofeminism narrows in on gender, sexuality, and the patriarchy, Intersectional Environmentalism creates space for all social injustices, including sexism”(Thomas). I think that it’s important to recognize how both Ecofeminism and Intersectional Environmentalism can be used as effective tools in different ways, on different platforms of knowledge. They are both important for serving women and the environment that connects us all.
From A.E. Kings Intersectionality and the Changing Face of Ecofeminism, she provides a more critical viewpoint of ecofeminism and intersectionality as separate entities, but how applying an intersectional framework to the discussion can help develop the meaning behind feminist issues and what still needs to be done to help women and intersectional theorization. The following quote, I enjoyed reading, because it helps to describe why intersectionality is important for the relationship between women and the environment, and why we need to consider it when relating to environmentalism. “Intersectionality has become a powerful tool when applied to ecofeminist analysis of the relationship between women and the environment, particularly in its ability to assist in furthering our understanding of how a person’s relationship with the environment…is not completely dependent on any one aspect of their lives, whether gender, race, class, sexuality, or age but rather a combination of all the of the above and more besides” (Kings 71). She advocates for her readers to consider a change in perspective from just ecofeminism to strengthen the relationship between women and the environment. To back up her argument even further, she talks about and describes hygiene issues that women face in India. Issues that in order to further address, needs to be looked at through an intersectional lens, and an ecofeminist analysis is no longer acceptable. In doing so, would limit understanding, and recognition of the issues that have a direct effect on women.
Clearly, the importance of Intersectional Environmentalism is important, as is Ecofeminism. I think the goal should be to keep inviting others into the conversation that allow for more voices to be heard, while at the same time being patient, present, and honest about how we want to see the two separate narratives and theories come together that can benefit the most amount of people in the most effective way. Only then can change be apparent in going forward to harness the most for women and the environment.
While reading page 69 in Kings article, I felt a little annoyed with her talking about how anyone who critiques intersectionality is just coming from a place of privilege. The complaining could have been left out. For me, once a group of people recognize that they are in something (like Covid) the goal shouldn’t be to point fingers, but to work on a solution (like a vaccine). Just saying. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of my copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, otherwise I would have quoted him describing how to solve any problem with Win/Win as the mindset, and how to go into any problem with: understand then be understood, and how that results in more effective communication.
Thomas, Leah. “The Difference between Ecofeminism & Intersectional Environmentalism.” The Good Trade, 11 Aug. 2020.
Kings, A. E. “Intersectionality and the Changing Face of Ecofeminism.” Ethics and the Environment, vol. 22, no. 1, 2017, p. 63, doi:https://doi.org/10.2979/ethicsenviro.22.1.04.