We can probably all agree that buying things “all natural” has sparked an interest in the American population in the past five years. Many people flock to stores like Whole Foods to buy all forms of natural and eco-friendly living products. I myself have marveled at the local Friendly City Co-Op in Downtown Harrisonburg to gaze at the organic and local foods. I have even bought a quart of milk one summer afternoon. If you want to be “hip” you must jump on this bandwagon of health. It is something that passes through my mind each day as I try to avoid printing out unnecessary documents and always recycle. Even with the growing popularity of health food stores, the fact of the matter is that a hefty carbon footprint is being left behind in transportation alone. I mean when was the last time you found a goji berry growing in your backyard garden?
You may wonder why any of this even matters, but I know for sure why it does to me: Eco-feminism. Although this is a term taken out of the second wave of feminism, I cannot ignore its implications on today’s society. Today, being “eco-friendly” is a form of good deed. Everyone wants to perform a good deed. However, the environment stems more into the patriarchy than many consider on a day to day basis.
Mother Nature, Mother Earth, no matter what you may call Her, has taken on a feminine role since far before the industrial revolution. She is the difference between clean air and industry. She is the difference between country and civilization. She is the difference between nature and culture, and in the United States we have chosen to ignore Mother Nature and opt for a more masculine form of progress. Industries took over and grass fields were covered by parking lots.
Now, I’m not saying that we should demolish big business in order to allow for more deer to roam the lands ( hey, deer scare me more than seeing a ghost when they stare at you from the side of the road), but I am saying there was definitely a complete disregard given to the land that we have all come from, just as patriarchy has disregarded women that have conceived us all. Nature is the womb that holds all creation and we treat Her as a second class citizen each and every day.
I want to know what exactly is at stake with demanding that our society change their ways in terms of treating the environment. I wish that a perfect world would hold onto the ideals of Mother Nature at Her healthiest the same as a society of everyone on that equal footing I discussed in my post last week. Maybe all the environment needs is respect, the same way I cannot help but demand for myself as a woman dealing with the same deck of cards my mother and grandmother were handed before me. When will we be able to create a new way of thinking? Is it possible to re-create a natural world prospering as much as the rate of women now enrolled in a four-year institution?
Although this is a topic I wish to become better acquainted with, I want to hear your discourse on this as well. What do you think of Mother Nature and Her recent fame in the privileged homes of the elite? Is this simply a fad waiting to disappear, or will it be an ongoing battle up to par with abortion rights and the gender wage gap? Let me know!