Maria Mies
"Ecofeminism," by Maria Mies & Vandana Shiva

Maria Mies on the 1980 Women and Life on Earth conference and ecofeminism

"Ecofeminism, a 'new term for an ancient wisdom' grew out of various social movements - the feminist, peace and ecology movements - in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Though the term was first used by Francoise D'Eaubonne it became popular only in the context of numerous protests and activities against environmental destruction, sparked-off initially by recurring ecological disasters.

The meltdown at Three Mile Island prompted large numbers of women in the USA to come together in the first ecofeminist conference - 'Women and Life on Earth: A Conference on Eco-Feminism in the Eighties' - in March 1980, at Amherst. At this conference the connections between feminism and militarization, healing and ecology were explored. As Ynestra King, one of the Conference organizers, wrote:

'Ecofeminism is about connectedness and wholeness of theory and practice. It asserts the special strength and integrity of every living thing. For us the snail darter is to be considered side by side with a community's need for water, the porpoise side by side with appetite for tuna, and the creatures it may fall on with Skylab. We are a woman-identified movement and we believe we have a special work to do in these imperilled times. We see the devastation of the earth and her beings by the corporate warriors, and the threat of nuclear annihilation by the military warriors, as feminist concerns. It is the masculinist mentality which would deny us our right to our own bodies and our own sexuality, and which depends on multiple systems of dominance and state power to have its way.'

Wherever women acted against ecological destruction or/and the threat of atomic annihilation, they immediately became aware of the connection between patriarchal violence against women, other people and nature, and that: In defying this patriarchy we are loyal to future generations and to life and this planet itself. We have a deep and particular understanding of this both through our natures and our experience as women."...

-- From the introduction to Ecofeminism by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, 1993. (emphasis added)
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