women and life on earth bookshelf

Ecological feminism

Dangerous Intersections
Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment and Development

Jael Silliman and Ynestra King, editors

South End Press, Boston 1999
$20.00 ISBN 0-89608-597-x Pb

"The Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment (CWPE) investigates the reasons why a variety of environmental, social, and security issues are defined or presented as population problems… CWPE rejects the simplistic projection of population growth as the major source of environmental degradation. We do so in order to redirect attention to find socially just solutions."

CWPE, "a loose but politically astute network of feminist scholars and activists" came together in 1991 in response to momentum prior to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992 linking environmental destruction to population growth. CWPE "defined the root causes (of environmental destruction) to be social and economic structures, rather than population demographics and women's fertility."

Among many thought-provoking essays, feminist geographer Joni Seager explaines how the military are major environmental pollutors, and analyzes related devastation as a product of the militarized "cult of masculinity." Gender and development specialist Meredeth Turshen describes the economic and political reasons leading to environmental desvastation in Tanzania. Women's Studies and History professor Marsha J. Tyson Darling details historic and present ways that African American women and their sexuality have been defined and objectified: "With each passing decade, the misogynist messages in much of social science scholarship, the media, and popular culture spread ever more extensively through American culture."

"This significant anthology… highlights the intersections of sexism, racism, and classism that blame women of color and third world women for the 'population problem' linked with today's environmental crisis… Stilliman and King call for a more humane future premised on women's basic human rights and social and environmental justice." - M. Annette Jaimes-Guerrero, editor, The State of Native America

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