Give Her Chance
The Correlation of Oppression in Ecofeminism:
Women and earth have always seemed to be correlated. Both assume a feminine identity and both are oppressed, raped and pillaged. Women from all over the world are oppressed. Women are deprived of education and therefore are deprived of possibilities. An example of this can be seen through the selected women from poorer communities to attend Barefoot college in India to become solar engineers. Not only are the women presented with the opportunity to learn, but are also presented with employment. The desire for women in this particular work force is for the benefit of the company. A woman would stay with the company and continue to work under this company rather than going off and begin a new business. This can be seen as proof of the oppression of these women. They say and work for the men who hire them because they know they won’t have to tools to be successful in a man’s world. These women have an incentive to learn and work; their families. The desire to provide for a family and to better the life of the women herself is reason enough for these women to work. Similarly, Mother Earth provides and works for the betterment of mankind.
What women give is not always returned equally, and this can also be seen through the degradation of nature. What is taken from nature is not equally returned.
Dualism; and how it attributes to oppression:
Dualism in itself separates one thing from another. Dualism severs any connections between humans and nature, the mind and the body, and the female from the male. When two things become separated, there exists a kind of hierarchy. This confrontational separation initiates that one is positive or negative. The issue then becomes the superior against the inferior. In the case of mind against body, the mind then conquers the body, and in male versus female, it becomes that male attributes become more desirable than female characteristics. The biggest issue here is the lack mutual dependency, there is no harmony. Because of this mindset, ideas like development are enacted as a means to conquer and improve the land. Rather than there being a respect and appreciation for the land.
The separation of human and nature then assumes that one does not equally need the other. Humankind cannot separate itself from nature completely without fatal consequences. A mutual dependency is needed. This dependency is reciprocated energy. If mankind takes from mother earth, they then must out back equal work. The harmony with energy of giving and taking will sustain the earth and its inhabitants.
Nature then becomes a thing for humans to dominate and conquer. However, a harmony should exist between human and nature. In a sustainable world, there would be and equality between taking and giving. But that’s not the world we live in. Nature is raped and pillaged similarly as women are also raped.
Women and Environment:
Many times, women are able to see the effects of environmental degradation before others. Women who stay home and cook are the first to notice when the water they try to cook with is discolored, and the water they use to bathe children in becomes questionable. Another parallel is the bearing of offspring. Women bear children similarly to how the earth bears fruit. The women would also notice when the earth no longer bears fruit for them to sustain their families.
So yes, a connection between the environment and women does exist, and this connection is widely reliant on mutual dependency. A mother depends of the earth to nourish her, so she may nourish her child. This gives the mother incentive to maintain the earth in order to sustain her family.
The fact that women are more directly affected by the degradation of land can also prove that women will be more adamant about saving the land. The Earth is a home, and a mother builds her home for her children. So for a woman to keep her family safe, she will desire for the health of the earth to continue to provide. So will the Earth provide for all those who need provision. However, the earth cannot maintain a way of life without the proper reciprocated energy. If mankind takes from mother earth, they then must out back equal work. The harmony with energy of giving and taking will sustain the earth and its inhabitants.
Women, Land, and War: Another Correlation
Another correlation between earth and women is the assault on both during times of war. Both land and Women’s bodies become battle grounds for wars started by men. The land is stripped of her fruits and destroyed for oil. While women's bodies are raped and mutilated by means of domination. This also shows the view of women as property of men. A way to insult a man is to “take” his women and assault her. The burning of land and crops can be used as a way to dominate and overtake a man’s lively hood. However, this land did not provide for that man, but for the women and children who lived off of the produce.