Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?


Mellor, Mary. 1992. “Green Politics: Ecofeminist, Ecofeminine or Ecomasculine?” Environmental Politics 1 (2): 229–51.

Author: Mary Mellor


Many commentators have seen a ‘natural’ affiliation between the ecology movement and the feminist movement. The green movement has attracted many women members and supporters although the German Green Party has adopted the most overtly feminist stance. In Britain, neither feminism nor the presence of women appears to have had a profound effect on green politics. Ecofeminists argue that green politics should start from women's experience as women share with nature a common oppression at the hand of male‐dominated ‘progress’. They also share with the natural world a common experience of nurturing and life‐giving. The failure of mainstream (male) green thinking to incorporate women's experience of caring and nurturing is most clearly revealed in the debate around the future of work. Some aspects of women's lives have been incorporated into green thinking, particularly in the distinction between the feminine and masculine ‘principles’. Without a distinctively feminist perspective these principles are seen as cross‐gender and no account is taken of the imbalance of power between men and women that these ‘principles’ represent. In the absence of a positive integration between feminism and green thinking, green politics is in danger of reverting to, or never leaving, a masculinist stance reflecting the values of patriarchal society.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Participation

Year: 1992

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