Moon Phases, Menstrual Cycles, and Mother Earth: The Construction of a Special Relationship between Women and Nature


Nordgaard, Kari. 1999. “Moon Phases, Menstrual Cycles, and Mother Earth: The Construction of a Special Relationship between Women and Nature.” Ethics and the Environment 4 (2): 197-209.

Author: Kari Nordgaard



“This paper will explore a number of contradictions to the theme of a special relationship between women and nature by examining associations between men and nature and ways that women may be considered distance from nature. I will suggest a variety of reasons why literature in women and environment, ecofeminism, and feminist political ecology has chosen this particular story about a special connection between women and nature (and thus failed to include other stories), and I will ask whether ecofeminist constructions of gender inadvertently reinforce the very social and ecological relations so many of us critique. Although much of my discussion will be directed towards ecofeminism, the fields of women and environment and feminist political ecology share the emphasis on women and nature to which I refer. I recognize that whether theorists see relationships between women and nature as biological or social has been the subject of much writing and criticism between theorists who consider themselves to be in different fields. But at this point, the fact that there is now such a large body of literature focusing on relationships between women and nature (or environment) sets up a cultural story that is present across fields. I will use the term special relationship to refer to the full range of ways that women and nature have been connected” (Nordgaard 1999, 198).

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender Regions: Americas Countries: United States of America

Year: 1999

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