Ecofeminism and the Government

Norgaard and York explain that due to the interconnectedness of the domination of women and the domination of the environment by the patriarchy, “nation-states with greater gender equality on the whole are expected to take environmentally progressive stands due to the influence of gender on all state processes” (Norgaard and York 508). They analyze the percentages of women in state’s parliaments and the percentage with which these states ratified environmental treaties. You can see their chart below.

Norgaard and York then compare two affluent, developed nations to explain the correlation between the representation of women and the state environmentalism.

Norway, who ranks fourth under gender equality and seventh under state environmentalism, shows a strong correlation between the two.

On the other hand, we look at Singapore, ranking 106th and 103rd respectively. Singapore has a high level of industrialization and a high standard of living much like Norway, but women hold only 4.3% of legislatorial positions in their parliament. Showing the correlation between the two, Singapore only ratified four of the thirteen treaties that Norgaard and York examined.

A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore, March 14, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File

Going beyond treaty ratification, Singapore’s emissions of carbon dioxide in 1999 were three times the world average. Women in parliament in Singapore have little ability to pursue their own agendas, making it difficult for them to push forward environmental legislation.

Throughout the world, women lead the pack when it comes to environmentalism. One such woman, Christine Figueres, is the head of the UNFCCC. Figueres focuses on the possibility of what the world can be rather on the destruction the world is headed towards. She takes a unique position on climate change this way. Going off of Norgaard adn York’s ideas that women in power support environmental change, Figueres focuses on building gender equality. Figueres believes that “when there are more women in boardrooms and and in high-level positions in institutions, you get decisions that are wiser and longer-term” (Figueres, Carrington).


Dr Hilda Heine, the president of the Marshall Islands, is the first female president of an independent Pacific Island nation. She focuses her presidency on environmental issues as rising sea levels are an active threat to life on her set of islands. She most recently championed the European Union to convince the president of the United States of the dangers of climate change.

These are just two women that are working in different areas of the world governance in order to lead the fight against climate change. These women, like many women before them, see the importance in environmentalism. Heine and Figueres are reminders to younger generations of women that our voices can be heard if we put in the work.

Without women such as these, environmental movements would have not nearly enough friction to cause any major changes as it is just as Norgaard and York proved, there is a link between women in power and a country’s focus on environmentalism.

Works Cited

Carrington, Damian. “Christiana Figueres on the Climate Emergency: This Is the Decade and We Are the Generation.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 15 Feb. 2020,
“Her Excellency Dr Hilda C. Heine.” Pacific Community,
Norgaard, Kari, and Richard York. “Gender Equality and State Environmentalism.” Gender & Society, vol. 19, no. 4, 2005, pp. 506–522., doi:10.1177/0891243204273612.
Staff, TIME. “Meet 15 Women Leading the Fight Against Climate Change.” Time, 12 Sept. 2019, This article helped me to see many women in powerful positions who are front runners of the fight against climate change. This article helped me to learn more about these women so that I could then go off and do my own research on them.
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An Ecofeminist Perspective on Abortion

Ronnie Zoe Hawkins holds what could be seen as a radical idea concerning abortion. She sees abortion as being a needed form of birth control in order to limit the population and to curtail global destruction. I wholeheartedly agree with her.

When looking at abortion from an ecofeminist perspective, there are two sides to the argument. On one side is Hawkins view and on the other is the idea that nature must be left how it is, that a pregnancy must be allowed to continue. Ivone Gebara calls this view “lofty, tender and idealistic” (Gebara 132).

Our planet is overpopulated and with each additional human being on this planet, it is additional damage to our home. As I write this it is 11 AM and according to the world clock, there have already been 100,000 more births than there were deaths. So far this year there have been almost 17 million more births than there have been deaths.

As this overpopulation continues to grow an ecofeminist must look at the state of the planet. Without abortion this would be even worse. Hawkins states that in 1986 alone, the population grew by 82 million. There were 54 million abortions performed that year according to her statistics. So without abortion the population would have grown by 136 million people. That is for one year alone.

Humans cause destruction to this world that we live in. We funnel toxins into the air and destroy the forests all in the name of profit. What will happen once all the forests have been destroyed? Once all the plant life dissipates? The earth as a whole will be unable to breathe. With each birth our world becomes more and more overpopulated. So why should we force women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term?

Gebara describes the ecofeminist perspective as one that wants life for all beings but she knows this is not possible and so therefore comes to the conclusion that “we do not want to struggle to uphold principles at the cost of unnecessary suffering of fully developed persons” (Gebara 134). She puts a humanist perspective to Hawkins argument. While both are ecofeminists, they look at the topic of abortion from different perspectives. Hawkins looks at the fact that abortion curtails our ever growing population in necessary measures. “Our connectedness with all other life on this planet reinforces the need for abortion” (Hawkins 693).

These two women agree on the need for abortion and this two sided view of this argument is what I agree with. Hawkins can tend to feel clinical when reading as she points out how “abortion plays an important role in limiting the ecologically damaging effects of the human population” (Hawkins 692). What she does though is distance herself from the human suffering that necessitates abortion and instead focuses on the damages to the earth that humans inflict upon it. Why I brought Gebara into this argument is that she adds that humanity to this discussion as she focuses on the human need for abortion. The lives of the humans that abortion affects, rather than on the lives of the plants and animals living on this earth that Hawkins stresses.

Works Cited

Gebara, Ivone. “The Abortion Debate in Brazil: A Report from an Ecofeminist Philosopher under Siege.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, vol. 11, no. 2, 1995, pp. 129–135. JSTOR. This source was fundamental in me being able to evaluate Hawkins work. From agreeing with Hawkins but not being sure how to put that agreement into words. By synthesizing this source with Hawkins I was able to better evaluate my own understanding of Hawkins philosophy.
Hawkins, Ronnie Zoe. “Reproductive Choices: The Ecological Dimension.” Contradictions: Controversies in Feminist Social Ethics, 1993, pp. 690–694.
“Real Time World Statistics.” Worldometer,
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The Sexualized Depiction of Non-Human Animals

The sexualized depictions of food and meat groups together women and animals Women “want it” and therefore so do animals. Women and animals are grouped together as “others” who are deemed to be for the consumption of the white male. In this post I will be analyzing four images in reflection to Carol Adams, the author of The Pornagraphy of Meat and The War on Compassion. Adams teaches that women, people of color, and animals are grouped together as these “others” in a way that enables the mistreatment of groups of people throughout history that have experienced genocide and violence.

Image 1 This image depicts a chicken walking and winking with the words “Buns n’ thighs” emblazoned beside it. The image of the chicken sexualizes the animal in the way that images of women are sexualized. Because women are seen to “want it” and deserve the violence that is sent their way, so is the chicken seen in the same manner (Kemmerer).


Image 2 This image is an even more blatant example of what we saw in the first image. The Burger is given a woman’s legs, dressed in fishnets and red heels. Wearing accessories such as this is generally how the media classifies a woman as being “easy” or “slutty”. The burger is telling the viewer to “eat me” so here we are focusing on Adams point even further that by sexualizing meat, we are saying that just as women “ask for it” so do animals.



Image 3 Here we see the opposite happening from what happened in the above images. On these pins the designer is looking to dehumanize Hillary Clinton by describing her the way KFC it’s chicken. Therefore reducing her humanity to the viewer, legitimizing negative treatment of her (Adams).

Image 4 Here we see another example of Adams’ concept of “anthropornagraphy” or the “depiction of nonhuman animals as whores” (Adams). This is just a further example showing that the animal “wants it” and is asking for the public to subject it to violence.


Works Cited

Adams, Carol J. “Examples of The Sexual Politics of Meat.” Carol J. Adams,
Adams, Carol J. “The War on Compassion.” Antennae, 2010, pp. 5–11.
Kemmerer, Lisa. “The Pornography of Meat by Carol Adams.” Philosophy Now: a Magazine of Ideas, 2006,
Potts, Annie. “The Politics of Carol J. Adams.” Antennae, 2010, pp. 12–24.
Vegan Feminist Network. “Fifty Shades of Chicken.” Vegan Feminist Network, 21 Dec. 2018, I used this site to find the image I used in example four. The site was helpful as it provided a few images of sexualized chicken and that it talked about Vegan Feminism and the intersectionality that is at the core of the beliefs understanding.
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Vegetarian Ecofeminism

Looking at this image you can see a clearly male image cutting a ham that looks like it sat on a grocery store’s shelves for months. The color of the meat shows that pale greyish look characteristic of meat that comes from factory farms and then sent off through the channels to eventually land at your local Wal-Mart. The size difference between the meat and the human character shows us how much we rely on meat. By showing the ham so large and the human so tiny, it is representational of the fact that we allow meat to be a too large part of our lives.

We live in a society where the outlook on gendered food is beginning to change. If you google man eating and woman eating, it garners pretty similar images compared to when the Eisenberg article was written in 2016. In Eisenberg’s second paragraph she instructs us to google these two phrases and to see what the results are. She tells us her results were of men eating steak and women eating salad. When I googled this, most results for both were pasta and salad. This is not to say that the gendered assumptions are gone though.

I watch a lot of night time television and this week I paid close attention to everyone’s plates. The only time I saw anyone sitting down to dinner was in an episode of Law and Order: SVU where they go to arrest the suspect at a dinner. He gets up from the table and we see a clear shot of this hyper-masculine man’s plate being a medium-rare steak. Dining with him is a woman eating a salad. In Pulp Fiction, John Travolta’s character gets a menu and says “Let’s see, steak, steak, steak…bloody as hell” while Uma Thurman’s character instead prefers a burger and a shake. Looking back through television shows and movies you can see the clear assumption in most restaurant dining scenes: the man has a bloody steak and the woman has a dainty salad or something else deemed feminine. What is it with a salad that so speaks to femininity and a steak that speaks to masculinity?

Just as the patriarchy has oppressed women, it oppresses the world around it. Animals are “grown” for food, kept in conditions that most Americans choose to pretend doesn’t exist. I have met countless people that say they prefer to pretend their meat is not a living animal. Why do we choose to live in ignorance rather than change the world around us? Isn’t one still being an oppressor even if they refuse to acknowledge it? Curtin makes it clear that “one need not be aware of the fact that one’s food practices oppress others in order to be an oppressor” (Curtin 2).

The patriarchy is a form of oppression held up by multiple systems- racism, classism, sexism and speciesism (Gaard 20). Without one, the whole system collapses.

Ecofeminism believes that all biological beings are equally deserving of the same equal rights. Regardless of one’s race, gender, class or species. Gaard talks about the keeping of pets as subjects, controlling their every whim and explaining how despite the kindness and compassion we exhibit towards these animals, it is still oppression of another species. We are still feeding into these systems upholding the oppression.

Curtin brings a different light to the subject, discussing moral vegetarianism and how we oppress animals in order to feed ourselves. They discuss how our patriarchal society influences us to consume meat and further this oppression.

What these two authors have in common is their shared agenda of promoting positive and equal relations between humans and animals. Both authors stress a compassionate relationship to non-human animals by making “sympathetic connections” (Gaard 120) between “the oppression of women and the oppression of non-human animals” (Curtin 1).

Works Cited

“Law & Order: SVU.” Swimming With the Sharks, season 21, episode 15, NBC, 20 Feb. 2020.
Curtin, Deane. Contextual Moral Vegetarianism.
Eisenberg, Zoe. “Meat Heads: New Study Focuses on How Meat Consumption Alters Mens Self-Perceived Levels of Masculinity.” HuffPost, 13 Jan. 2017,
Gaard, Greta. “Ecofeminism: On the Wing.” Women & Environments, 2001, pp. 19–22.,
Gaard, Greta. “Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 117–146. JSTOR, This source was very helpful in touching on more of Gaard’s points that she addressed in the assigned reading. The assigned reading focused on Gaard’s views of pets while this one focused on vegetarianism much like how the Curtin reading did.
Tarantino, Quentin, director. Pulp FictionYouTube, 18 Apr. 2019,
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Brown Hill and Our Inability to be a Bedrock of Democracy

I live on a dirt road, some would say in the middle of nowhere, but in reality, Brown Hill is somewhere. With three different towns and school districts merging in our small community, we are a mismatch of different types of people, some come here for the farming, others for the cheap real estate, and others because their families have always been here and will continue to always be here.

I leave, but I always return, to this little slice of the earth that I call my home. This small part of land in Crawford County, in the state of Pennsylvania, remains untouched by the government. They take care of us in the extent that occasionally they pay for a plow to come down our road in the winter, and once the waters have dried up from the spring they send a grate to fill in all the potholes left over from our arduous winters.



Other than that, they leave us alone. As Williams wrote about this community having their road wiped away and the fight of the local community to return it, I was horrified. What about the people living on that road? How would they get to work? How would they feed their families? Williams writes about the bull trout that might become extinct, but if they just repair the existing road in the first place that caused no danger to the bull trout, what would happen then.

All I could think about was what if that happened in my community? If my road fell into disrepair and was washed away by the melting snows? The people who live in this small rural community do not have the money to lose to fix it themselves, they cannot afford to miss days of work because their road cannot be crossed. My heart ached for the people that are barely mentioned, who would have had to face the decision to give up their homes to move somewhere else.

I had to question, what would my community do if this happened here? Would we stand up and fight? Or have we become so dispassionate from years of simply taking what the government gives us?

As a liberal, I am different from most in my community. I live in an area where most are uneducated and believe the lies spouting from the mouth of the President. They fly their rebel flags believing it is a sign of history, completely disregarding that Pennsylvania was in the Union and that it is not our history. The people of my community take what they are being given. They do not stand up and fight. They stand with the status quo. It is there that I realize most would not fight, most would allow the government to do what they do and convince them that this is best.

Williams talks of “a participation in public life to make certain all is not destroyed under the banner of progress, expediency, or ignorance” (Williams 19) and this is where I believe my community would fail. Most are content with what the government tells them is right and are not willing to research their beliefs to discover the best way to save themselves and their families.

In Knowing Our Place, Barbara Kingsolver writes of needing wilderness in her life and I recognize that. I bounce around Western Pennsylvania, spending most of my adult life living in Pittsburgh, but when the ache for wide open skies, trees all around me, and the smell of manure that always reminds me of home, returns, so do I.

I grew up playing amongst the trees, with the mud in the spring, bugs in the summer, leaves in the fall, and those astoundingly large piles of snow in the winter months. The city has its benefits, but living here brings you back to your core. One must really work for the essentials, planning weekly trips two towns over for groceries, organizing homework time by the hours of the day when the internet works the best. We grow our own food that will hold us through the long winter months, and we shoot, skin and package our own meat that will supply us all year long.

When I was young and full of rebellion I ran to the city seeking freedom from the mundane. As a woman in my late twenties I returned home to the hill where everyone knows my name. It is here I make my home, with my grandmother, where my parents and grown siblings show up unannounced on any given night to see what I have cooked for dinner. It is here where I am content to make my home.

I can’t imagine life any other way. The city is good for a little while, but eventually, one needs to experience what life is like without daily conveniences. I became spoiled having everything at arms distance. Life was easy and I got lazy. Here I must work harder and therefore discover the woman who I truly am.

Annotated Bibliography

     Kingsolver, Barbara. “Knowing Our Place.” Small Wonder, Harper Collins, 2002.

Williams, Terry Tempest. “Home Work.” Red, 2002, pp. 3–19.

Fisher, Jim. “Photos.” Amish Murder, Edinboro University, This website provided me with the only published photographs I could find of my neighborhood. Affiliated with Edinboro University, it is a website dedicated to the most well known murder to happen in my neighborhood during my lifetime.

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Ecofeminism in the Global South

Environmental degradation affects women in the global south in a number of ways. In these communities the responsibility of taking care of one’s family through collecting food, fuel, fodder and water is heavily placed on a woman’s shoulders. Through the destruction of the environment, women are having a harder and harder time collecting what is necessary to support their families. As the forest’s are taken over for commercial use and destroyed, as the waters are polluted and diverted to wells, as the community centers dissipate, so does a woman’s ability to provide adequately for her family (Agarwhal 128-129).

There are a great number of differences among ecofeminism coming from Western and non-Western viewpoints. While activists such as Karen Warren focus on the connections of the subjugation of women and the subjugation of nature to more symbolic ideas, activists such as Agarwhal and Shiva focus on the real damage that ecological destruction is wreaking on the communities of women living in the Global South. Warren’s Women-Nature connections allows a white-washed way to look at global destruction without taking into account the damage that is having an impact on women’s lives every day.

Ecofeminist discourse focuses on the historical and conceptual links between women and nature (Warren, Agarwhal 122, Hobgood-Oster 13), the common ground shared by the environmental movement as well as feminist movements (Agarwhal 122, Warren), and the vision of a future society (Agarwhal 122, Warren).  What ecofeminist discourse from the Global North fails to note is “the underlying basis of women’s relationship with the nonhuman world at levels other than ideology” (Agarwhal 123). Basically what Agarwhal is saying here is that western feminist discourse tends to discount the real world effects of ecological destruction on women’s everyday lives, particularly women of the Global South.

Women who wake up every day and now must spend hours longer searching for ways to take care of their family than they did in the past (Agarwhal 138). Women who are no longer connected to their community who they used to be able to rely on in times of crisis (Agarwhal 141). With the destruction of their environment and the abandonment by their government for reasonable and applicable solutions, women have formed grassroots movements that focus on helping to find a solution to the crisis that these communities have found themselves in (Agarwhal 143, Shiva, Navdanya).

When I look at these different perspectives of ecofeminism, I find the whitewashed western way to be more interesting, more fun to learn about. Reading about Merchant’s observations and historical analysis makes me want to know more, makes me excited to learn about it; but, the perspective of the women of the Global South is eye opening. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania and living in poverty, I could never imagine living in the kind of poverty these women are facing. They have the unique advantage over white-washed feminism of having to actually act rather than provide discourse. If they don’t, they will slowly die, as will their communities. While I find western ecofeminism more interesting to learn about, I recognize the need for the ecofeminism of the Global South and recognize its importance in feminist discourse.

Works Cited

Agarwal, Bina. “The Gender and Environment Debate: Lessons from India.” Feminist Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, 1992, pp. 119–158. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/3178217.
Brendan, and Karen J. Warren. “Warren’s Introduction to EcoFeminism.” There It Is, 21 Jan. 2014,
Hobgood-Oster. “Ecofeminism: Historic and International Evolution .” 18 Aug. 2002,–christianity/Hobgood-Oster–Ecofeminism-International Evolution.pdf.
Shiva, Vandana, and Scott London. “In the Footsteps of Gandhi: An Interview with Vandana Shiva.” Global Research, 3 Feb. 2016,
“The Movement.” Navdanya,
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Factory Farming and Animal Abuse

The patriarchy continues to enforce it’s domination over the earth in the ways animals are tortured in factory farming. Animals are routinely tortured and lead miserable lives all centered around the cheapest possible ways the corporation can make more money. This is done at the expense of an animals rights (ASPCA, Mercy for Animals, PETA). The same structures that enforce women’s oppression enforce the oppression of the animals that are born of this earth.

According to Karen Warren, a feminist philosopher, there is a symbolic association of the degradation of women and the environment in many religions as well as literature and art. Western society draws a great number of influences from the Christian bible and uses key verses from the Book of Genesis to support the idea of using the environment for human uses. Genesis 1:28 states that “…God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

This idea of man’s dominion over all the creatures of the earth is in direct contrast with ecofeminist principles. Ynestra King believed that life on earth, rather than having a natural hierarchy as mentioned in the bible, is instead an “interconnected web”. Mankind’s relationship to nature has been to subdue it, control it. Just as men have continued to subdue and control women throughout history. The two are interconnected for they are being controlled in much the same manner, as stated by Hobgood-Oster. This control of nature harkens back to the Industrial Revolution when scholars such as Francis Bacon wrote extensively of controlling nature (Hobgood-Oster 8).

In order for either ecology of feminism to advance, they both must consider each other. As feminism has taken on the perspectives of racism, classism and ableism, so it must also take on naturism (Hobgood-Oster 2). Dualistic hierarchies have supported the patriarchal structures and this is what ecofeminism seeks to address. The assumptions of these hierarchies continue to justify the oppression of humans and nature. In order for humanity and nature to realize a point where all is equal, where everything of this earth is seen as having equal rights to its natural state, these dualisms must be destroyed (Hobgood-Oster 3).

In Warren’s Introduction to Feminism Karen Warren illustrates eight points linking women to nature. One of these is Conceptual Connections which addresses that “historical and causal links between the dominations of women and nature are located in conceptual structures of domination that construct women and nature in male-biased ways (Warren)”. The human/nature and man/woman dichotomies prescribe higher values to one or the other, in this case, human and men are seen as more valuable than nature and women. Much like throughout history the rights of women have been taken away, so have the rights of nature and of animals. Today in the U.S. women have the right to vote, but that was only granted in the United Statesin 1919, similarly spousal rape was legal until it began working it’s way out of state laws in the 1970’s. There are very few laws protecting the rights of the animals of this earth. Despite being living, breathing creatures, they are housed in slaughterhouses that don’t allow them to live their lives in a natural manner. Instead they are kept locked in cages, unable to sit or turn around for the duration of their lives, ultimately slaughtered and sent to your local Wal-Mart to be picked up and brought home for dinner. These living conditions reflect those of women throughout history and with the efforts of ecofeminism, will hopefully one day change.

Works Cited

Brendan. “Warren’s Introduction to EcoFeminism.” There It Is, 21 Jan. 2014,
“Factory Farming: The Industry Behind Meat and Dairy.” PETA, 22 June 2010,
“Factory Farms: Hell on Earth.” Mercy For Animals, 2 Jan. 2015,
“Farm Animal Welfare.” ASPCA,
Hobgood-Oster, Laura. Ecofeminism: Historic and International Evolution . 18 Aug. 2002.
King, Ynestra. The Ecology of Feminist and the Feminism of Ecology. 1989.
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Introductions, Blogging and Hunting

Hello everyone, my name is Kiera Janoski. I am a 28 year old Women’s and Gender Studies major living in Brown Hill outside of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. Cambridge is a really tiny town with a population of around 2,500 and Brown Hill is a small Amish and farming community about eight miles east of it. I’m a caretaker for my elderly grandmother who has Alzheimer’s and up until this point I have been working as a bartender and waitress since I was 17.

Looking at Feminist Philosophers the most recent posts are full of feeling and emotion, they showcase the beliefs that the authors believe in and are passionate about. This is something I want to be able to channel in my own blog. As I scrolled back further I can see that what led up to the end of this blog was just a great deal of re-posts, sharing of articles the authors liked and never even bothering to put their own spin on things or write how they felt about these issues, which was an instant turn off. Obviously, since this blog is for my class, I will not be doing that; but, if I were to write a blog down the line, that is something I would try to steer clear from. I feel like it could be really easy to get caught up in that, just sharing things other people write lessens your own workload and probably will get more shares, re-blogs and traffic as the original poster and sharer can see where their traffic is coming from and can support you.


deer photo

In my small community, we focus on giving back to the earth. It is a very grass roots community where most people rely on the vegetables they grew during the spring and summer to get them through the year. Everyone here goes hunting in the fall, no one can afford red meat if you don’t shoot it, skin it and package it yourself. Where I’m getting at with this is that my community is focused on living naturally, without all those preservatives, in a way that is environmentally friendly. Personally, I am incredibly passionate about only consuming meat from animals that have been allowed to live their lives without the inhumane conditions that the United States meat industry relies on. I think that is incredibly wrong to keep animals locked up in cages with their only purpose in life being someone’s dinner. I want to live bio-ethically and this is just the beginning for me.

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