Mother Earth Holds a Protest Sign

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Wendell Berry once offered the phrase that the one commonality among humans is Earth. The planet is the only home we’ve ever known, a place we’ve inhabited for years while neglecting, overusing, and under appreciating it through our societal structure.

The environmental crisis, undoubtedly, continues to be pushed to the backburner. The west coast of the U.S. is facing detrimental wildfires while the east coast is swallowed up by the Atlantic. Overconsumption is a major issue in affluent first-world countries, as a number of people are still left to fight for their bare essentials.

We have reached our natural limits, forcing ourselves to progress to outlive what we no longer possess. Arguably, we are pushing our boundaries to sustain our existence instead of focusing on fixing the initial mess we created.

Issues like climate change, waste disposal, and loss of biodiversity stemmed out of environmental degradation. This, many experts argue, is no “accidental feature” of our current modern crisis. A number of feminist theorists believe this systematic marginalization was created out of male-driven science.

First world countries, who also hold the most industrialized societies known to man, are exploiting the planet’s resources heavily. Women in these countries are also marginalized, exploited, and neglected by the system in place.

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The intertwining of these two issues began with the scientific revolution, when women were not able to work in scientific fields and forced to be the “second sex,” according to Simone De Beauvoir.

The patriarchal influence in science created a massive oversight on the natural world. We shifted science away from conservation and into progressiveness to enhance technology, industry, and modernity. A competitiveness ensued that continues to exploit nature and women.

Women coincide with this natural aspect because of the way we’ve socialized. The female gender is stereotyped into categories such as being caring, doting, loving, or emotional. Qualities that are natural in aspect and seemingly fluid.

The divisiveness in this issue is gender. In an article by Nafeez Ahmed, the idea that we’ve “otherized” to divide is suggested. To combat this, we must take a stand against divisive tendencies and harp on inclusivity in ecofeminism.

It may seem brash, but the divisiveness we see in a number of social issues causes gender to play a major role in discussion and reformation. I have seen, for a number of years, a back and forth between the oppressed and oppressors that is never resolved.

To fix this, we must join together under the ever-present, looming idea that the earth will continue on without us. If we want to progress as a species, taking the first step to identify global issues as neither one side of the other would increase our unity and also bring reform to the environmental crisis.