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Women and Nature Revisited: Ecofeminist Reconfigurations of an Old Association

  • Kate Rigby
Chapter

Abstract

The term écofeminisme is said to have been first coined in 1974 by radical French feminist Françoise d’Eaubonne. Identifying the underlying cause for the twin crises of overpopulation and overproduction—somewhat reductively—in the age-old patriarchal domination of women, d’Eaubonne called upon feminists to wed their cause to that of the environment and lead the way into a postpatriarchal, genuinely ‘humanist’, and ecologically sustainable future (d’Eaubonne, Le Féminisme ou la mort, Pierre Horay, 1974: 213–252). Since the publication of Le Feminisme ou Le Mort the connections between the position of women and the fate of the earth have been explored in a number of theoretical directions and arenas of action. As the three books under discussion here amply demonstrate (Merchant, Earthcare: Women and the Environment, Routledge, 1996; Mellor, Feminism and Ecology, Polity Press, 1997; Salleh, Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern, Zed Books, 1997), by the mid-1990s, ecofeminism had truly come of age, both as a theoretically sophisticated form of critique and as a global movement of resistance and renovation, linking struggles against environmental degradation with the endeavour to overcome social domination, above all on the basis of sex/gender, but also increasingly in terms of ‘race’ and class.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Rigby
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Bath Spa UniversityBathUK
  2. 2.Literary Studies, Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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