Ecofeminism is a movement that seeks to educate, uplift and empower women in climate policy discussions that can often lead to much more impactful outcomes. Although the concept has been around for decades, highlighting how gender inequality intersects with environmental crises, ecofeminism has become more salient as growing research points to the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women, especially in southern countries. The lessons we can learn from ecofeminism can be key to recognizing how empowering women can help alleviate the climate crisis and create more equitable societies. Here are some of the best books on ecofeminism to get started.
Bis Ecofeminism Books to read
1. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development (1988), by Vandana Shiva
Often considered the founding “mother” of ecofeminism, Vandana Shiva was a pioneer in discussing and linking ecological crises, colonialism and the oppression of women. Stay alive is a radical text (at least at the time it was published) that uses a feminist lens to highlight the challenges of women in the Global South; how rural Indian women experience the causes and effects of ecological destruction, and the role they play in completely halting environmental devastation and helping to regenerate the process. By delving into the story of development and progress, through violence against nature and women, readers learn that we are essentially threatening our own survival. But what makes this book relevant even to this day is its insight into how women can help unravel the destructive path we follow through their lives. knowledge and vision, and what needs to be changed to create a paradigm shift in development.
2. Woman and Nature: The Roar Within Her (1978), by Susan Griffin
One of the most referenced classic ecofeminist books, Woman and Nature offers a limitless description of what misogyny is and means in society, and of the process in Western culture, for example through language and science, by which women and nature have been subjected to male patriarchy . The landmark work also explores the role of women and their identification with the natural world; how they make sense of the world and reinterpret the human relationship to nature through beautiful prose, poetry and persuasive language. Griffin draws from all sorts of material, from mundane medical texts to classic literature, to highlight how patriarchy has seeped into all facets of life and to encourage readers to revisit language in a new light.
3. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (1993), Val Plumwood
Third on our list of the best books on ecofeminism is this academic and philosophical text on how ecofeminism and other theories, including radical environmentalism, are related and interconnected. Val Plumwood also details how linking male dominance to nature dominance has ties to the fundamental roots of the world’s current dilemma. Given the importance of these two political thoughts and movements that emerged in the late 20th century, Plumwood argues that feminist theory has the potential to make major contributions to political ecology and environmental philosophy, which have arguably helped shape the current climate justice movement. The Australian ecofeminist and intellectual challenges deep ecology, instead proposing a better way to relate to the world through the spirit of friendship; Value is not proven by how similar a thing is to you, but by what it can offer you by being itself.
4. The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (1990), by Carol J Adams
While the title alone has certainly received a lot of attention (and criticism), The sexual politics of meat has also become a landmark, if controversial, text on the debate surrounding animal rights as well as the rights of society. ingrained misogyny and obsession with meat and masculinity. The book is not lacking in critical analysis of feminist literature, but the main takeaway is that meat consumption is strongly linked to other forms of oppression; Adams likens eating meat to animals, which is what white racism is to people of color. It is worth checking out the 2015 edition, in which Adams published a new (and comprehensive) afterword, as well as updated discussions based on more recent speeches.
5. How Women Can Save the Planet (2021), by Anne Karpf
In Anne Karpf’s compelling analysis of the climate crisis, she explores how those who suffer the most from climate change are those who have done the least to cause it. And recognizing that the leaders of fossil fuels have historically been men, the question arises whether putting women in the same positions would therefore induce and inspire change and progress. However, don’t let the title fool you; the London Metropolitan University sociologist has no interest in providing a guide on what and how women should specifically tackle climate change, but rather addresses how gender politics is intertwined with the climate crisis. With gender equality, we can inherently solve the climate emergency. Filled with refreshing interviews with women activists around the world, the book also offers actionable visions, including a call for a Green New Deal for women.
You might also like: How the Climate Justice Movement Could Solve Global Gender Inequalities
6. Sister species: women, animals and social justice (2011), edited by Lisa Kemmerer
Some of the world’s foremost ecofeminists, including Carol J. Adams, Karen Davis, A. Breeze Harper and Patrice Jones, have contributed to this anthology of powerful and candid essays that address the interconnections between speciesism, sexism, racism and homophobia. These 14 activists have shared deeply personal and sometimes heartbreaking stories of cockfighting, factory farming, vivisection and the bushmeat trade to illustrate the human oppression of animals, forcing readers to rethink how their daily choices affect the animals and the changes they can bring to the abused. sister species also seeks to remind readers that women have always been important to social justice and animal advocacy, and the inherent connections between feminism and animal activism.
seven. Trash: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret (2020), by Catherine Coleman Flowers
There’s no better example of ecofeminism in action than this inspiring story from environmental justice activist Catherine Coleman Flower. Her award-winning memoir follows Flowers’ journey from a country girl in Alabama, known for her violent and racist history, to a student civil rights organizer, to her groundbreaking work to provide basic sanitation to poor and minority communities. . Far too many people in the country cannot afford to dispose of their trash, a situation Flowers describes as America’s dirty secret. As climate change and other environmental issues continue to bring more wastewater to more backyards, clean sanitation is a ticking time bomb issue. Along with discussions of human dignity, the book also addresses the systemic class, racial, and geographic biases that foster Third World conditions not just in Alabama, but across America.
8. All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions to the Climate Crisis (2020), edited by Ayana Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson
60 of the world’s leading climate activists lend their voices and ideas in this provocative book of essays and poetry. Amid the growing global movement of climate activism, where the most prominent leaders are often women and girls, the book shows how they are agents of change and have the power to offer solutions to mitigate change. climatic. We need leaders grounded in compassion, connection, creativity and collaboration to resolve this existential crisis. Through persuasive and illuminating language, poetry and art, these activists hope to inspire more people to join their movement, as well as the confidence and courage to take action, no matter the arena.
9. Refuge: an unnatural history of family and place (1991), by Terry Storm Williams
Refuge is a rather unconventional book that is both an intimate and personal account of Williams’ mother’s lost battle with cancer and a deeply analytical discussion of the ecology and preservation of the Great Salt Lake wilderness. Forced to confront the concepts and realities of death, Williams began to explore man’s relationship with nature, women’s health, before coming to the conclusion that we live in a world ultimately controlled by forces natural. The author’s (and poet’s) fierce love for nature bleeds through every page, especially for the aforementioned lake and the birds of Utah, and transforms the tragedy into a story of renewal and spiritual grace, this which makes it essential reading and one of the best. ecofeminism books to pick up.
ten. Sweetgrass Braiding: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and Plant Teachings (2015), by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Last but not least in our selection of the best books on ecofeminism is the remarkable botanist and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer, a comprehensive work on plants and nature. Filled with indigenous wisdom intertwined with science, this unique yet powerful book aims to instill in readers that nature is our oldest teacher; it is only when we choose to understand the language of other beings that we can accept the bounty of the Earth and ensure a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. Using eloquent and beautiful writing, Kimmerer effectively conveys her love of the earth and nature, or as she writes, “that’s really why I taught my daughters to garden – so that ‘they still have a mother to love them, long after’. I left.”
If you liked these books on ecofeminism, you might also like: 20 best books on climate change and sustainability in 2022