Women and the World

When researching ecofeminism online, I found an article that stated “when surveyed, women consistently rate the environment as one of their greatest concerns—in numbers greater than men … When an environmental threat affects a community’s health, most often it is women who take on these issues. Frequently they do so in isolation, far from established conservation groups and with few resources.”  This is very thought-provoking to me because I am curious now about whether this is now what we would consider a gender role or if this is simply because women and nature relate to each other on a deep level. The article I obtained my quote from above is entitled The Real Mother Earth: 10 Inspirational Women Fighting for a Cleaner, Kinder Planet. Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, is listed as number one on this list because she was the first woman to really step in and draw society’s attention to what was happening to the world around us and what it could lead to.

You can go take a look at the list of women and a brief summary about their story at the following link: http://people.howstuffworks.com/mother-earth-inspirational-women.htm. One woman whose story stood out to me was Arundhati Roy, an Indian author. She has protested the Narmada Dam projects because of the negative environmental impacts. People have called Arundhati crazy and careless because the dam project provides water for thousands of people, but Roy is looking out for the good of the planet. Arundhati Roy has even gone so far to say that “Big Dams are to a Nation’s ‘Development’ what Nuclear Bombs are to its Military Arsenal. They are both weapons of mass destruction.” Roy has joined a large grassroots organization called the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which she has donated much of her book prize winning money too. According to an interview online she was one of many who were arrested when protesting with the group.

Roy has written a book called “The End of Imagination” that is about India’s nuclear testing. She is against it and frightened by the ways in which it is being used to oppress people.  I think that women like this are inspiring, but I don’t think that only women can care for the planet…so can men! I think that the readings talk a lot about gender roles and how the role of “caring” or “helping” is more feminine and …but aren’t men generally associated with the role of protecting and guarding? Couldn’t that be applied to the treatment of the Earth, too?

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