Ecofeminism: When Feminism and Ecology Intersect

CATEGORIES: News & Events
Photo by Celeste Ki
By Trinity Jones


For many years it has been established that the Earth is suffering, and there has been a call for solutions. One of the approaches is Ecofeminism, which is defined as “[A] movement or theory that applies feminist principles and ideas to ecological issues.” WGS 320 or “Ecofeminism,” taught by Dr. Danielle Wirth, is a class that is offered in the Women and Gender Studies Program and goes into depth about the philosophy.

“It is sometimes viewed along with several other environmental ethics as the radical tradition,” explained Dr. Wirth. “[R]adical meaning that it’s not one that is yet widely embraced. However, I will say that there has been more and more ecofeminist actions and thought and mainstreaming of ecofeminism in the last 15-20 years.”

During the semester-long class, Dr. Wirth emphasizes the importance of learning the history of ecofeminism which is what Dr. Wirth describes as, “A moving target that’s ever-evolving.” Students also get the opportunity to interact with the environment and observe it while filling out field journals. One of the interactions was a trip to Reiman Gardens, where the class observed the plants and other living creatures. 

One of the students who had the opportunity to take the class last semester was Celeste Ki, a senior majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. Ki expressed that the class helped her gain knowledge, but that it also influenced her lifestyle as well.

She became a vegetarian, walks anywhere that takes less than 30 minutes, and utilizes her reusable items such as bags and water bottles. Since taking Ecofeminism, she has become more conscious of how sustainable she’s being in her everyday life.

I’ve made a lot of little changes like that, and maybe they aren’t such big changes, but they add up to a big change over my lifetime I’m sure. It has also set an example for others to care about the environment,” says Ki. “My entire life has changed because of this class, and it’s all for the better. I feel more empowered, I have more energy thanks to a plant-based diet, and I feel hope.