Our group wrote and designed a brochure to briefly explain ecofeminism as well as give suggestions on where to go for more information and how to support animal rights and ecofeminism. The brochure also clarified the historic link between feminism and animal rights through examples of well-known feminists who were also advocates of animal rights and a vegetarian lifestyle. One of the reasons ecofeminism speaks to us is that we are able to make concrete changes to make our daily lives consistent with our beliefs. We attempted to get this idea across in the brochure – that oppression is not a natural state, and there are many ways individuals can help create a space free of oppression. We wanted a simple way to give people information about what we’ve learned all semester.
It worked out well; quite a lot of students stopped by our booth and talked to us, and we handed out all of the brochures we had printed. Many students who were interested in animal rights said that they would check out more information about ecofeminism, and many students interested in feminism said they appreciated the links we made between oppression of women and oppression of nature/animals.The brochure we made included as much information as possible without overwhelming readers with new information.
As students stopped by our booth and asked questions, we took the opportunity to talk about the differing voices present in ecofeminism. Several students were interested in the history of the women’s health movement and its place in ecofeminism. Additionally, we made clear in our discussions that although ecofeminism has its roots in an idea of women being connected to nature, that connection has been questioned by cross-cultural and international ecofeminists. As Huey-li Li points out in Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, there are ways to connect the dots between the oppression of women and the oppression of nature and animals without falling back on essentialist notions of womanhood that defines ‘woman’ as being somehow closer to nature than male aggressors/hunters. Li also argues that the Western connection between women and nature is not universal, something that became apparent in discussing ecofeminism with students at the fair.
This foundation of Western ideology has the potential to alienate women across the globe who might otherwise find ecofeminism believable. Ecofeminism is made weaker for this lack of inclusion of different experiences of nature and gender.