Volume 20, Issue 3, Fall 1998
The Philosophical Colonization of Ecofeminism
There is general agreement among ecofeminists regarding the desirability of a variety of expressions of ecofeminism, but this pluralism is under threat with the emergence of an approach that emphasizes the primacy of a philosophical ecofeminism which claims the authority to prescribe what ecofeminism should be. The recent anthology Ecological Feminism is symptomatic of this trend, with contributors who affirm the philosophical significance of ecological feminism by privileging philosophers’ voices over those of other ecofeminists, rather than by engaging in critical dialogue with, and exploring connections between, different ecofeminist discourses. This colonizing strategy actively excludes many women’s voices from the creation of an environmental ethic, including those of activist, spiritual, and “Third World” ecofeminists, but fails to offer any adequate philosophical grounds for doing so.