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Scientific paper


Ecofeminist Thought and Practice

Bruna Bianchi

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Venice 2012


From the text: In recent years, the degrowth movement has forcefully brought attention to the need to escape market tyranny and the destructive spiral of the capitalist economic system. Can the critique against the paradigm of unlimited growth, the drive towards an economy not based on money and respectful of nature, find common ground with the perspectives offered by feminism, particularly ecofeminism, of a moral economy based on the preservation of life and on subsistence, freed from dominion over women and over nature?
Reproducing and protecting human life in collaboration and harmony with nature is what women have been doing since time immemorial, an unacknowledged task, naturalised, made invisible, slavish and servile. Recovering the values wherein women have always recognised themselves and initiating a process of economic and cultural change means, primarily, deconstructing the system of thought that has justified and justifies the oppression of women and the exploitation of animals and nature. Given, in fact, that economic growth is not a neutral process with regard to gender, the degrowth project cannot avoid investigating in depth the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism.
Stemming from the origins of the ecofeminist movement, this paper briefly traces the theoretical elaborations of ecofeminism regarding the origins of patriarchal dominion and the task of reproduction, focussing on contemporary movements – in which women unquestionably play a key role – in defence of the environment, of the subsistence and dignity of all living beings, and finally examining how politics and democracy are perceived.

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.

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