This talk will be placed against the background of the escalating global environmental crisis that includes destruction/degradation of key ecosystems essential for planetary health an d associated syndromes such as climate change. I will address some of these questions:
* What happens at the intersection of feminisms and environmentalisms?
* How does the feminist critique of neoliberal forms of development around the world link to sustainability commitments and movements?
* Do (some) feminisms have specific things to offer our understanding of this crisis and ways to develop solutions?
* What does ecofeminism have to offer the sustainability movement?
Ecofeminists have made strong connections between the neglect of ecological life support systems and the neglect of caring and community maintenance activities. Ecofeminists have also sought to connect women in the ‘developing world’ and women in the ‘developed’ world. In this process they have aroused sometimes fierce criticism from other feminists – largely on the theme of alleged ‘essentialism’. This talk will attempt to show how these issues are related and will particularly consider the development of an ecofeminist ethic of care that can guide development of practices valuing life-support systems of all kinds. This links to recycling as one manifestation of an ethic of care and the refusal to uncritically accept categories of ‘waste’. From one ecofeminist perspective many kinds of ‘waste’ are a pathological aspect of growth society, but the way we treat ‘waste’ also reflects attempts to airbrush out embodiment in the world and everything that goes with it.