Ecofeminists see the domination of a woman as stemming from the same ideologies that bring about the domination of environment. It argues that there is a connection between woman and Nature and it comes from their shared history of oppression by the patriarchal society. It brings together elements of the feminist and green movement, at the same time offering challenges to both. It takes from the green movement the concern about the impact of human activities on the non-human world and from feminism, the view of humanity as gendered in ways that subordinate, exploit and oppress women. Ecofeminism as a theory deals with political and resistance movements and is also concerned with race and class.
According to Plumwood, “Ecological feminism is essentially a response to a set of key problems thrown up by the two great social currents of the later part of this century feminism and the environment movement and addresses a number of shared problems” (P-10).The researcher will focus on Val Plumwood’s book, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature in which she explains the association between humanity and environment concerning to an eco-feminist ideology. The book shows how the feminist critical analysis of dominant forms of rationality can be comprehensive to incorporate theories of gender, race and class oppression with that of the domination of nature. Val Plumwood sheds light on the affiliation between women and Nature, and the link between ecological feminism and other feminist ideologies. She equates ecofeminism with the third wave of feminism: “It is not a tsunami, a freak tidal wave which has appeared out of nowhere sweeping all before it. Rather, it is prefigured in and builds on work not only in ecofeminism but in radical feminism, cultural feminism and socialist feminism over the last decade and a half.” (39) Plumwood points out that ecofeminism is different from other feminisms in its insistence on “by making an account of the connection to nature central” (39) In her model, domination is not restricted to white western males but expands to include the concept of a “multiple, complex cultural identity of the master formed in the context of class, race species and gender domination” (5).
Socioeconomic Perspectives: Vandana Shiva (1988) and Karen Warren (2015) argue that according to 'materialist ecofeminism,' socioeconomic conditions are basic to the intertwined domination of women and nature. 'Capitalist patriarchy' draws on the notion that the "means" of production: raw materials, land, natural resources; and the "forces" of production: factories, machineries, experienced workers; are all property of 'man' , which results in unfair distribution of natural resources between men and women, unrecognition of women's labour, and ultimately unrevised exploitation of natural resources. Vandana Shiva in her book " Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India" presents the idea of the "maldevelopment" of Western development, and traces it to the European colonization of Asia, especially India, and Africa. The colonizers have replaced domestic crops and forests for cash crops for their native European countries. Crops that native women used to plant and represented a source of income and domestic use – has been eliminated and women were held responsible for "non-money based" household duties, which resulted in what Shiva calls "feminization of poverty", subordination of women, as well as the degradation of nature.
Both nature and female body are victimized by industrialism, commercialization and technological innovations. Since the novel introduce issues pertaining to feminism and environmentalism, the novel constitutes a representative literary example of ecological feminism. Even the language, events and characters in this novel reflect a world that oppresses and dominates both femininity and nature. This actual journey is the surface meaning while the deep meaning lies in the journey of self-discovery and assertion of her individual identity. These two kinds of meaning links ecology with feminism thus making the novel an eco-feminist novel.
1. Women herself is responsible for their degradation--- Not only men but women also responsible for the degraded condition of themselves. As a mother They discriminate between their boy child and girl child, even though they do not support the rights of their daughter in law. Women are discriminating among themselves and they have also become the part of the same exploitative system of patriarchy and are playing a supportive role in furthering men’s agenda of dominating women. So there is a need to change their mindset through spreading the education and awareness among the women especially in rural areas.
From ecofeminist’s point, the content of these poems is full of strong senses of anthropocentrism and androcentrism. All in all, this is perceptible in the words of Geoffrey H. Hartman who claims that “Wordsworth’s poetry looks back in order to look forward the better”(29). Through reading these poems, readers understand women’s troubles about the oppression and domination of men in the natural environment, and know that females still have a long way to go to resist
These contradictions, of ‘if women are sexual’, men desire her and ‘if women are nurturing mothers’ then they have control over the domestic environment, gave birth to feminism. Feminism is the confrontation with the contradictions that surround women in the patriarchal society. Social progress has obviated the need for feminism in the contemporary world as women receive contradictory messages when on one hand they are told to be powerful and independent and on the other hand unrealistically beautiful. The concept of ideology began during the French Revolution in the late 1700’s. French Philosopher Antoine Louis Destutt theorized that ideas arose from our bodily senses and today the same word ‘ideology’ refers to a system of beliefs.
Ecofeminism trusts that Patriarchal society is based on four interlocking columns; sexism, bigotry, class misuse and ecological pulverization. Ecofeminist investigation uncovers that it's not just ladies who are depicted as being 'closer to nature'; persecuted races and social classes have additionally been firmly connected with nature. The writer of 'What is Ecofeminism?' composes: "Sex, class, race and nature all must be guessed together on the off chance that we are to at long last move past these oppressions...By being mindful of how mistreatment concentrates on exemplification we can likewise estimate other related abuses, for example, those against the matured, the crippled and against option sexualities. The potential then for ecofeminism to be a drastically comprehensive freedom hypothesis are significant."
Ecofeminism is a term believed to be coined by the French writer Francoise d’Eaubonne in her book Feminisme Ou La mort (feminism or death). Ecofeminism interprets the connection between women and nature. Ecofeminism brings to light , women’s repression and exploitation in terms of the repression and exploitation of the environment women and nature are believed to be correlated through their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal society. Vandana Shiva claim that women have a unique bond with the environment through their daily interactions and this connection has been ignored. She says women “have been experts in their own right of holistic and ecological knowledge of processes.
Naturalistic writers wish to discover the laws which govern human lives, such as heredity and environment. “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is therefore in every sense a naturalist novel as it contains such elements. The protagonist, Edna Pontellier, is surrounded by a world with which she does not fit in; she is a victim of sociological pressures, pressures that result in her perishing. While she is slowly trying to escape the norms of society at the time, everyone around her is closing in on her and she is therefore forced by her environment to take steps she would not otherwise take. Thus an important feature of a naturalist novel comes to light; “the determination by personal traits and by social forces in the family, the class and the milieu” Deutschstunden).