Ecofeminism on the Internet. (World Wide Web Review)

Article excerpt

Most ecofeminist websites are developed and maintained by individuals with a strong interest in ecofeminism. These sites characterize ecofeminism as the particular cross-section of feminist studies that addresses the mutually beneficial relationship between nature and the feminine (as opposed to the dominant relationship of the masculine over nature). Similarities are also pointed out between the subjugation and exploitation of women and that of the environment, both at the hands of the male hierarchy. A number of other websites are by self-described ecofeminists who are particularly interested in the concept of women either as "goddesses" (of nature) or as synonymous with nature; these sites discuss the concept of goddess worship.

Although there are many established sites on the Internet devoted to feminism or environmentalism, relatively few concentrate specifically on the relationship between the two. Of those that do, most are impermanent sites designed by women's studies professors for specific courses or by activists or hobbyists who have not been able to keep them (particularly their links to other sites) up-to-date.

Women's studies journals still provide the most substantial information about ecofeminism. As the field continues to expand--in terms of scholars, activists, and range of issues--the selection of websites in this area presumably will expand as well. Currently, the sites listed below collectively provide a good deal of diverse information relating to ecofeminism.

Ecofeminist Literature

URL: http://faculcy.pittstate.edu/~knichols/flora.html

Developed/maintained by: Kathleen Nichols, Ph.D., Pittsburg State University, Kansas

Last updated: April 22, 2002

Reviewed: September 20, 2002; revisited: December 12, 2002

Part of a larger site called "Gender, Nature, and Society in Literature and Art," this is an excellent source of information about ecofeminism and related concepts and provides links to a large number of key essays by such notable writers as Rosemary Radford Ruether, Susan Griffin, Vandana Shiva, and Karen J. Warren. There are many other links to essays and articles that do not discuss the specific discipline or movement of ecofeminism but are by writers who emphasize both ecology and feminism--for instance, Leslie Silko, Louise Erdich, and even early naturalist writers such as Margaret Fuller. Kathleen Nichols also links to another of her web pages, "Eco-Research Online," that provides a comprehensive list (with links) of various reputable organizations with environmentally conscious missions.

While its sheer mass of content might serve to establish this site as the central resource for finding valuable material in the field of ecofeminism, the presentation of link after link, threaded through running text, is somewhat overwhelming. It is difficult to get a sense of how large the site itself is, and it is nor always immediately clear, when clicking on a link, that one is actually leaving Nichols' site entirely (or where exactly one is ending up).

EVE Online

URL: http://eve.enviroweb.org/

Developed/maintained by: Cathleen McGuire

Last updated: unknown

Reviewed: September 20, 2002; revisited: December 12, 2002

EVE ("Ecofeminist Visions Emerging") Online is an attractive, well-organized site hosted by Envirolink (an online, nonprofit, environmental community of volunteers and organizations from around the world).

Accessing the site map reveals links to original essays by EVE Online's designers and contributors that address a diverse array of issues relating to ecofeminism; most are opinion pieces written by ecofeminist activists, and should be considered as such. However, the site also includes a number of links to scholarly, research-based articles from professors in women's studies or related fields, as well as a bibliography highlighting a number of ecofeminist books, videos, and other resources. …