Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation

By Ivone Gebara | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Like many others, I have become more and more concerned over ecological issues in recent years, at least in theory. I have seen how much society and culture are part of the ecological system, and consequently how much political, economic, social, educational, and religious issues are all related to ecology and to the stability of the ecosystem. In practice, however, I often feel constrained by the struggle for survival in which innumerable people in my country, especially women and children, continue to be immersed. And the survival struggle is always there, inviting us to take whatever steps are possible: to be converted, in a way, to the concreteness of daily life, to the reality of immediate need. So ecological problems urge me to search for a more inclusive style of thought, so that bit by bit people can feel the real connection between the issues of work, unemployment, hunger, and pollution, on the one hand, and the patriarchal image of God on the other.

Like most Latin Americans, I also inherit through my education an eminently anthropocentric, or human-centered, cultural tradition. It is very hard to develop alternative behaviors and educational processes that can lead us to greater solidarity and communion!

I feel, based on my own experience, that ecological and feminist proposals that do not arise from the concrete needs of the various popular groups do not have much coherence. I sense also that the solutions put forth by the established powers are not always likely to be accepted, because often they fail to address the people’s most urgent needs.

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