The Washington Post featured work by researchers suggesting global warming and other environmental problems are the result of “masculinity.”
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame asked 127 college students if they thought environmentally friendly products appeared masculine, feminine or neither. Both men and women tended to say such products seemed feminine, and researchers took that to mean men were less likely to use green products — ergo masculinity is driving environmental problems.
“Men’s resistance may stem in part from a prevalent association between the concepts of greenness and femininity and a corresponding stereotype (held by both men and women) that green consumers are feminine,” the academics told WaPo. “As a result of this stereotype, men may be motivated to avoid or even oppose green behaviors in order to safeguard their gender identity.”
They said men were less likely to purchase green products in general, or donate to environmental groups. Men were more likely to donate to environmental groups which had a “masculine” logo than to groups with a more “frilly” feminine logo. WaPo added its own two cents, noting women use less energy then men, eat less meat and are less skeptical of global warming.
“Despite a prevalent stereotype that green consumers are more feminine than non-green consumers,” researchers told WaPo. “We show that men’s inhibitions about engaging in green behavior can be mitigated through masculine affirmation and masculine branding.”
Polling indicates women tend to be more concerned about environmental issues than men, tend to have more positive feelings about environmental activists and are more concerned about environmental risks to health.
As a result, media outlets and environmentalists are increasingly claiming that global warming is a “women’s issue” and that the world needs “eco-feminism” as a path forward. Ecofeminists believe women and nature are bonded by traditionally “feminine” values, and their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal Western society. This patriarchal society is built on four intersectional pillars of sexism, racism, class exploitation and environmental destruction.
Ecofeminists claim that environmentalists have a long history of portraying women, “only as victims of climate change who must learn to adapt, rather than potential leaders and decision-makers,” as well as worrying that global warming could increase the risk of sexual assault.
So called “ecofeminists” even have attempted to brand global warming as a “women’s issue” by designating December 8 designated as “gender day” at the United Nations COP 21 Paris global warming summit. Predictably, the ecofeminists weren’t happy with the agreement.
“This agreement fundamentally does not address the needs of the most vulnerable countries, communities, and people of the world. It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality which have caused the climate crisis,” Bridget Burns, co-coordinator of the global warming summit’s Women and Gender Constituency, said in a press release.
Environmentalist websites have already created a list of demands, including a “gender-responsive approach,” to global warming and banning nuclear power (which creates no carbon dioxide emissions). Other environmental websites claim the global warming summit was “ethically compromised” due to intense pressure exerted by male-dominated “corporate environmentalism,” and failed to get rich countries to pay reparations to poor countries.
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