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Misogyny & the need for Intersectional Environmentalism

If you are reading this article, then you are probably a woman, in support of women, curious of how outdoor policy discriminates against women (especially those of color), or are reading in an attempt to educate yourself on this unfamiliar topic. With that being said, let's start with basics:

 

mi·sog·y·ny

/məˈsäjənē/

noun

  1. dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. "she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny"

 

In context of legislation and policy within the outdoors, Misogyny takes prevalence within the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Handbook of 1971 (Brower et al., 1971), where it blatantly regards the use of nature as a man oriented experience. As stated in an article reviewing this topic, written by Yvonne Krumrey at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the handbook hails women for their cleanliness and hygiene, stating that any being of this sort does not belong within the realms of the outdoors, and has no place taking part in activities in relation to such. These ‘activities’, including lifting more than 25 pounds (less than that of the average three year old) are said to reduce the elegance and gait of a woman, proving the misogynistic standpoint clearly and precisely.  

Krumrey’s article goes on further to point out the fact that the widely accepted and used Sierra Club handbook recommends that women strive for a mild face sunburn, to accentuate a “rosey” look, and increase femininity without “over-packing” cosmetics, weighing down men on the trip with women’s ‘high maintenance way of being’. All of these statements can be found in a chapter titled “Women”, within the popularized book. Not only are these statements widely accepted, but they encourage the view of sexism and misogyny not only in the outdoors but as a viewpoint of life all together. 

This view needs to be diminished as it undermines women and their abilities, lessens self worth within the woman community and provides nothing but harsh negativity, and chauvinistic normalities in society.  Quite frankly, it's disgusting, and places a barrier upon inclusivity within the outdoors and stigmatizes nature as a whole. 

Blatant Racism is also apparent within this chapter of the handbook, linked at the bottom of the article if you choose to check it out. The aspect in which the chapter focuses on critizations and recommendations to strictly white women provides all necessary knowledge for the relation of racism within nature to be applied here. The outdoors is not an open environment to all races, and is exclusionary to those of color, and it needs to change. 

Intersectional Environmentalism

“...an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet, identifies the ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and the earth are interconnected. It brings injustices done to the most vulnerable communities, and the earth, to the forefront and does not minimize or silence social inequality. Intersectional environmentalism advocates for justice for people + the planet” (Leah Thomas). 

This viewpoint of advocacy and wing of environmentalism is a necessary motive for further progression as a community, minimizing discrimination from all aspects, racism and misogyny included. More information, though commonly found on infographics circulating instagram, can be found on https://www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/ , allowing for a space in which personal stories are shared, information is published and historical and current important communities and topics are of easy access. 

Self education on these aspects are important, many of your neighbors, friends and local communities are extremely affected by negativity within the environmentalist world, and no matter who you are, you should care about getting these actions changed and altered for the better. 

 

Links for information specific communities (maybe your own):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to info cards on environmental movements fighting racism and misogyny: 

 

 

 

 

Link to the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Handbook: https://www.abebooks.com/Sierra-Club-Wilderness-Handbook-David-Brower/30257176194/bd?cm_mmc=ggl-_-US_Shopp_Trade-_-used-_-naa&gclid=CjwKCAjw19z6BRAYEiwAmo64LaguzrbnaQsNBSfz1ixWi3mzMgL5lsB4ZenYy_kq8zMdh4EeEirLthoC_bQQAvD_BwE 

The book is priced at one dollar (used). 

** note to reader: self education is sooo important. Understand that is a privilege to neglect the events that do not impact you first hand. It is a privilege to not worry about these aspects on a daily basis. It is a privilege to learn about these things through education and tools provided to you, and not through forceful experience. Understand your privilege and use it for the better. 

 

Sources:

Krumrey, Yvonne, "Exclusion in the Great Outdoors: Masculinity, Misogyny, Whiteness, and 

Racism in the Environmental Movement and at Philmont Scout Ranch" (2018). 

Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1671. https://scholar.colorado.edu/honr_theses/1671  Thomas, Leah, “Green Girl Leah”, https://www.greengirlleah.com/

Kahaloha Whitt is a first-gen dual major in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Tampa with a minor in Women & Gender Studies. Showcasing her love for the environment, passion for equality between genders, and equity in government, her articles take on these topics, challenging her readers to take part in wellness. If not studying, she can be found hiking, making unnecessary amounts of playlists & spending all her money on plants (a habit that needs to be dropped). drink more water & love one another! ✿
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