A Case For Hondureña Liberation in Postcolonial Ecofeminism
Since its founding in 1974, the field of Ecofeminism has seen many shifts, but it nonetheless remains largely created by and for the First World Western, White Woman. In Women and the Environment of the Global South: Toward a Postcolonial Ecofeminism, Ecofeminist Neelam Jabeen argues for the necessity of adding Postcolonial Theory to this new wave of Ecofeminism, especially for women in developing countries. She specifies the need to do so, in part, because “Third world women’s need for nature are dependent on material necessity and not one of care or compassion.” Jabeen suggests that this necessary widening of the field can help attest to the realities of postcolonialism and the experiences of women fighting against both oppression and postcolonial environmental abuses.
In my paper, I argue that the continuance of Postcolonial Ecofeminism as defined by Jabeen is necessary, and I position this theoretical framework around the women of Honduras as my primary example. Women in Honduras face a double binding form of oppression: the first being that of Postcolonial oppression, and the second being that of Machismo society. Because of these intertwined forms of oppression, women and their relationships with nature differ greatly as compared with first-world women (and specifically with respect to nature as source of material necessity, as Jabeen notes. My focus in this paper is two-fold: I give instances of how women in their mountain villages have been oppressed, and I discuss the safety issues of Female Environmentalists such as Berta Caceres and Jeannette Kawas, both of whom were murdered for their activism. I will then establish potential ways to end this double binding oppression, as well as explore ways in which to keep Female Environmentalists safe, by establishing their voices and experiences as sacred in the fight for equality. Doing so helps ensure that these women’s voices and legacies remain quiet no longer, for the sake of Honduras and the world at large.
My Name is Anna Ortiz, and I am a first-year Masters Student in the Department of English at Illinois State University. Before starting my Masters, I was a High School English teacher, having taught in Madison, Wisconsin, USA for one year, and in Copan Ruinas, Honduras for three years. In Copan, I taught Fourth and Fifth Grade English, and High School Social Arts. I am hoping with my Masters degree, I can go back to Central America, and continue teaching my students more about their own culture, which they usually know nothing about. My academic interests include Ecofeminism, Postcolonialism, Hondureña Feminism, Central American Literature, and Indigenous Studies.
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