1.the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.
Over the course of history, women have had their share of living in a variety of hostile environments. But when do we talk about how the environment – specifically, ecology – affects women’s lives? With disasters like the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the increasing amounts of toxins and chemicals being exposed in our communities, our bodies are not just being threatened by legislators and political leaders – but by the very air we breathe.
The Spring 2011 edition of On The Issues Magazine – “The Ecology of Women” – examines how environmental health affects women’s lives, particularly the toxins and chemicals that enter our bodies from the air, water, food and consumer products. Every day, we ingest these pollutants that cause conditions like cancer, early puberty, infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects.
“The Ecology of Women” seeks to insert the effects of environmental toxins into conversations around women’s health, and spark collective awareness and action within the feminist and environmental justice movements. In short, women and the environment are not mutually exclusive – so let’s talk about them as such.
After the nuclear plant explosions in Japan this past week, we can learn a lot from, “Nuclear Revival? Lessons for Women from the Three Mile Island Accident,” in which Karen Charman highlights her original research from the Three Mile Island nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania to explain potential harms from radioactivity and its effect on women. Over three decades later, the aftermath of the disastrous incident continues to have a significant impact on this Pennsylvania community.
We can wear all the pink ribbons we want, but what is that going to change about the actual causes of breast cancer? Eleanor J. Bader asks this question in, “Snipping Pink Sentimentality: Persisting on the Whys of Breast Cancer,” in which she profiles Breast Cancer Action, a San Francisco-based group aiming to bring awareness around the effect of environmental toxins on breast cancer. It’s time we change the way we look at activism against the disease – without a pink lens.
A powerful new community of change-makers in the environmental justice movement: Moms. Margie Kelly highlights the significance that a phone call between two sisters about toxic chemicals in baby bottles ending up having on an entire consumer market, changing how we think about the products that our children have contact with. Kelly’s account of the movement against BPA baby bottles and the aftereffect of a movement of mothers inspires in, “Message in BPA Baby Bottles: Don’t Mess with Moms.”
Last but not least, On The Issues is offering a special tribute in our spring issue to groundbreaking feminist health activist Barbara Seaman, a leader of the feminist movement in bringing women’s health issues to the forefront. Various authors and advocates offer their thoughts and reflections in our feature on the late writer, including Executive Director of Our Bodies, Ourselves Judy Norsigian, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jennifer Baumgardner, Leora Tanenbaum and many more.
Friends of OTI: Upcoming Events
The Fluidity of Gender: Exhibition by Linda Stein
Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery
Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky
Now through April 7, 2011
Ain’t I A Woman: Race in the Feminist Movement
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main St. Brooklyn, NY
April 11th, 6:00 PM
Register for Feminist Summer Camp 2011
with Soapbox Inc.
First session starts June 5th!
Challenging the Masculinity of War: Women Soldiers and Remaking Men
with Kathleen Barry and Helen Benedict
John Jay College
Multipurpose Room 2200, North Hall
445 West 59th Street, NYC
April 7th, 2:00 pm
Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook, and make sure to check into The Café. Thanks for reading!