Can we empower women and nature at the same time?

Can we empower women and nature at the same time?

Whether I take a fresh dip in the ocean, walk through the forest or enjoy the warmth from a bonfire, spending time in nature always renews my energy, and brings a sense of calmness. In the same way, spending time amongst women empowers me, but for a long time, I didn’t see the direct link between strengthening nature’s conditions and strengthening female communities. That was until I was introduced to Jennifer Armbrust, the founder of Sister.is. Jennifer has developed a tool that presents our current economic system as driven by masculine values and presents an idea of an alternative economy where feminine values are at the core. 

Now, I am fully aware that both men and women (and everyone else on the gender spectrum) possess both feminine and masculine values. So this is not to exclude men from the feministic climate fight, but in general, we are raised in a system that values feminine women and masculine men more, and hence the struggle is to lift the feminine. 

But what does a community of jenter have to do with environmental change, feminine values, and a new economic system?

If we imagine that our current system is based on mechanisms that rely on ‘masculine’ values such as linear growth, individualism, competition, efficiency and hierarchy, to me it becomes clear that these mechanisms are a driving force behind the power imbalance that favors both men over women (or, rather, femmes) and profit over planet. Now, if we imagine replacing these mechanisms with ones that rely on ‘feminine’ values such as cyclical growth, community, collaboration, sustainability, and care, it seems to me logical that a shift will happen in how we relate both to each other and to the world surrounding us. 

This shift is exactly what is happening within Jenter på Eventyr. In this community, we celebrate each other both when failing and succeeding, we prioritize creating something together, we allow space for reflection and learning and we celebrate nature through respectful engagement. 

And when we practice growing the feminine, we support the growth of a system that prioritizes people over the planet, celebrates every individual and replaces our need for material goods with connection and community.

Jenter around the world

Shifting our focus from individualism and competition to community and collaboration also invites for a stronger sense of care and empathy for the world as a whole. In Jenter på Eventyr we have opportunities that many don’t, and when we put on our hiking boots, we are not the only ones paying the price. In a masculine-driven economy both the resources used for production and the hands (often female) crafting the products, are not awarded with the praise that they deserve. So, we try to put our money where our heart is. We celebrate that adventures can easily be done without flashy gear and newly bought goods, and we try to collaborate with and support companies to show empathy in their production. 

It might seem like a drop in the ocean, but creating spaces that allow for a shift in how we view and value the world, I believe, is one of the most important contributions to shifting the power dynamics to ones of equality and care. Those fun adventures, great company and learning new skills come along, can only make it better. 

So for this International Women’s Day, let’s surf, dive, run, walk and climb towards more empowerment of each other, our sisters around the world and mama earth.

 

By Nynne Juul

 

*References: https://sister.is/proposals-for-the-feminine-economy

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