The Power of Human-Nature Relationships: Dismantling the Patriarchy
By Guest Teen Contributor, Michelle Seucan
When you think of nature, what do you see? Do you see an invisible energy, rushing into you from all four corners of the world? Is it a mystical paradise in your mind, ever-expanding like the cosmic universe? Or do you see… a woman?
I see a woman; a woman that encompasses all that we know about our planet and its creations. A life that can be traced back to a single feminine entity, a presence as powerful as it is inexplicable. She is Gaia, the Greek goddess of Earth and the personification of everything pure. Essentially, the female existence is the purest paradigm of the natural world. Everything from the biological alignment we have with lunar cycles to all forms of lactation, pregnancy, and childbirth is a celebration of the divine interchangeability women possess with Mother Nature. But unfortunately, it is a spiritual relationship that has been infiltrated and often torn down by the male patriarchy, and to understand this sacred truth is to understand the harsh principles of society and reality.
History has constantly proven how men see women and nature as irrational forces meant to be controlled, while viewing themselves as less chaotic and more competent. They would exercise common practices of exploitation – both social and environmental – as an attempt to exert superiority with traditionally patriarchal establishments, such as colonialism, industrialization, warfare, and other male-dominated institutions. Men would also impose their toxic ruler-ship through linguistic methods as well, paving the evolution of what is known as “gendered language”. Gendered language is the assignment of gender orientation to certain words, mainly derogatory associations between women and nature (profanity, objectification, etc.) Thus, the subliminal patriarchy has geared this language to be a social and political benefit for men, giving them an upper hand in regulating societal and semantic culture. In fact, most offensive expressions directed toward women are animalistic terms, implying a brutal outlook on both women and nature. It is an abstract attack on the divine and the feminine, originating from the patriarchal perpetuation that anything remotely feminine or natural is equated to inferiority. As a result, sick ideologies such as radical ecofeminism began to emerge.
Radical ecofeminism is the idea that in order to gain respect from those in power, women must disassociate themselves from their own divine femininity and inner connection with nature – something they now view as “weak” – and remove themselves entirely from the graces of Gaia. But this truly is such a flawed and destructive way of looking at life! Women are an integral part of everything around us, the closest thing we have to a miracle, and the true strength of a women lies in her honoring – and expressing – the Divine Feminine within her.
And so for this Earth Day (and every day), let us embrace all that is natural and feminine; let us all (including men) strengthen our relationship with the goddess within and honoring this divine connection—for when we do this, amazing things start to happen! The inequalities built over time will disappear in those soft moments, forming a powerful sense of unity. Once all of us begin to break the chains of the patriarchy, we’ll soon realize that our natural relationships with the energies formed by the Divine Feminine and our Earth are sacred and meant to be cared for, not destroyed.
It’s important that we all reflect on how fortunate we are to exist together on this wonder of a planet. Think over these questions:
- How are you able to live?
- What keeps you alive every day?
- If not Earth, then where else would you see yourself living?
Keeping yourself grounded and humble with these questions is a great way to kick-off your journey of appreciation. It also helps instill a mindset that is nourished by gratitude and love for the world.
Gaia is alive and well in all of us, whether we see it or not. And she is especially vibrant on Earth Day! Her spirit should be honored during this time, as well as throughout the year, and felt deeply.
What do YOU see when thinking of nature?