The environmental ideologies of deep ecology and feminist ecology (or ecofeminism) share many points of agreement, but also offer a subtle contrast in their approaches to problems of the environment. With respect to their environmental goals, it would appear that the two would not find serious disagreement with one another at all. After all, they both agree that the corporations which are destroying the environment must be stopped. The deep ecologists are known to use more radical tactics than ecofeminists, but beyond that it appear at first that they could work together cooperatively on some level. However, we will examine the basic ideological difference between the two movements, and will argue that the approach of the ecofeminists is the more realistic, in terms of having any real hope of accomplishing the goals of environmentalists.
The deep ecologists recognize that they are dealing with a destructive force (those who would destroy the environment for profit) and that force must be met with furious and fearless tactics which now and then verge on destruction themselves. The ecofeminists become lost in the subtleties of ideology and forget that the people they are fighting are without conscience and without ideology, except the ideology of profit.
Luc Ferry writes in The New Ecological Order that the two camps share some areas of agreement:
At first glance, one might think that such a program would place ecofeminism close to deep ecology. Are not both movements based on a mutual rejection of Western civilization after all, with its single-minded pursuit of domination and mastery? Are they not both, in this respect, opposed to a reformist-type environmentalism? These things are true (Ferry 117).
However, Ferry points out one important area of stark disagreement between deep ecologists and ecofeminists. The solution for the ecofeminists is to be found in a critique of the historical control of society by men. For the...