Françoise d’Eaubonne’s Plea: Ecofeminism and Earth’s Survival Echo

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Wrapping up our six-part series, we’re honored to present a compelling collection of articles authored by the esteemed Dr. Yukio Kamino, a distinguished Resource Person at OISCA International. OISCA, a renowned Japanese NGO committed to advancing life on our planet, serves as the backdrop for this enlightening journey.

With a diverse foundation spanning social sciences, humanities, and metaphysics, Dr. Kamino has dedicated extensive years to addressing sustainable development and environmental education. His array of publications and contributions underscores his global influence on ecological sustainability.

In this series, Dr. Kamino immerses us in the realm of ecofeminism, skillfully weaving feminist principles with ecological wisdom to outline a path toward a harmonious and sustainable future. We hold in high regard his commitment to sharing knowledge and experiences with our readers, trusting that these articles have ignited insightful dialogues and kindled a spark for positive action.

Concluding this remarkable series, we’re thankful for Dr. Kamino’s invaluable contributions, and we believe that his words will continue to resonate, guiding us toward a world that is fairer, more inclusive, and ecologically conscious.

This chapter sketched out and assessed the essential ecofeminist contributions made by a French intellectual, Françoise d’Eaubonne (1920-2005). It focused on Feminism or Death (1974/2022) as the source to illustrate her visions back in 1974. It believes that this is a timely engagement because Feminism or Death is the long-awaited first full translation of Le féminisme ou la mort—through which she established ‘Ecological Feminism’ and disseminated the term ‘ecofeminism’ which, in turn, have led many world citizens to reflect on the role of Feminism to sustain the livable Earth System.

The chapter introduced d’Eaubonne’s feminist visions in “Male Domination Over Female,” and her intellectual development into an ecofeminist in “Male Destruction of Earth System.” It then illuminated the relevance of Feminism or Death to the 21st century by citing the articles of UN News (published by the United Nations in 2022) in “Updating Male Domination Over Female” and “Updating Male Destruction of Earth System.” Unfortunately, human society ignored her convincing messages made a half-century ago—to abolish the millennia-old Patriarchy, to transfer power (or abolish ‘power’) to Females and promote New Humanism with deep Ecological Consciousness urgently—if humanity wished to avoid, or minimize the negative effects of, the imminent ecological perils. A half-century later, as Erickson-Schroth and Davis (2021) remarked that “the vast majority of societies today are patriarchal” (p. 36), and inevitably, we are facing the self-destructive ‘Death’ as warned by Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974.


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This chapter pays its deepest respect to d’Eaubonne who generously shared her prophetic visions with much courage in 1974—when most people, including traditional feminists and male ecologists, must have thought she was a ‘gender-biased,’ ‘ecological alarmist,’ if not simply a ‘crazy person.’ In much admiration of her insight, the chapter invites the readers to reflect on quotations from Feminism or Death (1974/2022) below.

  • “It seems that neither of the two [male and female] cultures would have been satisfactory…but the ultimate negativity of a culture of women would have never been this, this extermination of nature, this systemic destruction—with maximum profit in mind—of all the nourishing resources” (p. 210).
  • “Do you want to live or die? If you refuse planetary death, you will have to accept the revenge of women, for their personal interests join those of the human community, whereas males’ interests, on an individual basis, are separate from those of the general community, and this holds true even at the level of the current male system” (p. 219).

So, how should this chapter conclude itself? It is difficult to state anything optimistic, as experts confirm that we are rushing into the ecological perils with patriarchal values and institutions—hierarchically ordered and mutually competing nation-states, profit-seeking and nature-exploiting capitalist market, heavy focus on today’s needs while little regard for tomorrow’s—with the unavoidable outcome of the further transformation of Earth System. Indeed, d’Eaubonne’s sarcastic statement in 1953 that “women should burn their shacks instead of spending their time stupidly cleaning them” demands a deep reflection of the entire humanity a half-century later (p. 154).

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Yet because the chapter hates to end with negative expressions, its final quotation is a positive one from the Secretary-General of the United Nations. As one of the UN News articles reported: he “advocated for the empowerment of women and girls as forceful agents of change’ including in decision-making at all levels.” It was the sincere proposal made by Françoise d’Eaubonne in 1974, and this review is honored to share it. What else can it say?


Bahaffou, M., & Gorecki, J. (2020/2022). Introduction to the New French Edition. (E. Ramadan, Trans.) In F. d’Eaubonne, Feminism or Death (pp. xvi-xxxvii). (E. Ramadan, Trans.). Verso.

Carroll, V. P. (2018). Introduction: Ecofeminist Dialogue. In D. A. Vokoch & S. Mickey (Eds), Ecofeminism in Dialogue (pp. 1-12). Lexington Books.

Cross, K. W. (2018). Ecofeminist Potentials for International Environmental Law. In D. A. Vokoch & S. Mickey (Eds), Ecofeminism in Dialogue (pp. 203-225). Lexington Books.

D’Eaubonne, F. (1974/2022). Feminism or Death. (R. Hottell, Trans.). Verso. First published as Le féminisme ou la mort.

Erickson-Schroth, L, & Davis, B. (2021). Gender: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press.

Merchant, C. (2022). Foreword. In F. d’Eaubonne, Feminism or Death (pp. ix-xv). Verso.

United Nations. (2022, January 17). Experts decry measures to ‘steadily erase’ Afghan women and girls from public life. Author.

United Nations. (2022, March 14). Women and girls must lead battle against ‘widespread and interlinked crises.’ Author.

United Nations. (2022, May 12). World ‘at a crossroads’ as droughts increase nearly a third in a generation. Author.,up%20from%203.6%20billion%20today

United Nations. (2022, June 3). World Environment Day: Earth ‘cannot keep up with our demands. Author.

United Nations. (2022, June 27). Put women’s rights ‘front and centre’ of climate policies: Bachelet. Author

United Nations. (2022, July 11). UN report: Value of nature must not be overridden by pursuit of short-term profit. Author.

United Nations. (2022, July 13). More women work in health and care but they earn 24 percent less than men: UN report. Author.

United Nations. (2022, July 19). WMO warns of frequent heatwaves in decades ahead. Author.

United Nations. (2022, August 1). Humanity’s just one misunderstanding away from ‘nuclear annihilation’ warns UN chief. Author.

United Nations. (2022, August 2). Horn of Africa faces most ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity in decades, warns WHO. Author.

United Nations. (2022, August 25). World reaches ‘tragic milestone’ of one million COVID-19 deaths so far in 2022. Author.

Dr. Yukio Kamino

Dr. Kamino is a graduate of Keio University and studied social sciences, humanities, and metaphysics in the USA. He focuses on sustainable development and environmental education and has authored books on ecological sustainability. He worked as a Senior Researcher and Coordinator at OISCA International until 2019. He is now engaged with them as a Resource Person.

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