24 april 2017

This Spring, Fight for Our Precious Planet and Join the Climate March

By Eve Ensler, Guardian UK, via Reader Supported News, 24 April 2017

The same forces that are crushing women are destroying the planet. They must be defeated, and the march is an important next step in that battle

t doesn’t matter how many winters I endure, I am never less astounded by the arrival of spring. Suddenly, green shoots and the hint of daffodil yellow start breaking through the muddy earth. Birds sing. The air is sweet. It’s a time of renewal – one that is so desperately needed for our planet and our politics.

The Earth, our mother, is the body that feeds us, nurtures us, inspires us. In more than three months, Trump and his government have begun a process to remove as many protections for the Earth and for women as they can. They are willing to destroy the Earth and, ultimately, threaten the people she feeds and gives life to, in order to take care of their immediate desires. The long-term consequences are irrelevant in their minds.

Many of the terms for climate destruction and violence against women are interchangeable: extraction, rape, plunder, plowing, battery and excavation. But the similarities don’t end there. Many of those who don’t believe in climate change are very often the same as those who do not trust the stories and reports of women who have been harassed, battered and raped.

Even when more than 97% of climate scientists warn us of the same thing we don’t believe them. More than 10 women have come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault – allegations he has denied – and we don’t believe them. It took 58 women coming forward for the stories about Bill Cosby to be believed. And there are still some who deny it. There are parallels between the high stakes scientists face in telling the truth and the potential ruin women face in coming forward to report their stories to families and courts.

Or perhaps it is not and never was about believing scientists and women. No, it is clear that land exploiters and rapists actually do know what they are doing. Often they are strategic about it. One only has to read the early Exxon reports on what extraction would do to climate change or listen to the Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump to hear their swagger and pride in being able to do what they do because they have the power.

Whether it is pulling back EPA regulations and railing against the Clean Air Act or the mad dash for money through extraction and pipelines such as the Dakota Access pipeline. Whether it’s defunding Planned Parenthood or cutting funding to violence against women programs or reinstating and expanding the global gag rule so that healthcare for women across the world is devastated. All in the name of preventing abortion and being pro-life when their actions and policies are murderous and destructive in every direction.

For years I have been fighting rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex trafficking. The staggering numbers of one out of three women raped and beaten on the planet have occupied my life from morning till night. But the story is even bigger, the mindset more pervasive. We can’t separate out the pieces of the story.

Humanity is struggling to determine whether we will accept living and dying in a world where 0.1% of the people reign over our Earth, our bodies, our rights in service of their own interests and profit or whether we collectively rise and fight to transform this predatory paradigm.

But this morning as I awoke to the softness and generosity of spring, it was so clear and simple. Every struggle we have – women’s liberation, racial justice, economic inequality, immigration rights, gender rights, disability rights – happens on the Earth, because of the Earth.

So that’s why I am rising on 29 April with the climate march. Let our passion and fight for our mother be the energy and trajectory that fuels us and binds us to a larger struggle to end and transform this deadly and exploitative mindset.

Let our fight for the mother bring forth a global spring. Now more than ever we need a renewal in our dedication to a world where women, and indeed, all of life, triumph over destruction and the forces of anti-life.

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