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It is 106 f*cking degrees in Western Colorado—we are smack dab in the middle of a heat warning in June.
I grew up in this state. It has never been this hot. I can’t see the mountains.
The flowers are wilting in the hot air. The sky has a creepy red color from the surrounding wildfires. The rivers, streams, and lakes are drying up. We keep having warm winters and low snowpacks year after year.
Colorado is burning up.
Every summer, we collectively take a deep breath as more and more of our forests are charring to a crisp. Animals are dying. The trees are dying. Our planet is dying. We had to leave our little town for a few days because the smoke was so bad.
The patriarchy is burning our home.
Yes, I blame you. You hold positions of power, leadership, and moral authority to which you have failed miserably. Women are disproportionately affected by natural disasters, food insecurities, and displacement resulting from climate change.
Yet, we are not involved in the decisions being made to address global warming.
Women are socialized to be selfless, altruistic, consider the needs and feelings of others, value empathy, and be more socially responsible. Women are more likely to consider the needs of future generations over profit. Studies have shown that we leave a smaller carbon footprint and vote for political leaders and causes that address climate change.
There are men who protect the planet, who stand up for her, who care for her in integrity and truth. The men who have compassion and work toward change. These are the men whose masculinity is not threatened by recycling a beer can or, god forbid, ride a bike, or walk two blocks versus driving.
These men don’t feel the need to thump their chests to the tune of loud-mouthed science deniers or spew toxic exhaust into the air from their manbaby trucks. These are the men I respect. These are the men who behave like adults. These are the men who have evolved. A few have rocked my world.
I am not here to bash men or blame specific individuals for the environmental sh*tstorm we are in, although I could certainly name a few.
My beef is with the patriarchal society that has created this crisis.
This is a society where women’s voices are excluded and silenced, where the domination of the natural world in pursuit of power and profit has been valued, where empathy is perceived as weak.
Studies have shown that men, particularly older white men, are more likely to deny global warming. Other studies have suggested that men perceive eco-friendly behaviors as feminine and a threat to their masculinity.
So, it is a no-brainer that misogyny and anti-environmentalism go hand in hand.
Just how fragile does one have to be over a reusable bag? Does littering make you feel more manly? Is your ego butt-hurt over scientists who are smarter than you? Feeling emasculated over a Swedish teenage climate activist? Grow up.
I am a mom, and I am pissed.
This is my home, and I am sick of watching it burn down. I don’t want my asthmatic daughter choking on the garbage you continue to put in the air. I want clean water for my babies. I don’t want to drive in a burnt canyon. I don’t want the mountains surrounding us to be leased to oil and gas companies thousands of miles away.
This is more of a rant, if anything. I am no environmental expert or climate scientist.
I don’t know how to get more men on board with reversing climate change. Perhaps marketing campaigns aimed at making saving the planet seem more sexy or macho. I personally would take Leonardo DiCaprio over a bloated, angry old guy any day.
Toxic masculinity is killing our planet, harming both men and women. Our collective survival is dependent on dissecting this narrative. It’s over 100 f*cking degrees outside.
We need someone to put out the fire, and it can’t just be women. We need to dismantle the systems that put us in this catastrophe in the first place.
Smash the patriarchy, save the world.