During this time of quarantine, it has left me a lot of time to think, ponder, and examine that I usually do not get to during these months. A lot of what activism is, is being able to identify the need and fault in the world. During the quarantine, it has also given me an extraordinary amount of time to plow through a list of movies, podcasts, and tv shows. I decided on my activism project to combine these two activities, by doing a character analysis of Claire Underwood from House of Cards.

My plan is to complete the show in the coming weeks, going back reviewing key plot detail, situations, and interactions. Examing the role actress Robin Wright plays throughout the show as not only a wife and first lady but a scholar, political activist, a force in the universe she exists. Another factor that I intend to highlight is my initial thought of her character as opposed to the end, the jump from a secondary character to the focal point, or to address if she was ever even the secondary character at all. Other possible things to examine are the universe she exists in, although based in a modern fictional universe is still exaggerated for dramatic purposes. How her character must emerge, fight, keep balance, and how these depictions in the show reflect back onto society. Personally, I think all forms of art directly reflect back onto society and what groups of people view it. Claire is a strong female, initially taking a back seat to her husband for many years, but she is rational, capable, and makes decisions for herself. Examing the character allows me the unique opportunity to direct a character that shows massive forms of growth, in a show the depicts how ruthless society, politics, governments, marriage, relationships, and just generally people can be. She is a direct reflection of the modern woman, and the show generally uses topical issues to move the plot along. I will use the opportunity to examine our society, show crafting, character development, and the piece of art that is House of Cards.


Life on Earth is an interconnected web, not a hierarchy. There is no natural hierarchy; human hierarchy is projected onto nature and then used to justify social domination. Therefore, ecofeminist theory seeks to show the connections between all forms of domination, including the domination of nonhuman nature, and ecofeminist practice is necessarily antihierarchical.” (King, 1989)

The ecofeminist intersectionality perspective I believe most simply broken down in the quote above. The prefix in the word is eco or an environment, translated from the Latin oceo or household. Thus you have ecology, the study of environmental connection, and how animals interacted with each other and the environment around them. The idea of intersectionality is that we are all interacting with one another, our social spaces come in and out, we move from groups historically majorly oppressed groups to groups that may have benefitted or been the oppressor, constantly being connected and brought together by society; but we are also connected to nature, more so than we are to the social structures that we create. A true ecofeminist believes that not only due we have a connection but a duty to nature, to care for our planet even at the downsizing of human society. I think the idea of the interconnection of species is very nicely summarized by Mufasa in The Lion King:

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope…When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”


We must think about ourselves as not humans as us against nature, against the wild but rather as one with nature and apart of it. We must realize that when we die, life goes on when we must not take more from the Earth than what will be left for the next person circle and so on. We rely on the Earth to provide the air we breathe, the food we grow, the animals we eat, the land we build not just houses but homes on, the views we take in, and the adventures we seek. Life as we know it can not go on without a habitable planet with food, water, and oxygen; life existence in a balance, and when you throw the balance off, the repercussion can be drastic. The ecofeminist ideology believes that we are all connected, and all to nature, that to build long-lasting survival, we must take care of one not only one another but nature as well, and each will repay the favor.

The other part of intersectionality is what is known as the intersectionality Axes of Privilege, Domination, and Oppression, depicted below. 

This web describes how people can go from social, class, group, majority, sect, whatever, as quickly as taking a step or interacting with various people. At the same time, the web sets the line of those who are oppressed or live in dominant groups, to those who do not. Although it does slightly contradict the true ecofeminist view regarding intersectionality, because of the idea that human hierarchy does not or should no matter, we should live in a way that respects nature and the life created on this planet. So in pure ecofeminist eyes, the web should not even have to exist because we should be looking out for one another and the Earth. But the idea of the web is that for ecofeminist to want to end sexism may not be enough, because the oppression will continue to other impact groups in our society. Being that we are all connected, we cannot truly thrive until we all succeed, if sexism end and things like classism, homophobia, transphobia, then social injustice still exists and ecofeminism still serves a purpose.



As mentioned numerous times throughout these blog post the relationship between the oppression of both women and nature can be found to have a strong correlation. But for those who have taken a statistics class know that correlation does not mean causation. Meaning that just because one group is being oppressed does not mean that this is the cause of the other being oppressed. I think the relationship between the two oppressed stems much further than just women and nature, but all people in these marginalized groups. For instance, when reading about the village of Recife, whos poor literally swim in a sea of garbage, the problem here is one of narrow mindedness and lack of empathy. The first problem begins at what is culturally accepted norms in Brazil, a canal filled with garbage indicates that society has very little concern over care for other living species, living in an individualistic mindset. The people who pollute the most are the once that can afford to, or are in control of some sort of production of goods where the firm’s main goal is profit maximization. For me, it is very hard to blame the firm entirely for the garbage disasters in Recife, or in other instances of polluting. Yes, they are very responsible for doing what they do, especially if it is done in such a way that it is done in a deceiving, secretive way. Often times, when companies pollute as they do, it is because of lax government regulation or worse lack of intervention and prosection. The firm simply exists to produce a product and make as much profit as possible, employing people and generally improving lives even if it is at a marginal rate. The other problem is the cultural acceptance to allow littering a polluting, this stems from a lack of cultural awareness of what is taking place or care for that matter, many individuals looking out for themselves instead of the nation as a whole. This way of thought is justifiable in some aspects as well, after all, if one does not look after themselves and those close to them it is highly unlikely that someone else will. They look out for only themselves and have little regard for the harm they may leave behind, never looking back to see who has to swim in their trash. Some may ask why don’t those who are forced to swim in the filth just clean it up and give themselves a clean space? The same attitude applies as before, they are forced to focus solely on themselves and their close ones. Being impoverished gives these people even less opportunity, money, and time to make substantial changes in their lives or environment. The people that live in the slums of Brazil, African villages, or other poor rural areas are mainly focused on one thing, survival, eating as many days and meals as possible, drinking clean water, keeping themselves warm and protect. Where they stand they have to be so focused on the simple aspects of survival they have little time or excess resources to partake in a large community and environmental changes. At the same time for those living in the garbage they absolutely don’t wish to live like they, but they are too poor to move, little resources for massive cleanups, and feel as if they should not be responsible for cleaning the mess made by other all of which are valid reasons.

So how do groups like the village outside of Recife improve their lives? For one being raised in America, the thought of the purpose of government should be to represent the opinion of the majority of the country, while protecting the rights of the minority. The government should recognize the risk that they are putting their own countrymen at, a situation such as these are great displays of the first problem associated with the government. Without even looking into the laws or current political climate of Brazil it is clear that there is a problem, either they do not have laws in place to prevent frivolous polluting or they simply do not care when it happens. This lack of concern or jurisdiction can be a factor of many problems, corruption being one of the larger reason corporations are often allowed to proceed with heinous acts like massive pollution. This lack of representation often puts those who are in the minority at risk, but not necessarily in harm’s way until the people in charge allow things to happen to them. This disconcern demonstrates the lack of empathy amongst not only Brazilians but more times than not all over the world progressive and advanced countries included, as stuff like this still happens in some of the richest most political level countries on Earth. The oppression of women and nature are rooted in similar issues, people lack empathy for others, even when groups gather together for righteousness many times they are only looking at their own opinion, reasoning, facts, and group. The government or culture is unaccepting of change and progression, the lack of women representation in government is not the reason why governments allow for the degradation of environmental structure but rather the government’s inability to accept new ideas, people, and ideas that may disrupt their current course or agendas.

What really got my attention was the article about The Chipko movement. What I gained about reading this is the ability for the citizens to gain the government’s attention and the increased level of empathy for neighbors and the general environment. They realized the importance of the forest area that surrounded them and were thought that increased commercial activity in the area although spawning economic growth could lead to the destruction of the beautiful country. Some fo the reason why the movement was successful was because of the ability of the people to come together and think about one another, even if they weren’t directly going to be impacted. The other factor was the ability of the government to not only accept changes, but also put aside potential personal gains, and put the protection of what may be considered a minority first. The government heard the concerns of its citizens and put their need for protection over the profit of the industry. People were willing to put themselves at risk to protect what they believed to benefit many not only themselves, and due to a responsive government change in policy was possible. 

*Chipko women standing together, in front of a forest in a demonstration to protect it from degradation*.

This same kind of idea is possible in African countries if they listen to those who are actually in the field and become accepting of ideas that may not have come from their own group or against the societal norm. “Throughout Africa (as in much of the world) women hold primary responsibility for tilling the fields, deciding what to plant, nurturing the crops, and harvesting the food. They are the first to become aware of environmental damage that harms agricultural production: if the well goes dry, they are the ones concerned about finding new sources of water and those who must walk long distances to fetch it.” (Maathai). These are the people that have direct access to what is going on in their everyday environment long before impact become so devasting that it kills a large portion of people. The importance of group thinking, and coming together is exemplified in these movements, but can often fall short if the government is so corrupted or unresponsive that nothing is done. Without proper representation for people from different sects of life, the issues are often left by the wayside, and ideas are missed. Although it is not these women’s job to clean the environment or be political activist, the best way to protect themselves and their futures is to come together, standing as one to help make clear what they are standing for, not backing down at the first sign of adversity, and the government actually listening and coming to the aid of unjustly impacted by whatever problem they may be facing.