Digital flipbook that uses feminist materialism to critique Malthus’ theory on population growth & resource scarcity.
In relation to this class and the topics that we have covered, I would like to incorporate aspects of feminist environmentalism from a materialist perspective, and Malthus’s overpopulation mythos. As we have defined in class, feminist materialism focuses on how the division of labor is broken up, and how class/gender/systems of knowledge affect people’s relationships to the environment. It argues that the pre-defined roles assigned to women and men is a direct result of a capitalist and patriarchal society. In my opinion, it offers a more tangible theoretical framework than ecofeminism.
In this project, I will be connecting this definition of feminist materialism to Malthus’s overpopulation mythos, which blames women and countries with lower GDP for resource scarcity and environmental degradation. In “An Essay on the Principle of Population,” Malthus argued that the number of people grows exponentially, whereas the quantity of natural resources grows arithmetically, which inevitably leads to resource scarcity. As feminist materialism posits, there is a direct correlation between globalization and the groups of people who become scapegoats for environmental issues. The real issue is covered up by finger-pointing, racism, and sexism.
The overpopulation mythos needs an intersectional and feminist environmental solution. Who are the victims of this mythos? Who or what stands to gain from the scapegoats? The digital flipbook will expand on the work of Agarwal’s “The Gender and Environment Debate: Lessons from India” and data from UNICEF and Pew Research in order to answer these questions.