Well, we seem to have hit peak intersectionality, at least it relates to the religion of climate change. (Intersectionality is the modern progressive faith that all the world’s ills can be attributed to the existence of white male genitalia). We all know that global warming, like everything else, will inordinately impact poor minority women. But someone’s figured out how to reverse the flow and blame guys on the front side.
In a Forbes article that on a page called “ForbesWomen,” Carolyn Centeno Milton introduces readers to the “Green-Feminine Stereotype.” Basically, some academics conducted “seven experiments that included over 2,000 participants from the US and China,” some involving grocery bag choices, and learned that people -- men and women -- associate environmentalism with feminine qualities. (The article, as originally posted on Forbes, had a title asking if “toxic masculinity” is contributing to climate change. It’s since been changed to something more innocuous.)
Yes, only academics would need a bunch of research money and a cast of thousands to figure out what you can easily note after five minutes at your local Whole Foods. Walking around with a green reusable grocery bag may feel virtuous, but it’s never, ever gonna look manly. And then there’s “Mother Earth” and “Mother Nature” and “Gaia,” and a million other clues.
Predictably, Milton and the concerned academics she chronicles want to throw good money and effort after bad. “Once this unconscious bias is revealed, it has the potential to help society shift our increasingly precarious relationship with the environment for the better,” she writes. “If it remains hidden, it has the potential to greatly damage our environment permanently.” What’s the point of noting a normal human behavior without mobilizing society to change it?
“Do brands need to pander to unconscious bias or use stereotypically gendered elements to positively move the needle in environmental impact?” Hmm, are their customers lab rats to be manipulated into acting how academics want them to? As a feminist whose other pieces on the ForbesWomen page include “How Society Pathologizes Gender,” and “A New Female Ecosystem Instead Of A Coworking Space,” Milton’s probably not too adverse to treating them that way.
Still, Milton says, “the more interesting opportunity seems to be in exposing the negativity present within the unconscious bias that acting green is a feminine and therefore weaker or negative thing.” In the age of Pajama Boy, that shouldn’t be too tall an order.
Milton says that Utah State University’s Aaron Brough “sums it up nicely,”
We need to overcome our unhealthy judgments of gender incongruence. And we need to be confident in our self-identity and decide to live a sustainable lifestyle without caring what other people think.
Except Aaron Brough and Carolyn Centeno Milton -- we’re supposed to care a lot what they think.