"Energy feminist" thinks the pro-choice movement should be extended to fossil fuels

Source: AP
Source: AP

The feminist movement is hardly a monolith, with many different branches and schools of thought contained within it. That fact was vividly illustrated when ThinkProgress ran a story Monday on the Independence Institute's "Earth Day Fossil Fuels Art Contest," introducing a new brand of feminism that still has us scratching our heads. 

According to the outlet, members of the Koch-sponsored institute were pretty peeved that they weren't included in Earth Day celebrations, which typically focus on how to save, rather than destroy, the planet. They plan to make up for it by asking pro-fossil fuel artists to submit their work showcasing the "awesomeness of fossil fuels."

"Enviros celebrate by planting trees but they never celebrate the trucks that deliver the trees, or the gas that powers that truck, or the plastic handles of the shovels they use," organizers wrote in an email, ThinkProgress reported. "Shouldn't Mother Earth be thanked for making Earth Day events possible?"

The idea of "celebrating" fossil fuels is controversial enough on its own, but the real kicker here is Independence Institute Executive Vice President Amy Cooke's comment on how this all ties in with the feminist movement.

"Fossil fuels seem to get left out of the Earth Day celebration," Cooke said in an email to ThinkProgress, "As an energy feminist — pro-choice in energy sources — I feel it's important to have hydrocarbons equally represented."

A marcher at the Los Angeles Women's March holds a sign in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Source: 
Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Cooke's bio on the Independence Institute's website indicates that this isn't the first time she's said something of the sort. The site says Cooke is "famous for her provocative messaging like 'Mothers In Love with Fracking' and 'I'm an energy feminist because I'm pro-choice in energy sources.'"

While it's not unusual for concerns about the environment to find their place in the feminist movement — hello, ecofeminism — it's certainly less common for someone "in love" with, say, drilling for natural gas, to align their interests with feminism, let alone the pro-choice movement.

Cooke continued to elaborate on her comments in her email to ThinkProgress, writing, "We encourage innovation instead of over-regulation. It's actually kind of liberating because we aren't boxed in by an either-or cynical choice paradigm."

Sure, Jan.

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Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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