I've been out of academia for a years, so I don't give much thought issues such as, for example, gender roles. Maybe this is because my 150-plus page master's thesis from years back looked at issues in every which way, except for gender, which was a no-no in the politically correct early 1990s. I should have told my advisory committee that I wanted to save paper. Or, maybe not: I needed that diploma!
It is, curious, however, to think about gender's role in environmental issues. You never hear about "Father Earth" or "Father Nature." Many of the best environmental writers have been women: Rachel Carson naturally comes to mind. And quite honestly, the most well-spoken and dedicated leaders in the green tech and environmental movements are women. Of course, let's not stereotype: Sarah Palin, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Mary Landrieu are some of the most outspoken defenders of "Big Oil." And Camille Paglia, the iconoclast academic who's masterful in discussing gender roles, is a complete moron on environmental issues.
Gender roles are always in flux: but I admit I was surprised to learn that one in ten American farms are run by a woman, and in some states the percentage is much higher. Well, come to think of it, I'm not too surprised. As a farmers' market groupie (I can easily drop 40 bucks at the Silver Lake or Hollywood Farmers' Markets, and consume the same amount in samples), I've noticed that the vendors who can best explain and advocate for their produce are women. Then again, traditional roles do make sense: women tend to be nurturers, are better at speaking up for those who can't do so themselves, and do well at managing the scarce resources available to them.
As more women make it big in the private sector and decide to work off of the earth--or outright inherit the land off which their families had worked for generations--we may see better quality and quantity of organic produce. I think this is a demographic trend that few would want to argue against.