Understanding Feminist Economics
Yesterday, somebody on Twitter tweeted “No mail. No healthcare. No jobs. No free or fair elections. Banned from the rest of the world. Our taxes blown on giveaways to corrupt corporations and institutions. Police violence against anyone who challenges this arrangement. We’re living in a failed state, no doubt about it.”
This caught my eye, because although the tweeter was referring to the US, the statement can also be applied to Belarus, the Ukraine, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, China and Hong Kong, and as of last week, the UK — specifically in relation to the A-Levels scandal that is applying algorithms to student data and, like the famous Hogwart’s hat, sorting students into universities based not on merit or grades, but on demographics like post codes, ethnic backgrounds, and household income levels, in many cases rescinding university places already granted to people of color in particular, and basically upholding a white, patriarchal status quo.
Our current models of economics are intrinsically linked to politics and power, exploitation and environmental destruction, and sexism, racism and bigotry — in short, zero-sum models that define power by the ability to exclude rather than include, that measure success by scarcity rather than abundance, and that reward “creativity” as innovation with no consequence, isolation and exclusivity, rather than based on feedback, interconnectedness and holistic practices.
As we continue through this massive transition we are experiencing as a planet, as nations and cultures, and as a species, the ways the world rearranged itself after WWII are no longer working, neither economically nor ecologically.
New, holistic approaches are necessary, and as we stumble through these next phases of our structures of power falling apart, it’s time to look toward the ways the less empowered members of our species have been sustaining ourselves, and whether and how we can apply those ideas, practices and skills to our living world.
“Feminism” has gotten a really bad rap somehow; but the feminine approach to family, community, and our immediate environment is translatable to the bigger picture.
Here is a brief primer on feminist economics: what it means and why it’s a good idea, especially now. There are many models (I am a fan of the Doughnut Model… however, I am also very biased in favor of doughnuts), but let’s start with the basics first:
Follow the link for a great explanation, educate yourself and leave your thoughts and ideas for a better, more sustainable and interconnected world in the comments.