Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Feminist Economics - A Discussion

Where was the voice of reason? Why are our ecosystems, families, neighbors, health, and future dying at the request of profit margins and unsustainable economic policies? Where was the economic model to account for the true cost of infinite growth? The female voice and market presence were hushed up and ignored. And look at the mess we're in.

Economists, historically privileged white men, have been guiding our politicians and legislators to disastrous ends. These mad scientists of policy and price have determined that the entire global economic system hunt almighty profit by cheap and dirty exploitation of the Earth, the poor, the disenfranchised, and women. In the name of FREE trade, more people than ever are slaves to money and governments. Our biosphere is sick and dying. Our generation will face historic debt and unemployment. War, violence, famine, disease, and a barren landscape- things look bleak.

But!!! Our community has a chance to be heard and to educate one another in being our own policymakers. We have tools in our hands and we have voices from our hearts. We must be the change in our own backyards, in our own daily routines, in our own consciousness.

I'd like to open a discussion about the role of Feminist Economics in our lives.

How can we change our cultural valuation systems to better accommodate all that the traditional systems leave behind? True cost is a very female estimate, it is a search for deep connections and the importance of relationships in the economic market. What do you see during your day that has a cost? Is the price stuck on its head really the value of that item? Tally it up- the gas in you car, the latte in your hand, the rice on the stove. Have these items come to you cheaply by exploiting others? If we included all the costs and energy that go into our daily consumption, would we be able to 'afford' it?

Most importantly: what is the true cost of not speaking out?


micahblaise said...

Oh, Sam, hear, hear!

What a provacative, poignant, and timely post. How can we change out valuation systems? I'm not sure I have the answer to that. Pondering it makes me feel kind of hopeless - or at least helpless - but then I remember your assertion that "we have tools in our hands" and "voices from our hearts." What is the best way to begin enacting change? I know in my heart of hearts that the first step is education. It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around alternative economic systems, around communal relationships and exchanges for collective growth, not individual profit. The "true cost" of my lifestyle is truly outrageous. I spend money when and where I don't need to (and, even worse, when and where I shouldn't), and then justify it any number of ways. We need to fight the obsession with consumerism in our own lives, in our communities, and in the "global market" (probably a bullshit term, but a familiar one nonetheless).

Let's start small, by reminding each other about true cost as often as possible, by remembering that our (over)consumption often correlates with our sisters' poor health and poverty. We need to commit to understanding where each product comes from, and who and how it affects. We also need to help each other find viable alternatives to the consumption of these truly costly products.

We're not loaded, we can't all shop at Whole Foods (and is a "conscious capitalist" enterprise really the answer, anyway?). Let's explore together! This looks like workshop material to me :)

Thank you!!!

Kim said...

One small thing we can do is support local good hearted business who providing for the community in a sustainable way.

Rita is looking for people to join her CSA
delicious local produce delivered downtown weekly!

micahblaise said...

wamblyton manor csa box?
just sayin'

chantelle said...

I cant wait for the next Coed meeting so we can start crackin on november's Really Really Free Market, really looking towards making it a good one.

This is a just coming from a hopeful imagination, what if there was a giant warehouse where you could rent out STUFF just like you do at the library with books. Everyone has WD-40 they use like once a year, does EVERY household need WD-40, or 6 rolls of duct tape you bought at home depot in a value pack? Probably not, needless to say sharing is the ultimate. Destination----> Hope Depot

Another thought: Although sharing is awesome, but more often then not, we tend to go astray on balancing our "sharing" "gift economy" relationships..because who's keeping track, right? But, we should really be aware to pick up the pieces for others where it is cleaning up after you ate a great dinner you didn't make!

Just had to get that out there, I think we're always busy thinking individualisticallycallycally

Jyn said...