Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feminism and the Commons

Today was the 100th International Women's Day. So it seemed appropriate to reflect on how feminism is woven into a commons-based perspective.

Feminist critiques of economics have not just focused on the way that caregiving is gendered, generally unpaid and devalued even when it is paid. Feminist economists have also emphasized the importance of measuring economic progress in terms of well-being, not just private accumulation and wealth. Ecofeminists have made the case that the same mentality that justifies the oppression and domination of women similarly leads to the exploitation of the natural resources we should all hold in common. It sure leads me to wonder how much more nurturing, environmentally stable, equitable, and just commons-based our society would be if feminist views and analyses were the rule, rather than exception, in our economic and social relations.

None of this is a fresh insight but I thought this quote from an article titled "Macho Economics Still Rules the Agenda" summed this up perfectly.

We need to value our communalities, the quality of relationships, communities and the care and nurture of others, to put a good society in front of a growth economy.

We need to work with men who are equally sick of being just moneymakers. Maybe then we can solve future difficult issues collaboratively rather than destroying ourselves competitively.

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