Hey, Check this Out!

admin July 19th, 2011

I’m a great admirer of FEASTA (Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability), and was pleased and flattered to see a review of Depletion and Abundance. Check it out!

What used to be called “women’s work” or “home economics” will and must gain respectability and appreciation. Astyk notes that women have “historically inhabited the space of private life where food, clothing, cooking and childrearing were the work of women, and that men inhabited “public life — the world of economics and politics and other ‘important things.” Women’s work was devalued and still is. Many still believe that the clarion call for change in light of the serious challenges we face today are only resolvable in the big public arena of government and economy, in the world of men. This devaluation of domestic work and the private life of women essentially, she argues, perpetuates the belief that “private actions have minimal public consequences.” Yet, she admonishes, it is women and “women’s work” that will spearhead real change, and the subsistence economy or “informal economy” as opposed to the formal or official economy (“where the rich of the world live”) will take on increasing importance as a source of sustenance in our everyday lives.

How cool is that?


7 Responses to “Hey, Check this Out!”

  1. Colleen says:

    Way Cool!

  2. Joyce Paski says:

    I loved reading your book and it’s grand that FEASTA thinks highly of it, too. Cudos!

  3. Brad K. says:


    I have a thought.

    In previous years (I don’t recall seeing it this year, 2011), the papers made a big deal of totaling up the annual salaries of all the professionals that perform the many services that wives and mothers accomplish daily. They called this the “worth” of a mother, and it used to be a regular feature of Mother’s day.

    I take a different perspective. A man, a wage earner, and wage earning women as well, have no need of a ‘wife’, she/he is a luxury, not a necessity, economically.

    Which means we have to change the context to understand why we want someone at home, that we must understand why the expense of time, energy, and cooperation have values that make the family worth while.

    We could look at emotional stability of having a help-meet to address life’s stresses and joys. We could look at trading public places to eat and sleep with private, customized arrangements, whether luxurious, low cost, or in between. And we must look at whether the individual wage earner is able to accomplish, unaided, what the community and state require — a viable entity living by, and projecting onto the next generation, the values and virtues that define that society.

    A wage earner might perform the apparent economic functions of producing profits and paying taxes. But there are extra-economic roles that make a community function, and a state. For one thing there is security, an armed force for defense against internal and external threats. And that requires young people — children raised in the community — to go for the military, for the police.

    Men and women are made so that individuals are unable to produce children, it takes more than one to get a baby started, biologically. Socially the combinations are requirements are much more versatile, and I hesitate to be more definite that naming a family as “adults raising one or more children”. Couples coming together for companionship, without children, serve almost as limited a role and purpose in the community as the individual. At least, that is my thinking this morning.

    The movie quip “You complete me” is meant to be a romantic entreaty, an expression of emotional state, but it is even more true where the family interoperates at the community level.

    Married adults, raising a family, have different roles in the community, and are valued differently, than individuals acting outside families.

    I can understand the business/economic world looking at household occupations as a wasted opportunity, someone that could be earning a wage, making profits for a company by using cheap oil to add value to assets. But it overlooks the need for a workforce next year, for the community to thrive to provide both workforce and marketplace for manufactured products.

    Today’s emphasis on ‘education’ as intended to increase raises is short sighted and harmful to the nation. When asked, years ago, why girls that weren’t going to be entering the work place should go to college, the reply was that education, deeper thinking and wider knowledge of the world, mankind, and the community, is essential to raise children prepared to challenge and conquer the world of tomorrow. Or, words to that effect.

    It is possible to take my point out of context, that I think that domestic work isn’t economically valuable. I just think that the artificial economy based on cheap oil that makes that economic judgement is short-sighted, and doomed for serious revision, and that quite soon.

  4. Cassandra says:

    Oh neat!

    The quote reminds me a lot of Vandana Shiva’s ‘Ecofeminism’ book.

  5. dfsadf says:

    The quote reminds me a lot of Vandana Shiva’s ‘Ecofeminism’ book???

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  7. sina88 says:

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are speaking about! Bookmarked.

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