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Waring reaction

nbarker's picture

At first, I found Waring's ideas to be very difficult to grasp--the article we were to read for class was very difficult for me to parse, perhaps because of my health difficulties this week. However, as I am watching the documentary on her work, I am profoundly intrigued. I had heard of news stories of her before, but had never seen her work in action. The facts and ideas I am drawing from this have sent me barreling down a new line of thinking. It strikes me that economics is fundamentally patriarchal and colonial.  "Sustainability", as we discussed on Tuesday (I believe initially brought up by rb.richx) , is instead of its more "lay" definition, in economics means a self-perpetuating and growing structure (much like viral growth, and like colonial growth, and like religious evangelism (again, as mentioned on Tuesday, I think by rebeccamec). Economic structure does not consider the work of women as part of the economy, as it is, recapitulating patriarchy by devaluing women's life work. But how could we change it? Waring tried to work within the system, yet found the system broken. 

I believe it was Mohanty who said that we cannot lead an entire movement defined as being solely against--so what would be the alternative to economics as it is? I continually go back mentally to the popular economics of Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame--which is so much less focused on the monetary value of things, and is instead focused on the decision-making processes of economics. Is there some way we could refocus the mentality behind economics to be one about decisions and process, rather than about money itself? Would this be a way to fix, to dismantle and then rebuild, the unsustainable, patriarchal, and oppressive structures of economics and capitalism?