Article by Andrea Rodríguez Valdés, RIPESS Europe
“There is no economy, no technology, no politics and no society without nature and without care“, says Yayo Herrero, pointing out how the neoliberal society we inhabit has built a way of organizing life in common, a way of organizing politics, economy, culture, etc., that develops not only with our backs turned but also in opposition to the material bases that allow us to sustain human life. Faced with this, Feminist Economics allows us to do an exercise to recognize the (co)dependencies that we have among us and with nature, and above all makes visible what has traditionally invisibilized the conventional speculative economy: care and who exercises it.
These tasks of taking care of ourselves when we are sick, sad or overwhelmed, of taking care of our elders and our children, in short, the tasks that have to do with the reproduction of life, are not only related to the most precarious jobs -if they are recognized as paid work- but they are also tasks traditionally performed by feminized bodies and racialized people. This fact has nothing to do with the fact that women and racialized migrants are biologically better equipped to take care of others, but rather with how the capitalist system has created a sexual division of labor and how we have been educated in gender roles.
In this sense, it is necessary that the policies we develop and the cultural frameworks in which we live, advocate the need to put life at the center, that is, to build a society that guarantees political and material rights for all people who inhabit this planet.
We talked about this “Feminist subversion of the Economy” when we met in Oporto with our colleagues from REDPES and other collectives such as CSA A Gralha, Aldraba, Casa da Esquina and Feminismos sobre Rodes, reflecting on the importance of the Social and Solidarity Economy addressing the principles of Feminist Economics, not only in theory but also in practice, and not only outwardly, but also internally, so that we feel better in our jobs and value the sustainability of life.
This meeting in Porto, which was one of the first activities of the project 4CareWorkEnvironment, has served us to establish the first collective reflections and a common roadmap. From here, we express that we will reject all forms of expression of white bourgeois western feminism and promote an intersectional and anti-racist transfeminist perspective at all times. We are aware of the privileges we hold and how SSE also shows itself in a privileged position in the world. We commit ourselves to a continuous process of individual and collective deconstruction and revision of these privileges, and to point out the lack of diversity, in terms of class, race, sexual identity and orientation, age, religion, non-neurotypical bodies… etc, that today, crosses the world of the SSE. We want to make the most of this project, reflect, build tools to take care of ourselves and above all advocate for a more forceful positioning of the SSE in this regard.
Thanks to all of you who participated in this meeting, and to those who did not, but who have inspired us throughout our lives. It has been precious to share with you. See you soon in the streets, in the social centers, in the talks, in the workspaces, in the journeys…