Eleven mamas showed up - all but two are in play-based childcare co-ops - here in the Women's Building in SF - there really was not enough time to go through the half of what a caring economy is about - but there is something elemental in its appeal - and there was interest in a 'part two' so I am already working on that!
It is wonderful how much the framework Riane Eisler gives us clarifies our thinking, observations and priorities. It is marvelously insightful and helps people to center themselves and gives perspective on experience, and I would say even provokes more self compassion.
One area I would like to dig into more is what is being done to carry this work into the world and really effect system change - this is the critical next step to actualizing whole systems change and creating a caring economy. What can mums in SF and people like me really do here? We can intentionally choose partnership in our families, with our friends and communities - but what else can we do?
There was a definite sense of helplessness (and exhaustion) amongst the women present last night. I want to add at this point that I have a theory that American women are superhuman - they never seem to rest, never say no, ALWAYS do potluck, and must have kryptonite in their marrow.
BUT my mamas were somewhat defeated by what they see as the domination system running amok - whether it's the latest core curriculum academic drive in kindergarten or the pesticides on our food, or the sexism at work, or the lack of family support...... it is all rather overwhelming..... There is also a strong level of disempowerment when it comes to influencing employers to have more flexible working practices - the inflexible working conditions seem deeply entrenched and normalized here. This is an area I would like to grapple with further.
But hearts were open and bold, so I would love to find ways to bring the caring economy into our lives in a more radical way.....