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Spring Rite at Bogumile Castle Travnik, Bosnia

Gift Economy

Tajana S. Mesic translates Genevieve Vaughan's work on the Gift Economy into Serbo-Croatian. Both Vaughan's work and the translation is a masterpiece.

To read the article, and more about G. Vaughan's Gift Economy go to

Categorized in these topics: Bosnia Economics Female Social Justice Feminine Matrix and Female Culture Social Memory Women's Trauma Issues

By Genevieve Vaughan

International Feminists for a Gift Economy is a loose-knit network of activist and academic women, based on an alternative paradigm at the heart of which is the idea of a maternal economy, which already exists before, beyond and within the economy of Patriarchal Capitalism. This idea requires some explanation, which I will attempt to give before talking a bit more about the network. I do not mean to say that everyone in the network would agree on everything I say here, but that most of them agree with much of it.

Let me begin by saying that our idea of mothering is not based in sentimentality or essentialism. Instead it takes the point of view that mothering is economic. Mothering is a mode of distribution of goods and services to needs. It is free - and it has to be free because young children cannot give back an equivalent in exchange for what they receive. This view requires a change in the concept of ‘economy’ to cover not only market exchange but free provisioning. Broadening the category ‘economic’ in this way allows us to see mothering as the basis of an alternative economy, one which is unfortunately not valued in our society. Many of the conflicts between the genders take place because one gender is identified with and is expected to practice one kind of economy while the other gender is expected to practice the other economy (which appears not to have a gendered identity).

In fact the market economy takes from the free provisioning gift economy. Profit itself is made of an extra margin of free gifts over and above expenses. This means that many free gifts are flowing to the market from women, men and nature, from the poor to the rich and and from the Global South to the Global North. Profit is made of free gifts taken by the few from the many and accumulates at the top, thus creating a generalized situation of scarcity ‘below’ which allows those at the top to maintain control. If too much abundance accumulates it does not ‘trickle down’ but is wasted on wars and armaments, re enforcing the control of the many by the few. Scarcity created in this way makes provisioning-gift-giving difficult and thus at an individual level also gives the gender that is not identified with the provisioning gift economy, control over the gender that is.

Mothering small children is thus the practice of an economy which is in opposition to the market economy. Small children require adults to give to them freely without expecting them to give back something in exchange. In fact though children do turntaking with their mothers and respond to them, they do not understand economic exchange until they are 4 or 5 years old.The logic and the psychology of the economy, of giving directly to satisfy needs are different and in opposition to the logic and psychology of the market economy.

The logic of exchange upon which the market is based, requires the return of goods or services of an equivalent value, and is therefore reflexive and ego oriented. It concentrates on satisfying the needs of the’ giver’. The logic of gift giving is transitive and other oriented. It concentrates on satisfying the needs of the receiver. It gives value to the receiver by implication while exchange gives value to the ego by implication.

Many so called ‘pre’ capitalist indigenous economies did not have markets as such. Their gift economies were elaborations of the maternal provisioning gift economy, not of the market. It is therefore possible to avoid the detour of the market and base an economy on the principles of the maternal economy. We believe that this is the direction in which our society should move to solve the terrible problems that have been created by Patriarchy and Capitalism. In fact Patriarchy and Capitalism have merged because they share the values of competition and power-over, accumulation, individualism, exclusiveness and lack of concern for others. This has created a destructive system at the micro and at the macro level. While mothers can and do succeed in this system in spite of many challenges, the system itself is the problem and needs to be radically changed.

There is also a syllogism of gift giving “If A gives to B and B gives to C then A gives to C.” This syllogism underlies the circulation of gifts, which are passed unilaterally from one person to another. The value of the receiver is implied here also, and a giver, who was previously a receiver, does not have to lose the value s/he has been given, even when she gives the gift to someone else.

Unilateral giving and receiving create bonds while market exchange cancels and breaks them, and indifference is created between the participants (Godbout 1992). In fact exchange is adversarial in that each person is trying to get more than the other out of the supposedly equal exchange (Hyde 1979). Exchange is self-reflecting, self-asserting and so foregrounds itself while unilateral gift giving concentrates on the other and therefore the giver may remain unnoticed. This invisibility of gift giving unfortunately confirms and contributes to the over visibility of ego oriented exchange.(This is one of the reasons why motherhood movements are so important).

In the early processes of unilateral giving and receiving the bodies of the members of the community are made, and their minds as well, in that their experiences are formed by these interactions. I think this transitive gift giving economy, the free transfer of need-satisfying goods and services, can also be seen as communication, a material communication, which creates bodies as well as human relations and minds and gives value as well as material goods. This communication forms the co-‘muni’ –ty from the Latin word meaning ‘gifts’ i.e. ‘giving gifts together’.
Market exchange instead is a kind of aberrant material communication, a non- communication, which is intransitive and stops the gift. The identity logic of the market economy influences us very strongly to validate only the kind of relations that occur in giving to receive an equivalent or to make a profit. Moreover market exchange emphasizes the ego orientation of homo economicus and considers other- orientation as an unrealistic moral penchant.

The division between the domestic sphere and the economic and political spheres can be cancelled or bridged by recognizing the maternal gift economy as an alternative economy, which already exists and which actually gives to or subsidizes the economy based on exchange. What is necessary is the liberation of the maternal economy from the economy based on exchange, and the gradual elimination and discrediting of the market rather than the assimilation of gift givers into the market. That is why many of us in the network do not believe in wages for housework. We need to eliminate the market altogether and put in its place a generalized maternal gift economy. Even thinking about this possibility and working towards it begins to make cracks in the monolith and validate the values of gift giving over the values of exchange.

The idea of the gift economy has been discussed in academia for many years: from Marcel Mauss in the 1920s to Lewis Hyde, Jacques Godbout, Alain Caille, Jacques Derrida’ Jean-Luc Marion and many others. It has inspired a number of the movements that want to create an alternative to Capitalism. However these movements even if they are feminist and egalitarian, do not usually recognize the basis of gift giving in mothering. And they do not recognize Patriarchal Capitalism as a parasitic system which functions by capturing and controlling the gift economy.

Examples of attempts to practice gift economy more or less consciously can be found in

Income-sharing intentional communities
Community gardens
Hacker economy
Free Software - reputation
General Public License (Copyleft)
Creative Commons license
Blood banks and organ donation
Ride sharing
Yellow Bikes
Couch surfing
Burning Man
Rainbow Gatherings
Remittances of immigrants to their home countries
Some alternative currencies - time banks
Add also volunteerism and much non profit work
Community solidarity work as seen in fire fighters after the twin towers and citizens trying to help in New Orleans.
Many indigenous societies have maintained gift economy practices, and gift-based cultures in spite of the encroachment and persecution of Patriarchal Capitalsm.
Recently I met some women in Mali who were still practicing the Dama. It is a traditional mother-based gift economy but they had not used those words for it.

Unfortunately as I mentioned most of the presnt gift economy initiatives do not recognize any connection with mothering, even though many have important leadership of women. International Feminists for a Gift Economy is trying to validate the logic of unilateral maternal gift giving as the logic of this alternative economy and put it in the forefront while pointing the way towards non violently dismantling the Patriarchal economy of death.
We work closely with Akademie Hagia’s Matriarchal Studies network, and many of our members participate in both. The gift economy, like matriarchy, applies maternal values in the organization of the lives of both women and men. It is the generalization of the logic of mothering to the wider social sphere that permits gifts to circulate within a community without an immediate return, satisfying needs and creating and maintaining the bonds that form the community itself. If the society does not honor women and motherhood, the gift economy becomes difficult to practice, perhaps a sort of unrealistic add-on to a supposedly more basic priniciple of exchange. Recent gift economy projects seem to be free floating, without the roots which are in the maternal practice. This lets Patriarchal society claim the gift economy as men’s invention, erasing its connection to mothering and denying the generalization of mothering logic and the validation of the mothering practice.

There are some quite mainstream gift practices, for example in Japan where corporation managers and workers maintain good relations through gift giving. In many countries there are also traditional gift giving hierarchies, which maintain the social structure. Patriarchal religious institutions have often claimed gift giving as their special territory, making the misogynist rules and extolling sacrifice as good for the soul. Patriarchal governments give aid with strings attached to countries in difficulty, creating economic servitude and placing the countries in a femized position..

In our Western society, mothering is discredited and often essentialistically identified with women-only while instances of the wider gift economy seem to have nothing to do with mothering or even with women. Fathering is distinguished from mothering and said to be its complement. In fact the idea of complementary male and female ‘energies’ is often embraced, without recognizing the continuty of what we call ‘male energy’ with the social construct of institutional patriarchy. I believe humanity is maternal – we are all mothered children – Patriarchal dominant ‘male energy’ is a social construct that should be eliminated. ‘Female energy’ should not try to complement or be in equilibrium with it. Being in equilibrium with the values of domination only enables them and distorts the integrity of the enabler.

The gift economy works best in a situation of abundance. Scarcity makes gift giving impractical and self sacrificial. So the gigantic social mechanism of the Patriarchal Capitalistic system itself creates the scarcity that is necessary to keep the gift economy in a situation of difficulty. Thus it is not the maternal values we must criticize for making us self-sacrifice but the artificially created context of scarcity in which gift giving is forced to exist. Mothers do not choose the role of victim. It is forced on us by the context, which does not provide the means of giving and which in many cases seems to be inalterable. Thus it is only by changing the system that mothers can find the abundance necessary to do their jobs and ensure this abundance to future mothers and others as well.

Extending mothering to the wider picture and seeing the problem as a clash between two economic logics, two modes of distribution, allows us to depersonalize the problem. It also helps gift-giving women (those who actually give birth and those who do not) and men recognize the parasitism of a Patriarchal system of which they are unknowingly the hosts. Shifting the paradigm towards the gift economy can provide the understanding and the change of consciousness we need to dismantle this pernicious system.

In 1988 I started the Foundation for a Compassionate Society, an international all-women activist foundation doing projects for social change according to ‘women’s values’. Through this foundation my co workers and I tried to practice the maternal gift economy, long before anyone else was talking about it in the US. It is exciting to me to see how much the zeitgeist has changed over the years, and how many even mainstream people are now talking about and trying to practice the gift economy (even if they still do not acknowledge mothering).

In 2001 I went to a meeting in Norway of women from many countries, who were starting the International Feminist University Network. Many of them became enthusiastic about the idea of the gift economy and we decided to have a meeting in Texas together with women from the Foundation for a Compassionate Society, and other women they and I knew from our work elsewhere. At this meeting in May 2002 we formed the nework, International Feminists for a Gift Economy. Indigenous and non indigenous women from countries of the global South and North, activists and academics, came to Texas and after deep discussions, formed the network which continues today. We connect with each other on an e list, speak together on panels at conferences, collaborate on projects to try to shift the paradigm away from the market and towards a maternal gift economy and its values. The Foundation put on a conference in 2004, where many of the network members spoke, called A Radically Different World View is Possible: the Gift Economy Inside and Outside Patriarchal Capitalism. In 2005, the last year of the operation of the Foundation, we put on a conference on Matriarchal Studies together with Heide Goettner-Abendroth from Germany, who started the movement of matriarchal studies there some 20 years ago, and had recently held the first Congress of Matriarchal Studies in Luxembourg in 2003. These two conferences and the books, which came out of them, are reference points for our networks.

International Feminists for a Gift Economy is unusual perhaps in that from the beginning it has been it began a coalition of women from different countries. We embrace a common paradigm based on the values of an economy of mothering, in opposition to the values of Capitalism and Patriarchy. We are unbureaucratic and undogmatic and are happy for others to join us in trying to move towards the maternal gift paradigm.

Find out more at

Promjena paradigme. Medjunarodne feministice za gospodarstvo darivanja
Autor: Genevieve Vaughan
Prevela: Tajana S. Mesic

Grupa Medjunarodne Feministice za Gospodarstvo Darivanja je umrezena grupa zena aktivistica i akademika, bazirana na alternativnoj paradigmi koja sadrzi ideju matrijarhalnog gospodarstva, koje je egzistiralo jos prije, koje je nadilazilo I koje je utkano u gospodarstvo Patrijarhalnog Kapitalizma. Ova ideja zahtjeva objasnjenje, koje cu pokusati dati prije nego sto krenem dalje u obrazlozenje umrezenosti. Sumnjam da ce se svi u mrezi sloziti sa svime sto ovdje budem iznijela, ali vjerujem da ce se velika vecina sloziti s vecinom izlozenog materijala.

Za pocetak, da ustvrdimo da ideja njegovanja koju ovdje iznosimo nije zasnovana na sentimentalnosti ili esencijalizmu. Ona je razvijena sa stanovista da je njegovanje prakticno. Njegovanje je nacin raspodjele dobara i usluga za potrebe. Ne kosta nista – i mora biti besplatno jer mala djeca ne mogu uzvratiti ekvivalentnim dobrom ili uslugom za ono sto su primila. Taj pogled na svijet zahtjeva drugacije gledanje na koncept “ekonomije”. Ekonomija, u tom smislu, obuhvaca trzisnu razmjenu i process besplatne isporuke. Prosirenje “ekonomskog” koncepta na taj nacin dozvoljava nam da sagledamo njegovanje kao osnovu alternativne ekonomije koja, na zalost, nije dovoljno cijenjena u nasem drustvu. Brojni sukobi izmedju spolova izbijaju kao posljedica identifikacije i iscekivanja odredjene vrste ekonomskog ponasanja jednog spola, dok se od drugog spola ocekuju pak druga ponasanja vezano uz ekonomiju.

U stvari, trzisna ekonomija oduzima od ekonomije darivanja koja ne naplacuje nista. Profit se ostvaruje od viska marze ostvarene na visku vrijednosti besplatnih darova nakon troskova. To znaci da mnogi besplatni darovi nastaju i slivaju se u trziste kao rezultat rada zena, muskaraca, prirode, sirotinje i bogatasa, globalnoh Juga i Sjevera. Profit se nastaje od besplatnih darova, a ubire ga manjima od vecine, te se akumulira na vrhu drustva rezultirajuci u uopcenoj situaciji koju nazivamo oskudicom na dnu drustva. Takva situacija dozvoljava onima na vrhu da ostanu u kontroli. Ako se previse obilja nagomila , obicno se ne “spusti” na donje slojeve, vec se potrosi na ratove i oruzje sto podupire kontrolu manjine nad vecinom. Oskudica stvorena na ovaj nacin znatno otezava process ekonomije darivanja i na individualnom nivou daje konrolu spolu koji nije identifican s ekonomijom darivanja nad onim koji je.
Po toj logici, njegovanje male djece je praksa koja se ne uklapa u trzisnu ekonomiju. Mala djeca zahtjevaju da im odrasli daju bezrezervno bez da ocekuju ista za uzvrat. Iako djeca ponekad razmjenjuju aktivnosti s majkama i reagiraju na njih, ne mogu pojmiti koncept trzisne razmjene dok ne napune cetiri ili pet godina. Logika i psihologija ekonomije direktnog davanja da bi se zadovoljile potrebe razlikuje se i dijagonalno je oprecna logici i psihologija trzisne ekonomije.

Smisao razmjene na kojoj se bazira trziste zahtjeva povrat dobara ili usluga ekvivalentne vrijednosti, a samim time postaje refleksivna i orjentirana na ego. Ona je usredotocena na zadovoljavanje potreba onoga koji “daje”. Smisao darivanja je prelazna i usredotocena na druge, te na zadovoljavanje potreba onoga koji prima. Proces pripisuje vrijednost primaocu implicitno, dok razmjena daje vrijednost egu implicitno.

Mnoge takozvane pretkapitalisticke autohtone ekonomije nisu imale trzista (bar ne sto mi danas zovemo trzistima). Njihova gospodarstva darivanja bile su verzije materinske ekonomije darivanja i njegovanja, a ne verzije trzista. Na temelju toga je moguce izbjeci skretanje trzista i bazirati gospodarstvo na principima materinske ekonomije. Vjerujemo da je to smjer kojim bi nase drustvo trebalo krenuti kako bi rjesilo strahovite problem koji su rezultirali kao posljedica patrijarhata i kapitalizma. Cinjenica je da su se patrijarhat i kapitalizm spojili jer posjeduju iste vrijednosti nadmetanja i moci nad drugima, zgrtanja, individualizma, iskljucivosti i nedostatka brige za druge. To je rezultiralo u stvaranju destruktivnog sistema na mikro i na makro razini. Iako su majke u stanju da uspiju i iako uspjevaju i u ovakvom sistemu unatoc mnogim teskocama, sam system je problematican i treba se radikalno promjeniti.

Slijedi silogizam darivanja “ako osoba A daje nesto osobi B, a osoba B daje nesto osobi C, onda osoba A daje osobi C.” Taj silogizam sluzi kao podloga procesu cirkulacije darova, koji prelaze jednostrano od jedne osobe do druge. Ovaj process podrazumijva i vrijednost koju dobiva primalac, a davalac koji je prethodno bio primalac ne mogu izgubiti vrijednost koju je dobio/dobila, cak ni kada dar pokloni nekome drugome.

Jednostrano davanje i primanje stvaraju spone dok iz trzisna razmjena raskida, a to rezultira u ravnodusnosti i nehaju izmedju sudionika (citat uzet od autora Godbout 1992). Razmjena stvara atmosferu optuzbe posto svaka osoba pokusava dobiti vise od one druge u, navodno, jednakoj razmjeni (autor Hyde 1979). Razmjena je samoodrazavanje, samoizjasnjavanje koje samo sebe gura u prvi plan, dok se jednostrano darivanje usredotocava na druge i kroz taj proces osoba koja daje moze ostati neprimjecena. Nazalost, ta nevidljivost darivanja potvrdjuje i pospjesuje naglasenu vidljivost ego-orjentirane razmjene. (To je jedan od razloga zasto su pokreti njegovanja i majcinstva tako bitni).

U ranijim procesima jednostranog davanja i primanja, moze se reci da se formiraju tijela i umovi clanova drustva, kao rezultat njihovih interakcija. U toj prijelaznoj ekonomiji darivanja, mozemo taj slobodni prijenos dobara i usluga koji zadovoljavaju potrebe okarakterizirati i kao komunikaciju, tzv. materijalnu komunikaciju koja stvara tijela, ljudske odnose, umove, te koja im ulijeva vrijednost i daje materijalna dobra. Ta komunikacija formira tzv. co-‘muni’-ty od latinske rijeci koja znaci ‘dar’ to jest “zajednicko darivanje”.

Trzisna razmjena je u biti nenormalna fizicka komunikacija, svojevrsna ne-komunikacija koja nije prijelazna i onemogucuje darivanje. Logika identiteta trzisne ekonomije utjece na nas da prihvatimo samo onu vrstu odnosa koji se nalaze u procesu davanja da bismo primili nesto ekvivalentno zauzvrat ili da bismo ostvarili profit. Osim toga, trzisna razmjena naglasava ego orjentaciju “homo economicusa”, dok orjentaciju na drugog smatra za nerealnu moralnu sklonost.

Podjelu izmedju domace sfere, te ekonomske ili politicke sfere mozemo prevazici ili prebroditi priznavanjem materinske ekonomije darivanja kao alternativne ekonomije koja vec postoji i koja funkcionira i doprinosi kroz ekonomiju baziranu na razmjeni. Neophodno je osloboditi materinsku ekonomiju od ekonomije razmjene i postepeno eliminirati i diskreditirati trziste umjesto uklapanja darivalaca u traziste. Zbog istih razloga, mi koji smo vec umrezeni, ne vjerujemo u placanje za rad u kuci. Moramo eliminirati cjelokupno trzista, te ga zamijeniti s materinskom ekonomijom darivanja. Samim razmisljanjem o toj mogucnosti, te radom prema tom konceptu pocinje razbijati monolit i naglasavati vrijednosti darivanja naspram vrijednosti razmjene.

O ideji ekonomije darivanja diskutira se vec dugo vrijeme u akademskim krugovima: od Marcela Maussa u 1920im godinaja do Lewisa Hydea, Jacquesa Godbouta, Alain Caillea, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Mariona, te mnogih drugih. Ideja je inspirirala mnoge pokrete koji streme kreiranju alternative kapitalizmu. Iako je vecina pokreta feministicke ili egalitarske prirode, obicno ne priznaju da je baza za darivanje u majcinstvu i njegovanju. Ti isti pokreti ne priznaju da je patrijarhalni kapitalizam parazitski sustav koji funkcionira koristeci princip hvatanja i kontroliranja ekonomije darivanja.

Primjeri pokusaja implementacije ekonomije darivanja evidentna je (na manje ili vise osvijesten nacin):
Zajednice formirane s namjerom, koje medjusobno dijele prihode

Vrtlarske zajednice
Gospodarstvo kompjuterskih hackera
Free Software - reputacija
General Public License (Copyleft)
Creative Commons licenca
Krvna banka ili donacija organa
Ride Sharing
Zuti Bicikli (prijevoz biciklima koji su za sve)
Couch surfing (spavanje na kaucima u kucama drugih ljudi)
Burning Man
Rainbow Okupljanja
Slanje novca obiteljima u druge zemlje (domovinu)
Alternativne valute – banke sati
Volonterstvo i rad s mnogim udrugama i nevladinim organizacijama
Rad iz razloga drustvene solidranosti (na primjer vatrogasci nakon tragedije September 11 i gradjani volonteri pruzaju pomoc New Orleansu)
Brojna autohtona drustva zadrzala su obicaje ekonomije darivanja i kulturu darivanja unatoc zadiranja i progona od strane Patrijarhalnog Kapitalizma.

Nedavno sam susrela zene iz Malija u Africi koje su jos uvijek upraznjavale obicaj Dame. To je ekonomija darivanja bazirana na tradiciji Majke, iako one ne koriste taj opis.
Nazalost, kako sto sam vec spomenula, vecina inicijativa ekonomije darivanja ne nalaze zajednicke tocke s njegovanjem ili majcinstvom, cak ni kada mnoge od njih vode zene. Grupa Medjunarodne Feministice za Gospodarstvo Darivanja pokusava potvrditi logiku jednostranog materinskog darivanja kao logiku ove alternativne ekonomije i staviti je u prvi plan, a u isto vrijeme pokazati kako na nenasilan nacin razoruzati patrijarhalnu ekonomiju smrti.

Blisko suradjujemo s mrezom organizacije Akademie Hagia’s Matriarchal Studies. Mnogi nasi clanovi sudjeluju u obje organizacije. Ekonomija darivanja, poput matrijarhata, primjenjuje materinske vrijednosti u organizaciji na zivote zena i muskaraca.

Logika majcinstva I njegovanja dozvoljava kroz siru drustvenu sferu da darovi cirkuliraju unutar drustva bez instantnog povratka, a to zadovoljava potrebu za stvaranjem I odrzavanjem veza drustva. Ako drustvo ne cijeni zene I majcinstvo te njegovanje, postaje vrlo tesko upraznjavati ekonomiju darivanja, te izgleda kao da je to samo nerealan dodatak osnovnim principima razmjene. Projekti koje smo nedavno poduzeli u polju ekonomija darivanja funkcioniraju slobodno, bez korjena u materinskoj ekonomiji. Takav status dozvoljava patrijarhalnog drustvu da se prisvoji ekonomiju darivanja kao izum muskaraca, a ujedno da ignorira vezu njegovanja I majcinstva, te da opovrgne I ne prizna logiku majcinstva I njegovanja.

U sirem drustvu postoje obicaji darivanja. Na primjer, u Japanu menadzeri u korporacijama I njihovi radnici odrzavaju dobre odnose kroz medjusobno darivanje. U mnogim zemljama postoje tradicionalne hijerarhije darivanja, koje pomazu da se odrzi struktura drustva. Patrijarhalne religiozne institucije cesto prisvajaju cin darivanja kao nesto svojstveno samo njima, kreirajuci pravila koja podrzavaju mrzenje zena I hvaleci zrtvovanje kao nesto dobro za spas duse. Patrijarhalne vlade pomazu pogodjenim zemljama, ali uvijek ocekujuci nesto za uzvrat, kreirajuci na taj nacin ropstvo i stavljajuci te zemlje u polozaj porobljene zene.

U nasem zapadnjackom drustvu, njegovanje biva diskreditirano i cesto iskljucivo poistovjecivano sa zenama iako primjeri sireg gospodarstva darivanja nemaju nista s negovanjem ili cak sa zenama. Obicno se kaze da je njegovanje od strane oceva razlicito od njegovanje od strane majki, ted a ga nadopunjuje.

Cesto se prihvaca ideja nadopunjavajuce muske I zenske energije, bez spoznavanja kontinuiteta ‘muske energije’ s drustvenim konstruktom institucijskog patrijarhata. Ja vjerujem da je ljudsko drustvo materinsko – mi smo svi djeca koje su rodile I odgajale majke – patrijarhalna dominantna ‘muska energija’ je drustveni konstrukt koji je potrebno eliminirati. ‘Zenska energija’ ne bi trebala pokusavati nadopuniti ili biti u ravnotezi s muskom. Biti u ravnotezi s vrijednostima dominacije samo im omogucava da iskrive intergritet onoga koji to omogucuje.

Ekonomija darivanja je najmocnija u izobilju. Kad vlada oskudica, darivanje nije prakticno I poprima elemente samopozrtvovanja. Gigantski drustvni mehanizam patrijarhalnog kapitalistickog sistema proizvodi oskudicu koja je neophodna da se system ekonomije darivanja oteza. Dakle, treba kritizirati umjetno stvoreni kontekst za oskudicu, koji rezultira u nemogucnosti darivanja I samopozrtvovanju. Majke ne biraju ulogu zrtvu. Ta uloga nam je nametnuta kroz kontekst koji nam cesto oduzima mogucnost za darivanjem I koji najcesce ne mozemo mijenjati. Jedino kroz promjenu sistema je moguce majkama da nadju izobilje koje je potrebno da obavljaju svoj posao I koje osigurava izobilje za buduce majke I druge clanove drustva.

1998. godine zapocela sam fundaciju za saosjecajno drustvo, medjunarodnu zensku aktivisticku fundaciju koja se bavi projektima socijalne promjene u skladu sa “zenskim vrijednostima”. Kroz tu fundaciju, moji suradnici i ja poceli smo s prakticiranjem materinske ekonomije darivanja davno prije nego je taj dijalog poceo u Sjedinjenim Drzavama. Jako me raduje da vidim kako su se vremena promijenila kroz godine, te koliko ljudi u nasem drustvu govore o ekonomiji darivanje te kako pokusavaju upraznjavati te principe (iako jos uvijek ne govore o njegovanju).

2001. godine sam prisustvovala sastanku zena iz mnogih zemalja u Norveskoj. Zene su zapocinjale International Feminist University Network. Mnoge su se zagrijale za ideju ekonomije darivanja i odlucile smo da se sastanemo u Teksasu sa zenama iz fondacije za suosjecajno drustvo, te drugim zenama koje su one i ja poznavale iz rada u polju djelatnosti odasvuda. Na tom sastanku u maju 2002e, formirale smo mrezu International Feminists for a Gift Economy. Autohtone i zene koje nisu iz autohtonih kultura i zemalja globalnoh juga i sjevear, zene aktivisti i akademici, sve smo dosle u Teksas i nakon dubokih diskusira formirale mrezu koja nastvlja rad I danas. Povezane smo internetskom vezom i e-listom, druzimo se i vodimo dijaloge putem panela I konferencija, suradjujemo na projektima s ciljem da usmjerimo drustvo ka materinskoj ekonomiji darivanja i adekvatnim vrijednostima. Fundacija je organizirala konferenciju 2004e na kojoj su mnogi clanovi drzali predavanje pod nazivom “A Radically Different World View is Possible: the Gift Economy Inside and Outside Patriarchal Capitalism. “ 2005e, zadnje godine rada fundacije, organizirale smo konferenciju na temu matrijarhalnih studija u kolaboraciji s Heide Goettner-Abendroth iz Njemacke koja je pocela pokret matrijarhalnih studija u Njemackoj prije 20 godina, a nedavno odrzala prvi kongres matrijarhalnih studija u Luxembourgu 2003e. Te dvije konferencije I knjige koje su proizasle iz konferencija su okosnice nasih mreza I rada.
Grupa Medjunarodne Feministice za Gospodarstvo je neobicna zato sto je od pocetka krenula kao koalicija zena iz raznih zemalja. Mi sve prihvacamo zajednicki stav baziran na vrijednostima ekonomije majcinstva i njegovanja, a koji je oprecan vrijednostima kapitalizma i patrijarhata. Mi funkcioniramo bez puno birokracije i dogme. Drago nam je kada nam se drugi prikljuce u nasim nastojanjima da drustvo priblizimo materinskoj ekonomiji.

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