Bringing feminist values to economics

Here’s the first TEDWomen video released, by Iceland’s feminist financial superhero, Halla Tomasdottir. The inside scoop is that Halla was super nervous about her talk, both because, well, it’s nerve wracking to know people from 100 different countries are watching you (in addition to the 700 in the audience), but also because English isn’t her first language. I was so thrilled when she strode up on that stage, super hot shoes to boot, and rocked it.

Hella spoke fairly early in the program and managed to plant the seed for an ongoing conversation that was threaded through out the two days. In sum, a lot of us spoke about the reality that the earth, our economic systems, our bodies, our hearts, simply have limits. If we’re going to change the world, we have to start getting real about the delusion of never ending expansion and start conserving.

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  • Sam Lindsay-Levine

    This video didn’t play for me.

    Regarding limits, I think economics has always understood that limits currently exist – the production possibility frontier is a well known concept to every intro Econ student – but since I couldn’t see the video, I’m wondering how Ms. Tomasdottir addressed that the limits of our world have continually expanded throughout human history by the introduction of technology.

    The capacity of our world in terms of food, living space, every kind of economic production, has constantly increased due to improved technologies (from the domestication of animals on up). Our Earth and our bodies have limits – but what those limits were five hundred years ago are very different from what those limits are now. It likewise seems vanishingly unlikely that the limits of 2010 will be the same as the limits of 2100.

    Why should we not continue to push back the limits of the possible? How does increasing the range of human capability contradict feminist values?

  • Ryan

    Perhaps we, as feminists, can dismantle capitalism and all similar authoritarian power structures–hierarchical workplaces, the state, patriarchy, white supremacy, etc.–and replace them with voluntary non-hierarchical means of organization where every person interacts on terms of solidarity and non-coercion? And if some hierarchy is deemed legitimate on a small scale, directly democratize it by all those who are effected by it? Just sayin’…

  • Matthew T. Jameson

    I also could not get the video to play. Might it be possible to put it in a different format? Tomasdottir’s viewpoints on economics could be some really interesting fodder for discussion on Feministing..

    I also couldn’t help notice Courtney’s comment about Tomasdottir’s “super hot shoes,” not too long after we celebrated Secretary Clinton’s snappy -and appropriate- calling out a reporter asking about her favorite designers. I don’t know that there is anything intrinsically wrong with mentioning a woman’s shoe choice, but it does beg the question: would you have mentioned a male economist/politicians’ shoes? What, if anything,, is added to the discussion here by noting her shoes?