March 19, 2023

Proposals for the Feminine Economy

A look at how Jennifer Armbrust’s “Proposals for the Feminine Economy” inspired the way we approach relationships, business, and our role in the world.

The economy in which we find ourselves determines worth and allocation. When Jennifer Armbrust dissected the ideals of capitalism, she noticed the way our system values masculine traits.  Scarcity consciousness, ego, myth of meritocracy and linear growth (to name a few) further the control of the patriarchy through upholding the masculine and devaluing the feminine. 

Feminine characteristics, like empathy, nurturing, and introspection aren’t inaccessible to men. They’re just not practiced or embodied, for fear of seeming ‘weak’ or less valuable, because the system devalues them.

Armbrust imagines an economy composed of feminine traits, instead of masculine ones, and just the idea of it gives me goosebumps and a hope for the future I don’t often have given the current social climate.

She goes on to propose 12 Principles for Prototyping a Feminist Business, her roadmap to making the feminine economy real.

A few that stood out to me and have impacted the foundation of R&Co.:

  • You Have a Body: Capitalism tells us to override our body’s needs in the name of profitability and profit. This alienates us from our joy, presence, and intuition. And when we aren’t present or in tune with our intuition, we ignore the signs that something isn’t right and needs to be changed. Thus, keeping us complicit in a system that cages us.
  • Institutionalize Empathy: Being present to another person’s experience not only makes us better ‘marketers,’ it more importantly requires accountability and the dismantling of systems of oppression to allow for empathy to be afforded to ALL people.
  • Cultivate Abundance Consciousness: Scarcity mindset keeps us running. Running towards the next client, the next purchase, the next accolade, it upholds the myth of meritocracy and hustle culture. With running we are never present, grateful, or mindful. Grounding in the present and feeling nourishment, feeling enough, allows us to act from a place of intuition and purpose. Think what you could create if you were in that mindset instead…

Each of her 12 principles build toward new ways of living, working, and being together that can transform the world to one we WANT to live in. Transforming a system doesn’t happen overnight, but she asks of us patience, forgiveness, and accountability to take the steps toward this possible future.

Inspired by the book and my work with BWB, I created an R&Co. Economy built from my own values, feminine characteristics, and elements of Emergent Strategy.

Breaking my own cycle of socialization and embodying these traits is a constant practice, but one I am committed to continuing in the hopes of contributing to a more compassionate world.