Stumbled across this stunning -- in so many ways -- National Film Board documentary the other day.
It is totally worth 94 minutes of your time to get to know New Zealand political economist Marilyn Waring. Her ideas, boiled down to their most basic, relate to how what women do and contribute count for nothing in a world measured by leading, lagging and other economic indicators.
For example, activities which involve monetary transactions count as production even when they involve the degradation of the earth's resources, such as strip-mining. A sunset has no value, nor a mountain, and trees only count when they have been chopped down and sold. At the same time, Waring criticizes traditional economics for not finding a way to value community well-being. By current thinking, war and disaster are 'good for the economy' because they create jobs such as arms production and clean-up.
As Gloria Steinem wrote in the introduction to Waring's book, Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth, she will change your worldview. She certainly helped me crystallize many inchoate ideas I have had about women's work and place in the world.
Sometimes this film, which requires zero expertise in economics, just blew me away. It even helped me formulate today's treeware column about childcare.
But Waring's about so much more than that. My young economist friend Aaron Braaten tweeted back at me the other day that Waring, one of his idols, was years ahead of her time when this film was made in 1995.
Unfortunately, she still is years ahead of her time.
But at least, now, there's a realization that, while it's still a man's world, women make it go round.
If you have an iPhone, get the free NFB app and watch it on your commute or in bed or wherever you are. Or sit at the computer.
Just don't miss it.