December 20, 2017: Christmas (Women’s) Communities
Today was the school Christmas concert. As I watch the predominantly women elementary school teachers rush around the auditorium before, during and after the absoloutely stunning concert of children singing and dancing, I think about all the hours of baking for the cookie exchange, and all the time spent organizing and sewing costumes, and all the creative energy needed to put together the stage decorations. This work was largely provided by the teachers (90% of whom are women and all of whom are part of a feminized labour market as elementary school teachers and whose work is less well paid and often given less social respect) and the “parent’s council” (really maintained largely by mothers). I reflect on the hundreds of hours of unpaid reproductive (women’s) labour that goes into sustaining this community and every community: labour that if we recognized it and paid for it, might create whole new economies of exchange that prioritized low-carbon care work, that valued variegated knowledge systems and expertise, and that fostered healthy intergenerational relationships necessary to community sustainability and overall well being. Thank you to all these wonderful members of our school community (teachers and parents) and to all the women in my life, making this holiday season what it is, as we prep our collective and private family get together. Lots of love to you all!
(Image: School Concert: École Claudette de Denis Tardiff. Dec 22, 2017.)