The many powerful voices of the international contributors to this anthology argue that motherhood may be the foundation of alternative human logic, a new socio-political order, a new value system, and a way of liberating mothers themselves. This book does not present a utopia but a possible road to an alternative evolvement of the world different from the common thinking in the Global North: In lieu of capitalism--the gift economy and the subsistence economy; in lieu of trans-humanism--nature and all her human and non-human inhabitants; in lieu of individualism--community; in lieu of domination--balance and responsibility; in lieu of State--localism; in lieu of monotheism--spirituality; in lieu of equality feminism--transformative feminism. The signs of this development are already seen everywhere: in the New Age, in urban communes, in Occupy movement, in the mothers' movement. Based on critique of the failures of capitalism, the State, enlightment, patriarchy, and even western feminism, the book's second part presents alternatives coming from outside the patriarchal framework. For example: the maternal gift economy as an economic model and human logic; matriarchal society--balanced, free and equal; gift giving and subsistence perspective instead of exchange and accumulation; motherism as a central concept in African legacy; goddesses as spiritual and cultural icons. Such perception challenges the escape from the mother or mothering (to career, for example) that is so prevalent in the West. The possibilities to actualize this re-understanding of motherhood and mothering--including local communities, healing and peacemaking--are presented in the third part.
Erella Shadmi is a feminist, peace and anti-racism activist and scholar living in Israel. She co-founded Kol Ha'Isha (Jerusalem feminist centre), the Fifth Mother (a women's peace movement), and the Ashkenazi women's group established to contemplate on Ashkenazi racism. She has been active, among other things, in Women in Black, and the Mizrahi feminist movement, Achoti. She was a board member of B'tselem and a member of the Truth Commission for the Nakba in the Negev 1948-1960, established by Zochrot organization. She is now active in the Haifa Feminist Center, Isha Le'Isha, and currently leads the initiatives to establish the Center for Women's Cultures and co-housing for elderly women. She is also active in two global networks, dealing with gift economy, matriarchal societies and Indigenous rights and knowledge. Erella is the former head of the Women's Studies Program at Beit Berl Academic College, a unique program that is open to less-educated women and focuses on marginalized groups in Israel. Her numerous published books and articles deal with social change movements, male violence against women, Ashkenaziness, lesbianism, spirituality, the maternal gift economy and matriarchal societies. As a criminologist and one of the pioneering researchers of the Israel Police, she published several critical articles and the first of its kind a book on police and policing in Israel.
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