The German word Wirtinschaft is a neologism. We expanded the noun Wirtschaft (which means both, „economy” and „tavern”) by adding the feminine suffix -in to the noun Wirt which makes a „landlady” out of a „landlord.” Hence, in English we mixed in the „she” to make it „sheconomy.” 

And so the word Wirtinschaft or „sheconomy” reminds us that economy used to pertain to the actual work of real innkeepers. So, what does a female innkeeper actually do? She provides for the well-being of their patrons. She prepares food which is served as a delightful dish. She may brew the ale or beer. She has an open ear and holds intervital dialogues and negotiations. She gives advice, makes beds, cleans rooms, and creates comfort. In obviously „sheconomically” runinns, she creates income by keeping the books, greeting and dispatching guests, opening doors for strangers, and offers shelter; always making decisions on the necessities of the day. 

We find the concept of sheconomy an inspiring model of action. It can be up-lifting for people who have lost their bearings in a hostile, profit oriented market economy. If seven billion Earth inhabitants and dignitaries can become „sheconomists” in their own, individual ways, then they can nourish good communal life without committing to a single method of the „economy.” 

Advocates of the market economy suggest there is a general and always readily available mechanism for gratification of desires. However, this simplification does not do justice to the plethora of sheconomic possibilities. By contrast, there is the model of the innkeeper, whose presence of mind enables her to fastly recognize new necessities and makes use of her distinctive talents. She even-handedly inspires women, men, and children to creatively nurture what nurtures them: the relational web of human affairs, the world matrix.

Ina Praetorius, The Care-Centered Economy. Rediscovering what has been taken for granted, Berlin 2015

Ina Praetorius, The Economics of Natality. A Postpatriarchal Perspective, in: Concilium 5/2011, 82-91

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