rebelraising: (annoyed)
[personal profile] rebelraising
Patricia Hewitt, Minister for Trade and Industry, and also, as a pin-money job, Minister for Women:

"[W]omen are still more often found in low-status, low-paid jobs with little opportunity for career development and can find it harder to get promotion than men."

The solution?
"It is in all our interests to make it possible for women to pursue a fulfilling career within better-paid and higher-status jobs while at the same time balancing domestic responsibilities."

But surely the gap is: who the fuck is going to do the cleaning and the child-care and the nursing when women are in "senior management"? Well, since Hewitt's just endorsed and failed to question the status of those jobs as "low", we can be very sure New Labour won't be encouraging men into them.

So, another step towards the shiny new world where everyone works for commercial enterprises in desk jobs. The answer to getting promotion for women is apparently to work with "the business community", never mind that women in fact work disproportionately in the public and voluntary sectors. In fact, people who don't work for profit-making companies are basically invisible in political rhetoric about jobs, anyway: why else do we allow the CBI to be referred to as "the employers' organisation" rather than "the organisation of some large commercial employers"?

Look, what I'm trying to say is that we will always have a circular definition of women's work as low-prestige, and low-prestige work as poorly paid, and hence jobs only women will take, unless we take a more radical attitude. Why shouldn't women stay in childcare work, but be paid and esteemed as much as a company pen-pusher?

Well, I guess because if that happened, men would swoop in and take all the childcare jobs.

Date: 2002-08-15 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Whatever happened to Wages For Housework, anyway?

Date: 2002-08-16 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They're here ( and here (!

It's right, you know. The answer has to be to force the signifiers of esteem (sadly, mostly money) onto women's work. That would be the basis for change, because we know the current methods aren't working.

Date: 2002-08-16 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, OK. I wonder if the UK group still exists, though? Couldn't find them on the net, if so. I remember that they were persona non grata to orthodox feminists in the 70s/early 80s because they had close links with the English Collective of Prostitutes, who were considered gender traitors.

That would be the basis for change

Yep. And if the men charged in and took all the jobs, well at least you'd see men doing housework & looking after babies & the like. Which would effect a few changes in itself.

Date: 2002-08-16 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not at all that I don't think men should be working in childcare and so on, by the way. I think it's pretty important that some do, and I think there are damaging stereotypes that stop those that want to from doing it now- it's just that I was on a "plain feminism" rather than a "gender revolution" rant when I wrote that. I should footnote my rants better, really.

I don't think there is a current British Wages for Housework group. Didn't know that about them and the ECP, though. Interesting, because they're both groups talking about the current realities for (largely working-class and marginalised, rather than "corporate ladder") women. Hmmm.

Date: 2002-08-16 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
they're both groups talking about the current realities for (largely working-class and marginalised, rather than "corporate ladder") women

Which was what didn't chime with feminism at that time, since it was largely the domain of middle class women, who would lament the absence of working class women in the movement but didn't want to actually, heaven forbid, meet any or anything.

My brother's ex-wife used to rant about that a lot. She was a stripper for about 12 years, & on discovering feminism, experienced firstly guilt at her profession & then rage at the way she was looked down on (both as a sex industry worker and a working class woman) by her 'sisters'.


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