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    Sarah Jaffe: Trickle-Down Feminism →

    It is class that created and maintains the schism between the professional feminists and the women who look to unions rather than to feminism to help them at work. You can’t find a self-proclaimed feminist who doesn’t pay at least lip service to the idea of equal pay for equal work, but we don’t see a whole lot of connection between that problem and the actions that might be taken to rectify it. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would allow workers to discuss salaries with one another in order to discover discrepancies, has been touted as a partial solution to the gender wage gap, but the idea, for instance, that workers should organize into a union whereby they’d bargain collectively for better pay and conditions seems lost.

    By focusing solely on equal pay for equal work, we focus on the pay rates of individual women compared to individual men; we presume that work is taking place in the kind of white-collar workplace where one’s salary can be negotiated individually rather than collectively. Marilyn Sneiderman, a lifelong labor organizer and head of Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps, notes that it’s an individual struggle for a lawyer trying to make partner, but for a waitress, a janitor, a hotel housekeeper, the hope for a better job isn’t promotion through the ranks. Rather, it’s in pushing for paid sick days, for job security, for a raise—and those are things you get through organizing with your fellow workers.

    (Source: ladyjournos)

    — 1 year ago with 314 notes
    #labor  #labor unions  #feminism  #class  #women in the workplace 
    Women writers' neglect is a class issue →

    Middle-class writers such as Sylvia Townsend Warner have enough champions. What about Ethel Carnie Holdsworth?

    For about four decades now, rediscovering and promoting the work of women writers deemed to have been “abandoned” by readers has been a staple of the literary feminist. It is the raison d’être of the publishing house Virago, which has brought us many books that would have otherwise been long forgotten. So it was interesting to read Sarah Waters’s piece lamenting the “neglect” of Sylvia Townsend Warner – but it annoyed me, too. Townsend Warner, who has had six of her novels republished by Virago, hardly qualifies for inclusion on the “missing” list.

    There are many other women writers who remain entirely overlooked, and whom present readers would doubtless enjoy and learn from. And one candidate worthy of being fished from the seas of oblivion and dragged into the literary lifeboat is Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.

    I fear the reason why Carnie Holdsworth hasn’t yet proved an attractive prospect for the missionary feminist is that she was trenchantly working class. Carnie Holdsworth wrote stories for and about other working-class women; women who, like herself, were already working long hours in factories and at home. With no allowance to free up her time, nor a high level of education, she had an urgent need to show how it was for herself and women like her. It’s a very old plough, this; the absence of, and then, when she is there, the neglect of, the working-class woman. One of the reasons I am championing Carnie Holdsworth is because we share class origins; origins that make one only too aware of how hard it is to even realise that one could have a voice through the pen. But that’s not all: a survey of Carnie Holdsworth’s work makes all too clear her struggle and her significant achievements, which, in the end, wore her out…

    What we need more than ever in our current climate are works that reflect these levels of inequality – not just between men and women, but between women and women – and north and south. I have often found it ironic that the feminists who cry foul at patriarchal cultural imperialism and the championing of male writers at the expense of better women, then go on to repeat the process among women along class lines, whether they know it or not.

    I’d like to expand her article’s scope to issues of including women of different races and sexual orientations as well.

    When women are “rediscovered” from history, it often starts with the most privileged women, because they are the easiest to find records about — the less privileged women were often less documented had to struggle much more against their background as both underprivileged AND a woman.

    — 2 years ago with 9 notes
    #women's history  #women in history  #writing  #women writer  #class  #race  #sexual orientation 
    
image: a comparison of race, gender and the ratio of median annual wages each group receives. White men are at the top with $1, then Asian men with 83 cents, Black Men with 71 cents, Asian Women with 68 cents, then Latino Men with 66 cents, then White Women with 63 cents, then Black Women with 53 cents, then Latina Women with 50 cents].

Great graphic with some (as always) troubling statistics on money, race, and gender, but once again, many populations are missing from this list, including Native Americans, South Asians, trans, etc.

    image: a comparison of race, gender and the ratio of median annual wages each group receives. White men are at the top with $1, then Asian men with 83 cents, Black Men with 71 cents, Asian Women with 68 cents, then Latino Men with 66 cents, then White Women with 63 cents, then Black Women with 53 cents, then Latina Women with 50 cents].

    Great graphic with some (as always) troubling statistics on money, race, and gender, but once again, many populations are missing from this list, including Native Americans, South Asians, trans, etc.

    (Source: feminist-blackboard, via math-erin)

    — 2 years ago with 2248 notes
    #activism  #class  #feminism  #civil rights 
    "Masses of poor and working-class women lose access to abortion when there is no government funding available for reproductive rights health care. Women with class privilege do not feel threaten when abortions can be had only if one has lots of money because they can still have them. But masses of women do not have CLASS POWER. More women than ever before are entering the ranks of poor and indigent. Without the right to safe, inexpensive, and free abortions the lose all control over their bodies. If we return to a world where abortions are only accessible to those females with lots of money we risk the return of public policy that will aim to make abortion illegal."
    bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody

    (Source: jmndza, via lipsredasroses)

    — 3 years ago with 71 notes
    #bell hooks  #feminism  #feminism is for everybody  #abortions  #equity  #class  #health care  #reproductive rights  #pro-choice  #pro-life