Work

As posted in a comment on FB:

I have been living political science for over sixty years. What I noted was that in 2001 we were told to be concerned about women in burkas having to be escorted by males and in 2021 we are concerned about providing safe exit to 20,000 women teachers, lawyers and other professionals, if they want to leave. And that led me to consider that the reason so-called primitive cultures can keep producing fighters and war lords is because the basic work of managing households and rearing the next generation is being carried out by women. And I am reminded of an anthropologist’s description of society in Mali, an African nation, where gardening and marketing is done by women and “the important work of making decisions for the community is done by men.” And I am reminded that when weaving mills were set up in New England, signaling the beginning of industrial enterprise, the equipment was used by young women from the farms before they married and then, as the equipment was improved and the work less strenuous, men were encouraged to take factory jobs and then that was characterized as “work moved out of the house.” Women’s work is not only never done, but never recognized as work. Why is that? Because work is doing what someone else directs, not what an autonomous person does.