Happy International Women’s Day

Happy 100th International Women’s Day and THANK YOU MUM-WOMEN!

Will women be equal if mothers are not equal?

Will mothers be equal if the family care work we do is not even considered work?

The first wave feminists valued mothers’ family care work so much they fought for the vote in order to protect mothers and children from unfettered capitalism. They fought for restrictions on job hours, child labour, and mother’s labour in industrustrialized work places. They fought for ‘breadwinner wages’ so husband/fathers were paid more than other employees.

These first wave feminist polices are called MATERNALISM. The down side was that women’s access to training, education, and paid work was highly restricted and paid less than men. Many women lost their jobs when they married or became mothers.

That has been corrected.

But now under POST MATERNALISM women who do not prioritize career and income as much as some want them to have their preference for other pursuits – in particular working at parental child care – treated as a PROBLEM needing remedy. And their preferred and necessary work is not treated and respected equally.

Second wave feminists rejected the first wave feminists’ honour, respect, and protection of family care work and those who do it. Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex, “no woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children… Women should not have that choice precisely because, if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

Now we continue to have family care work – especially parental child care – not considered to be work, even by those who call themselves ‘pro-family’.

Women are given the new restriction-prescription: get a full time job and put your children in daycare centres and/or all day kindergarten for 10 hours/day. The state must fund these institutions and not families because then …well parents might think its good to look after your own kids.

Well, this prescription is not being swallowed.

Under 15% of children under 6 are in daycare centres.

Few young children have both parents – or their single parent – in full time jobs away from them all day.

Yet governments are now ramping up the rat race and pushing harder than ever to punish parents for looking after their own kids. GDP growth is #1 even if such a false economy grows by crippling society. ‘Labour force attachment’ is priortized over parent-child attachment. The limits to these social megaprojects imposed by deficits may be childrens’ best protection.


%d bloggers like this: