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Women, Labor and Property

Discussion in 'Toward Feminist Ecosocialism' started by Sandra Lindberg, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Sandra Lindberg

    Sandra Lindberg Moderator

    Consider the women who help in homes when corporate systems demand that corporate workers devote the vast majority of their time and energy to making money for the business. Consider those, often female, who care for the living spaces, the children and the elderly relatives of office workers whose lives leave them with no time to care for themselves. Consider women domestic workers.

    If you clean someone else's house--and even live in that house--what rights should you have? If you prepare food for those who have hired you--and even eat at least some of that food--what rights should you have to sustenance? If you care for the children in the house where you live--but are seldom or never allowed to leave the place where you work--are you an employee or a slave? If you care for someone's sick parent, but receive no equipment to protect your body from the punishing burden of lifting and bathing and dressing an elderly, helpless individual, who will take care of you when your body gives out? If your hometown or home country is in such desperate economic shape that you agree to become a home worker in a foreign country, how do you secure fair and safe working conditions in the new country?

    To consider these questions, please read: https://popularresistance.org/the-creative-resistance-of-domestic-workers/. These women in Lebanon figured out how to organize in the face of incredible obstacles.

    More directly connected to environmental issues, domestic workers routinely face environmental risks on top of the labor issues described in the Popular Resistance article. Women working in homes who are struggling to get enough food to eat will have little ability to organize for environmental safety within their workplaces. The US risks for domestic workers are already recognized by OSHA: Domestic Service Workers Vulnerable to Occupational Hazards. Unfortunately, simply describing risks does not bring about change.

    The need for system change is not an academic debate, but a struggle to protect all of us working under grossly unfair and punishing rules and customs.

    These women are on the front lines of labor and environmental issues. Please contribute further information and thought to this topic if you can, including personal perspectives. The personal, and what happens in the private sphere, is indeed political, yes?

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