Friday, August 21, 2015

From the archives: "Theories of Patriarchy" by Lindsey German

A Marxist critique of feminist patriarchy theory which I came upon recently:

Interestingly in light of current debates, she attributes the gender pay gap, which was much greater then than it is now, to situational factors resulting from the structure of capitalism, rather than to sex discrimination as many reflexively do today:

We live in a period where more women work in most advanced countries than in any other period in history. The jobs they do differ from men, in that sense the sexual division of labour is as alive as ever. And their pay is far from equal. This is because women still (usually) have their working lives interrupted by childbirth (although much less so than a couple of generations ago) and are still expected to play the major part in caring for the children as well as work.
But the structure of women’s jobs has more to do with the period of capitalist development in which they entered the labour force (the expansion of the service sector in particular) than with any male conspiracy.
Later, she writes:

The myth [of the fulltime housewife] has a number of advantages for capital. It enables them to foist poor wages, conditions and hours on women. It makes women feel that their job is not their ‘real’ work which makes them less likely to organise at work, and more likely to acquiesce to unemployment. It promotes the double burden of waged and housework for women. But it is nonetheless, a myth,
making it not so clear whether she's blaming intentional discrimination by capitalists, or lesser willingness to assert their rights by women workers. The fact that the wage gap has shrunk since this paper was written might be accounted for by women's increased inclination to see career as just as essential as family to their sense of purpose in life. Unfortunately, it's also at least in part because the labor movement has become weaker: it's less that women's real wages have risen, than that men's have fallen.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

One of My Newest Message Tees Goes Over Well

After my Left Book Group meeting today, another member said she liked the anti-domestic violence T-shirt I was wearing, recently ordered from the Red Pill Shop at Zazzle. She said she especially liked "the fact it says everyone and not just women." I explained that the shirt is intended to raise awareness of the considerable proportion of DV victims who are men, and the lack of services proportional to the need, facts to which she reacted with surprise and interest.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Quote of the Day

If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars. -- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chris Satullo Is Still Picking Fights with Atheists

In a clear case of projection, WHYY's Chris Satullo has again attacked atheists without provocation, and then tries to blame it on us. You can read his commentary and my response here:

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In love

For the first time in about 14 years, I'm in love. Pretty hard and, for the first time, with someone I haven't even met in person. I don't want to give too much detail lest she see this and possibly be weirded, so suffice to say I've fallen for someone on account of an ever deepening admiration for her strong will, sharp intellect, and compassionate heart.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

We should be skeptical of arguments that play up the physical danger women are in, as fear is another mechanism of oppression. It is often the perceived threat of physical assault, more than the actual likelihood of it, that keeps women at home. -- Jean Yang, Computer Science PhD student at MIT, on

Friday, May 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

[T]he prison, the reformatory, and the jail have achieved only a shocking record of failure. There is overwhelming evidence that these institutions create crime rather than prevent it. -- National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, Task Force Report on Corrections, 1973, quoted in Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow