’”By the mid-20th century, housework had undergone a dramatic revolution.For some second-wave feminists in the 1970s, this gap in respect was an obvious place to begin their fight for equality.If women’s labor is an essential yet uncompensated component of the economy, it only stands to reason that women’s liberation might be secured through demanding remuneration for services rendered.
’”By the mid-20th century, housework had undergone a dramatic revolution.For some second-wave feminists in the 1970s, this gap in respect was an obvious place to begin their fight for equality.Tags: Argumental ThesisAbout My College Life EssayWhy Is Homework Important For StudentsElementary Expository Essay RubricCultural Anthropology Research Paper TopicsConverter D Pipelined ThesisMyeconlab Macroeconomics Homework AnswersResearch Paper Against AbortionFsu College Application Essay 2011Problem Solving Flowsheet
Above her, in black, Old English lettering, are the words “Fuck Housework.”For other feminists, such as Pat Mainardi of “The Politics of Housework,” domestic labor was seen as a necessary evil.
It was drudgery, to be sure, but drudgery that still needed to be done by both men women, splitting the burden equally.
According to more mainstream feminists like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, the answer was to put women on the same footing as men, liberate them from the shackles of their kitchens, and send them into the workforce, where they’d be able to compete with men on a level playing field.
But for a small group of Marxist feminists, this strategy completely missed the point.
In that view, housework could not be reformed—it could only be escaped.
An iconic poster created in 1971 by the feminist artist Virtue Hathaway neatly summed up this position: a woman with long hair stands holding a broken broom, with the words “Women’s liberation” wispily written around her dress.The problem, they argued, was never with housework itself. As a young girl growing up in Italy in the 1940s and ’50s, she’d heard her father’s tirades against the abuses Italians had endured under the country’s fascist regime, and watched as the local communists and fascists battled one another in the streets.The problem was that housework had never been truly respected as work. For Federici, the choice between the two sides was obvious: the communist workers, who sported red carnations on May Day and rallied under the anti-fascist anthem “Bella Ciao,” were the ones who had her sympathies.In her 1970 essay “The Politics of Housework,” Pat Mainardi, a member of the radical feminist group Redstockings, lays out a step-by-step guide to persuade men to do their fair share of “dirty chores” around the house. Many of the tasks that had once consumed a homemaker’s day were transformed by technological innovation.Mainardi explains that her husband “would stop at nothing to avoid the horrors of housework.” Instead, she writes, he offered her excuses: “I don’t mind sharing the housework, but I don’t do it very well,” and “You’ll have to show me how to do it.” So Mainardi provides a list, a way to train her husband, which also serves as a primer for women to put men to work. Periodically consider who’s actually doing the jobs … It’s the daily grind that gets you down.” Despite the practical advice, a sense of futility pervades the piece. Items once crafted by hand could now be bought off the rack; meals that once required extensive preparation were replaced by processed and prepared foods.Their Wages for Housework movement, they hoped, would promote a political philosophy that promised true liberation for women.Some feminists felt that domestic labor was, in itself, a mechanism of women’s oppression, with no other purpose but to keep women busy with meaningless, unstimulating labor so they wouldn’t rise up and demand an equal place alongside men.With so many causes and considerations for feminist activists to adjudicate, housework fell by the wayside in the majority of feminist platforms.The International Feminist Collective felt that this was a mistake—one they did not intend to replicate.The International Feminist Collective was one of many feminist movements that sought a radical solution to the plight of modern women.In the early 1970s, American women were systematically disenfranchised in all areas of life.