Institute for Women's Policy Research Compilation of Current Population Survey Labor Force Statistics, 2009 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032010/perinc/new05_001.htm (retrieved September 16 2010)
Kirk and Okazawa-Rey say on p. 311, col 1 “Even with a college education, however, and equivalent work experience and skills, professional women are far less likely than men to get to the top of their professions or corporations. They are halted by unseen structural barriers, such as men’s negative attitudes to senior women and perceptions of their leadership abilities and styles, their motivation, training and skills. This barrier has been called the glass ceiling. … A related term, sticky floor, describes the structural limitations for women in low-paid, low-status jobs who cannot move up.” For men working in female dominated fields some scholars have proposed that there is a glass escalator that promotes men more quickly than women through the ranks to leadership positions.
After WWII there were fears that the US economy would decline back into recession (remember Great Depression immediately preceded WWII). Part of the solution to this problem was to convert all the war production infrastructure into manufacturing … we were sold refrigerators, cars, all manner of small household appliances. It was in this period that the modern model of consumption was born. We needed to consume to produce jobs and then we needed jobs to continue to consume. We created a situation in which women who had previously stayed home, had to work in order to bring in enough money to keep up with what we were required to consume to keep the economy afloat. In many ways this is also about the erosion of the middle class. Which we have seen increase especially over the last 25 years.
The “at home work” must be done for society to function. Clothes must be washed, food must obtained and prepared, children/parents must be cared for. Society would cease to function if these things weren’t done.The result of the changing economy post WWII for women was that many continued their at home duties but worked outside the home as well. We call this the double day or the second shift.
Feminists have asked economist to include what we call “the reproductive economy” into our calculations of what it costs for society to operate because it is fundamental to the ability to do wage work.
WGST 303 Day 17 Masculinity & Capitalism
Dr. Sara Diaz
WGST 303: The *isms: Race, Class, and Gender
• In 2010, women earned 77 cents of every
dollar that men earned, unchanged since
• 1963 women earned 59 cents of every
dollar men earned.
2009 Average Annual Earnings as % of White Male
All Women White Women Black Women
• For mainstream economists the “productive
Characterized by monetary exchanges
through trade, the organization of work,
distribution and marketing of goods,
contracts, negotiation of wages and salaries,
and so forth.
• For our purposes “productive work” will be paid
At Home “Care” Work
• Gendered Division of Labor
• Assumption behind the productive economy
is that there is someone (a wife) at home
taking care of the domestic sphere so that the
worker (gendered male) can be productive.
• Laundry, food procurement and cooking,
home maintenance, bills/accounts, child
rearing, elder care
• This produces a “second shift” or “double
day” for women workers who often are the
• This domestic labor includes biological
and social reproduction, mainly done
by women, to maintain daily life, raise
children, care for elders, and so on.
• It is often considered “unproductive”
because it is unwaged, but it is
fundamental to the ability to do wage