Home Economics Capitalism Needs Women To Work For Free

Capitalism Needs Women To Work For Free

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Lordy Be, how confused do you have to be to believe this nonsense: that capitalism needs women to work for free? But that is what is being said so we’d better at least try to consider the concept:

Capitalism needs women to do work for free.
“Capitalism needs the gender binary in order to sustain its economic model,” Alison says.

Hmm, well, capitalism seems to depend upon the idea that those with capital make profits. Quite why it is impossible to make money out of those who are not gender binary is unexplained. After all, this is in a journal called Pink News which derives its entire income from not according with that gender binary stuff.

“Capitalism relies on the work of social reproduction – the work of reproducing and caring for human life, so having babies, looking after elderly relatives, teaching kids, nursing sick people – but it doesn’t really want to have to pay for it.

“So, capitalism profits by first defining that as women’s work, and then either confining women to the home to do it for free, or segregating women into parts of the labour marker that do that work for extremely low pay and in really crap conditions.”

Word salad rather than logic there. Capitalism doesn’t actually do “paying for stuff” it’s about being able to profit off stuff being done. That means that capitalism positively lusts after the idea that previously non-monetised parts of life become monetised. Because only if there is a money transaction going on is it possible to skim a part of the transaction as profit. After all, it’s not possible to skim part of the smile one gets as thanks for a really good shag while it’s eminently possible to charge rent on the location where the professional performs the same function.

This is why Marx – perhaps not with professionals, he preferred the serving staff – complained so much about capitalism and the commodification that ensued from it. Commodification being that very moving of previously unpaid and reciprocal labour into the paid marketplace.

Sure, you can have any view you desire on gender but really, if you’re going to start commenting upon economics it would help if you understood a bit of it. Capitalism wants the money nexus, see?

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1 COMMENT

  1. Any society, human or animal depends on reproduction if it to last beyond one generation. Since women are half of society then women are working for themselves half the time. If they get paid for the other half in cash or in free housing, free clothing, free food, free entertainment etc. as of old they certainly do not and could not work for nothing.

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