Continuing on the fine tradition of writing after getting angry at something someone said on Newsnight… I ended up writing a guest postfor The F Word.
That’s right! I have published something on The F Word. I have only been trying to do it for 5 years… YAY ME!
Now, about the actual post… It’s on the attack on publicsector jobs as an attack on women.
The point I was trying to make was that since women are socialised to be the carers in society, any attack on the jobs that provide the “care” will constitute an attack on women. And an attack on what we could even call “women’s values”. Not because women are intrinsically more caring than men, but because patriarchy has decided that they are, and socialised them accordingly. Throughout the world, “caring” is seen as something women do, more often than not, for free. So any attack on the “caring” jobs will be an attack on women’s labour and women’s values.
And that is how you explain the Tories’ cuts as “ideologically motivated”. They are driven by the assumption that caring is expendable, certain in the belief that if caring is needed, women will step up to do it, for free. Women’s work is therefore devalued and made invisible.
This is just a template to understand the cuts; it is not enough to explain them. For instance, police services are being cut as well, and these are not “caring” jobs, and neither are they more popular with women than men. So this “template” has its limitations; but I believe it’s useful anyway.