Ms. Orr seems to have found some of hubby\’s dust down the back of the sofa

Because it\’s bizarre to see this logic:

Yet, people – usually women – still do it, and there, essentially, is the root of the triple-whammy called the gender pay gap. First, careers are hurt even by short periods of leave, let alone a few years \”out\”. Second, the more limited work opportunities that this affords channel people who aren\’t \”committed to their careers\” into less lucrative work in caring. Third, care paid for to allow someone to work tends to put downward pressure on the salaries of the other working people doing the caring.

In truth, what looks like a gender pay gap is really the gap between two currencies – the currency of money and the currency of care. The former is always prioritised, always at the expense of the latter. That, really, is where feminism came in.

So, yes, this is the cause of the gender pay gap:

Yet, people – usually women – still do it, and there, essentially, is the root of the triple-whammy called the gender pay gap. First, careers are hurt even by short periods of leave, let alone a few years \”out\”. Second, the more limited work opportunities that this affords channel people who aren\’t \”committed to their careers\” into less lucrative work in caring. Third, care paid for to allow someone to work tends to put downward pressure on the salaries of the other working people doing the caring.

But then this?

In truth, what looks like a gender pay gap is really the gap between two currencies – the currency of money and the currency of care. The former is always prioritised, always at the expense of the latter. That, really, is where feminism came in.

That caring was, pre-feminism, more highly valued than the cash money stuff. That\’s why half the species (defining which half of the species was the discriminatory part) dedicated their lives to it and the other half worked for cash to support them while they did so.

Indeed, it is precisely feminism which has marketised, commodified, this caring. For what is a demand for \”affordable child care\” but the commodification of the raising of children? What are old folk\’s homes if not the commodification of caring for one\’s parents?

6 comments on “Ms. Orr seems to have found some of hubby\’s dust down the back of the sofa

  1. Indeed, it is precisely feminism which has marketised, commodified, this caring.

    What is more they have insisted that the only measure that counts is a market based one. If women were appreciated for staying home, that did not count compared to the actual money they could have earned. If women have a pay gap, the benefits they get from spending time with their children counts for nothing because it is not paid.

    So they should stop talking about the pay gap and start talking about the emotional warmth gap that, alas, men suffer from because they are forced to slave away far from the home and the joy of raising children, caring for loved ones and so on.

  2. Third, care paid for to allow someone to work tends to put downward pressure on the salaries of the other working people doing the caring.

    Huh? Increased demand for carers by high-flying professionals suppresses carer wages?

  3. Getting women to work so they can pay strangers to handle their offspring would seem a desirable happening if your aim is to have state ownership and control of everybody.
    It breaks up the apparently passe idea of marriage and parenthood.
    Same at the other end of life.

  4. Tim, I think you have this the wrong way round. Caring has ALWAYS been seen as of less “value”. That’s why women were, and are, the majority of people doing it – it’s beneath men’s dignity. So women traditionally have provided the caring support to allow men to pursue their careers. What has happened is that many women have chosen to have careers as well, so both men AND women now need caring support to enable them to pursue their careers without giving up the benefits and responsibilities of family life. Therefore there is now a group of people, primarily though not exclusively women, who make careers out of providing caring support. In days gone by they called this “service”.

  5. Frances Coppola – “Caring has ALWAYS been seen as of less “value”. That’s why women were, and are, the majority of people doing it – it’s beneath men’s dignity.”

    Are you sure you have that the right way around? Men, in my experience, will do whatever gets them laid. You go and tell a girl you are a male nurse or that you clean old people for a living and you won’t get the time of day. I am not sure that this is beneath men’s dignity so much as men who do this sort of work are beneath women’s dignity. I wouldn’t automatically rule out any female agency here.

    “So women traditionally have provided the caring support to allow men to pursue their careers.”

    Or to put it another way, women have traditionally demanded their men go out and do work they don’t particularly enjoy so that they can support their families, ie those women.

    “What has happened is that many women have chosen to have careers as well, so both men AND women now need caring support to enable them to pursue their careers without giving up the benefits and responsibilities of family life.”

    While women have also chosen not to get married and are demanding divorces in large numbers. Suggesting that the issue here is actually within the agency of women, not men. Men are doing what they always have done. But that is not enough.

    “Therefore there is now a group of people, primarily though not exclusively women, who make careers out of providing caring support. In days gone by they called this “service”.”

    Or in other words, the children of the poor are neglected so that the mothers of the poor can care for the children of the middle class. Or even more commonly, the children of the Third World are neglected so that the children of the Middle Class can have nannies. Not sure this is a massive leap forward.

  6. Just a quibble, but I don’t buy that most women prioritise cash over caring even now.

    It’s just that at a certain time, enough women were working that the price of houses shot up to the level where two ordinary salaries are needed to service a mortgage.

    After that, they don’t have any choice.

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