War on Women

Less policing, more street violence, angry mobs running around, extreme limitations on mothers’ capacity to make a living or practice their profession.

It’s time to bring back the term “war on women.”

18 thoughts on “War on Women”

  1. “extreme limitations on mothers’ capacity to make a living or practice their profession.”

    I’d decided a while ago that capital didn’t need most women working again and a bunch of women were going to lose their jobs… I didn’t think it would shake it this way but the signs were pretty obvious for anyone bothering to look.
    I can almost believe that the pussyhats and #metooers were actually trying to make it seem that most women were too emotionally unstable for the workplace…., so…. so long middle class working women…. I don’t think many of your jobs are coming back. Too bad about that.

    Working class women will still have plenty to do though…. but no one who’s cool cares about them.

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    1. // I’d decided a while ago that capital didn’t need most women working again and a bunch of women were going to lose their jobs…

      Interesting. Have you written about the reasons for this feeling?

      Based on analysis I’ve seen, capital won’t need both many currently employed men and women, thus the discussions about the UBI. Why would women as a gender be singled out rather than the future unemployment being class and skills based? Capital doesn’t care about gender, after all.

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      1. “Why would women as a gender be singled out”

        It’s easier… work isn’t as tied to identity for most women as much as it is for most men. It’s also the last hired first fired philosophy (which might also be part of why the white fragility movement is being promoted – to clear some minorities out of employment since the overarching message is that working with people from different races is a miserable experience). What white person can listen to Robin and want to work with minorities?

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        1. // work isn’t as tied to identity for most women as much as it is for most men.

          We are not in the American version of the 50ies anymore. (‘American’ since FSU and Israel had very different 50ies.)

          Work is a central part of my identity. It is THE central part of my mother’s identity and my mother is around 30 years older. When I once asked her how she defined herself in a conversation about identities (f.e. a Russian-speaking Israeli Jew), she said she was a teacher first of all.

          Not less important, many Western women marry later in life, if at all. If they do marry, divorce rate is high. Who will support all those unmarried women (often with kids)? Work is, first of all, a necessity in order to live, to afford food and a roof over one’s head.

          Will divorce rate go down as more and more women lose jobs? Somehow I find it hard to believe. Divorce rate is currently high even in Iran. The revolution in consciousness happened; the forces of neoliberalism continue pushing for increased atomisation. Most women want children even without a husband. How can a job not be of crucial importance for them?

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          1. I love my job, too, and can’t imagine myself not working. But that’s not what Cliff is talking about. If I can’t work, that won’t damage my perception of myself as a woman. It won’t make me less of a woman in any way. The idea itself is ludicrous.

            But for men, their sense of self as men is absolutely tied to their capacity to work. And their gender identity does collapse is they can’t work.

            That’s a crucial difference that nobody has come close to erasing and probably never will. Since our gender identity is so crucial to us, losing it or having it undermined is psychologically catastrophic. So for men it’s not about only the loss of income.

            Another aspect is that men who don’t make a good living find it impossible to marry while women experience no link between making money and their capacity to marry. Men can’t have children on their own like women can, so not having a good job = not being able to marry = not being able to reproduce.

            A job plays a completely different role in a man’s life. Women still, even in the most developed countries, prefer to marry men who make more than they do. They actually prefer not to marry at all to choosing a man from a lower income category. (I’m not talking about individual cases but overall trends). Men don’t use income as a category that impacts mating choices at all, by the way.

            There’s simply no comparison

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            1. // Since our gender identity is so crucial to us, losing it or having it undermined is psychologically catastrophic.

              What about losing one’s identity as a normal adult human being? How is it any less painful in comparison with feeling less of a man? First of all, we are all human beings, with gender identity coming second, no?

              I am truly not sure what gender identity means. Feeling one is sexually attractive? But there is even a (stupid) stereotype about ‘ugly / unkept but smart’ nerds who may know to code but aren’t attractive to women.

              May be, I am blind to something, but I’ve never thought what “perception of myself as a woman” even means, while perception of myself as a good/bad worker (and thus successful or not member of society / adult person) has always been one of the central causes of anxiety.

              It is connected to having children too. Women can “have children on their own,” but they need to succeed as workers to afford feeding them.

              // They actually prefer not to marry at all to choosing a man from a lower income category.

              I prefer not to marry at all to choosing a man from a lower socioeconomic class. We would be alien people with nothing to talk about; it would’ve been a disaster. Men also look at social class, which is correlated with income, so saying men don’t care about income at all misses something imo.

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          2. “Will divorce rate go down as more and more women lose jobs?”

            Yes. Most divorces are initiated by women. They are less likely to file if they do not feel able to support themselves financially. The threshold for divorce will be higher. I will not argue this is a good thing, but it seems a very likely thing.

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        2. Plus if there isn’t any available school/childcare, meaning someone has to stay home with the kids, a male partner is more likely to push for keeping his own job. There has been a lot of judgement on mothers who are essential workers — “who stays home with your kids?” or “You’re endangering your kids by working during quarantine,” or “your kids can’t go to school online if you’re not home supervising.” This has largely been geared toward mothers, because even though it’s not the 1950s, women are still seen as overall in charge of the household (i.e., kids), while you almost never see that sort of guilt piled onto men.

          It’s ridiculous. But it’s a big reason to open schools.

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          1. “a big reason to open schools”

            I think private schools will reopen… to encourage the others. I can also see a return of informal daycare (random women who take in/look after other people’s kids during the day).

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          2. // There has been a lot of judgement on mothers who are essential workers

            I know a mother of a newborn in Israel who works as a nurse. She worked during the covid times, while her unemployed husband stayed with a baby. Currently they are both working, and no one thinks of judging her for doing that. The opposite would’ve been likely, though, because who would support their family then? The grandparents (who did help)?

            Israeli cost of living is very high; salaries of nurses are quite low despite very long work hours.

            Most families need two salaries to function, and even then buying a flat is extremely hard. In recent years the costs of flats rose more than 100% (more than twice).

            Who in their own mind would care more about any busybodies “piling guilt” than about the economic realities making two salaries a must?

            In unrelated news, at last I see some good news in Russian lj.

            Israel will start selling gas to Europe:
            https://storm100.livejournal.com/8117689.html

            A nice article:

            Парад неисправимых. Ефим Фиштейн – о письме интеллектуалов
            https://www.svoboda.org/a/30736135.html

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            1. And in the US there are nurses who’ve had their children taken away until the end of the pandemic because their ex-spouse claims they’re endangering the children by working and not staying home. Women are being told they need to stay home to homeschool, or otherwise make sure their kids are doing schoolwork.

              Does it happen to everyone in every area? Absolutely not. But working class women tend to be more affected, especially single mothers. There’s pressure from both sides, and it’s only fairly recently that women have been treated equally in the workplace. There are still employers who are hesitant to hire women because they may become pregnant. There are still women who come back from maternity leave to find their job given over to someone else, or to find their employer has eliminated their position entirely, and now they are out of a job.

              These are two very different realities. They can coexist side by side, and often do. The US has states larger than some countries, and regionally they’re doing very different — New York state as a whole is doing far better than Florida right now, for example. Cost of living varies so, so much — what is considered reasonable in one region of a state won’t be anything close to enough in another part of a state, or in a different state entirely.

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              1. // And in the US there are nurses who’ve had their children taken away until the end of the pandemic because their ex-spouse claims they’re endangering the children by working and not staying home.

                That’s a huge problem with courts then. Where are feminist groups?

                // Women are being told they need to stay home to homeschool, or otherwise make sure their kids are doing schoolwork.

                Who tells that? A noisy, stupid and jobless neighbor is different from a judge at a family court.

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              2. “Who tells that? A noisy, stupid and jobless neighbor is different from a judge at a family court.”

                • Nobody needs to say it specifically for that to be the reality. If the schools don’t open, mothers don’t work. Because how can they?

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    2. Except for those who pay the salaries in STEM. There is a huge campaign to push women into these fields and saturate the job markets which will result in lower salaries for all. Lower salaries = fewer housewives.

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        1. // “There is a huge campaign to push women into these fields”
          The term ‘designed to fail’ comes to mind…. “We tried, but it just didn’t work….”

          I am unsure it’ll fail long term. What happens in Asian cultures which stress STEM disciplines, for instance, among Asian immigrants to US?

          In Israel, more and more women are encouraged and do serve in combat units in IDF. If many women are successful in serving there, why would they follow gender stereotypes in employment?

          I don’t say hi-tech will become 50% female overnight, but f.e. the process may start in which ‘female-heavy’ fields within the industry are created. Teaching was once a male profession. Being a doctor, ditto.

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  2. Update: Matt Taibbi has a new (unlocked) article:

    The Left is Now the Right
    We laughed at the Republican busybody who couldn’t joke, declared war on dirty paintings, and peered through your bedroom window. Now that person has switched sides, and nobody’s laughing
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-left-is-now-the-right

    Btw, how sad it is that I was surprised women won their equality of representation fairly while reading that “Before blind auditions, women made up less than 6 percent of orchestras; today they’re half of the New York Philharmonic” ?

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  3. I linked to Matt Taibbi’s latest article, but now I read something else by him and it probably is his best piece I’ve seen. He provides a good analysis of the failures of today’s Left both in USA and Europe, while pointing to a way forward. Pity this opinion piece wasn’t published in NYT and other liberal newspapers.

    The Left is Having an Identity Crisis
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/12/18/the-left-is-having-an-identity-crisis/

    QUOTE

    Helen has previously described the current deadlock between the three main elements of the left: the radical (or socialist), identitarian (“Social Justice”), and liberal left. She argues that the liberal left must strongly champion liberalism, as an overarching principle by which the valid concerns of the other strands of the left can be judged. Neither socialism nor identity politics can win back the voters who have gone over to the right because most people support regulated capitalism and universal principles of fairness and reciprocity, regardless of identity. This is perfectly compatible with profound concern about the disadvantages people face because of their class, race, sex, or sexuality.

    right now most people want a combination of center-left economics and center-right stability. We can achieve this by restoring liberalism to the heart of left-wing politics and rejecting the lure of illiberal alternatives.

    Liberalism, in its essence, seeks incremental reform to address social injustices, and it does so on the level of the individual and the universal. That is, liberalism seeks to produce a society in which every individual has access, in principle, to everything society has to offer, regardless of economic background, race, gender or sexuality. Liberalism is not (as its socialist and Social Justice critics claim) a belief that society has already achieved that aim and a corresponding denial of any continuing disadvantages caused by economic inequalities or prejudice.

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