Welcome to DomesticProduct.net – a new blog exploring the evolving dynamics of women’s work, at home and outside it, just in time for Labor Day!
Tension over what properly constitutes women’s work is the crux of much of our current public discourse. That tension feeds the babble about baby bumps that fills the celebrity magazines, lies at the root of our fair pay disputes, and of our struggles over access to abortion and birth control. The 2008 election operated in part as a labor debate over what kinds of jobs women are allowed to hold (president or clothes presser, in one formulation). The endless stories on fertility, birth timing and Mommy Wars play into the debate as well.
Ever since the advent of hormonal birth control in 1960, the social fabric woven over millennia around the assumption that women were baby machines has been undergoing quick redesign throughout the world. And stirring plenty of controversy. (see Never Done and Under Paid for more on this)
It’s taken a while, but gradually women are trickling up into policy-making positions in business and government. Once there, they’re beginning to change the rules—and to move us toward a culture of care that recognizes the importance of supporting families—incubators of that most domestic of products, our citizens—at the same time that we develop work systems that allow women to contribute fully to the Gross Domestic Product in the workplace. (see Remember Mama for more on building a culture of care). But there’s far to go yet, and it’s a long process!
I’ll be posting my thoughts on some of the many sides of this big and ongoing cultural shift, along with links to related stories. Your thoughts and stories welcome!