Monday, June 9, 2014

Dorothy Sayers on labor econ and "men's/women's work"

From Sayers in "Are Women Human?"...

You don’t as a rule find the men trying to take the women’s jobs away from them … Of course they do not. They have done it already.

It is a formidable list of jobs: the whole of the spinning industry, the whole of the dyeing industry, the whole of the weaving industry. The whole catering industry and...the whole of the nation’s brewing and distilling. All the preserving, pickling and bottling industry, all the bacon-curing...Here are the women’s jobs – and what has become of them? They are all being handled by men. It’s all very well to say that woman’s place is in the home – but modern civilisation has taken all these pleasant and profitable activities out of the home, where women looked after them, and handed them over to big industry, to be directed and organised by men at the head of large factories...

It is perfectly idiotic to take away women’s traditional occupations and then complain because she looks for new ones. Every woman is a human being – one cannot repeat that too often – and a human bring must have occupation, if he or she is not to become a nuisance to the world.

I am not complaining that the brewing and baking were taken over by the men. If they can brew and bake as well as women or better, then by all means let them do it … But they cannot have it both ways.


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