Friday, 27 February 2009

Friday Feminist - Andrea Dworkin (5)

Cross posted

Feminists know that if women are paid equal wages for equal work, women will gain sexual as well as economic independence. But feminists have refused to face the fact that in a woman-hating social system, women will never be paid equal wages. Men in all their institutions of power are sustained by the sex labour and sexual subordination of women. The sex labour of women must be maintained; and systematic low wages for sex-neutral work effectively forces women to sell sex to survive. The economic system that pays women lower wages than it pays men actually punishes women for working outside marriage or prostitution, since women work hard for low wages and still must sell sex. The economic system that punishes women for working outside the bedroom by paying low wages contributes significantly to women's perception that the sexual serving of men is a necessary part of any women's life: or how else could she live? Feminists appear to think that equal pay for equal work is a simple reform, whereas it is no reform at all; it is revolution. Feminists have refused to face the fact that equal pay for equal work is impossible as long as men rule women, and right-wing women have refused to forget it. Devaluation of women's labour outside the home pushes women back into the home and encourages women to support a system in which, as she sees it, he is paid for both of them - her share of his wage being more than she could earn herself.

Andrea Dworkin, Right Wing Women, 1983

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