Image: pakorn, published on 18 July 2013
From Dissent magazine’s “Kicking Back, not Leaning In.”
Madeline Schwartz presents critical theorist’s Nancy Fraser’s model for gender justice in society:
The solution isn’t for more women to lean in to the workforce as Facebook Sheryl Sandbergs insists, (“More female leadership will lead to fairer treatment for all women.”). The solution is to slow woman’s pace by dividing the labor within the family and by making caregiving part of the business model.
“In Fraser’s ideal, work would be set up to accommodate caregiving.”
“Everyone would have a shorter work week and support of services such as child care would ensure that parenting and domestic work did not overwhelm women’s lives,” writes Schwartz. This model would promote gender equality by dismantling the opposition between bread-winning and caregiving. Under Fraser’s plan, both sexes would perform both duties… ”
“In many ways this model provides the clearest answer to the exhortation to ‘have it all.’ Fraser’s proposal offers a straightforward reconciliation of waged work and family
“in which everyone should participate in every facet of life.
By performing less labor, people could rearrange their lives around a slower pace and a gender-blind redistribution of work. Fraser’s model indicates that in order to have control and autonomy in their lives, women need access not to work, but to more time.
“Time, her work suggests, is a feminist issue.”
“One answer may be to build upon Fraser’s proposed model and look at the category of time itself. We might ask, How do we structure our time? What activities do we consider worthy of our time, and why? How might we think of time in a way that allows for greater freedom over our lives and actions?”