Feminism and Caregiving
Fem2.0 Blog Carnival: For Women, the Other Side of Work Is NOT Play… It’s Caregiving
Women take care of children, spouses, parents, family members, friends. We dominate the caregiving professions, like nursing or social work. Ask anyone receiving care of any kind and he or she will most likely tell you that the primary caregiver is a woman.
Caregiving is a job for which women usually don’t get or expect monetary compensation. It is a critical aspect of work/life and healthcare issues. How can caregiving be made easier to make our lives easier?
While feminism has worked hard to break caregiving of being a women-centric job, we still do most of the caregiving in the USA and most likely around the world. Yes, men are doing more, but it's still not at 50/50.
In my opinion, caregiving was women's work a generation ago. It wasn't always compensated to its fullest extent, if at all. Today I think that caregiving is given the shaft partially because it is women's work and partially because I think that women believe we can do better. Yes, I think we are being snobbish to each other - intentionally or not. Think about the last time a young woman told you she was in nursing school. Did you think, "Why you're smart enough to be a doctor!"
How can we reclaim pride in our caregiving work and command the respect it deserves? Is it feminist to be a caregiver? Is caregiving inherently a feminist service? I think it is. I do think that this thing we call sisterhood is all about us trying to care for each other. Whether it is by being there for our girlfriend or getting just as pissed off for the girl next door who isn't allowed to embrace her intellect as we would be for the girl on the other side of the world.
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