housework

Domestic workers organized in the IWW 100 years ago

Excerpts from a letter detailing an IWW domestic workers union a century ago.

Fellow Worker (FW) Jane Street’s letter to Mrs. Elmer S. Bruse is one of the most profound pieces of IWW history. FW Street, of Denver, sent this letter to a domestic worker organizer in Tulsa, Okla., in 1917. It was stolen by federal agents and was only discovered in FBI files in 1976.

Learning to struggle: my story between workerism and feminism - Leopoldina Fortunati

An interesting account of an Italian Marxist feminist of her experiences and development in the autonomist and feminist movements in Italy in the 1970s.

Dear Jamie Oliver...

Response to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's latest comments on the diets of the poor, how modern day poverty isn't real, and our f*cking massive TVs, from food blogger Miss South.

So tell me why I should listen to you on ‘Money Saving Meals’ when it’s clear that you don’t really understand poverty in the UK? Do you have any special knowledge that the 9 million households who will migrate onto Universal Credit don’t have about the day in day out grind of making ends meet? And why do we have to put up with being derided and criticised yet again?

The main enemy - Christine Delphy

The main enemy - Christine Delphy

Delphy critiques Marxist accounts which place feminism secondary to economics, and instead offers a materialist feminist account which takes seriously concepts of production, reproduction and class.

Patriarchy, domestic mode of production, gender, and class - Christine Delphy

Patriarchy, domestic mode of production, gender, and class - Christine Delphy

Christine Delphy proposes that there is a parallel mode of production - domestic production - alongside capitalism.

The analysis of patriarchy in our society that I have been developing for the last fifteen years has a history I would like to detail. I came to my use of the concept and to the model growing out of it by way of two projects whose theoretical concerns might seem unrelated.

Theorizing patriarchy - Silvia Walby

Theorizing Patriarchy - Silvia Walby

Silvia Walby's 1990 book sets out a dual-systems approach to theorizing capitalism and patriarchy, synthesising Marxist and radical feminist perspectives.

Sylvia Walby provides an overview of feminist theoretical debates – Marxism, radical and liberal feminism, post–structuralism and dual systems theory. She shows how each can be applied to six key social structures: wage labour, housework, culture, sexuality, violence and the state. Her arguments are backed by drawing on empirical findings.

The problem with work: feminism, marxism, antiwork politics and postwork imaginaries - Kathi Weeks

In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have “depoliticized” it, or removed it from the realm of political critique.

Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects.

A new start? Welfare changes and the labour-power shortage

An attempt to understand the changes to welfare in Australia by looking at the impact of the labour-shortage caused by the mining boom.

As some readers might be aware on 1st of January substantial changes to the single parent payment took place.

Wrong to work! Two perspectives on the abolition of work

Wrong to work! Two perspectives on the abolition of work

ALL MUST WORK! declares the cabinet of millionaires. 'Workers not shirkers!', they implore. 'Strivers not skivers!' The divide-and-rule rhetoric trying to pit those in work against those without is as relentless as it is transparent. But what's so good about work anyway?

Junge Linke's short piece nicely skewers how attempts to mobilise resentment of claimants and the unemployed undermine even those in work who aren't claiming benefits. What I'd like to focus on is two perspectives on what an explicitly anti-work politics might look like.

Robocommunism

Are communities of care a possible site of struggle?

Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Raising the question of whether intentional communities of care can be a site of struggle, rather than just a place of support.

I have personal experiences in creating and expanding communities of care, street medicing, radical mental health, as an herbalist initially trained through an informal apprenticeship, and in radical clinics.