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Accordingly to an article entitled, “More Women Are bringing Home the Bacon…, ”  heralding women’s gains in pay equity, a recent Pew study revealed that an  impressive number of married breadwinner moms reflects society's increasing opportunities for women, while the median income for the growing population of  single mother households  is $23,000 -- just 28 percent of the income of one in which the female breadwinner is married, and less than half the median household income in America.

I would like to add a cautionary note before we start the analysis. Given the long history of institutionalized racism in our country, many people might read the above statistics  and unconsciously think that the upwardly mobile women are white middle class women who got their success through their hard work, diligence and intelligence while all the lower paid single mothers are women of color who through moral weakness, lack of intelligence and effort could not get a good job or husband --in other words, the stereotypic "welfare queen." In fact, the truth is that women are generally on welfare for less than 18 months and usually when there is a crisis that disrupts their family support -- divorce, death in the family, leaving an abusive spouse. 40% of all single mothers work full time. So now that we have dispelled the misconceptions, let's analyze what really causes the increasing and deepening inequality for women.

So What Else Is New?
The wage gap between women’s and men’s individual wages is the most standard indicator used to define women’s march toward equality. In recent studies of the gender wage gap, women make between 76 to 78 cents for every dollar made by men and most literature is optimistic that the gap will disappear or even reverse in  the near future. The gender wealth gap, however, another measure of gender inequality which measures the total wealth or net worth a woman has accumulated over time,  shows that women have, on average, only 6% to 36% of the wealth owned by men and that the gap is growing.
 photo b6c52919-9989-4214-bc0a-74e108bb326a_zpsafb25c48.jpg
source:http://www.cunapfi.org/...

The stark difference between these two measures suggests two things about statistics:1) statistics on the same subject can fluctuation wildly depending on what is being measured and the methodology used and 2) One of the main functions of statistics is not to measure the reality, but as a propaganda tool to reinforce the ideology of the dominant culture.
The problem with using the wage gap . As a measure of inequality, the gender wage gap only measures an individual’s income growth in the market place and does not take into account either the worth of women’s unpaid social labor in the home(outside the marketplace) or how this unpaid labor structurally effects women’s position in the market place over time.

Because of its narrow parameter, much of the analysis of what the wage gap means in terms of the overall inequality of men versus women is merely a guess that allows for a lot of unverifiable  interpretations. For example, the recent Pew study echoes a demographic study that hit the New York Times a couple of years ago that showed  a narrowing of the wage gap, suggesting women’s wages were even surpassing men’s in some cases, especially in major cities.

The cause of women’s increased equality, the researcher suggested, was due to  increases in women’s higher educational status and increased  “feminist  consciousness.” In fact,  a closer analysis showed that the close in the wage gap was due to the outsourcing of  well paying union manufacturing jobs which had been held by men due to a sex segregated workforce. By focusing on city populations where people of color form a larger part of the database, the lower gap also reflected the fact that the wage gap is generally lower between women and men of color since men of color generally make significantly less than white men due to racism.

The important thing that we have to understand about the Wage Gap is that, if we review the literature, it is used primarily as a political propaganda tool emphasizing upward mobility in a capitalist society by improving the individual upward mobility of women through education. By limiting the parameters to women’s individual wages and upward mobility, it ignores any of women’s unpaid labor in the nuclear family  plus the institutionalized discrimination of sex,  race and class that are an inherent part  of capitalism and patriarchy.
Upward mobility suggests a pyramid structure under capitalism in which only a few will reach the top. In a competitive society, structural differences caused by the reproductive role of women, will always put women at a disadvantage. When women have to take off because of pregnancy or they can’t get childcare it impacts their “career path.”  The wage gap is based on full time work and does not take into account women who work part-time at lower paying jobs to accommodate their unpaid reproductive labor. It is estimated that women pay a 4% penalty in wealth accumulation for the first child and a 12% loss of wealth for the second child.
 photo peg_genderdifferences_zps03e7b6f9.jpg
Source: http://www.cunapfi.org/...
Which brings us to the wealth gap for women.

The gender wealth gap is based on a woman’s total wealth, or net worth. A much more complex measure with many more variables, it refers to the total value of one’s private assets minus debts. Typical types of assets include money in checking accounts, stocks or bonds, real estate, and businesses owned. Typical types of debts include home mortgages, credit card debt, and student loans.

The current economic crisis has revealed that even households with some wealth found that they did not have enough savings or wealth to make the investments necessary to get ahead. This is even more true for women. The gender wealth gap impacts not just current economic stability, but retirement security as well since women, frequently stuck in low paid part-time work receive lower social security and smaller pensions.

Most important, however, is the intergenerational transfer of wealth. The transfer of wealth through inheritance is one of the main reasons why racial and gender wealth gaps from policies long ago - - i.e., laws excluding women and people of color from owning property-- have become entrenched.
The main problem in using the gender wealth gap as a measurement is that it is difficult to separate women’s wealth from male wealth inherited by a father or the wealth of the male spouse.  When attempting to sort out wealth within marriages, studies of the gender wealth gap  usually assume the wealth is divided equally between women and men which more thoughtful studies have shown not to be true. Using statistics from just single women and men who have never married shows a substantial wealth gap based on gender  (women have only 6% -8% of men’s wealth). But this is also misleading since communities where both women and men have less wealth (i.e., working class communities and/or communities of color) marry at a much lower rates than middle class white communities where inheritance is a factor.

Sixty-five percent of all wealth that women continue to rely on is obtained indirectly from their spouses through marriage and inheritance from their fathers, rather than through their own wages . This keeps women dependent on men, through the system of unpaid labor in the family combined with underpaid labor in the marketplace, and reinforces women’s continued oppression under the patriarchal mode of production.
 photo peg_wealthacquisition_zpsac83cfcf.jpg
Source:http://www.genspring.com/...

Radical feminism vs. socialist feminism.

Feminists and socialist feminists have held different views on the relationship between the patriarchal family unit and capitalism. Some women see the patriarchal family as a separate mode of production that existed before capitalism and that capitalism and class contradictions cannot be fully dealt with until patriarchy is eliminated. In this model, women’s struggles center around reproductive rights, ending patriarchal dominance in all its forms such as wife beating, rape, control of women’s bodies and reproductive functions. This form of oppression exists at all class levels and is seen as the primary form of women’s oppression.
 photo peg_wealtharticle_zps5dffee95.jpg
Other women see the patriarchal forms of oppression as still existing but as a substantially modified older mode of production that has been increasingly subsumed under capitalism. In fact marriage relations and the functions of the household have increasingly been transferred to the market society in the form of private commodities (healthcare, education, cooking and cleaning, child and elder care, etc.) Those who hold this position see capitalism as using women’s unpaid labor to extract extra profit indirectly from workers through the vestiges of patriarchy. They believe it can be dealt with by bringing women’s unpaid labor under the capitalist mode of production by paying wages for housework or providing families with a basic wage and then dealing with it like any other class struggle that the working class faces.

Two problems with this approach.

Women’s traditional service functions, as commodities in the market place, are regulated by the public sector or have simply been transferred to the public sector in social welfare states.  In most cases these jobs are still performed by women and, since they have historically been associated with “women’s work” or the “free” labor in the home, then tend to pay less than traditional “male” jobs.  While this has been somewhat mitigated by organizing unions in the public sphere, the financial downturn has been used as an excuse to attack these unions and return women to a lower paid more vulnerable position. Moreover, since women are still considered the primary service providers in the home, women are still the major recipients of these public services.  Again, as these public services are cut, under the name of austerity, it is women who bear the brunt of the financial downturn.
 photo peg_wealtharticle2_zpsbcb85ec9.jpg
But it is not just a question of the current economic crisis. The social welfare reforms and the social safety net that we have fought for can be eliminated at any time when workers no longer serve the needs of capitalism. As capitalists have moved jobs abroad they no longer wish to pay for reproducing labor power that they no longer feel they need. Since women are still the main workers in the reproductive sphere, the elimination of the public social service sector falls particularly hard on women both as workers and consumers.

The second problem with this approach is that it leaves the patriarchal family unit intact and does not deal with the dynamics of dominance and submission between men and women. Wife beating and rape cross all class lines, as do certain structural advantages to males which are built into most societies such special real estate tax advantages which benefit primarily men and other tax benefits for married over single persons, etc..

Some have wondered if gender differences in wealth are really that important since  whether we agree with it or not, most women supplement their wealth through marriage and the traditional family unit. In fact, women now spend more of their adult years single than married. About half of all households are headed by single women (defined as never married, widowed, or divorced) About half of all marriages end in divorce and  men and women are marrying at later ages, leaving women with more years in which they are self-supporting. Given the current trends in rates of divorce, the increasing number of single parents, and rising ages at first marriage, the wealth gap for women is of considerable significance.
   

Even as the patriarchal family starts to crumble under capitalism, the capitalist market continues to push the ideology of ”individual responsibility”  to shore up the traditional social structure of marriage in the private sphere to avoid assuming the cost and responsibilities of child-rearing and welfare concerns in the public sphere. One wonders if the recent rapid embrace of gay marriage, especially by Republicans, is not just another attempt to shore up the failing institution of marriage.

So women are left without any adequate private family solution (if it ever was one) and, are faced  simultaneously with  the shredding of the social safety net as global capitalists leave any alliance they may have had with individual nation states in pursuit of ever greater cheap global labor and profits.


The interaction of the gender wealth gap and the racial/class wealth gap. There is no easy way to clearly differentiate between sex, class and race privilege since they have been inextricably intertwined in the U.S. The mainstream wage gap analysis, unlike the wealth gap analysis, does not take into account the depth & dynamics of institutionalized racism and sexism over time and it also does not describe the wealth gender gap within communities of color.

Most people of color and immigrants , like women, have had limited opportunity to accumulate wealth.  For the better part of our history, both people of color as slaves and married women were considered property and could not own property, the major source of wealth accumulation. Men’s wages in communities of color are significantly lower and, in spite of the civil rights movement,  most men of color are still in the working class with very little wealth accumulation. Moreover, the jobs areas most populated by minorities and immigrants (domestic labor, agriculture), are not included under the Fair Wage Act in the United States.

Women in communities of color generally have significantly lower wealth and are less likely to marry and to remain married when the men in their community do not have substantially more wealth than the women and there is less inheritance to consider. Institutionalized sexism and racism have kept both women and men of color out of unions, out of political power, out of well paying white male segregated jobs.  Women of color form the vast majority of workers in part-time informal work and the low paid service sector.

When we separate the gender wage gap by race,  white women make 87%  for every dollar a white man makes, Latinas make 59% of a man’s dollar and black woman make 61% of every dollar a man makes. This is bad enough, but when using the wealth gap,  black and Latina women, have a negative wealth accumulation: that’s less than 0% or, depending on the study, maybe a fraction of 1% compared to all men. The wealth gap for single women, of all races, especially those who have never been married or single women with children is similar. Meanwhile white middle class married women have 67% wealth accumulation, compared to all men. While, this still is not great, we cannot ignore this internal difference in the women's movement.
 photo peg_wealth_womamandmaid_zps9b4d90ea.jpg
Comparing difference in the wealth gap for white middle class women and women of color is not a divide and conquer technique or to “guilt trip” white middle class women, but to show how our particular circumstances effect  policy and feminist  practice. Feminists who see Patriarchy as the main enemy, obliterate the differences between women of color and white women. If one believes that cross class patriarchal issues of male dominance are the primary concern, any emphasis on related issues of race or class discrimination are secondary or  “added on” so it is difficult to assess the cumulative effect.

On a  more practical basis, rights such as abortion and contraception might be sufficient gains for white middle class married women as they assume that when the time comes and they choose to have a child, their career path will not be greatly interrupted because they can pay for childcare or hire someone, usually another woman of color or an immigrant, to take on those aspects of unpaid labor that limit their choices. This division was made clear by the failure of the predominantly white middle class women’s movement to organize a fight back against the Hyde amendment which denies poor women abortions since the right to abortion for women who could afford one had already been established.
So short of a socialist revolution tomorrow, what are some policies that can seriously attack the underlying problem instead of just accepting the idea that all we can work for is upward mobility for a few women? Some of the following suggestions will not seem like women’s issues, but if we put them on the agenda, we will be able to attack institutionalized racism and sexism at the same time and make serious dents in all women’s oppression.   

Proposed Solutions:

1. End tax breaks for marriages. Develop civil unions (a concept already in use)for any two or  more people who wish to make an economic contract with the state for raising children (i.e., an aunt and a niece raising the niece’s children, three friends, etc.). There should be no presumption that they are having a sexual relationship  or live in the same residence– and give them all the rights of married people and family subsistence pay.

2. Limit on amount people can inherit. (Warren Buffett suggests a 100% inheritance tax). The money could go to providing social services for the next generation.

3. Provide free universal daycare from age two on. Research from the UC Berkeley Labor Center on California’s childcare support system showed that a lack of access or ability to afford childcare is one of the most significant barriers to getting a job and staying in it. A continuous work history is correlated with higher pay and better benefits. One study estimated that if the government fully funded childcare programs, mother’s overall employment would jump 10 percent.

4. Pass family leave policies. Nearly three-quarters of children have both parents or their only parent in the workforce. This isn’t just an inconvenience, however. It has real financial impacts on working women. A woman who gets thirty or more days paid family leave is over 50 percent more likely than those who get nothing at all to see her wages increases the year after her child’s birth.

5. Take a note from the Venezuela handbook and develop local communal councils for economic planning for local social services where women are the major decision makers.  If the government won’t support the initiatives, develop local credit unions and other grassroots economic initiatives (local childcare cooperatives and “helping hand” groups to give women control over their own economics).

6. Raise the minimum wage. According to the National Women’s Law Center, about two-thirds of all workers making the minimum wage are women (and I suspect women of color), and they’re also about two-thirds of those in tipped occupations that often pay a base rate far below that. Raising that wage could mean a raise for 28 million workers. Sometimes a quantitative difference is so great it can create a qualitative difference and transformative change.

7. Encourage unionization. Increased unionization rates are correlated with a much smaller wage gap. The gap stands at 79.9 percent among employees who aren’t represented by a union, but it’s a much better 87.8 percent for those who are.

8. End occupational segregation. Women have yet to really break into the ranks of blue collar manufacturing jobs and are still clumped in service sector jobs. Even when the job skills required are comparable, at the low end of skill level, male-dominated fields pay nearly $150 more a  week. Things are even worse at the high-skill level where  women’s pay is a whopping $471 less a week.

References

"More Women Are Bringing Home the Bacon ..." by Bruce Watson May 29th 2013 3:30 PM
Updated May 29th 2013 4:12 PM (Daily Finance)

"Lifting as We Climb Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future"
http://www.cunapfi.org/...

"Shortchanged: Women and the wealth gap" by Alison Perlberg on Monday, April 4, 2011 - 1:52am

Inheritance and spousal wealth:http://www.genspring.com/...

Originally posted to Anti-Capitalist Meetup on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Sexism and Patriarchy, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, In Support of Labor and Unions, Sluts, Postcapitalism, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tonight's piece has been reposted to (6+ / 0-)

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:09:05 PM PDT

  •  This is one of those diaries (9+ / 0-)

    that will be a life changer. Thank you.

    You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

    by northsylvania on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:11:53 PM PDT

    •  Which of the recommendations re you going to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, JayRaye, Justina

      work on? (I'm serious!) :)

      •  This seems the most useful, (6+ / 0-)

        not because it is the most valid, but because it is the most practical in this place in this time. It can be done without changing the existing social structure and putting people's back up.

        5. Take a note from the Venezuela handbook and develop local communal councils for economic planning for local social services where women are the major decision makers.  If the government won’t support the initiatives, develop local credit unions and other grassroots economic initiatives (local childcare cooperatives and “helping hand” groups to give women control over their own economics).
        Frankly, women do much of the community work here already, so extending what they do would not be that difficult. This sort of thing was done to an extent by Jane Addams in the 1800s, but her standpoint was to teach rather than to learn. Any contemporary incarnation would have to incorporate the broad experiences of the women involved.

        You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

        by northsylvania on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:54:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anti-capitalist meetup Schedule (6+ / 0-)

    June

    30th: Annieli

    July

    7th: ny brit expat
    14th:  northsylvania
    21st: Geminijen
    28th:

    August

    4th:
    11th:
    18th:
    25th:

    Hi Comrades:

    We have had an excellent series so far, but we need your help to continue the series. We need someone for the end of July and we need volunteers throughout August. Please can people volunteer to write? We also were hoping that readers and members of the group could suggest some topics that you would like to see discussed here, whether on actions, movements, theory, history ... let us know and we can try to get volunteers to write as things are often easier if there is a topic that people are interested in discussing.

    So, either respond to this comment, send a message to the Anti-capitalist meetup here on dkos, send a message to NY brit expat or Northsylvania on dkos or send a message to our group email: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com.  

    In solidarity, ny brit expat

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:17:17 PM PDT

  •  I was privileged to see Geminijen (8+ / 0-)

    present this at the Left Forum. An excellent piece and great analysis, I am so glad that we have this group so that people can see what a great piece of work she has done. Thanks Geminijen for great work!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:19:28 PM PDT

  •  I'm beginning to feel like Don Mukulski did last (6+ / 0-)

    week! Oh well, someone will show up.

  •  I have this bookmarked to read later, and (5+ / 0-)

    I have no doubt it is an excellent essay. Thank you, Geminijen!

  •  I've only read it once, but WOW!!! (5+ / 0-)

    What a great piece.
    Will read it again tomorrow.

    We have really had some winners the past couple weeks.

    Great job explaining the difference between wage gap and wealth gap. I will refer anyone interested in that topic to this diary. Very well done. Explanations aren't much good if they are barely readable.
    This was perfect, doesn't go over anyone's head yet doesn't talk down to anyone either.

    And congrats on Community Spotlight, Geminijen!

    Well deserved.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:02:11 PM PDT

  •  Great Post, Geminijen (4+ / 0-)

    Looks like just anyway you slice it, women are still getting screwed.

    And, as you pointed out, some statistics about comparisons of women to men's wages may only seem to be improving because more men are getting less pay thanks to the fact that the high-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped to Third World countries.

    Your recommendations are excellent.  The one that would, I think, make the biggest dent on the glaring financial inequality between the wealth of the 1% and the rest of us would be a 100% tax on inheritances over 1 million dollars or so.  Given such a tax, there would be plenty of government money for universal childcare, universal education to the doctoral level, and universal health care for all.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:04:10 PM PDT

    •  Screw the over one million - let's tax it all and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, NY brit expat, Justina

      use it as a pool to collectively give our children the support and equal opportunity they need.

      But I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. It is a good one to start with and somewhat doable. Do you know that just a few years ago it was $500,000. Think it should even be lower than that.

  •  Buffet 100% Inheritance Tax -- On everyone, or (5+ / 0-)

    just on larger estates?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:16:45 PM PDT

    •  Practically, we'll take what we can get, but (5+ / 0-)

      honestly if we are serious about transformative change and not a capitalist solution, it should be on everyone. That would be fairest to the children in terms of equity.

    •  If Buffet suggests a 100% inheritance tax (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Geminijen, Justina

      he should practice what he preaches, he is leaving money to members of his family as are the Gates's ... this is an old radical argument from William Godwin who discussed unearned wealth through inheritance and called for its elimination. Eliminating inheritance still would not eliminate wealth inequality, but what it would do is eliminate passage of that inequality intergenerationally. So that if you make massive amount of wealth due to something you have done in the context of capitalism, this does not mean that your children should have your wealth and assets.

      The reason why this creates contradictions in capitalism is that wealth inequality is essential to the system to keep it going; that is why Godwin's argument was considered so dangerous when he wrote it. However, this argument still upholds the bizarre idea that somehow you have earned your wealth in some senses. In the context of capitalism that is an important ideological point. If we eliminate inheritance completely, we can also get rid of private landownership and private housing as that would not be allowed to be passed on to your children or heirs, so that accumulation of wealth would not be required for working people and the gap between the capitalists and the rest of us would be gradually eliminated. All wealth taxed can then be used for the purposes and needs of the whole society.

      However, that ignores the role of the state in capitalism and which does not work for everyone's benefit but instead for the system as a whole.

      I think that wrt Buffet, quite honestly, he is not even holding to what he has said should be done and as such it should be taken with a grain of salt.  Do I think that he thinks that housing, stocks, land, assets should be seized by the state, I doubt it ...

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:34:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personally, I think one of the most transformative (8+ / 0-)

    changes would be to make civil unions for parenting legal for all people -- no limit on numbers, no shared resident requirements, no sex requirements. Nieces and aunts could share child rearing, two or three friends, etc.And they eventually could get a subsistence wage for raising kids.

    This would really change the private family structure but at the same time, insure a smaller more personal form of childrearing than just massive state run daycare (though there could be those as well).

    •  That would be incredibly transformational (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, Justina, Geminijen, JayRaye

      and would break the back of traditional family structures which have been essential for keeping women tied to social reproduction roles and these would be covered by whatever form of child-rearing people chose. I would never sniff at child-care provided by the state though, but would prefer it outside of the capitalist system so that social reproduction could be covered in a number of forms and that people could provide child care and have life essentials covered which is clearly not happening in this day and age. Being an only child, I always dreamt of collective child raising, then found out that Kollantai had already suggested it many years before. Why have only 1 neurotic set of parents when you could have several? :)

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:09:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  agreed. self-defined families so that people can (4+ / 0-)

      build their own sustainable nuclear support systems.

    •  I'm not disagreeing...But in what ways would (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geminijen, NY brit expat, Odysseus

      that help, exactly?  What could you not manage under current law that you could with that proposal?

      •  Right now, many peple raising children do not have (4+ / 0-)

        parental rights (or responsibilities or monetary support) because they are not in a sexually defined couple which is the basis of marriage. This means, they cant visit their loved ones in hospitals after visiting hours, they can't make important decisions for their children, etc  They don't get child tax breaks etc. This keeps the traditional nuclear male dominated family as the primary model which is instrumental in keeping women in their secondary place.

  •  I get soooo tired (5+ / 0-)

    of the meme that "Feminism has succeeded; equality has been achieved." Sigh.

    I'd add the tangentially related observation that employment discrimination of every type--by race, by age, by gender, by looks, by able-ism and so on--has grown significantly worse with the crash of the labor market that has accompanied the current recession.

    Maybe the oligarchs like it that way.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:59:49 PM PDT

  •  excellent! I will republish elsewhere (6+ / 0-)
    In fact, women now spend more of their adult years single than married. About half of all households are headed by single women (defined as never married, widowed, or divorced) About half of all marriages end in divorce and  men and women are marrying at later ages, leaving women with more years in which they are self-supporting. Given the current trends in rates of divorce, the increasing number of single parents, and rising ages at first marriage, the wealth gap for women is of considerable significance.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:14:59 PM PDT

    •  socialist revolution might be JobOne and not short (9+ / 0-)
      So short of a socialist revolution tomorrow, what are some policies that can seriously attack the underlying problem instead of just accepting the idea that all we can work for is upward mobility for a few women?
      Proposed Solutions:

      1. End tax breaks for marriages.
      2. Limit on amount people can inherit.
      3. Provide free universal daycare from age two on.
      4. Pass family leave policies.
      5. Take a note from the Venezuela handbook and develop local communal councils for economic planning for local social services where women are the major decision makers.
      6. Raise the minimum wage.
      7. Encourage unionization.
      8. End occupational segregation.

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

      by annieli on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:19:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm all for a socialist revolution, but since we (6+ / 0-)

        are not there yet, I want the kind of "reforms" we suggest to be sufficiently transformative so that they get us on the road instead of holding us back.

        •  ideas (0+ / 0-)

          1. get rid of legal marriage all together. it's immediate equality.  What interest does the government really have in knowing who you're regular bed partner is anyway? The tax breaks were originally to help ease the burden of having kids. People casually have kids outside of marriage now. Marriage used to equal kids.. not so much anymore

          2. would that include property? I'm fairly certain the rich would figure away around it away through trusts, etc.

          3. I can't say I'm in love with the idea. Children should be raised by their parents, especially in their tender ages.

          4. already exists. http://www.edd.ca.gov/...

          5. no. we're looking for gender equality, not female supremacy.

          6. okay

          7. how to do it in a global environment?

          8. occupational segregation is often the choice of individual men and women. There was an awesome documentary by someone in Sweden that showed that women in western democracies actually choose jobs in healthcare, education, childcare, psychology, etc because they are free to make that choice.. Women from poorer parts of the world like India will often choose what is traditionally male jobs in the west because that's all there is.

  •  I remember discussion wayyy back in the 80's for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, JayRaye

    free community day care (usually provided through the public school system).  Like most other civilized countries already have.

    It's sad that we still don't have it.

  •  Did anyone ever get the irony of an (0+ / 0-)

    anti-capitalist diary complaining about communal work? I don't know how the discussion of family got so warped. Once upon-a-time marriage and the family was a structure in which people had and raised kids. That was the whole freaking objective; to have and raise kids to become productive citizens and civically minded. When, exactly, did marriage become a competition between the spouses over who earned more money? Money was always just  one of the means to the final end; never the end itself. Like the cartoon in the diary suggests, who would ever choose a work over family? Work is usually miserable in one way or another; either your boss is a dick, bad co-workers, dumb-ass customers you have to smile at, time-clocks to punch, stress on your body, losing a third of your adult life to someone else's ends.. Given a life of working or a life of leisure surrounded by family and friends which would you choose? Patriarchy is many things, and women's millage with it varies depending on the man but if it did anything it freed many women from the bullshit that is the modern work place. if anything, if you want to kick capitalism in the balls then men should be equally freed the tyranny of work place. Until then, this whole diary isn't anti-capitalist it's pro-female capitalist.

  •  Actually the wage gap is almost gone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geminijen

    as they find here

    '"may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers."
    And with more women earning college degrees than men (and especially advanced degrees) the wealth gap should also decline rapidly.
    •  that's the point of this blog-the wage gap is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      a very good indictor aof women's real economic position as it doesn't take into account a woman's wealth over alifetime but just a snap shot of what she might make in a particular moment - she might make $50,000 when single,  later when she is a divorced mother of two with no child support, her economic position may not be so attractive. Women are losing ground compared to men in wealth accumulation, primarily due to the problem of who raises and pays for raising the chidren in society. We currently have 6-36% of all wealth compared to men and much of that has been due to inheritance from a father and is dependent on a man giving it to us.

    •  anticapitalist means anti-private property and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      the nuclear famiiy is a unit in the sphere of privateownership -in fact, until the last hundred years the wife was owned by the husband as were the children. U ust have a very happy and possibly privileged family (life of leisure?) and I wsh you well with it - but take of the roe clored glasses an realize that not all women are in this position and much of their poverty is due to the fact that society does not want to deal with the cost of raising children so women continue to pay the price in terms of unpaid labor.

      •  i was raised by a single mother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geminijen

        My folks divorced when I was 2 due to my father's infidelity. He passed away when I was 9. Her 2nd was an abusive alcoholic who we fled in the middle of the night when I was 12. She had a HS education. Worked her butt off for me. I get it. No need to lecture me.

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