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Women in the Workplace

The Tragedy of Middle Age

 The Manchester Guardian of June 8th and 9th, 1937, publishes two articles dealing with the unemployed women in the cotton towns. Socialists are continually being told that Socialism will destroy the sanctity of the home and family life, and the Guardian gives some interesting examples of what capitalism has done. The article commences:

Sparks From The Anvil

 Few journalists of the capitalist Press have exhibited such insight into the character of contemporary politicians as Mr. W. Purvis. This gentleman, in an article (“The Man Who Saved France”) setting forth the merits of the late Adolphe Thiers—one time President of France —gives vent to the following gem of political wisdom:

       There was something of Mr. Lloyd George and a great deal of our English Premier in Adolphe Thiers. In his unconscious and amusing egotism he reminds one often of our Minister of Munitions; and he does so, too, in the case with which he could turn on the tap of poetic and patriotic eloquence, as well as in certain flashes of poetical inspiration.
    “Sunday Chronicle,” 16.1.16.

Free Trade in Females

 The Mormons are busy in our midst.

 The Christian henchmen of the capitalists are busy in their midst.

 At Birkenhead, where the meek ministers of the “gentle Jesus” are always fighting over something, there has been an anti-Mormon riot.

 The American Latter Day Saints want women for the Salt Lake market. The English Latter Day Saints want women for the home market. Now, polygamy is a horrible thing, against which the Christian raves. Promiscuity is a mere incident, regrettable but unavoidable.

Cooking the Books: Women, Work and Wages

In an interview with the magazine section of the Mail of Sunday (26 March), the author and playwright Fay Weldon provocatively claimed that, through women going out to work,  'the feminist revolution' had led to 'halving the male wage, so it no longer supported a family.'

It is of course absurd to attribute women going out to work to feminism. That resulted from capitalism's need to overcome a labour shortage. In fact, if anything, it will have been women going out to work that led to the rise of feminism. In any event, there is nothing wrong with women going out to work, apart, that is, from under capitalism this being as wage slaves (Weldon's objection is the old-fashioned one that this means that children are brought up by nursery staff rather than their mothers).

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