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I am an undergraduate, middle aged and struggling to come to terms with a question on patriarchal and sexual division of labour. I would appreciate it if you would give me some help. I have decided to write about women and work in the public and private domain however, I would like to tie this in with patriarchal. So if you could help me I would be very grateful as it is quite some time since I actually studied and things have changed so much.

Thank you again, Dee

Wow, your question is simultaneously difficult to answer and easy. Easy because it is so glaringly obvious. Difficult, because I think this is the basic struggle for feminists or the basic obstacle in terms of realizing an equal world. For instance, while we do have some knowledge about equal pay--meaning that men and women doing the same job deserved to be paid the same amount. However, what we don't have much experience with is re-valuing the entire basis of work. Those professsions that are primarily male are much more valuable than those that are primarily female. And I believe this doesn't always have to do with skill--enter the patriarchy--which defines things masculine as more valuable than things feminine. Other people that have written about this are Maria Meis, and Arlie Hochschild has written about the Second Shift--housework after out of house work--which of course, helps to perpetuate this situation.

I hope that helps. If you need me to clarify, let me know.


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