Overtime (was Re: happy autoworkers)

MScoleman at aol.com MScoleman at aol.com
Sat Jul 11 05:47:43 PDT 1998

In a message dated 98-07-11 00:46:40 EDT, carrol writes:

<< "[N]o, people who work 80 hours a week have no life," but they can sure

become resentful (whether their 80 hours earns them $100,000 or nearer

$10,000 a year) of anyone who is paraded before them as not being

"responsible." This pervasive overwork (at varying rates of compensation)

must be one of the material bases of succumbing to contempt/hatred/etc of

unruly teenagers, teenage mothers, convicts living in luxury (!),

pedophiles, arrogant women, blacks, drug dealers, immigrants, everyone who

can be prsented as not responsible as they are. >>

absolutely. There are a whole laundry list of issues which arise out of this very gender biased overtime/work/worth trap -- just a few:

Possible script number 1. generally the adults capable of putting in these hours at work (no matter what the pay) are men because, as a society, we still assign women the job of home/child care (and please, this is a general statement, I know there are male/female couples who are exceptions). This ability to bring home massive amounts of 'bacon' feeds into our set-up of men as superior wage earners. Since the man brings home so much more from the market place, he then has the 'right' to demand an equally rigid gender role from his wife. So the wife is left to singlehandedly raise children and if she does a lousy job as a single mother, then he has the right to divorce her. (and note, the gender roles is this case are as binding and damaging to the man as they are to the woman -- it is this lack of recognition of the damage gender roles do to MEN which keeps leftists from exploring women's issues -- IMHO)

Possible script number 2. The man works 80 hours a week, stays married, his kids grow up, and he keeps working 80 hours a week because he doesn't know what else to do. he has a heart attack and his wife collects his pension. All women are greedy and lazy because they are living on money they didn't earn.

Possible script number 3. Huge groups of workers (male and female) work far more than 40 hours a week, reducing the number of jobs available to the population at large. This creates a groups of haves who fiercely defend their privileged positions against the have nots. The 'justification' of defending these positions are all those cultural images which have economic consequences: welfare mothers are promiscuous and lazy, racial imagery, etc.

i am sure that with a little thought, you could all produce your own scripts.

maggie coleman mscoleman at aol.com

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