“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes flex time and a baby carriage.” Said by a supervisor at Novartis who refused to hire women (Carter 2010)
Traditionally, the work done by women is often assumed to be less important than the work performed by their male counterparts. This statement continue to plague women in all societies today, as theorist like Murdock believe, given the biological differences between men and women a sexual division of labour is the most efficient way of organising society (Haralambos & Holborn, 2008). This is one way in which the mainstream theorist sought to justify the invisibility of women and assigned roles based on the sex of the ...view middle of the document...
This speaks to the work done by women outside of their private domain in the paid workforce that is characterised by the fact that it tends to be done only by women. Although the work women perform at home is itself invisible because it is always done away from the public domain, women are seen by society as housewives and mothers and not as paid workers. Women’s unpaid domestic work is seen as most important and dominant, and their workforce participation is therefore reduced to apparent insignificance and social ‘invisibility’ (Beaton, 1982).
. Underlying the conception that housewifery and motherhood constitute women’s primary role is the assumption that they are dependent on fathers and husbands. Thus, when women enter the workforce they are not seen as needing the same remuneration as men because they are already ‘sharing’ a man’s wage. This is what holds women in subjection making them vulnerable and an easy target for domestic abuse because then, men view them as chattel to do as they please. Peter Murdock in response to a survey he conducted of 224 societies stated that: Man with his superior physical strength can better undertake the more strenuous tasks, such as lumbering, mining, quarrying, land clearance and house building. Not handicapped, as is woman by the physiological burden of pregnancy and nursing he can range farther afield to hunt , to fish to herd and to trade. Pregnancy is view as a burden by some, yet if women do not reproduce how society can continue the logic of some theorist tend to forget that men also have a responsibility to share in the care and rearing of their offspring as it cannot be left mainly to the women.
Like Murdock, Talcott Parson a functionalist, believed that the role of the male is breadwinner, where he spends his time working for which it is stress and anxiety, and the expressive role of the women is to relieve that tension by providing the weary breadwinner with love, consideration and understanding. If it is the job of woman serve the man or be his personal maid and nurse, who will provide these things for her after a long day of working in the home? Ann Oakley did rejects the view put forward by Murdock and Parson as she does not accept that there is any natural or inevitable division of labour or allocations of social roles on the basis of sex. She further states, ‘not only is the division of labour by sex not universal, but there is no reason why it should be (Haralambos & Holborn, 2008).Thus as long as women are seen primarily as unpaid domestic workers their suppression and exploitation will continue in a male dominated society who assume which job is to be assigned to a male or female.
In the Caribbean women have always been part of the work force as agricultural or domestic workers. As Caribbean women prefer to go out and work as opposed to staying at home as many of the region females are head of households and have a duty to provide for their families. However exploitation is...