Economic Aspects of "Love"

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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:25 pm

Anacaona: the Woman Chief Who Stood Up to Christopher Columbus
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It’s more or less universally acknowledged these days that Christopher Columbus was terrible. Like, the cut peoples’ hands off if they didn’t give him enough gold, pretty much start the transatlantic slave trade kind of terrible. But despite the despicable behavior of Columbus and his cronies, many of the indigenous people they oppressed tried to push back and rise above, including the remarkable Taíno cacica—woman tribal chief—Anacaona.

The story takes place in Hispaniola, which is the Greater Antilles island that is split between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. But before Christopher Columbus’s arrival, the Taíno people called it Ayiti. Anacaona—meaning “golden flower”—was the sister of Xaragua territory chief Bohechío and the wife of Caonabo, the Maguana territory chief. Though initially leaders were friendly with Columbus and his entourage when they first traveled to Xaragua in 1496 (or as friendly as you can be with known murderers), the relationship soured what with Columbus enslaving their people and generally taking whatever he wanted.

When Anacaona’s brother died, she succeeded him, and when her husband was captured by Columbus’s men and sent to Spain as a slave, she succeeded him, too. But despite her personal loss, she continued to work with her oppressors in order to keep her people safe. In addition to her roles as a leader and diplomat, Anacaona was also apparently very beautiful and skilled at creating songs, poems and dances. Washington Irving wrote of Anacaona in his History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus:

[She was] remarkable for her native propriety and dignity. She was adored by her subjects, so as to hold a kind of dominion over them, even during the lifetime of her brother; she is said to have been skilled in composing the areytos or legendary ballads of her nation, and may have conduced much towards producing that superior degree or refinement remarked among her people.

But all of that power attracted some attention, and despite the kindness, integrity and generosity she showed the Spaniards, the new governor Nicolás de Ovando decided she was a threat and must have some secret plot to overthrow him. In a bid to rid himself of the threat and gain control over the entire island, Ovando rounded up all of the area’s lesser chiefs (during a feast Anacaona was throwing for him no less) and locked them in a building, which he then ordered to be set on fire, burning them alive. Anacaona was spared this due to her rank and instead prosecuted on trumped up charges.

To add insult to injury, it is said that Anacaona was offered clemency in exchange for her loyalty to the Spaniards in the form of either a marriage to one of them or as a concubine depending on which account you believe. She refused, which earned her not only a death-by-public-hanging sentence in September of 1503, but also a spot in the history books. She has inspired many songs, poems (including ‘Anacaona’ by Lord Tennyson) and works of art, but above all, Anacaona is known today as a fearless, dignified Caribbean icon and symbol of resistance against tyranny.





**



Anacaona. Fania All Stars (Our Latin Thing)




Anacaona, captive-bred Indian
Anacaona, from the primitive region.

Anacaona, captive-bred Indian
Anacaona, from the primitive region.

Anacaona I heard your voice, as I cried when I groaned
Anacaona I heard the voice of your anguished heart
Your freedom never came, and Le le le le le le la la.

Anacaona, captive-bred Indian
Anacaona, from the primitive region.

Anacaona, india, captive race india
And Anacaona, from the primitive region.

Chorus:
Anacaona, Areito of Anacaona.

India of captive race,
soul of white dove ... Anacaona.

But Indian who dies crying,
dies but does not forgive, does not forgive.


Anacaona, india de raza cautiva
Anacaona, de la región primitiva.
Anacaona, india de raza cautiva
Anacaona, de la región primitiva.
Anacaona oí tú voz, como lloró cuando gimío
Anacaona oí la voz de tu angustiado corazón
Tu libertad nunca llegó, e Le le le le le le la la.
Anacaona, india de raza cautiva
Anacaona, de la región primitiva.
Anacaona, india, india de raza cautiva
Y Anacaona, de la región primitiva.
Coro:
Anacaona, areito de Anacaona.
India de raza cautiva,
alma de blanca paloma...Anacaona.
Pero india que muere llorando,
muere pero no perdona, no perdona no.
Esa negra negra que es de raza noble y abatida
pero que fue valentona ¡Anacaona!

Oye, según la historia lo cuenta
dicen que fue a la cañona, Anacaona.
La tribu entera la llora porque fue buena negrona.
Y recordando, recordando lo que pasó
la tribú ya se enfogona.
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:41 am

The New Abolitionist Model

BY
LAURA AGUSTÍN


Julie Bindel’s The Pimping of Prostitution puts sex workers in its crosshairs.


Entry for an encyclopedia of feminism: The Sex Work Wars: Decades of acrimonious debate about the meaning of exchanging sex for money. Near-total disagreement about terms, definitions, causes, and effects, and how to measure the involved phenomena. Mutual incomprehension on cultural meanings of sex, sexual identity, and gender relations. Laws backed by politicians based on the supposed truth of one or the other view. Little improvement for those being discussed. Outgrowth of the Lesbian/Feminist Sex Wars of the 1980s.


A new shot has been fired in the Sex Work Wars. Julie Bindel’s The Pimping of Prostitution calls for a return to more authentic beginnings, when, as she tells it, everyone involved in the 1960s women’s liberation movement was in thrall to a few shining leaders.

This version rings no bells for me. We were revolting against 1950s domestic ideology that told women to be quiet, feminine, and satisfied with making homes for men. The meaning of liberation was to figure out how to live on our own terms, and if we did read mimeographed newsletters from activists, we didn’t think we had to agree with them. We didn’t feel anyone was our leader. We talked together on the streets, in classrooms, in cafés. Everyone’s experiences counted.

In those conversations, prostitution was considered neither a central issue nor a terrible thing — or not more terrible than everything else we were coming to recognize as oppressive. We wanted to know why housework wasn’t paid and women were supposed to do all the childrearing. We wanted to define our own ways to enjoy sex. We used a new word, ”sexist.” I don’t recall attending a single formal meeting, but I have identified since that time as a feminist.

In this book, Bindel offers two things: cheers and brickbats. Those who agree with her get cheers, everyone else gets brickbats. Less subtle than boxing commentary that recognizes all good punches, this is a bitterness born of thwarting: prostitution still exists. Millett and Dworkin have been betrayed. Someone must pay.

Nowadays in conversations about women’s rights, there’s widespread agreement about the need for more education, equal salaries, and better job opportunities. But bring up women’s physical bodies, and ideologies of femininity and patriarchy flash like wildfire. Intransigent conflict pursues contraception, abortion, surrogacy and, perhaps above all, how women can and may consent to have sex. For radical feminists like Bindel, the insertion of money into a sexual relationship signifies no women can ever consent, even when they say they do.

News about women who sell sex has changed tone since publication in 2000 of the UN Protocol on Trafficking, although legal definitions are even now not fully agreed on. Media reports routinely confuse or use all available terms. Human trafficking is not distinguished from people-smuggling, borrowing money to migrate is called debt bondage, awful working conditions and child labor become modern slavery, and selling sex is renamed either sex trafficking or sex slavery. All sociocultural contexts are eliminated in favor of universalizing definitions. No interest is shown in considering how to improve working conditions. The result is to define women as victims in need of rescue, especially when they are selling sex.

In this context it’s not surprising that abolitionism should reemerge into the mainstream. Bindel calls hers the new abolition movement, misleadingly linking to Josephine Butler’s nineteenth-century campaigns to abolish government regulation of prostitution (not prostitution itself). Bindel rejects the aforementioned proliferation of terms: “Trafficking is merely a process in which some women and children are prostituted. Prostitution itself is the problem.” Which at least confirms a long-standing activist complaint regarding anti-trafficking campaigns: that the real object is prohibition of any woman from selling sex, anywhere, anytime.

Fear of trafficking is now used to justify a variety of repressive prostitution-policy regimes, including a law that bans the purchase of sex. First called the Swedish model, then the Nordic, this law, according to Bindel, can now be called the abolitionist model. The idea of this ban is to “End Demand,” on the theory that, if men were stopped from buying sex, women could not be exploited and would never sell sex. It is a ludicrously simplified market theory of supply and demand. Abolitionists claim the law decriminalizes the sale of sex by women (appropriating the central demand of the sex workers’ rights movement), failing to address what would happen to women’s income if there were no clients.

The book’s subtitle, Abolishing the Sex Work Myth, suggests it will prove there are no sex workers. Bindel names many countries she visited. She details the personal sufferings of women who hated selling sex: these are her heroes, and they come across as individuals. Representatives of the “pro-prostitution lobby,” on the contrary, are treated as a series of puppets, quoted to demonstrate their cynicism. Those who recognize the concept of agency as one reason to accept the existence of voluntary sex work are ridiculed as “choice” or “fun” feminists. We hear nothing from women who may not like sex work but continue doing it for their own good reasons.


Continues at: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/12/sex- ... ion-review
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:13 am

Image

Tithi Bhattacharya, editor of Social Reproduction Theory, discusses what makes ‘SRT’ distinctive from other feminist theory, and answers the question of ‘who produces the worker under capitalism?’

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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:50 am

Remembering the Black Triangles


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I was able to find out that in 1938 mass arrests of anti-social individuals accounted for 10,000 people 2,000 of which were sent to Buchenwald, and that other camps such as Auschwitz, Ravensbruck and Dachau had black triangle populations

The Black Triangle badge was for prisoners who were deemed to be Antisocial, the official name was Arbeitsscheu which literally translates as work-shy. But long term unemployment wasn't the only criteria for imprisonment, you could also be declared Arbeitsscheu for refusing or being found unfit for compulsory labour such as digging trenches for the Autobahns or working in armaments factories. You could also be branded with the triangle if you were suspected of being of poor moral character, common targets for the anti-social category included the homeless, alcoholics, drug users and sex workers.

Victims also included the Roma4 and people with behavioural abnormalities and disabilities that were deemed not serious enough to warrant euthanasia were also rounded up, hence the current associations with the struggles against Department for Work and Pensions. In Ravensbruck there were four women given the Black Triangle who specifically noted as suspected lesbians, and there were cases of people being categorised as Arbeitsscheu for having relations outside of their "race".

Image


You could also be black triangle for having a criminal record even if you had not committed a crime recently, which would have moved you into the Green Triangle category instead.

Hitler in Table Talk actually argues that all citizen with a serious offence on their records should either be executed or condemned for life in the Concentration camp system.


https://libcom.org/blog/remembering-bla ... s-16012018
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:19 pm

PLAY ALL
live without dead time


http://www.ADBUSTERS.org 2002 CD "live without dead time"

1 THE PLEDGE Saul Williams / INTRO DjSpooky --2:18 2 INTERLUDE: JOURNEY INTO SOUND DjSpooky -- 1:04 3 GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT Adbusters -- 0:40 4 COMING UP AniDiFranco -- 2:24 5 MUSLIM CHANT Bhagdad Live! / BUY NOTHING DAY Adbusters -- 0:56 6 BASIC BEAT Tino / DYNAMITE FRESH Meat Beat Manifesto -- 3:44 7 THAT SUBLIMINAL KID AND THE LAST MOHICAN DJS. vs DjGoo -- 3:34 8 WHY IS THIS COMMERCIAL? Negativland -- 1:53 9 INTERLUDE DJSpooky / GIVE BLOOD (DJS.REMIX) Saul Williams -- 3:40 10 RE:VOLUTION (FEAT.G.W.BUSH) Coldcut -- 3:14 11 THE FIRST CONSPIRACY (DRUM SOLO) The (International) Noise Conspiracy / LET FREEDOM RING Martin Luther King, Jr. -- 0:54 12 RELUCTANT WARRIOR DjS. feat. Mad Professor / AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS (SYMPTOM ONE) Mista White -- 2:00 13 RIVERS OF DUB Asian Dub Foundation / AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS (SYMPTOM ONE) Mista White / ADS AND PHONE CONVERSATIONS Adbusters -- 4:31 14 DUBTOMETRY INTERLUDE DjS. feat. Mad Professor -- 0:31 15 STATE EXTENSION EBN -- 1:13 16 VAJRA KILAYA MIX Intrinsic Sky Sound System -- 1:04 17 STARBUCKS Mathew Herbert / VARIOUS EXCERPTS Mario Savio and Malcolm X -- 1:02 18 ROCK THE NATION (THE DAWNING) M. Franti and Spearhead -- 3:11 19 DEEP SPACE - 9MM El-P ??? EI-P -- 2:20 20 REVOLVERLUTION Public Enemy -- 2:04 21 SATISFIED? J-Live -- 2:30 22 FAMOUS ANIMAL Honey Barbara [+ Franquin's Marsupilami] -- 2:40 23 ASYLUM FOR DUB Mad Professor -- 2:04 24 AS YET UNTITLED Alter Ego / LACK OF IDENTITY Marshall McLuhan -- 2:50 25 LEAVING BABYLON Bad Brains -- 3:19 26 NUCLEAR WAR Sun Ra & His Arkestra -- 2:37 27 NEW WORLD ORDER Stephen Smith -- 2:18 28 END THE VIETNAM WAR (DJS.REMIX) Allen Ginsberg / DRUMS AND BREAKBEATS illyB -- 4:56 29 PINK FROSTY DEMO Fugazi -- 3:15 30 BUY NOTHING DAY IN JAPAN Adbusters -- 0:13 31 HUMAN BEINGS WANT TO BE HAPPY King Britt feat. Ursula Rucker -- 1:02


Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir2ZGfq ... 68916047DC
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:32 pm

TW: Rape, Murder, Racism, Violence

Recreation

The female android and the trafficked girl, the laboratory and the sex slave camp: where technoscience, affective labour and horror converge. Also: pop music's sometimes unbearable emancipatory call.



https://vimeo.com/58675654
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:24 am

Down with Love: Feminist Critique and the New Ideologies of Work

Kathi Weeks draws on 1970s feminist critiques of romance to investigate the contemporary management discourses of love and happiness at work.

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The Mysteries of Love and Happiness
Moving on to more significant ways that feminists have approached the ideology of romantic love and happiness, its mystification function was a crucial point of focus. At least two material realities are obscured according to these critics. First, and most notably, the ideologies of heterosexual romance mask the operations of patriarchal inequality. “Radical feminism,” according to one 1970s group, “believes that the popularized version of love has . . . been used politically to cloud and justify an oppressive relationship between men and women” (New York Radical Feminists 1973, 381). This insight can be usefully adapted for application to our present study, as the discourses of love and happiness at work are remarkably effective at concealing the class hierarchies that subtend the ostensible equivalence of the parties to the employment contract and the power relations that govern work’s daily grind. Indeed, the language of romantic love promises an exceptionally tight fusion of interests between the two parties. This bond can then deliver eager obedience on the part of managerially identified subordinates who, as part of their reward, can revel in a version of that “delicious ‘we’” of legible belonging that Simone de Beauvoir — a favorite of 1970s radical feminists — so brilliantly discerned within the figure of the woman in love (2012, 678). Indeed, the literature on love and happiness at work is remarkable for its insistence on the identity of interests that will be generated, that both employers and employees will profit equally from its recipes for emotional reform and affective discipline. In what is perhaps a way to make good on the claim about mutual advantage, the health benefit of love and happiness — a benefit that seems to be offered to the reader as an unassailably neutral value — is typically emphasized alongside productivity gains, as if to ensure the argument in the event that some come to see those lauded productivity gains as accruing more to an organization’s bottom line than to its human resources. 2

Besides fulfilling the classic ideological function of mystifying relations of inequality, feminists have explored the ways that the discourses of love and happiness also mask the role of economic motives and utilities. Romantic love in its more traditional role as the provenance of the private family has been understood as the veritable opposite of the public sphere of economic interest and competition. This romantic narrative has long served to present marriage as a noneconomic relationship and to code unwaged domestic work as nonwork, a labor of love that helps maintain the integrity of the home as a compensatory ideal and haven in a heartless world (Firestone 1970, 131, 201). The unwaged but happy housewife that Friedan sought to expose as a fantasy figure is, as Sara Ahmed notes, a representation “that erases the signs of labor under the sign of happiness” (2010a, 573). The way that the ideology of romantic love serves as a disguised mechanism of work-recruitment is nicely summarized in a radical feminist slogan from the 1970s: “It starts when you sink into his arms and ends with your arms in his sink” (cited in Jackson 2001, 255). In this way, romanticism functions, as Firestone describes it, as a cultural tool to re-enforce the division of labor that is fundamental to the sex-class system (1970, 131).


Read more: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3614-d ... es-of-work
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:11 pm

<3 of a Heartless World

Image

By Maya Andrea Gonzalez and Cassandra Troyan |

Of the political-economy of romance under capitalism, Eva Illouz describes the “paradox of the romantic bond” — that “although it can be motivated by self-interest, it is fully convincing only if at a certain point the individual proves his or her disinterestedness.” As Illouz adds, “Once the choice has been made and the romantic bond established, what people view as the most loving acts are those that are ostensibly indifferent to their ‘market value.’” [1] We ask: what then becomes of the romantic pact once the perceived “beloved” is paid for her services? Today, a savvy career woman gone professional-girlfriend exploits the socialization of her gender by deploying her “inherent” skills learned through a lifetime of compulsory heterosexuality in order to procure a handsome living. What is known by those in the trade as “Girlfriend Experience” (or online as GFE) has established the real “market value” of romantic bonding. Essential to this form of work, unlike that of the generalized prostitution of wage-labor, is the fact that the relations of exploitation are consciously and deliberately disavowed in order to produce and consume the experience of hooking-up, dating and falling in love.

In Illouz’s work, as well as in more recent theorizations of postmodern dating, we have seen the experience of love, romance and coupledom revealed in its naked splendor: as unpaid labor, or complicit mutual-exploitation, inscribed within the capitalist unconscious and libidinal economy of reproduction. [2] However, the romance industry has now expanded to include in its repertoire the ready-made companion — and in doing, has objectified her affective activities in the transmogrification of “love” into wages. The romance of homo economicus has now been fully realized in the reification of the Girlfriend Experience as the consumption of feminine labor-power in the guise of a love object, “the beloved” commodity is circulated, exchanged, and at last consumed.

As a form of socially validated labor, “a young woman” or in other cases “a mature woman” can harness the craft that she long nurtured in her by social conventions as girlfriending has now become, objectively, a skill. Although it is still gendering and naturalizing, it can also be exchanged for wages. However, the “natural” performance of the girlfriend is redoubled in its consumption as that which still appears as if it is uncommodifiable, authentic and extra-economic. Though, as Illouz correctly observes, “true love” is always already foreclosed under capitalism — and its apparent immediacy situates it transhistorically a priori, in contrast to modern life. However, the particular history of romantic attachment under capitalism, in fact emerged alongside the rise of modern relations of property and exploitation.

Romantic love — that which is historically specific to modern property relations — appears as extra-economic affective attachment organized by pre-capitalist forms of bondage. At the heart of true love is a pseudo-refuge from the heartlessness of modern competition, separation and generalized dispossession. This imagined preservation of transhistorical bonding, with its moralizing lover’s discourse, is in fact high-modern and aristocratic. Yet in its one-dimensional mass appeal it was first democratized in the 20th century, and is now privatized under Neoliberalism. Most importantly, however, the naturalized banality and apparently transhistorical “authenticity” of courtly love, was necessarily fabricated through the violent destruction of all other forms of non-capitalist and communal experience.

This phenomenon extends to the totality of social relations. As Giorgio Agamben argues in “An Essay on the Destruction of Experience,” modernity sounds the death knell of authentic experience. Agamben’s proposition that “the question of experience can be approached nowadays only with an acknowledgement that it is no longer accessible to us” is the point of entry into our exploration of the Girlfriend Experience. [4] If experience in and of itself is impossible, then it is only within the context of its impossibility that “experience” as a commodity can exist. Girlfriending as a form of commodified pseudo-experience entails a discreet work relation between a “provider” of romantic experience — or “sugar baby” — and its/their consumer, the “hobbyist” or “sugar daddy.” Over the duration of an individual encounter or throughout an ongoing engagement, this work-relation appears as the non-consumption of an experiential commodity, whilst taking place in an actual labor process of providing intimate services.The product (the use-value in question) is the consumer experience of authentic consumption itself (a contradiction par excellence), outside of the direct domination of market forces.

For a professional girlfriend, the workplace is both nowhere and everywhere — everywhere, that is, that her smart-phone can get reception. The boundary as to where her work ends and her actual life begins is altogether blurred. The true particularity of her “pop-up” boudoir is what goes on inside– whether in plain sight or on the down-low. This particularity is the productive-consumption of an apparently un-commodifiable commodity: love. Hence, the door to her heart can and must reside on the fringes of direct domination while simultaneously folding into the patterns and circuits of everyday reproduction and her own self-maintenance as feminine labor-power.

Image


Continues at: https://blindfieldjournal.com/2016/05/2 ... ess-world/
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Re: Economic Aspects of "Love"

Postby American Dream » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:04 am

The Wife, the Whore and the Single Girl: On the Intersection of Sex and Housework within the Couple Form

POSTED ON OCTOBER 13, 2016

By Vanessa Parent |


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“Move in with me” he said, “Don’t accept that teaching job, don’t leave town. Live with me, you can just finish your dissertation and I’ll take care of you. I just want you with me. Let’s do this.” Without diminishing the genuine love and good intentions behind the offer, my only thought in the face of what was a very ‘romantic’ moment was “what’s the catch?” I knew the price of admission would be high; I would feel indebted and obligated, participating in my own servitude out of gratitude for the meeting of my material needs. While he wasn’t aware of it, I was fully conscious of the transaction implied by his suggestion. Love and support are crucial currency within any partnership. However as a Marxist and a feminist, I consciously understood the transaction implied by the traditional couple form, that is cohabitation or marriage. Historically, in the West, what was a means to secure political/economic alliances and ensure patrilineal transfer of property, became with the rise of capitalism a means to discipline the individual worker body and ensure the reproduction of the labor force. It is a patriarchal, heteronormative construct in which a female exchanges her liberty for her means of subsistence. In my white, heterosexual, middle class context, the transaction implied by the proposed couple dynamic would be the securing of my material needs in exchange for the unwaged labor that I would be unconsciously expected to perform and which, if not performed to my partner qua benefactor’s expectations, would necessarily cause a considerable strain on the relationship.[1] This dependence would necessarily imply that my role as romantic partner would become intertwined with the one I would take on in the household; unpaid housework and sex would become the unacknowledged currency for keeping a roof over my head.

The value-relation which exists between a man and a woman within the couple form is entwined with the development of the nuclear family in relation to and in support of the rise of capitalism. When considering his offer, I became fully conscious of this relation. This, of course, is old news. Silvia Federici in her 1975 article Wages for Housework states:

“capital (created) the housewife to service the male worker physically, emotionally and sexually… it is precisely this peculiar combination of physical, emotional and sexual services that are involved in the role women must perform for capital that creates the specific character of that servant which is the housewife, that makes her work so burdensome and invisible.”[2]

One of the factors which contributes to the housewife’s labor being invisible is simply the fact that it exists outside the social relation of the wage and is confined to the domestic space of the home. It is therefore privatized rather than occupying the space of ‘free labor’ represented by the factory floor. The problem of unwaged reproductive labor is one which has been considered at length since the 1970s and the revolutionary potential of demanding wages for housework as a political act has been theorized by the most dedicated women in the struggle. However my realization within the previously outlined situation was that receiving payment for that labor would not eliminate the core of the problem: that is the fact of the transaction itself.

Because of the conditions in place, any task performed, whether sexual or not, would be performed within the context of an exchange or a power dynamic set up by financial dependence. Without an income, would I have to ask for an allowance if I wanted to have a night out, or buy tampons? Would my unpaid intellectual labor (writing my dissertation) even count as work and would my working day be lengthened because I would be expected to get dinner ready or clean or do laundry since, naturally, I would be the one who’s home all day? Would I even want to have these conversations knowing that I would be in a subordinate position due to the simple fact that he would be the bread-winner? Would sex be as good as cash? Would a blow job be the veiled labor power behind a pair of new winter boots? When would sex for love and sex as part of an unconscious and even self-imposed ‘obligation’ or exchange for securing my material needs end and begin?[3]

The entanglement of sex, domestic labor, and financial dependence could not be resolved with a demand for ‘wages for housework’ in this situation. When would sex for love and sex as part of a veiled and even self-imposed ‘obligation’ or exchange for securing my material needs end and begin? Sex can take on the conditions of labor when placed within a couple form in which one partner is financially reliant on the other. Although ‘Love’ is present, the fact is that entering into this power dynamic converts intercourse into currency and labor in exchange for the material needs for subsistence. The veil of love conceals the value hidden in the sexual service, its very condition as sexual service as well as the expectation of fulfilling that service.

These gendered forms of labor vested in the couple form have been and still are, by and large, expected of women within a patriarchal capitalist society. The rise of capitalism required the confinement of women to the household and the labor they perform to go unpaid. Its most cunning and oppressive tactic has been convincing women that it is a condition which validates them as women. In other words, by blinding women to their own oppressive condition, capital has made women contributors to their own oppression. Regardless of legal marriage, the trickery of capital has turned domesticity and fairytale scenarios of coupledom into a ‘natural’ female desire, a seemingly instinctual drive to ‘couple up,’ whereas for men, it has been instilled as a condition of which to be suspicious. Today, the burden of housework for coupled women is exacerbated by the pressure to have a successful career while maintaining the household and still finding the energy at the end of the day to provide sexual satisfaction to one’s partner. [4]

While sexual liberation has come a long way in terms of equality and forging a place for women outside the home, viewed critically, this state of unfreedom has simply reshuffled the female worker within an already existing exploitative system. Borrowing the language of the oppressor does little to eradicate an inequitable political economy or dismantle the conditions which allows it to thrive. As the ground zero of capitalist accumulation, ‘prerequisite’ to the nuclear family whose rise was part of class based economic development, the couple form creates the conditions for the unequal distribution of unpaid reproductive labor on which capitalism relies.[5] The traditional heterosexual couple form, whether within the patriarchal and oppressive confines of marriage or simply ‘shacking up’, is an outmoded form of existence, a transaction and power dynamic that sets up the conditions for feminized and thus unwaged labor.[6] [7]

While the call for wages for housework was a productive strategy to open up a conversation about the exploitative conditions women face under capital[8] and having housework actually considered as ‘work’, I argue for the dismantling of the couple form, that is of the conditions which support the creation of feminized labor and of a power dynamic rooted in patriarchal ownership concealed by the promise of everlasting monogamous love which ultimately maintains a capitalist political economy on life support. I would like to suggest, following up on the demand for wages for housework, the revolutionary potential of resisting the traditional heterosexual couple form.[9]


Continues at: https://blindfieldjournal.com/2016/10/1 ... uple-form/
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