Course ‘Women Have Always Worked’ from Berkeley & Columbia University

09 Aug

I got curious, is how I ended up following this course. My curiosity was nearly completely satisfied in this course.
As a woman who has grown up amongst highly educated, working women, it was very interesting to know what sort of path they have followed. It wasn’t exactly the same, as the universities that run this course are situated in the USA and I myself live in the Netherlands, but to be fair, I think the same kind of pattern happens everywhere. The exact course of events will, most likely, lead to other outcomes, and existing local laws and local resistments towards changes will be different, but still: the emancipation of women and minority groups does seem to have the same kind of process.
As one of the teachers stated: there is a new emancipatic ‘flow’ every forty years, it seems. A group of minorities that find a spark of inspiration to fight a new battle, with new goals, new laws to persuade.
I was interested to find out that men being send out to fight war in a different country, have mainly provided one of the first waves of feminism to be faught. When the men were out, employers were stuck. They no longer had an ocean of men to pick from, so tadaa women were asked to work in the men’s places.

I like films a lot. I have seen how one example for this type of workflow in A League Of Their Own. The men’s team of baseball was send out to fight, so women were recruited to play paid baseball.
When the men came back, suddenly there was no place for the women.

Which is odd. They quite had a perfect performance. Not only did they play a heck of a game, they even had the looks to sell the perfect pictures.

But if you’re in as a replacement, don’t get too comfortable. This seems to be the general message.
The women who had worked for the first time, had a hard time to get adjusted to that idea. Some started drinking, using drugs, abusing themselves in a way. Whereas for African-American women, this hadn’t been the first time they worked at all. For them the fight was to get their wages up, and to finally be able to raise their OWN children instead of those of someone else.

Though in the running of this course a lot of influences that I recognised are being mentioned and explained how exactly they caused inconvenience for those who had to deal with the changes that were demanded for, I did seem to miss one heck of a subject: religion.
I think this has been done on purpose, as emancipation by law has been a fight on its own, hence the course.

But, for instance, the birth control pill is mentioned in this course, but it’s dealt with as if it didn’t cause any problems whatsoever. Of course this isn’t true. The Catholics have always been wildly against the pill that would stop from more babies being born. And not just them.

But, all in all I very much liked the course and it has taught me that the way emancipation works has a lot to do with politics and wars being faught. After all, you need to miss that left or right hand in order to want to change something about it, only to discover afterwards that you have taken that extra pair of hands purely for granted, and it’s time to pay up for it.

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Posted by on August 9, 2019 in Daily life, Opinion


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