Monthly Archives: April 2016

Portrait of the #WriterMom as a Member of the Working Class

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“Although the labor conditions of motherhood and artists are both bad, the system maintains its power by teaching us to blame ourselves. Mothers spend a great deal of time feeling anxious and guilty that we’re not doing it right. Artists spend a great deal of time feeling insecure, discouraged, or fraudulent. Both groups would be served by understanding that these labor conditions are so terribly under-resourced that they set us up to fail or to always feel like we’re failing. If our lives as moms or artists aren’t going well, we are taught to believe it’s our personal deficiency, when it’s actually a function of the society’s structure.”

Aya de Leon

writermomIn an election year, and this election in particular, there is more talk than ever about class. On one extreme, we have Bernie Sanders, talking about revolution and remedying income inequality. On the other extreme we have billionaire Trump who represents the interests of the rich (to the degree that he represents anyone but himself), but is popular among poor and working class whites, particularly men. In this way, Trump is simply a caricature of the Republicans’ usual strategy, using racism and sexism to get poor and working class people to vote against their own self-interests. Our society is founded on this principle, this strategic manipulation of the white working class to accept terrible labor and living conditions.

For women, this manipulation has conditioned us to buy in to our labor being exploited and invisible. Inside of this mythology, I’m not spending six hours doing arduous emotional and domestic labor…

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