For Full Stop, Emma Schneider reviews a recently republished book: Amber Reeves’s 1914 novel A Lady and Her Husband, which Schneider aligns with “American pre-war feminist classics such as The Awakening and The Yellow Wallpaper.” Reeves’s novel offers a comparatively more practical look at the emergence of pre-feminist concerns at the turn of the 20th century....more
Posts Tagged: labor
Certain ways of avoiding a childbirth scene in contemporary fiction have become almost predictable, as clichéd as the clothes scattered on the floor in a movie rated PG-13: the frantic car ride to the hospital, followed by a jump cut to the new baby; or the played-for-laughs episode of the laboring woman screaming at her clueless husband, followed by a jump cut to the new baby.
Allison J. Pugh writes for Aeon on the role of labor in defining American masculinity. After interviewing nearly a hundred subjects, Pugh looks at how work defines the self-worth of men, and how un/underemployed men try to redefine masculinity in light of this:
What does it mean to prize something—to understand it as a primary measure of what it means to live a life of value—when it is becoming scarcer?
Dissatisfaction among the modern white-collar working class might stem from the fact that many jobs simply don’t feel necessary. Strike! Magazine has been advertising on the London Underground with quotes from David Graeber’s 2013 essay, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs,” in which he claims many jobs feel like they’ve been created simply to keep people working....more
Santa’s elves spend all year manufacturing low-cost holiday decorations to bring Westerners Christmas cheer. The only problem? They aren’t elves, but Chinese factory workers. The Guardian explores life in the Chinese “Christmas Village” responsible for 60% of the world’s holiday decorations....more
Superficially, [“do what you love”] is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum?
Celebrate the workers of the world with the Poetry Foundation’s list of “poems reflecting on work, responsibility, and the end of summer.”
The post includes links to audio recordings of readings and interviews, as well as a few analytical articles, for a full appreciation of labor, both literary and not....more
On this particular night, I drink the brown stuff that burns my throat and tastes like the sweat of working men and women. I am full of sorrow for the people of Michigan, which had just been declared the 24th Right to Work state...more
There were nationally-coordinated actions at Walmart stores across the country for Black Friday.
Over the last several months, there have been walk-outs at Walmart stores in nine states. Walmart is the biggest retailer in the world, and has been criticized for years for rampant gender discrimination, poverty wages, crushing small businesses, and so on....more
Manhattan’s Strand Bookstore is in the midst of a labor struggle. Employees have launched a blog, which contains their original press release: “Strand ownership mounts unprecedented attack on union.”
MetroFocus reports on the current causes, as well as labor issues that have arisen at Strand in the past....more
And I’m back! Thanks very much to Michael Berger for filling in for me while I was gone! He did a damn fine job.
Lots has happened over the last few weeks:...more
David Lida’s book about Mexico City, First Stop in the New World, contains a really impressive chapter which traces the history of daily commerce in the capital from the vast Aztec market of Tlatelolco and the tianguis — temporary open-air markets where Mexicans have done their shopping for clothing and household goods for centuries — through the present day....more