Posts Tagged: labor

Rediscovering Amber Reeves

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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.

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Lost Labor

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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.

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Laboring for Masculinity

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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?

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Worthwhile Work

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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.

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Uncharted Territory

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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.

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Two-for-One at the Pyramid of the Sun

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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.

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