Sunday, May 25, 2014

Inequality caused by "neoliberal, neopatriarchy"

Please everybody, stop with the NEO- prefix, for some reason it causes our brain wires to short-circuit (already there is a new meme that neo-Hindu, neo-middle class was responsible for the Modification of India). This is just like that -GATE thingy, every single scandal is tainted by that suffix.

Beatrix Campbell in the Guardian makes a (not so) neo-point that a neo-woman's revolution is required (yes, we did add the NEO-s on purpose). A commentator "royaltea" then responds to a particularly egregious claim that Chinese women were better off under Maoist times. 

It underlines the motto of the left. We should be all equal and poor. Inequality is bad because some of us are winners and others are losers (even while we are all richer). 

BTW "royaltea" is being kind when he (we presume) says that millions starved to death under Mao. It was in pure and simple terms, the genocide of 45 mil (of their own people). It should be the benchmark by which other genocides are ranked. The fact that it is not (along with Stalin's gulags) has to do with the West-Left assertion that communism was good for mankind but was poorly implemented.
I'm of a certain age; I came alive politically with the women's liberation movement in 1970. It changed my life. It changed the world. Except, of course, it didn't entirely. No sooner had it bounced on to the world's stage than there was a counter-revolution – feminism didn't die, but it didn't thrive either. It just survived, heroically optimistic as ever. We believe in the best of ourselves; we believe in the best of men.

But something dire happened between the Women's Liberation Movement and now. That's why I have written a manifesto, End of Equality. It became apparent to me that in the first decade of this century the conditions necessary for achieving equality between men and women had been extinguished.

End of Equality argues that there is a new global settlement: neoliberal neopatriarchy. This is an ugly term for an ugly relationship. Neoliberalisation is the subordination of the social state to the market, and neopatriarchy tolerates girls being astronauts or bankers, but resists genuine reform of the sexual division of labour. 

It helps to be clear about what this new sexual settlement is not. It is not just a backlash, or a relic of olden times. It is not the temporary brutality of globalisation, or the collateral damage of austerity. It is an epochal enemy of feminism because it is a repudiation of the social solidarities and welfare states without which feminist agendas wither.

In this perceived era of gender equality, there is a new articulation of male social power and privilege. There is no evolutionary trek towards equality, peace and prosperity. The new world order is neither neutral nor innocent about sexism: it modernises it. Masculinities and femininities are being made and remade as polarised species.

When feminism fades, femininities are taken to extremes. Some bodies are veiled and hidden, while others are plucked, shaved and sliced. Bosoms are built, stomachs are shrunk: the covered body and the built body are oddly united. Their shared outlook involves a pessimistic engagement with masculinity – it is either to be feared and managed, or aroused and managed. But not actually changed.

Gaps between men's and women's money, time, respect and resources are static, or growing. Decades of reform have not transformed our most masculinised institutions – the police, the criminal justice system, the City.

Corporate culture reinstates the chasm between mothers' time and men's time. In the City of London 70% of young fathers work on average 10-hour days. The City, then, is organised in the image of young patriarchs, who may be providers but are scarcely parents. Instead, they are visitors to women and children.

Neoliberal neopatriarchy is shaping the world. Before China embraced capitalism in 1979, workers were poor, but pretty much equally so. In 1988, women earned 87% of men's pay – now they're down to 67%.
Commentator "royaltea" responds:

Oh dear.
I wouldn't bother commenting on such silliness, but this bit is actually offensive.

Neoliberal neopatriarchy is shaping the world. Before China embraced capitalism in 1979, workers were poor, but pretty much equally so.
But they were very, very, very poor, with no freedom at all.

Under socialism, they were so poor that 45 million of them starved to death. Starved to death as the completely avoidable consequence of the imposition of socialist economic polices. (You might not have heard of this, but you can look up the "great Chinese famine" on line.)

To suggest than people were better off in China under socialism they were "equally poor" is beyond ignorance. It really is quite revolting.

In 1988, women earned 87% of men's pay – now they're down to 67%.
In 1988, average wages were about 3,00 Yuan, now it is 47,000 Yuan. Maths test - which is greater?
87% of 3,000 or 67% of 47,000. It's the latter.

Chinese women have become massively better of, and more free since China ditched communist socialism.

1 comment:

  1. "Very many members of our family have given their lives, killed by the Kuomintang and the American imperialists. You [Americans] grew up eating honey, and thus far you have never known suffering. In the future, if you do not become a rightist, but rather a centrist, I shall be satisfied. You have never suffered -- how can you be a leftist?"

    In Mao’s terms, suffering clears your head — even death clears your head, using “your” in the plural. China had suffered for hundreds of years, becoming enslaved by people they considered barbarians. When Mao says “chaos” he’s not talking like that trust-fund asshole in your dorm who used to spray-paint circles with an ‘A’ in the middle when he was sure nobody was looking. He’s talking about mass death for generation after generation. That’s how you get a clear head: you sweep all the “human, all too human” baggage out of it. Once you have that “mind of winter,” you can face down the nukes easily. Which he did.