For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Materialism, autonomy, intersectionality: revisiting Virginia Woolf through the Wages for Housework perspective"

by Nakai, Asako (2022)

Key Passage

Woolf’s materialist feminism, envisioned in Three Guineas, can be summed up as follows: the material basis is indispensable for women not only to survive but also to voice their independent political opinions. She proposes three strategies for women to take. First, women should assert their right to have access to independent income, and for this purpose should demand that the state pay for their reproductive work that often limits their opportunity to do waged work. Second, they must object to the very wage system – the system of ‘profession’ in Woolf’s terms – which is indeed in complicity with patriarchy, and through which women are doubly exploited as unwaged or under-waged workers. And third, women must remain outside male-dominated movements and must organise an autonomous group even if they share the same cause with male workers; intersectional association will be possible only when each exploited group empowers itself and regains its own voice. ()


No Keywords


Virginia Woolf, Domestic Labour

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