Wisconsin workers’ rights are a feminist issue

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For a few reasons. Dana Goldstein hits the nail on the head on how directly feminist of an issue the Wisconsin labor battle is, as it’s one that addresses women workers:

[P]redominantly male professions are deliberately protected while female ones are targeted.

About 80 percent of American teachers, for example, are female; at the elementary school level, nearly 90 percent are women. Nursing is 95 percent female. Nationwide, the majority of public sector union members, represented by AFSCME and other groups, are women.

Meanwhile, over 70 percent of law enforcement workers in the United States are men. Our firefighting ranks are 96 percent male and over half of all professional firefighting departments have never hired a woman.

Secondly, Paul Krugman reminds us what this whole debacle is about: power. And power — particularly, abuses and hierarchies of power — is a primary target that feminism aims to dismantle. We can talk about the injustices around class and work that are obviously at play here and are obviously feminist issues, but these are also efforts to place all power in the hands of a privileged minority and support an American oligarchy — and that in itself is inherently anti-feminist. This is not only class warfare, but is about power and control over people’s lives.

Speaking of power and control over people’s lives, am I the only person who wished our Dems had the guts to flee states in protest of the current war on reproductive rights?

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