Neolibric-favoured paid work and the culturally elevated ‘independent’ mean that care is reinvented. Introducing CARE*inc, the new ‘improved’ version of care. *Company Assuming Responsibility (for) Everything
This outsourcing of otherwise unpaid and essential care work, is called liberation. Or perhaps neo-liberalisation. It is one perception that outsourcing this means (usually) women are being freed from this drudgery, and (usually) women who have the honour of taking the new and low paid jobs that have arisen to liberate (usually) women. Another perspective may be that (usually) men are free from the responsibility of providing for a family, supporting a (usually female) spouse to care for children, elderly parents or to contribute volunteer hours to the community.
One might suggest that a Universal Basic Wage makes more sense – as this would mean you could be paid to do your care work in recognition of the value of this contribution to society. By maintaining your responsibility for those you care for , you can express your power. Hand over the responsibility – hand over the power.
One aspect of care work that CARE inc offers liberation from is that of Dependency. Thanks to the cultural development of Motherhood (where women are isolated and in addition to Mothering are expected to perform all domestic duties and other community work, without pay or recognition because this is assumed to go together with a marriage where a Provider is paying for her wellbeing), many have viewed this as a step in the right direction. In fact, this now has the added expectation of the triple shift. Mothering (through the mental load of managing this for the outsourced hours and being this during all hours) + Domestic duties + Career. Only one of these is paid, and that pay must be used to outsource the others (often leaving you with no net profit) or the reliance on volunteer support is necessary (usually supplied by a related, older, female…often called a Mother). Or all three must be performed at once.
Interestingly, this triple shift has not been applied to ‘Fatherhood’, a much ignored and neglected social construct. However, it is worth noting that Fathering may result in a Career Limiting Move (CLM).
We have a long established acceptance that HealthCARE is better, mostly due to the technological ‘advancements’ and freedom from confronting our humanity. In healthCARE those seeking attention are called Consumers, which is provided by trained and qualified individuals. More recently the rise and focus on getting more women into the idealised workforce has seen the provision of childCARE. This has the added bonus of creating jobs, though, these are considered unskilled and so are not highly paid. This low pay is also designed to balance out the triple shift books.
All this is brought to you by Neoliberalism. Supply and demand rule, only that which is measurable is valued. And independence is the highest attainment. Just think of all the resources dedicated to making children independent, and the sooner the better.
The buzzword for Neoliberialism is Choice
You can choose to be a stay-at-home Mother, a working Mother (full or part time). You can choose to Be a Mother. You can choose all the things!
And choosing means others should not be responsible. See the comments on the facebook post below, in response to rising homelessness in women over 50, who dedicated their lives to ‘doing the right thing’.
Because You Chose.
The tax payer really should not be burdened by those who choose to stay at home.
or choose to be a single mother (!). or choose to be poor. or disabled. or not a man.
Now that being a woman is a choice, and being a mother is a choice (except when it’s actually not), the best we have is CARE inc. There are no citizens in neoliberalism, only consumers.
Welcome to the Brave New World.