NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 142
B EXT IMPACTSPUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY SUBORDINATES WOMEN TO THE DOMESTIC REALM
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY REIFIES THE ASSUMPTION OF
WOMAN AS HOMEMAKER
Susan B. Boyd, Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and Prof. of Law
at University of British Columbia, 1997; CHALLENGING THE
PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE," Challenging the Public/Private Divide:
An Overview," EE2001-hxm p. 17
The public/private divide connected to the familial ideology that dominates capitalist societies. A key ideological component of the the division is the assumption that particular responsibilities will be taken care of in the private sphere of the family, which in turn rests on women's unpaid or poorly paid labour (Armstrong, Teghtsoonian this volume). Despite recent efforts to eliminate these assumptions by legislative initiatives such as parental leave (Iyer this volume), they continue to underpin law and social policy at a fundamental level, and they are experiencing a revival of sorts (Brodie 1994; Kline this volume). The current backlash against legislative initiatives such as employment and pay equity, while cloaked in the language of restructuring, financial restraint, and efficiency, relies partly on an assumption that women's place is in the home and men should be accorded all possible opportunities in the market. Ideological assumptions about women as the selfless caregivers, or mothers, of society thus continue to be reproduced in much legal and social policy regulation of work and family.
THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DICHOTOMY REIFIES MARKET/FAMILY DICHOTOMY AND SUBORDINATES WOMEN TO THE DOMESTIC REALM
Susan B. Boyd, Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and Prof. of Law at University of British Columbia, 1997; CHALLENGING THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE," Challenging the Public/Private Divide: An Overview," EE2001hxm p. 10
Considerable feminist energy has been directed to the deconstruction of especially the market/family and the state/family aspects of the public/ private divide. For example, the links between women's oppression in the family and their inequality in the market have been highlighted. The objective has been to increase public attention to, and regulation of, social relations and sites that affect women, in the hopes of eliminating women's inequality. The 1970s rallying cry 'the personal is political' exemplified this type of initiative (MacKinnon 1989; Pateman 1983, 295-8; Prentice et al. 1988, 391). Social relations that hitherto were viewed as personal or private were to be politicized, analysed, exposed to scrutiny, and rendered an appropriate arena for regulation by state and law, especially where violence was concerned. As well, the first aspect of the divide, between state and market, is receiving increasing attention, as feminist scholars consider the impact on women of economic restructuring, deregulation of labour markets, and discourses of competition and technological change that increasingly displace the partial efforts of the state to regulate the market (e.g., Bakker 1994; Fudge 1996).