Are We Still Suffering the Fallout of the “New Deal”? Excerpt at Dame

The wonderful people at Dame magazine (including Lisa Butterworth, who I go back to Bust days with) have run an excerpt from Necessary Trouble and I’m really pleased in particular that this chunk of the book made it online–it was a bunch of points that needed making, dots that needed connecting and I was happy with the way I did it. Check it out

The nuclear family that has been the focus of so much handwringing and moralizing in recent years was not a product of human nature but rather of a particular period in U.S capitalism. The family wage, designed to allow a male breadwinner to support a wife and children, was bargained for by the labor movement and accepted, though uneasily, by business leaders during the New Deal period. It allowed many working-class women, as well as their wealthier sisters, to stay home with their children; it built the middle class. The family wage—that is, material conditions—shaped our ideas of the male and female role in the workplace and in the home, in public and in private.

Read the rest at Dame!

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