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Working class women and Oppression

Another reason is male opposition to the presence of women in these occupations. Males in blue-collar fields have been more successful at closing their ranks than males in the professions: "While the percentage of women in professional training was rising from less than 10 percent up to 40 percent, the proportion of women construction workers and skilled craftspersons did not reach 10 percent" (Ehrenreich, 1990, p. 217). Most working class women are relegated to the same low-paying service sector jobs they held prior to the advent of the women's movement.

Given the fact that the women's movement has had little impact on their lives it is not surprising that working class women take a dim view of feminism in general. Many of these women buy into media stereotypes of feminists. As one working class wife expressed her feelings, "Those libbers, they want men and women to be just alike . . . They're crazy not to appreciate what men do for women" (Rubin, 1992, p. 131). Feminist myths are perpetuated in the lives of working class women despite the fact that many of these women suffer dissatisfaction in their own marriages.

The marital life of the working class woman is characterized by lack of financial resources and stress. Unable to secure meaningful, lucrative employment herself, the working class woman must rely on the earning power of her husband. When money is tight, these women are forced to handle the daily grind of family finances. Little latitude


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Working class women and Oppression. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 09:22, October 25, 2014, from
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