Jack Saturday

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations 179-180

I’m female and I work for a retail chain, HBC (Zeller’s) in Canada. In the past 3 months which I have worked there, 2 of my fellow employees have been put on anti-depressants, one has developed a bleeding ulcer and the rest just plod along like dairy cattle. The lifer’s as I refer to them (10+ years) are the most miserable lot of women (and 3 men) I’ve ever met.

Conditioned sheep, the lot of us, and too afraid to do anything about it, for fear of losing our lousy, thankless, horrible jobs. By the way, most of us are single mothers struggling to make ends meet from paycheck to paycheck.
September 29th, 2007 10:09 pm

The man was nearly deaf. “He won’t wear hearing protection!” exclaimed his exasperated wife. I turned to the man and asked if this was true. He nodded and confessed that none of the guys at work wore hearing protection.
Feminists would describe this behavior as workplace machismo, or male toughness. Marxists would describe it as false consciousness, where workers fail to recognize their class interests, in this case, to protect their health on the job.
I suspected something else, so I replied, “I think I understand. If you value your hearing, then you are valuing yourself, and that would create conflict in a job where you are not valued.” His eyes widened in recognition. Then he looked at the floor and nodded.
Machismo at Work: False Consciousness or Self Defense?
by Susan Rosenthal
September 29th, 2007


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