“Quality of whose life, again?”

“The problem isn’t that death has been medicalized — no one seriously advocates getting rid of doctors and nurses for aid during the process — but that it has been corporatized, like so many other facets of life. We get sick enough to die, and then the course of what’s left of our lives is lived out in impersonal surroundings, our needs attended to by strangers — skilled strangers, true, but dispassionate nonetheless, our decisions circumscribed by HMO policy and procedures driven by monetary concerns of either the cost-cutting or ass-covering varieties.
But when parts of our lives get corporatized, it’s generally the case that the associated relationships get monetized. In English: suddenly we find ourselves paying someone for labor we once got for free…
Like so many other arenas in which quality of life is seen to be dwindling in these here Modrun Times, the “good death,” in being cast as The Way Things Used To Be (though not by McKown, explicitly) is based on the assumption of unpaid female labor…
In a paper published a couple weeks ago, Dr. Sherilyn McGregor of Keele University in Staffordshire points out that when environmentally sound living requires extra work, that work is usually “women’s work.” Her paper is a useful and readable summation, and if it weren’t encrypted read-only I’d paste some of it here. Still, this is not news to environmentalist women.”

This is short (especially if you skip the pull quotes) and uses two very different examples to point out how much unpaid female labor is implicitly expected in these movements. I find this so, so useful for recognizing what makes me uncomfortable about some of these sort of crunchy, liberal-y, upper-middle-class-y, hipster-y things that lean on ideals of the “simple times”.

Those ‘good old days’ worked because of a lot of exploitation, and they only worked for a small group of people but those people wrote the books and painted the paintings and made those books and paintings mainstream and their descendants turned them into movies and TV shows. And then when people wrote fiction or were thinking of topics to explore in nonfiction or in historical research, these are the images and narratives they had to leap off from and further institutionalize in new pieces of mainstream media.

Related: #GiveYourMoneytoWomen; “‘Women are just better at this stuff’: is emotional labor feminism’s next frontier?”; “The Way Forward for Hipster Food