If the assertion Kristen Godsi (Kristen Ghodsee), anthropologist of the University of Pennsylvania, and that under socialism women were happier in bed will cause you confusion, please note: survey conducted after the unification of the two Germanys in 1990, showed that in the socialist GDR women reached orgasm twice as likely tribeswoman from capitalist Germany.
What explains this gap?
According to Godsi, it’s all about the system of state support. If society supports women financially, not punishing them financially for the birth of children and does not diminish the fruits of their labor, a woman is happier and more willing to make love, getting besides more fun.
The relationship between quality sex and state support system is in fact not as straight as the title promises, but the book raises a number of questions. To the credit of the Godsi, she brings the dispute to a primitive choice between capitalism and socialism, and certainly not calls for revival of Soviet-style communism — it failed, and here two opinions can not be. It is more about how socialist principles can neutralize gender inequality in a capitalist society.
We talked to Godsi about socialism and the benefits of its methods can extract countries like the United States. We offer to your attention our conversation in a slightly edited form.
Sean Illing: your books only the title is clickable, but in fact you probably write as the free market discriminare women, placing them in a dependent position. Could you summarize the main points of?
Kristen Godsi: the Main message is very simple and also not new: the free market, if it is not adjusted, causing disproportionate harm to the people involved in education and care. And in our economy sample 2018 it is most often women.
I mean not only the birth and upbringing of children and care for the sick and elderly. The point is that the free market exploits the free domestic labour — because to pay too much. We give the care and upbringing at the mercy of the market, it would eat a lot of money — which in turn would increase taxes. It is not surprising that countries do not do that.
It turns out that the current level of profitability is ensured largely due to the free domestic labor of women. And using your free labor women become addicted — often from men. Ultimately, women are at a dead-end situation: they perform all their duties to care, but don’t get a penny. They not only vegetate at home, but are often financially dependent on a partner or spouse, and this, unfortunately, is often accompanied by rudeness, reproaches, violence — in General, leads to the unfortunate marriage.
Sean Illing: You describe the division of labor under capitalism. Class to which they are either inclined by nature, or forced by society, position of women in the labour market weaker, undermining their economic independence. Right?
Kristen Godsi: Exactly. It’s a vicious circle. Economists have a term “statistical discrimination”. Essentially, women have a duty of care not only at home, because society expects that they will put n itself, care of children, the elderly, etc. and Therefore they earn significantly less than men.
When a married pair decides who will stay home and raise a child or to care for an elderly relative, the choice — which is quite logical — in most cases falls on the one who earns less. That is a woman.
Thus, there is a stalemate: the unregulated capitalist market exposes women to statistical discrimination, since, calculating productivity, employers are usually guided by demographic calculations. And when you consider that women regularly fall out of the labour market to fulfil their obligations of care and education, it is not surprising that they pay less.
Without government intervention this hopeless situation is not resolved.
Sean Illing: How do you see the solution? Back in the 19th century? Or to revive the Soviet socialism? Or maybe you want a social democracy of the Scandinavian model?
Kristen Godsi: Good question, thank you. The revival of socialism of the 20th century at the state level I do not call. And it saddens me when I see enemies in my book nostalgia for totalitarianism. I’m not saying that.
I’m talking about the methods, tested and implemented during the 20th century not only in Eastern Europe but also in Scandinavia, across Western Europe and in other developed countries, such as Canada or Australia. They really work great and improve the lives of women. Socialism in its pure form is not there, it’s the same capitalist country like ours, and they have a lot to learn.
Sean Ealing: For Example?
Kristen Godsi: the state has various ways for the regulation of the market: support for child care, paid maternity leave, protection from dismissal, various measures of assistance to the sick and elderly.
All this ultimately eases the burden on the shoulders of women, and helping them gain economic independence if they so wish. In General, giving them more freedom. That’s why we have wholeheartedly these measures to support. We can only welcome, when women make life choices according to your possibilities and wishes, and not only based on financial situation.
Here is an example. The debate about the Medicare (state health insurance program, approx. transl.) often boil down to how much American employees tied to their jobs. If they quit their jobs, they lose health insurance, and no state alternatives they have.
Rarely when I think about spouses dependents, whether husbands or wives. But they also tied his hands and feet: when you divorce health insurance, they also lose. Meanwhile, the problem can be solved by eliminating it from the private sector once and for all.
Sean Illing: I Want to return to the cover of the book. What are the evidence that the sexual life of women under socialism was better? As far as I know, it all comes down to a handful of studies. Honestly, it’s not too convincing.
Kristen Godsi: There are empirical data on the example of the GDR and the FRG. The respondents in East Germany reported that much more satisfied with their sex life. Of course, a subjective assessment, but nevertheless illustrative.
In addition, there are eloquent evidence from Poland and Czechoslovakia, which during the cold war was part of the Soviet bloc. Recently published the book “Sexual emancipation in a socialist”, it States as a socialist state formed his own inclusive approach to sexuality, devoid of individualism of the Western world, where sexology depends on the achievements of pharmacology and mass production.
There are other studies — controversial, but also interesting. In particular, it is argued that pair, there is a tendency to divide chores or responsibilities for the upbringing of children more or less justice, more sex. It is better if they do or not, we don’t know, but what more often that’s for sure.
I must admit that sexuality is a complex topic, it involves a lot of cultural factors. I don’t want to reduce everything to individual studies. However, I believe we have enough evidence to draw sound conclusions.
Sean Illing: That is, it’s not just about sex itself? You’re lead to a General decline of kinship in the era of capitalism, right?
Kristen Godsi: Exactly. I’m talking about intimate relationships, and about relationships between parents and their children, and between friends. We live in an era when the product becomes not only our work but also our feelings, our affection, our tenderness.
And as soon as the market penetrates our most intimate relationship — again whether that be romantic or Platonic — we are alienated from their own emotions. It is really a serious problem, one reason for the rampant epidemic of loneliness, and this phenomenon is even more profound.
Sean Illing: Under socialism, women had to bear a double burden: not only to look after the house and farm, but also to perform labor service. Let’s say you’re right about the sex. But it is important in the context of shared oppression?
Kristen Godsi: You are not the first who said, and rightly so. That’s why I don’t advocate a return to the Soviet system. I just think it was an interesting experimentation with human relations in the non-market economy. The question really is, theoretically.
You recently published an interview with a divorce attorney, and it struck me that he talks about marriage as the real estate transactions. Gives practical advice on what to pay attention to marry or divorce with the maximum benefit.
I just want to say that in countries where women were economically independent — including thanks to government support — they did not have an equally strong incentive to marry or to stay in your marriage, in contrast to American women. And it’s in 2018.
Frankly speaking, I do not believe that pleasure in bed is totalitarianism, the iron curtain and cleansing — as we have seen in authoritarian socialist countries. But it makes sense to think about what some of these countries were able to achieve, due to the fact that not fixate on a market economy.
Sean Illing: it Should be noted that in any system there are trade-offs, always have to sacrifice something. I one hundred percent agree with you about maternity leave and is convinced that the present system is deeply immoral. However, because it turned out that procreation is entrusted to women, the professional disparity is simply inevitable and I am not sure that it is possible in principle completely eliminated. Personally, I believe that its possible consequences have to fight as possible.
Kristen Godsi: You are absolutely right about the “home work”. Gender roles in the near future is not going anywhere. We know that the Patriarchate does not lose its positions, even in 70 years of the Soviet Union. Inequality will continue, it is inevitable.
The question is whether this inequality is large. It is known that in countries like Sweden or even France women do not suffer economically from their duties for procreation, as in the US. To be a mother in the US is extremely difficult — especially if you can’t afford quality child care. In regard to the safety of the work place and maternity leave we remain extremely vulnerable.
We deserve more, and that we are quite capable. The world is full of capitalist countries, which took over part of the socialist principles for the sake of equality between the sexes. And they have a lot to learn.
Sean Illing: I apologize for the abrupt change of subject, but we have little time, and I would like to ask you what you think about the views of Sheryl Sandberg (Sheryl Sandberg) on feminism and its strategies of self-affirmation. In fact, it calls for realization and promotion. These arguments I found authors like Crispin, Jessa (Jessa Crispin). They argue that feminism, by its nature, defies capitalism. What do you think?
Kristen Godsi: This debate between the bourgeois feminists and socialist roots in the mid-19th century. And I think my book fits into this context.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that a significant part of the modern feminist at heart convinced kapitalistki. Take the corporate feminism of the Sheryl Sandberg and her strategy of self-affirmation is a deeply individualistic — they is to successfully adopt masculine values and beat men in the professional arena with their own weapons.
I’m convinced that men are our allies. They should be on our side, because the economy has structural problems that harm both men and women, albeit in different ways. If we want real progress and real change, it is necessary that men and women rallied to fight the source of the General misery.
The technique of Sandberg establishes the power of the Patriarchy, not detract from it.
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