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MRA Trope: Working women don’t really work, and neither do stay-at-home moms. They just fill their days with useless make-work.

Lazy nurse giving totally unnecessary smallpox vaccination just to kill some time at her makework job.
Lazy nurse giving totally unnecessary smallpox vaccination just to kill some time at her useless makework job.

Our little friend over at the Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology blog has done us a favor today by summarizing the, er, evidence behind one of the manosphere’s dumbest tropes: the notion that working women don’t really work, because their jobs don’t count, or something. Here’s Mr. PMAFT:

For the most part women don’t work.  They may have jobs or be stay at home mothers/wives, but in neither case are they doing real productive work for the most part.  Various groups promote their own form of make work jobs for women.

Ok, Mr. Hard-working Superior Man, let’s see you provide some evidence for these assertions.

The type of make work jobs for women we typically see today are all government derived.  This includes direct employment by various levels of government from local government to the federal government as 57% of government employees are women.  (That percentage actually should be higher since the military and law enforcement which are necessary jobs are mostly men.  The percentage of women in make work government jobs is really higher than 57%.) 

FWIW, only about 8% of Americans work in government jobs, so even assuming that these jobs are useless make-work jobs, we’re only talking about a relatively small percentage of working women.

Most of these jobs by their very nature are unproductive make work jobs (which are also detrimental to the economy).  It also includes quasi-governmental jobs in non-profit sectors and government mandated jobs in private industry, both of which only exist due to government action and thus are mostly unproductive make work jobs also.  An example of these types of jobs are in education and health services whose employees are 76.8% women.

Um, what? How exactly do you figure that teachers and healthcare workers are doing useless work –unless you are somehow opposed to people knowing shit, and being able to read, and actually living more than a couple of decades without dying of the plague.

From this information, it is clear that women aren’t doing productive work, but instead are mostly involved in unnecessary do nothing jobs.

Dude, aside from a couple of unsourced numbers, you’ve given us precisely zero “information” so far, just opinions. The first number seems to be correct, and while doing a quick search I wasn’t able to find the source of your second number, it’s certainly the case that women make up about that percentage of workers in education and health care. But you’ve proven precisely nothing about the supposed “make work” quality of women’s jobs.

For the heck of it, let’s break down the figures a little further, just to elaborate on the kinds of work that Mr. PMAFT sees as “unproductive.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Women in the Labor Force databook for 2011 (available in pdf form here), women make up 73.8% of the “Education, training, and library occupations.” Yes, women make up an overwhelming majority (97%)of pre-school and kindergarten teachers – presumably in Mr. PMAFT’s world, these highly unmanly jobs are the most useless and make-worky of all. Women, of course, also make up substantial majorities of elementary, secondary, and special ed teachers. And they also make up nearly half (45%) of postsecondary teachers – college professors and the like. Somehow people emerge from our educational system, as flawed as it is, with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate a complex world. If the women who dominate education are all useless bimbos doing fake make-work, how exactly is anyone getting educated at all?

There are any number of legitimate criticisms that can be made of our educational system. But “the real problem is that teachers are a bunch of lazy ladies who just  pretend to work” isn’t one of them.

And what of health care workers? Yes, the percentage of nurses who are women (91%) is much higher than the percentage of doctors who are women (only 32%). I can only assume that Mr. PMAFT assumes that only the doctors themselves are doing the “real work” here, even though nurses are responsible for doing many of the essential medical tasks that keep hospitals and doctors’ offices working.  Women also make up the overwhelming majority of occupational, physical, respiratory and speech therapists. All useless, I guess.

And yes, the vast majority of health care aides are also women  – doing unglamorous but vital work. I’m certain that Mr. PMAFT looks down on these women – and presumably, on the men who also work these jobs – but again I am hard pressed to see how any of this is “unproductive make-work.”

Natually, Mr. PMAFT doesn’t bother to do the hard work of proving or even providing a shred of evidence that any of these jobs  are somehow less vital to our society than, oh, developing sexbots for bitter woman-hating men.

It’s bizarre. I’m used to nonsense from MRAs. But the “women don’t do real work” trope is so patently false, and makes so little sense, it’s hard to believe that even dogmatic numbskulls like Mr. PMAFT can actually take it seriously.

Having utterly failed to make his case about working women, he moves on to attack “traditional conservatives” and stay-at home mothers:

Tradcons will say that they have an answer to this.  They will say that women shouldn’t be out working like that and instead should be in the home raising large families.  This is another form of a make work job for women.  In the past it was necessary for women to have a lot of kids because most of them wouldn’t reach adulthood.  If you wanted three children to reach adulthood, you would have to have six children or nine children to make sure that happened.  That is no longer necessary since a person’s kids are now likely to all make it to adulthood.  There is no reason to have a large family except as an unproductive make work job for women. 

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s … not … how that works.

The tradcons try to hide this fact from everyone (including themselves) with appeals to tradition, to God/Jesus, and/or nature.  That is a fallacy because if you wanted to have large families in the way tradition, God/Jesus, and/or nature intended, only some of your kids should reach adulthood.  If you have nine kids, for example, and nothing else kills six of them before adulthood, then you have execute six of your kids before they reach adulthood.

Apparently when not fantasizing about sexbots and other forms of Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology, Mr. PMAFT spends a lot of time thinking about children being murdered. Who knew?

Also, it’s worth pointing out that full-time motherhood simply isn’t an option for most mothers — the overwhelming majority of whom remain in the workplace.

It’s not surprising that groups from feminists to tradcons to people in between are trying to create unproductive make work jobs for women.  It’s because whenever there is an actual productive job to be done, that job is almost always best filled by a man (government regulations notwithstanding).  This is why you don’t see women doing real work like rebuilding after hurricane Sandy, repairing 1700 foot tall transmission towers, HVAC, or sulfur mining. 

What exactly makes HVAC more essential than healthcare? Aren’t they both essential to modern society? Is HVAC “real work,” but nursing not, simply because it involves more heavy lifting?

There isn’t any productive job out there now that women are better at than men.

Well, if “making logical arguments that are well-supported by evidence” can be considered a job, Mr. PMAFT is not exactly doing men proud here.

That said, he and his fellow dudes of the manosphere are better than almost any woman I can think of at whining about nothing.

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Creative Writing Student

You know, if PMAFT considers teaching ‘useless’, it would explain the poor quality of his arguments…

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I want to know what PMAFT does for a living, assuming he works at all. Just what does he do that’s so vital, or is it, y’know, make-work?

I hope next time he goes to hospital, or to see a GP, all the women there refuse to insult him with their “useless” work and go on coffee breaks instead.

tinyorc
9 years ago

All those kids are surviving into adulthood because of all the unnecessary “make work” that women do in the health service. It’s all part of the feminist grand plan to… to…

Yeah, I got nothing. This is such a wall of logical incoherence that I can’t even think of a snarky feminist conspiracy joke.

Cthulhu's Intern
9 years ago

I’d love to see this guy get old and have to live at a resting home. Then we’ll see if he thinks nurses are useless.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
9 years ago

You know, if PMAFT considers teaching ‘useless’, it would explain the poor quality of his arguments…

His education apparently did not serve him well at all. And look where he is now! Ergo arglebargle.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Seems to me jobs are defined as important or useless according to whether twitface thinks they’re dominated by women or not. So … if he lived to see construction or mining or whatever become roughly half and half, would they suddenly lose all their value?

lowquacks
lowquacks
9 years ago

And just how recently did computer programming become worthwhile?

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
9 years ago

Check it out, you guize! We made the Fedorakin of Neckbeardia SEW MAD that they systematically took back the rationalization hamster meme! Indeed, almost all of our hamsters are in the negative numbers, and theirs are in the hundreds.

http://www.quickmeme.com/Rationalization-Hamster/?upcoming

I love the sheer obliviousness of this one:

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3sd40j/

I don’t think we’re the ones who missed the irony, dude. The Hamster is strong with that one.

In honor of PMAFT:

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3snw77/

cloudiah
9 years ago

Even his commenters seem nonplussed:

Are we including under the heading “unproductive labour” people who make sure that businesses don’t dump mercury into the river?

Also, anyone who disrespects teachers and librarians (or archivists) is a ninny.

lowquacks
lowquacks
9 years ago

@Tulgey

It’s The Fedorated States of Atheist Neckbeardia these days. When did you last buy an atlas?

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
9 years ago

TL;DR: If a woman does it, it’s trivial make-work. If a man does it, it’s urgent and important.

Woman doctor? Probably just a dermatologist or something. Woman engineer? Pfft, doesn’t even exist. Man secretary? HUGELY important to the smooth running of the operation.

cloudiah
9 years ago

Damn. They took back the hamster meme, while making fun of us for taking it over in the first place. Self-awareness is not strong with these dudes.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Now now, David, don’t forget all the conversative lady pundits like Coulter and Malkin who are very good indeed at whining about nothing.

(I can see why he’d want to pretend that education is useless, given his own glaring lack of it, but healthcare?)

Shaenon
9 years ago

Seems to me jobs are defined as important or useless according to whether twitface thinks they’re dominated by women or not. So … if he lived to see construction or mining or whatever become roughly half and half, would they suddenly lose all their value?

Yes.

Sadly, this tends to happen in society at large: jobs become devalued as women enter them. A few historical examples:

1. In the 19th century, secretaries were mostly male, and the job was seen as a first step up the ladder to an eventual executive position. Starting with a shortage of male workers during the Civil War, secretarial work became female-dominated. Female secretaries were paid less than male secretaries, and, more crucially, secretarial work stopped being an opportunity for promotion and became a dead-end service job.

2. Over the course of the 20th century, the pay for veterinarians dropped at the same rate that the percentage of women in the field rose.

3. The low pay and prestige given to K-12 teachers in the U.S. has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a traditionally female job; in fact, women were recommended as teachers by the architects of the U.S. public school system specifically because they could be paid half of what men would expect to be paid. In cultures where teachers have traditionally been male, teaching tends to receive more respect. In the last several decades, the number of male K-12 teachers in the U.S. has declined even further, a decline that coincides with lowered salaries and benefits for teachers and a shocking lack of respect for their work.

4. Having technical skills associated with “women’s work” can actually hurt one’s value in the job market. Many career-minded women in the 20th century were advised not to let employers know they could type, because it could mean permanent relegation to the secretarial pool.

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

I miss the “women just sit around in cubicles waving their arms about” guy. Sometimes I wave my arms around in my office as a tribute to him.

Shaenon
9 years ago

So if we’re useless as paid workers, and useless as homemakers…what are we supposed to do all day? I guess just sitting around trying not to mess things up with my ladyparts is a full-time job in itself.

Jayem Griffin
9 years ago

@Shaenon: Duuuuh, we are supposed to be providing the hardworking dudes with sexual satisfaction. But only if we are up to their standards!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

What we’re supposed to do is feel guilty, very guilty, and apologize a lot. Many MRAs are of the opinion that unhappy, grudging, bored sex is the best apology that a woman can offer for existing while female.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

So when I do payroll for 270+ people every other week, is it make-work when I’m paying the women and real work when I’m paying the men?

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

So when I do payroll for 270+ people every other week, is it make-work when I’m paying the women and real work when I’m paying the men?

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
9 years ago

Arrgh! Sorry for the double post.

mxe354
9 years ago

Anyone who thinks that jobs in health care and education are useless and unproductive doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. Ever. He has no credibility whatsoever.

dumpster jedi
dumpster jedi
9 years ago

So, would a stay-at-home dad be doing make-work or real, urgent work? Or would reality just implode upon itself? Or would it simply be written off because hey bro, check out that stupid mangina who wants to stay home and raise his own kids!

dumpster jedi
dumpster jedi
9 years ago

I should probably have used some tags.

dumpster jedi
dumpster jedi
9 years ago

Damn, now you can have spaces between the angle brackets and the command/fake command, and it will still read them?

OK, /sarcasm tags then.

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