Answer: When 22 men make more money than all of the women in Africa, an Oxfam study says absolutely.
- Worldwide, women and girls contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy for care work that they are not paid for.
- Women around the globe do more than 75 percent of all unpaid care work.
- Women make up only 18 percent of cabinet ministers around the world and 24 percent of parliamentarians.
Gender, division of labor, and pay<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2MTQyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTU5NjI4N30.g0sjLCM4n0GvUA0C4E1ptf4dWk6ZD5xn2mGbWZGKDVs/img.jpg?width=980" id="846f9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="da5f2848d995b014a380687f202c428e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam<p>Women and girls worldwide contribute an estimated $10.8 trillion to the global economy that they are not paid for. They collectively spend 12.5 billion hours per day on unpaid care work. Care work includes occupations like child care, healthcare work, teaching, and domestic labor. Though this kind of work is often left out of national economic equations, the monetary value of it is triple the worth of the global tech industry, according to an Oxfam report. Women around the globe, particularly those who live in poverty, do more than 75% of all unpaid care work. Despite its social importance and economic value, this labor is <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/why-gender-and-income-inequality-are-linked/" target="_blank">persistently</a> undervalued and taken for granted by governments and companies around the world. </p><p>It manifests in different ways. In the United States, <a href="https://time.com/longform/teaching-in-america/" target="_blank">teachers</a>, nurses, child social workers, <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/11/childcare-workers-cant-afford-childcare/414496/" target="_blank">day care workers</a>, and other "care" jobs, which have been historically dominated by women, are underpaid. Furthermore, on an average day, women in the U.S. spend nearly 40 percent more time on unpaid care, like household duties, than men. Zoom out to a global scale and these issues are magnified in less wealthy nations like Africa where women aren't paid at all for this work. They end up trapped in poverty, unable to get an education and achieve financial security. They are also barred from government positions in which they can influence social and economic policy.</p>
Economic and political inequality<p>Though men around the world are certainly suffering under the widening income gap and facing poverty, there is clearly a systemic gender disparity when most billionaires are men and most of the people occupying the lowest paid or unpaid jobs are women. Globally, men own more than 50% more wealth than women, and they also control government and economic decisions that could fix this system. Women make up only 18% of cabinet ministers around the world and 24% of parliamentarians. </p><p>The result has been a global economy designed by men, for men, that undervalues work done primarily by women, and especially marginalized women in already economically disadvantaged nations. </p><p>"When 22 men have more wealth than all the women in Africa combined, it's clear that our economy is just plain sexist," Oxfam GB's chief executive <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/africa-wealth-inequality-oxfam-study-davos-latest-tax-a9290791.html" target="_blank">Danny Sriskandarajah said</a>.</p><p>He noted that if world leaders care about reducing poverty and inequality, they need to invest in public services like care that make life less grueling for people with care responsibilities and hold back women and girls. Yet, closing the growing wealth gap is not on the top of the agenda of most world leaders. In fact, many of them continue to facilitate policies that widen it, such as tax cuts for billionaires, cuts in public spending, and privatization.</p>
We need solutions now<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2MTQ1My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTI0OTA1N30.Y4_QVRte-3FejugjwZWY1GDzHSP6HFu2H4p0IiiRA8o/img.png?width=980" id="1d35b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5dfbac298423083ef84ae718fdae6c5c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Source: Time to Care Report, Oxfam<p>What it boils down to is a gendered discrimination of values in which neoliberal economic values are prioritized above social values like education and healthcare. The Oxfam report warns that aging populations, cuts in public spending, and the climate crisis will exacerbate gender-based economic inequality. Part of the solution is taxing the wealthy and learning to value care. </p><p>"Getting the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% tax on their wealth – just on their wealth, not their income – would create enough money over the next 10 years to pay for 117m jobs, in education, health and elderly care," said Katy Chakrabortty from Oxfam GB.</p><p>When we invest in social values, women are helped economically, but everyone reaps the benefits. Caregiving is going to be more valuable than ever in the next ten years. It's estimated that by 2030, 2.3 billion people will be in need of care. That's 200 million up from 2015 according to the Oxfam report. Part of this has to do with the climate crisis, which is deeply entangled with issues of human care. Over the next five years, it's estimated that 2.4 billion people will be living with water shortages. Already, women and girls are disproportionately affected by this because they need to walk further to find water to nourish their communities, adding to their unpaid workload. </p><p>By thinking beyond profit and choosing to invest in water, infrastructure, and child and health care, governments can improve quality of life and liberate laborers from hours of work per day. As of now, many of them are only bolstering a system under which billions of people, disproportionately women, are suffocating under the mass of concentrated wealth held by a small group of men who grow richer and richer. </p><p><a href="https://ousweb-prodv2-shared-media.s3.amazonaws.com/media/documents/FINAL_bp-time-to-care-inequality-200120-en.pdf" target="_blank">Read the report here.</a></p>
We know he is on the left, but why? And how left is left anyhow?
- Slavoj Žižek is perhaps the world's best known Marxist.
- He has frequently argued for the replacement of capitalism with a new system.
- His suggestions for what we do about capitalism are milder than you'd think though.
Why Zizek is Red<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ZFyUgMAU" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f04cf5002a1948f7db7b6a29c43bb82d"> <div id="botr_ZFyUgMAU_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ZFyUgMAU-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ZFyUgMAU-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ZFyUgMAU-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Once a member of the Communist Party of Slovenia until he left in protest against it along with many other intellectuals, he continues to support the political left, oppose capitalism, and position himself as the most famous communist in the West long after the fall of the USSR and Red Yugoslavia.</p><p>His critiques of capitalism have been laid out in several books, lectures, films, and interviews. He opposes capitalism for several reasons, but above all is a very Hegelian and Marxist line of thinking; that capitalism if full of contradictions which will catch up with it someday, and we ought to replace it before that happens. </p><p>Of course, these contradictions will cause it to collapse at some point anyway; or so the argument goes. Don't take my word for it, he explained it <a href="https://www.democracynow.org/2008/3/11/everybody_in_the_world_except_us" target="_blank">himself</a>:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Today's left effectively offers global capitalism with a human face, more tolerance, more rights and so on. So the question is, is this enough or not? Here I remain a Marxist: I think not. I see a series of, to use this ridiculous old-fashioned term, contradictions, or I would have said antagonisms, tensions, from ecology, intellectual copyrights, new slumps excluded, where I think in the long term the global capitalist system will not be able to cope with these tensions." </p><p>He has also appealed to other common rationales for supporting the political left, including the idea that neo-liberalism will lead to fascism over time as it <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/french-elections-marine-le-pen-emmanuel-macron-no-real-choice-a7714911.html" target="_blank">decays</a>, that the exploitative nature of capitalism is unjust, and a genuine fear of the rise of a new "authoritarian capitalism" if the left doesn't <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzDu5P9M6F4" target="_blank">act</a>.</p><p>How exactly his leftist worldview manifests itself in political terms is difficult to pin down. While he is often called a communist, he dubbed himself a "radical leftist" a few years <a href="https://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/15/slovenian_philosopher_slavoj_zizek_on_the" target="_blank">back</a> and added that he was only a "conditional" communist. During his recent debate with Jordan Peterson, he claimed not to be a communist at all while still defending <a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/jordan-peterson-slavoj-zizek-marxism-liberalism-debate-toronto" target="_blank">Marx</a>. </p><p>He has also admitted to doing some of what he does for the joy of provocation. Those images of Stalin he keeps in his house are the best example. How much of a "commie" he is can be debated, though his dedication to the basic ideas of the left is beyond dispute. </p>
He is a Marxist, isn't he? Or is that just to rile us up too?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="QxOSLTcR" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="207b89cf6ce481964bce118877c9df15"> <div id="botr_QxOSLTcR_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/QxOSLTcR-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/QxOSLTcR-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/QxOSLTcR-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>As is everything with Žižek, this is a matter of some debate.</p><p>That critique mentioned above of capitalism is a fundamentally Marxist one. He continues to write articles critiquing modern society using Marxism in one breath while pointing out flaws in Marxist thought in <a href="http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/marx-today-the-end-is-near-only-not-the-way-we-imagined-it/" target="_blank">another</a>. A the end of the day, he is working within a Marxist context and using terms, like <a href="https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/slavoj-zizek-ideology" target="_blank">ideology</a>, in a distinctly Marxist sense. </p><p>If that doesn't make one a Marxist, I don't know what does. </p><p>The objections to the idea that he is a Marxist tend to come from those more dedicated to the ideological line than he is. In a Jacobin <a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/jordan-peterson-slavoj-zizek-marxism-liberalism-debate-toronto" target="_blank">article</a>, Žižek was critiqued for his "bourgeois pessimism" and for calling himself a Marxist without also calling for more radical change. Similar criticisms can be found <a href="https://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/what-about-slavoj-zizek/" target="_blank">elsewhere</a>. </p>
So, what would he have us do right now then? Hang the last capitalist with the robes of the last priest?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Whe3KqWi" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f268440e329876311e96b780a87ac65f"> <div id="botr_Whe3KqWi_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Whe3KqWi-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Whe3KqWi-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Whe3KqWi-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Despite his love of a provocative statement and left-wing views, the positions he calls for us to take right now are quite mild. In the above Big Think interview, he even goes so far as to admit that the left doesn't have a great idea of what to do the day after it wins and suggests we should all go back to the drawing board.</p><p>He further clarified his position by saying, "I may still be a kind of a Marxist but I'm very realistic, I don't have these dreams of revolutions around the corner." It seems he wants us to replace capitalism but not before we figure out what to do next. </p><p>His activities are both confusing and can be seen as following this rationale. In 1990, he ran for the Presidency of Slovenia as a member of the then-powerful Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, a social liberal party in the middle of the political spectrum. This action becomes stranger when you look at his claim that that liberalism would decay into fascism over time we mentioned. </p><p>He also endorsed <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2016/11/slavoj-zizek-endorses-trump-why-am-i-not-surprised.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Trump</a>, though that was in hopes he would serve as a wake up call for the American left. </p><p>More recently, in his "debate" with Jordan Peterson, Žižek surprised more than a few people by not so much defending Marxism, which was his designated stance at the start of the debate, but by advocating for a better-regulated capitalism. His famous lack of consistency is on full display when he says capitalism needs to be better regulated while defending the Marxist line, but there is a method in his madness when he at once calls for us to take the limited step reform before moving into uncharted revolutionary waters.</p><p>He also calls for us to examine our "ideology." Using the term in a Marxist sense, he refers to the unspoken assumptions we make about the world, society, and our place in it that help to maintain the social, political, and economic systems around us. Žižek argues that as an ideology, liberal capitalism is so entrenched, so pervasive, so thoroughly accepted that most people are incapable of even imagining another system; they just think the current model is "natural" or "the only way."</p><p>He rejects this, and demands that you question everything. In the end, isn't that what a good thinker should do?</p>
He's enflamed conversation about socialism across America.
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been calling himself a democratic socialist since the 1960s.
- Bernie's use of the word "socialist" has attracted both love and ire from the left.
- His definition of socialism is vague, but is the basis for many peoples' understanding of the concept.