Domestic Workers’ Rights, the Politics of Social Reproduction, and New Models of Labor Organizing


“Labor has to rec­og­nize us as a force. And how do you do that? Maybe it’s devel­op­ing a union of our own.”
– Car­olyn Reed

In the 1970s, a pow­er­ful move­ment for domes­tic work­ers’ rights emerged on the national polit­i­cal stage. Through their orga­niz­ing, African Amer­i­can house­hold work­ers argued for the inclu­sion of house­work and social repro­duc­tion in the larger pol­i­tics of wage labor and made a case for the cen­tral­ity of this occu­pa­tion to cap­i­tal­ism. These black work­ing-class fem­i­nists claimed that house­hold labor was essen­tial for the main­te­nance of human life, and pushed for expanded mon­e­tary ben­e­fits and fed­eral labor pro­tec­tions. The movement’s broader def­i­n­i­tion of labor, as well as its dis­tinc­tive approaches to mobi­liz­ing a pre­car­i­ous labor force, offers new mod­els of worker orga­niz­ing that speak to some of the chal­lenges fac­ing the con­tem­po­rary labor move­ment.

The orga­niz­ing efforts under­taken by house­hold work­ers have crit­i­cal impli­ca­tions for our engage­ment with the his­tory of the labor move­ment. Labor unions rarely reached out to domes­tic work­ers, in part because they believed that domes­tics were unor­ga­ni­z­able, but also because the unions’ very def­i­n­i­tion of labor sim­ply did not include house­hold employ­ment. The approach adopted by many indus­trial unions in the first half of the 20th cen­tury was premised on a man­u­fac­tur­ing model. Work­ers were orga­nized in large-scale col­lec­tive spaces—usually a fac­tory floor—and went on strike to wield lever­age against their employer. Through such actions, some work­ers won bet­ter wages, pen­sions, and health and vaca­tion ben­e­fits from employ­ers.

While effec­tive in large fac­tory set­tings, this model is less applic­a­ble in the con­tem­po­rary moment. Over the past few decades, there has been a rise in pre­car­i­ous labor in the United States, with a greater pro­por­tion of work­ers employed on a part-time, sub­con­tracted, or tem­po­rary basis and with more work­ers who change employ­ers or occu­pa­tions fre­quently. Cou­pled with this is a decline in man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs and an expan­sion of the ser­vice sec­tor, which has mush­roomed in part because fam­i­lies and house­holds are increas­ingly out­sourcing the labor of social repro­duc­tion to wage-labor­ers. Fam­i­lies buy pre­pared food, hire land­scap­ers, or pur­chase the ser­vices of care work­ers instead of doing this work them­selves. A grow­ing num­ber of work­ers are in the food indus­try, health care, and per­sonal or home care—occupations that are more likely to be pop­u­lated by women and peo­ple of color. Employ­ment inse­cu­rity has been com­pounded by attacks on unions, fewer pen­sion and retire­ment ben­e­fits, and a shred­ding of the social safety net.

Amer­i­can work­ers today are in a more unpre­dictable sit­u­a­tion than 50 years ago. They are not guar­an­teed unem­ploy­ment and work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, paid vaca­tions, and sick leave. Work­ers tend to be more dis­persed and employed in iso­lated set­tings, where it is harder to orga­nize. They are more likely to be clas­si­fied as inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors or tem­po­rary work­ers. And they are more likely to work for mul­ti­ple employ­ers over the course of their work­ing lives, rather than for a sin­gle employer.

While these eco­nomic changes may seem indica­tive of the neolib­eral shift, cer­tain cat­e­gories of employ­ment in the United States have always expe­ri­enced this kind of inse­cu­rity. House­hold labor has his­tor­i­cally been pre­car­i­ous, char­ac­ter­ized by part-time, inter­mit­tent work with few ben­e­fits. House­hold work­ers oper­ated essen­tially as inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors, changed employ­ers fre­quently, and had lit­tle job or income secu­rity. They were excluded from labor pro­tec­tions in the 1930s and mar­gin­al­ized by orga­nized labor. The domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ment of the 1960s and 1970s rec­ti­fied some of these exclu­sions, and offered a prece­dent and pos­si­ble model for mobi­liz­ing an inse­cure labor force.

While there have been some advances, the occu­pa­tion of house­hold work is still pre­car­i­ous. Over time, house­hold work­ers have won access to social secu­rity ben­e­fits and the fed­eral min­i­mum wage, but they are still excluded from the National Labor Rela­tions Act and Civil Rights laws. And even when work­ers are legally cov­ered, those laws are not always enforced. Domes­tic work­ers today are over­whelm­ingly immi­grant women who are often unaware of their rights, may not be flu­ent in Eng­lish, and may be undoc­u­mented, and thus are more likely to be legally exploited. Fur­ther­more, paid pri­vate domes­tic work is still largely unreg­u­lated. In these ways, this sec­tor of the Amer­i­can work­force has always expe­ri­enced con­di­tions akin to what other wage work­ers have come to encoun­ter in recent decades under neolib­er­al­ism.

So as we pon­der how to orga­nize pre­car­i­ous work­ers, we may learn some­thing from those in the domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ment. House­hold labor has rarely been con­sid­ered a site of resis­tance and orga­niz­ing. The work of social repro­duc­tion that house­hold work­ers engage in—cooking, clean­ing and caring—is often not con­sid­ered eco­nom­i­cally pro­duc­tive labor, because of its asso­ci­a­tion with women’s unpaid house­work. Because women have done this work for cen­turies with­out pay, it tends to be viewed as a “labor of love” not mer­it­ing com­pet­i­tive com­pen­sa­tion. The loca­tion of the work in the home also makes it harder to rec­og­nize it nor­ma­tively as work. Fur­ther­more, because the paid work­force has been made up of low-wage immi­grants and women of color, the social value attached to this labor is min­i­mized; and it is a dis­persed work­force, in which the num­ber of employ­ers may exceed the num­ber of employ­ees, mak­ing strikes an unlikely labor tac­tic. In the post­war period, despite these dif­fi­cul­ties of orga­niz­ing, a national move­ment for domes­tic work­ers’ rights emerged which won impor­tant pro­tec­tions for the occu­pa­tion and trans­formed the social stand­ing of African Amer­i­can house­hold work­ers.

Origins of Domestic Worker Organizing

African Amer­i­can women have a long his­tory of being con­fined to the occu­pa­tion of paid house­hold labor. They were the pri­mary domes­tic labor force dur­ing slav­ery and in the post-eman­ci­pa­tion South. After World War 1, with the Great Migra­tion and the cur­tail­ment of Euro­pean immi­gra­tion, they became the pre­dom­i­nant house­hold labor force in nearly all regions of the coun­try. By World War 2, the asso­ci­a­tion of African Amer­i­can women with house­hold labor was firmly solid­i­fied in the stereo­typ­i­cal “mammy” figure—a con­tent and loyal house­hold worker who always chose her employer’s fam­ily over her own.

Bely­ing the stereo­type, of course, African Amer­i­can house­hold work­ers were not con­tent and loyal, and resis­tance was com­mon. It often took the form of indi­vid­u­al­ized, day-to-day oppo­si­tion to work expec­ta­tions, such as refus­ing to do cer­tain kinds of tasks or refus­ing to live-in. But house­hold work­ers also orga­nized col­lec­tively. As Tera Hunter has recounted, African Amer­i­can washer women in Atlanta in 1881 formed a wash­ing soci­ety and went on strike to demand higher rates for their labor.1 In the 1930s, a num­ber of domes­tic worker orga­ni­za­tions were formed to coun­ter the rise of what jour­nal­ists Mar­vel Cooke and Ella Baker called “slave mar­kets,” where African Amer­i­can women stood on street cor­ners to be hired as day labor­ers. Cooke and Baker described the expe­ri­ences of these domes­tic work­ers: “Under a rigid watch, she is per­mit­ted to scrub floors on her bended knees, to hang pre­car­i­ously from win­dow sills, clean­ing win­dow after win­dow, or to strain and sweat over steam­ing tubs of heavy blan­kets, spreads and fur­ni­ture cov­ers. For­tu­nate, indeed, is she who gets a full hourly rate promised. Often, her day’s slav­ery is rewarded with a sin­gle dol­lar bill or what­ever her unscrupu­lous employer pleases to pay.”2 In the post­war period, given the con­text of black free­dom orga­niz­ing, African Amer­i­can women began to more sys­tem­at­i­cally chal­lenge the racial­ized nature of the occu­pa­tion and the notions of servi­tude that char­ac­ter­ized domes­tic ser­vice. In the 1960s, house­hold work­ers estab­lished local orga­ni­za­tions to demand higher wages, con­trac­tu­ally-based employ­ment, fed­eral labor pro­tec­tions, and recog­ni­tion of the value of their work.

Geraldine Roberts grew up in Arkansas and attended seg­re­gated schools. She left home at a young age, mar­ried, moved to Cleve­land, and divorced. As a sin­gle mother, she had lit­tle oppor­tu­nity to com­plete her edu­ca­tion and ended up doing domes­tic work. As a domes­tic, she was not treated like a worker with rights, but as a ser­vant whose body was the prop­erty of her employer. She described one job inter­view when an employer, after exam­in­ing Robert’s teeth, told her: “Any girl… with a mouth this clean and pretty clean teeth was a pretty clean gal ’cause I don’t like dirty help in the house.”3 The story con­jures up images of the slave auc­tion block where slaves’ phys­i­cal health, includ­ing their teeth, was closely exam­ined by poten­tial slave buy­ers. Roberts recounted the way employ­ers rou­tinely used phys­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion to main­tain a racial hier­ar­chy: “There was a back room that was the bath­room, that would be the bath­room for myself and… other house­hold employ­ees… all black, and we were all told to use that bath­room, and to never use the fam­ily bath­room.”4 Roberts became involved in the civil rights and black power move­ments and drew par­al­lels between Jim Crow seg­re­ga­tion and the racial­ized nature of house­hold labor. In 1965, she started the Domes­tic Work­ers of Amer­ica to mobi­lize other house­hold work­ers in Cleve­land.

In Atlanta, Dorothy Bolden rode the city bus lines to recruit work­ers for her new orga­ni­za­tion, the National Domes­tic Work­ers Union of Amer­ica (NDWUA). Bolden began domes­tic work at the age of nine. When the civil rights move­ment emerged, she worked closely with Mar­tin Luther King and mem­bers of the Stu­dent Non­vi­o­lent Coor­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee to ensure equal access to edu­ca­tion in Atlanta. But it was her orga­niz­ing of house­hold work­ers where she made a name for her­self. In 1968, she estab­lished a city-wide orga­ni­za­tion that insisted on a min­i­mum wage of $15 a day plus car fare, and devel­oped stan­dards for the occu­pa­tion.

In 1971 Roberts, Bolden, and other house­hold work­ers formed the House­hold Tech­ni­cians of Amer­ica (HTA), the first national orga­ni­za­tion of house­hold work­ers. The name of the orga­ni­za­tion indi­cated their com­mit­ment to reframe domes­tic work as a pro­fes­sional occu­pa­tion that requires skill and should be treated the same as all other forms of work. With the help of mid­dle-class women in the National Com­mit­tee on House­hold Employ­ment (NCHE), an orga­ni­za­tion of employ­ers ded­i­cated to reform­ing the occu­pa­tion, six hun­dred mostly mid­dle-aged African Amer­i­can women met in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. to ham­mer out the details of their new orga­ni­za­tion. The HTA con­nected work­ers’ groups from around the coun­try, served as a national voice for this labor con­stituency, and fought for pro­fes­sion­al­iza­tion, a fed­eral min­i­mum wage, and respect for the work they did.

Revaluing Household Labor

The core of the domes­tic work­ers rights’ move­ment was fun­da­men­tally defined by a demand for greater respect and recog­ni­tion for house­hold labor. Most house­hold work­ers believed that their mis­treat­ment, low wages, and lack of labor rights were rooted in the nor­ma­tive deval­u­a­tion of house­hold labor. Con­se­quently, they made claims for the impor­tance of this work. Dorothy Bolden, for exam­ple, worked in other occu­pa­tions, but she loved domes­tic work and wanted to bring to it the recog­ni­tion that she believed it deserved. She ini­ti­ated an annual “Maids Honor Day,” in which employ­ers wrote nom­i­na­tion let­ters explain­ing why their maid should be named Maid of the Year. “The pur­pose of this event,” the NDWUA announced, “is to rec­og­nize and honor out­stand­ing women in the field of domes­tic labor, for their courage and sta­bil­ity, and the remark­able abil­ity of being able to take care of two house­holds at one time.”5

The movement’s cam­paign for fed­eral min­i­mum wage pro­tec­tion also illus­trates the effort to revalue house­hold labor. Mem­bers of the HTA and their allies in the NCHE tes­ti­fied before Con­gress to extend the fed­eral min­i­mum wage to house­hold work­ers and rec­tify the inequal­ity built into labor law dur­ing the New Deal. Domes­tic work was one of the occu­pa­tions excluded from fed­eral labor pro­tec­tions in the 1930s. At a moment when labor lead­ers and gov­ern­ment offi­cials had come to an agree­ment that Amer­i­can work­ers should be assured min­i­mum wages, over­time pay, unem­ploy­ment and social secu­rity ben­e­fits, cer­tain key occu­pa­tions were out­side the purview of labor laws. A race and gen­der hier­ar­chy already existed among dif­fer­ent types of work, but New Deal labor leg­is­la­tion rein­forced and insti­tu­tion­al­ized it through the pas­sage of laws that pro­tected cer­tain work­ers but not oth­ers. This, in com­bi­na­tion with a pow­er­ful labor move­ment lim­ited by a par­tic­u­lar con­cep­tion of work rooted in the male-dom­i­nated man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor that did lit­tle to orga­nize house­hold-based and other mar­gin­al­ized work­ers, fur­ther height­ened divi­sions within the Amer­i­can work­ing class.

In their tes­ti­mony in the early 1970s, mem­bers of the HTA and their allies pre­sented their vision of the impor­tance of house­hold labor and the need for this occu­pa­tion to be treated the same as all other work. Edith Barks­dale Sloan, an African Amer­i­can civil rights activist who headed the NCHE and facil­i­tated the for­ma­tion of the HTA, said her in her tes­ti­mony that domes­tic work should be afforded the same rights of social cit­i­zen­ship and New Deal ben­e­fits as other occu­pa­tions: “Pay must be increased to provide a liv­able wage… work­ers must receive the so-called ‘fringe ben­e­fits,’ which long ago stopped being ‘fringes’ in every other major Amer­i­can indus­try. At this time, house­hold work­ers usu­ally do not receive paid sick leave, vaca­tions, or hol­i­days. Cov­er­age under unem­ploy­ment and workmen’s com­pen­sa­tion is extremely lim­ited and varies widely from state to state.”6 These views were echoed by Car­olyn Reed, a domes­tic worker and orga­nizer based in New York: “I feel very strongly that I con­tribute just as much as my doc­tor con­tributes, you know. And that because he is a doc­tor does not make him bet­ter than me, as a house­hold tech­ni­cian.”7 In 1974, Con­gress finally passed amend­ments to the Fair Labor Stan­dards Act (FLSA) that fed­er­ally guar­an­teed min­i­mum wage for domes­tic work­ers.

Feminist Alliances

The domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ments devel­oped alliances with some strands of the women’s move­ment that were also try­ing to bring recog­ni­tion to social repro­duc­tion. Their efforts to revalue house­hold labor par­al­leled sim­i­lar the­o­ret­i­cal dis­cus­sions tak­ing place in some fem­i­nist com­mu­ni­ties. Fem­i­nists in the 1960s, how­ever, were a diverse group with dif­fer­ent and com­pet­ing posi­tions. Many mid­dle-class women who had been con­fined to the domes­tic sphere and felt con­strained by their roles as moth­ers and house­wives began in the 1960s to seek more oppor­tu­ni­ties out­side the home. This sen­ti­ment was best expressed by Betty Friedan in her sem­i­nal book The Fem­i­nine Mys­tique. Friedan wrote about “the prob­lem that has no name” and struck a chord for mil­lions of house­wives around the coun­try who had eschewed careers to make fam­ily and home the cen­ter of their lives, but felt deeply dis­sat­is­fied and unful­filled. In mak­ing her claim for more oppor­tu­ni­ties out­side the house­hold, how­ever, Friedan den­i­grated house­hold labor. As she wrote: “Vac­u­um­ing the liv­ing room floor—with or with­out makeup—is not work that takes enough thought or energy to chal­lenge any woman’s full capac­ity.”8

Other fem­i­nists sought, like house­hold work­ers, to revalue house­hold labor. Wel­fare rights activist made a claim for gov­ern­ment assis­tance to sup­port them in their work as moth­ers and insisted on the right to stay home and care for their chil­dren at a moment when the state was becom­ing more demand­ing about requir­ing women on wel­fare to take paid employ­ment out­side the home.9 The wages for house­work move­ment, which included women like Selma James, Mari­arosa Dalla Costa, and Sil­via Fed­erici, attempted to reclaim house­work as legit­i­mate labor.10 Rather than see­ing women’s employ­ment out­side the home as the only path to lib­er­a­tion, they advo­cated attach­ing a wage to it as a way to revalue the work and com­pen­sate women. This argu­ment was rooted in an under­stand­ing that wages were a mea­sure of labor’s worth in a cap­i­tal­ist econ­omy. Mov­ing domes­tic labor from the unpaid to the paid cat­e­gory, they believed, would bring social value and recog­ni­tion to the work. Although this was a legit­i­mate argu­ment, the expe­ri­ences of paid domes­tic work­ers offer a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Some domes­tic labor had been com­mod­i­fied since the emer­gence of cap­i­tal­ism. As domes­tic work­ers repeat­edly attested, a wage, in and of itself, did not raise the sta­tus of the work.11

Nev­er­the­less, activists in both the wages for house­work move­ment and domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ment had a com­mon goal of draw­ing atten­tion to house­hold labor—both paid and unpaid. Reed sup­ported Social Secu­rity for house­wives as a way to rec­og­nize that work, claim­ing, “they can all become house­hold tech­ni­cians.”12 At a moment when many African Amer­i­can women as well as mid­dle class women were flee­ing house­hold labor in search of other job oppor­tu­ni­ties, women in the HTA and the wages for house­work move­ment chose to stay and expressed love of the work they did. As Reed explained: “I really love the work, and that’s why I chose to orga­nize the work—because I love what I chose to do as a pro­fes­sion.”13

Chal­leng­ing the long-stand­ing home/work dis­tinc­tion that emerged with the rise of wage labor, the cam­paigns that domes­tic worker activists engaged in and the ideas they artic­u­lated illu­mi­nate how the work that takes place in the home is not a labor of love, but a form of labor exploita­tion that both reflects and recre­ates struc­tures of power. When black domes­tic work­ers were denied the right to use the fam­ily restroom or expected to eat their food at a sep­a­rate table, racial dis­tinc­tions and racial hier­ar­chies were remade. Activists drew atten­tion to the work that took place in the home, a space that is often not con­sid­ered a site of work. They argued that the way this work was allo­cated and val­ued was cen­trally impor­tant. Unequal power rela­tions in the home, whether between hus­band and wife or between employer and employee, repro­duce inequal­ity along race, class and gen­der lines.

New Organizing Model

The domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ment of the 1960s and 1970s sug­gests ways that the con­tin­gent work­ers of today can begin to orga­nize. Because their place of employ­ment was not a viable loca­tion to recruit mem­bers, house­hold work­ers orga­nized in pub­lic spaces. Rather than the fac­tory floor, city bus lines, pub­lic parks, and neigh­bor­hoods became the sites of orga­niz­ing. Work­ers formed col­lec­tive com­mu­nity-based orga­ni­za­tions even though they worked for dif­fer­ent employ­ers. They did not estab­lish employer-ori­ented labor for­ma­tions but directed their demands at the state, insist­ing that leg­is­la­tion be passed that would pro­tect all work­ers in the indus­try. They also orga­nized work­ers regard­less of their immi­gra­tion sta­tus. They sought to pro­fes­sion­al­ize the occu­pa­tion and raise the over­all stan­dards of allow­able work—refusing, for exam­ple, to wash win­dows or scrub floors on their hands and knees. Ques­tions of race, gen­der, and cul­ture were cen­tral to the orga­niz­ing, as the above par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of African Amer­i­can women’s his­tory attest. These con­structs became a way to build sol­i­dar­ity among domes­tic work­ers.

The domes­tic work­ers’ rights move­ment also com­pli­cates assump­tions that employ­ers should be the pri­mary tar­gets of labor orga­niz­ers. House­hold work­ers labored in the inti­mate space of the home. They were privy to a family’s per­sonal mat­ters and some­times devel­oped emo­tional bonds with their employer’s fam­ily. Although employ­ees orga­nized to wield more lever­age and power, they did not nec­es­sar­ily want an antag­o­nis­tic rela­tion­ship with their bosses, since they would con­tinue to work in close quar­ters with them. Many house­hold worker activists devel­oped col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships with employ­ers and encour­aged the cre­ation of employer orga­ni­za­tions to sup­port their move­ment.

The domes­tic work­ers’ movement’s empha­sis on revalu­ing forms of social repro­duc­tion res­onates espe­cially at a moment when good-pro­duc­ing indus­tries account for less than 13% of U.S. employ­ment.14 Valu­ing the paid and unpaid work of social repro­duc­tion, whether it is that of fast food work­ers, land­scap­ers, home care work­ers, or house­clean­ers, is the first step to con­sid­er­ing them part of the labor move­ment and includ­ing them in our con­ver­sa­tion about how worker power can trans­form the eco­nomic cli­mate.

The dis­tinc­tive orga­niz­ing approach that domes­tic work­ers adopted emerged from the par­tic­u­lar char­ac­ter of the occu­pa­tion. Other occu­pa­tions, includ­ing Uber dri­vers, nail salon work­ers and day labor­ers are sim­i­larly self-employed, with few labor pro­tec­tions and less secure employ­ment. The growth of these occu­pa­tions is an exam­ple of how the work­force is increas­ingly com­ing to resem­ble domes­tic work. Unsur­pris­ingly, these kinds of con­tin­gent work­ers are also orga­niz­ing and lead­ing the way to a rede­fined labor move­ment. The tac­tics and strate­gies uti­lized by house­hold work­ers might not be applic­a­ble to all indus­tries, but they sug­gest alter­na­tive mod­els of orga­niz­ing and new ways for work­ers to come together and wield power.

  1. Tera Hunter, To ‘Joy My Free­dom: South­ern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War (Cam­bridge: Har­vard Uni­ver­sity Press 1997)  

  2. Ella Baker and Mar­vel Cooke, The Cri­sis, 42 (Novem­ber 1935). 

  3. Geraldine Roberts, inter­view by Donna Van Raaphorst, March 30–June 29, 1977, Cleve­land, Ohio, Pro­gram on Women and Work, Insti­tute of Labor and Indus­trial Rela­tions, Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Wal­ter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State Uni­ver­sity, p. 46. 

  4. Roberts, inter­view by Van Raaphorst, p. 46. 

  5. National Domes­tic Work­ers Union of Amer­ica, brochure, p. 18, National Domes­tic Work­ers Union Records, South­ern Labor Archives, Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity. 

  6. State­ment of Mrs. Edith Barks­dale Sloan, exec­u­tive direc­tor, and Mrs. Josephine Hulett, field offi­cer, NCHE, Hear­ings Before the Gen­eral Sub­com­mit­tee on Labor, Com­mit­tee on Edu­ca­tion and Labor, on HR 10948, August 13, 1970, p. 3, National Com­mit­tee on House­hold Employ­ment Records, National Archives for Black Women’s His­tory, Mary McLeod Bethune Coun­cil House, Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Records, series 003, sub­series 01, box 11, folder 06. 

  7. Rem­i­nis­cences of Car­olyn Reed, Tran­script, Columbia Uni­ver­sity Oral His­tory Research Office, p. 24.  

  8. Betty Friedan, The Fem­i­nine Mys­tique (New York: Nor­ton, 1963), 121. 

  9. Pre­milla Nadasen, Wel­fare War­riors: The Wel­fare Rights Move­ment in the United States (New York: Rout­ledge 2005). 

  10. Selma James, “A Woman’s Place,” in her Sex, Race, and Class, the Per­spec­tive of Win­ning: A Selec­tion of Writ­ings, 1952–2011 (Oak­land, CA: PM Press, 2012). 

  11. For a cri­tique of the Wages for House­work move­ment, see Angela Davis, Women, Race, and Class (New York: Ran­dom House, 1981), chap­ter 7. 

  12. Rem­i­nis­cences of Car­olyn Reed, 28. 

  13. Rem­i­nis­cences of Car­olyn Reed, 2. 

  14. “Employ­ment Pro­jec­tions: Employ­ment by Major Indus­try,” U.S. Depart­ment of Labor, Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, Dec. 2013 

Author of the article

is a Visiting Associate Professor of History and is affiliated with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Her research and teaching interests include women and gender, race, public policy, labor, poverty, and social movements. Prior to joining the faculty at Barnard she taught at Queens College, City University of New York.