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That is why we should say “wage labor” instead of “work”
That is why we should say “wage labor” instead of “work”

“I'm going to work.” - Everyone knows what that means. But housework … isn't that work too? Ella Kronberger and Beatrice Frasl explain why we should urgently differentiate.

work, wage work, work, confident, mother, businesswoman, career, career woman, housewife, gainful employment, car work, housework, care, social work, equaliy, gender pay gap, pay, wage, part time, full time
work, wage work, work, confident, mother, businesswoman, career, career woman, housewife, gainful employment, car work, housework, care, social work, equaliy, gender pay gap, pay, wage, part time, full time

Ella Kronberger campaigns for topics such as body image, menstruation and feminism on Instagram. Lately, the term "wage labor" has been used a lot in her stories when she talks about going to the office. You can find out what's behind it here …

By definition, wage labor denotes human work for money. This employment can be from other forms of work such as domestic and family work or voluntary work. Wage labor is remunerated according to contractual regulations between employer and employee.

Why not just "I'm going to work"?

Because there is more than one type of "work". Most of the time, however, society does not see it as such if someone stays at home to take care of them Children to take care of the household to throw for the family or to take care of someone. "Women's work has always been made invisible - this is where we have to intervene and make sure that not just 'wage labor' as real work is seen, "says Kronberger, who, by the way, is a trained photographer and studies time-based and interactive media art.

"Much of the unpaid activitiesbecomes priority performed by women. It is important to refer to these services as work in order to break the automatic association with gainful employment and thus make other forms visible, "emphasizes author and podcaster Beatrice Frasl. As @fraufrasl, she is on the way as a feminist influencer on Instagram and Twitter. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the interface between cultural studies and gender studies and has taught on queer studies at the University of Vienna.

Some of Kronberger's followers reacted with incomprehension when she used the term. Because it sounds like she's complaining about going to work. "For me, the word has no negative connotations at all," Kronberger clarifies. "The only thing that matters is that 'wage labor' isn't the only thing we call work Appreciation for other things, such as the 'care work', never be the same. But both are work. That is why we should also refer to both as such. Because we all know: language creates reality."

The social norm

Traditional family images in particular - the man works, brings the money home and the woman stays at home, does not work - should go through this conscious differentiation to be broken up. "The invisibility of some forms of work is also due to patriarchal conditions. Traditionally, it is the work of men that is rewarded (and valued), while it is that of women that remains unpaid and as natural service 'out of love' is viewed,”explains Frasl.

And she continues: "The prevailing idea in society is that 40 hours of gainful work per week is the norm. But that is the norm a male norm. Many women work in atypical and precarious jobs, most of them part-time. That is also because they in addition to their paid work, much more unpaid work than men take care of: the household, raising children, family management, caring for sick and elderly relatives. Often it is precisely these responsibilities that women assume, that women assume, that are extremely stressful - also psychologically. Here there are no vacation or after work. "

Let's summarize once again: "So women work more, but earn less than men. At the same time - as all time use studies show us - they have less rest, less time for yourself ", says Frasl. "These burdens must be distributed fairly between women and men."

What to do when someone smiles at you …?

Outside of feminist bubbles, it is mostly not (yet) common for differentiated between different forms of work will. What to do if you decide to change your usage but are afraid of yours Environment smiled at to become?

"I think it helps to make it clear that there are other forms of work and to convince with data and facts," says Frasl.

"As a female read person one becomes in our society for many decisions smiled at ", Kronberger points out. "Regardless of whether you become a young mother ('She'll never get it!'), Don't want children ('She only does that because she can't get a husband!') Or loves your job ('Women who focus primarily on theirs Concentrating careers, I'm suspicious! ") … The list is endless. To be smiled at is on the agenda. Whether there is one more item on the list is up to me really doesn't matter now! "

ÖGB and AK against the unequal part-time distribution

Almost half of women in Austria, 47.3 percent to be precise, work part-time (mostly 20 hours), while men continue to work full-time. Only 10.7% of men work part-time. The union (ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labor (AK) want to counteract this unequal distribution of part-time work (as soon as there are children). Only today are they presenting a new model: they are demanding "Family working time", That means Funding of 250 euros per month each, if not only one parent reduces working hours.

ÖGB women's chairwoman Korinna Schumann and AK president Renate Anderl want to do this Distribution of paid and unpaid work to influence positively between women and men. The model is supposed to bring women a better income, men more family time and children more time with their fathers. In addition, women should be brought out of the part-time trap. Incidentally, the model should also apply to single parents. Approval came from the SPÖ and the Greens. The ÖVP has not yet commented, the FPÖ and NEOS reject the model.

What does that mean? "It is normal that not all parties agree immediately at the beginning," says Ingrid Moritz, head of the "Women & Family" department in the Vienna AK when asked by WOMAN. "Here it is now up to us to do even more persuasion, refute any counter-arguments and carry out further calculations to explain why the model makes sense. "The Needs of young parents be there anyway. The "classic" family model, as we know it so far, is no longer up-to-date, says Moritz. Both parents should have the opportunity to look after their children and at the same time not be torn from working life. "Whether that Actually enforce the model mainly rests with the family administration and the government. Sometimes you need a lot of patience, but we'll stick with it."

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