Women Own 1% of the World’s Property – Occupy That

Published on ZNet (first on Huffington Post), by Soraya Chemaly, November 06, 2011.

… There must be a good reason for this startling fact. Especially since, according to UN gender reports, women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of its food and earn a whopping 10% of its income. Could it be that Occupy Wall Street really is a feminist movement camouflaged to make it palatable? 

Nah! Besides, I know; women don’t want to own property, it’s a hassle. They know intuitively that property is overrated. It can’t help that women aren’t as good at math and find it harder to calculate closing costs. And it really doesn’t help that clothing standards are dropping. If women would just dress for success, banks will take them seriously. Besides, their husband’s provide everything they need and they shouldn’t worry their pretty heads about crass things like property. In addition, if they’re liberated, which we all know they pretty much are these days, they need to work harder and stop expecting things to be handed to them on a platter like the princesses they all secretly want to be. Phew, all done.

But, maybe it’s because girls and women:

  • Don’t get to go to school when their brothers do
  • Get married off (don’t worry, at a good price)
  • Are deprived of food when it’s scarce
  • Aren’t allowed to own anything themselves
  • Don’t inherit
  • Aren’t paid for their labor
  • Are property. Duh.

How much poorer do we want women to get in the world? It’s really hard to imagine. They already make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s poor. And, despite the successes of feminists (yes, men and women) during the past century, even in the U.S. we have a persistent and growing feminization of poverty … //

… Oh, and one last thing, the idea that the Occupy Wall Street movement is feminist at its core is just not something we’re comfortable with. It’s a lot more acceptable if we just keep hiding those people. As Daphne Muller points out: Men’s visits … have been consistently reported – just perform a basic internet search for Michael Moore, Russell Simmons, Kanye West, Cornel West or Chris Hedges. But what about Naomi Klein, Barbara Ehrenreich, Eve Ensler and Susan Sarandon, to name a few? Except for articles about sexual assault being a problem, that is. But, that’s not because mainstream media is way into highlighting women primarily for being sexual and vulnerable. I’m going now. (full text).

Link: The website of the United Nations Development Fund for Women UNIFEM, also on wikipedia.

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