The nature of work has been a major area of new understanding, beginning with the word itself. Before feminism, work was largely defined as what men did or would do. Thus, a working woman was someone who labored outside the home for money, masculine-style. Though still alarmingly common, the term is being protested, especially by homemakers who work harder than any other class of worker, and are still called people who “don’t work.” Feminists have always tried to speak of work inside the home or outside the home, of salaried or unsalaried workers. Attributing a financial value to work in the home would go a long way toward making marriage an equal partnership, as the Equal Rights Amendment would also do, and toward ending the semantic slavery inherent in the phrase “women who don’t work.”

Gloria Steinem, “Words and Change,” Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions

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