This article traces the separation of the work and family spheres, arising in the nineteenth century, and how this separation into traditionally male and female areas has affected women's "choice" to stay home and rear children, or to participate in the workforce. This article explains how women often fail to achieve the ideal-worker norm because of the demands on their time created by childrearing. The author ends by discussing the shortcomings of the classic strategy feminists have proposed to change domesticity's ordering of family and market work and suggests a new paradigm, called "reconstructive feminism," which eliminates the ideal-worker norm in both the work and family spheres.
Northern Illinois University Law Review
"Towards a Reconstructive Feminism: Reconstructing the Relationship of Market Work and Family Work,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 19:
1, Article 5.
Joan Williams, Towards a Reconstructive Feminism: Reconstructing the Relationship of Market Work and Family Work, 19 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 89 (1998).