Posted by: Catherine Lugg | February 22, 2011

Wisconsin, Public Employee Unions and Gender Politics

Dana Goldstein looks at the public employee unions under attack by the state GOP, and those who are “protected,” and draws a very fast conclusion:

Part of this fight is about gender and gendered professions:

About 80 percent of American teachers, for example, are female; at the elementary school level, nearly 90 percent are women. Nursing is 95 percent female. Nationwide, the majority of public sector union members, represented by AFSCME and other groups, are women.

Meanwhile, over 70 percent of law enforcement workers in the United States are men. Our firefighting ranks are 96 percent male and over half of all professional firefighting departments have never hired a woman.

It’s interesting that you don’t see any media discussions of the gendered politics behind this move to strip women who are public employees of the right to collective bargaining, but in the same legislation, male public employees are protected. To me, it looks like Gov. Walker (funded by the Koch brothers) wants to put uppity women in their place.

Stay tuned.

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