I have touched upon so many subjects since my first Women’s Studies course, however, a huge subjects that has constantly circled my mind; after the recent “Women and Globalization” course I’ve taken, is the notion of the “disposable woman”. To begin, I was very intrigued by the stories of the women working in “maquilaroras”. The movie Senorita Extraviada, and readings about women working in factories and “sweatshops”, in places like Asia and Mexico, are very important examples to help understand the way that these labor facilities operate when it comes to female employees.
The movie and these readings have helped me learn a couple things about the reasons for why women take these types of low wage jobs, with bad working conditions. They do it because it may honestly to be the only way that they can find to support their family. I think it’s sad that some women are encouraged by their own mothers to work these types of jobs because it is so common in their culture. It’s ‘s even more upsetting to know that women are being called “bad girls” for not being obedient to the cultural norm because it causes there to be pressure on a woman who wants to be seen as a “good girl” in their society.
At the end of the day, these women who are working in sweatshops are in a bad predicament because if they get the job, and don’t perform as expected, they will be easily be replaced by another ready and willing woman; this proving their disposability. Nanny’s, maids, and ses workers are another example of jobs they a woman can have, but easily lose if they aren’t obedient. It breaks my heart to learn that in many severe cases, women have brutally lost their lives due to their employer.
All of these things make me get a better picture of how globalization really assists in the oppression of women. The need for income in impoverished, or third-world countries causes women to have to take on jobs that fuel our oppression. In my opinion, being a sex worker, jobs in sweatshops, or as nannies and maids aren’t bad, as long as it’s a woman choice (not including being coerced into doing so). In order for these industries to be more considerate to women, they need to provide proper treatment and compensation.
~Sasha Sanders, UMass Dartmouth Alum, Class of 2013