Red Rag Magazine, Feminist Economics and the Domestic Labour Pains of Liberation

Bazin, Victoria (2021) Red Rag Magazine, Feminist Economics and the Domestic Labour Pains of Liberation. Women: A Cultural Review, 32 (3-4). pp. 295-317. ISSN 0957-4042

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This article examines the domestic labour debate of the 1970s as it was mediated in the Marxist feminist magazine, Red Rag (1972–80). Red Rag’s visual representations of housework wittily demystified the bonds of ‘love’ that bound women to the everyday routines of domestic labour while its theoretical discussions offered alternative feminist perspectives to the New Home Economics, a neo-classical economic approach to the household as well as to Marxist economics that occluded women’s labour in its emphasis on production. Within the pages of the magazine, an emerging feminist economics developed that challenged the gendered production boundaries reinforcing the division of labour, graphically depicted intra-household conflict and exposed the ideological assumptions that rendered caring labour invisible. It was not only in terms of theory, however, that Red Rag contributed to these debates but also in terms of its collective practice. The process of making the magazine became the subject of editorials reflecting on how feminists worked together. Red Rag’s analysis of its own production processes illuminated the internal tensions within the collective but also pointed to some of the ‘contradictions’ within the WLM, contradictions that were bound up with the cultural capital attached to economic theory and the authority this conferred on the Red Rag collective.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: feminist economics, periodicals, Wages for Housework, women’s liberation movement, Red Rag, domestic labour, care
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 16:34
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2021 16:15

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