Biscuits and Unicorns: Shifting Meanings of Domestic Space in a Post-Lockdown World

Emma Casey*, Rupa Huq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Women’s lives have been affected exponentially by the COVID_19 pandemic. In this paper, we explore some of the ways in which women’s everyday experiences of paid and unpaid labour have exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities. We examine the impact that the pandemic has had on women’s experiences within the domestic sphere, as hyper-normative and historical representations of women as the ‘natural’ primary carers for children and the home have resurfaced. For many, this has led to an almost unbearable pressure to provide full-time domestic care while simultaneously holding down paid work. Drawing on theoretical feminist debate, which has emphasised the importance of intersectional approaches to gender, the paper shows how the fusion of domestic worlds and public lives has brought domestic issues and challenges to the fore and has meant that women’s participation in paid work has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic in a number of ways. Women have an increased likelihood of, first, furlough and redundancy; second, of working in ‘high-risk’ jobs; third, of experiencing poverty; and fourth, of bearing the brunt of domestic labour and childcare intensified during the pandemic. Written by both an academic and practicing full-time politician, it offers a unique perspective on this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-38
Number of pages15
JournalJournal for Cultural Research
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022

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