Theory and practice refers to the facts of substantial statements gathered to explain certain natural phenomena. It can also be an assumption justified by a person(s) from his/her keen observations. This paper will focus on the Sweatshop Warriors regarding gender hierarchy of labor, their types of social organization, and also draw connections between the social experiences of this hierarchy and people’s thoughts to what they relate as explained by Marx’s writings while referring to Louie’s writings.
Theory and Practice
Sweatshop Warriors refers to the Asian women immigrants who have been rendering their labor force services at the garment industry. These women keep on working in spite of poor payment, and their working environment is unfavorable. They also demand for responsibilities and their unpaid wages. These women get mistreated and are denied their rights to claim for their ‘sweat’ because, as Louie puts it, “boss threatens them” (1). The interviewed women are seen fighting tirelessly for their rights despite the fact that they are being oppressed by their employers. They say that they are treated like they are just stupid (Louie 1-2).
The Chinese immigrant women who were working in late nineteenth century at Lower East Side were also mistreated intensely by their ‘bosses’. The complaints varied from unfavorable working conditions to the spread of infectious diseases. Louie asserts that the workers were denied of their right to salary (Louie 19). Women were eliminated by men on the jobs that require highly skilled manpower to operate in men’s clothing. This is a sign of discrimination. Women were discriminated against by not allowing them to work in these kinds of jobs. Louie thus notes, “The majority of Jewish male workers were thus able to get a foothold in the clothing industry and eliminate women from higher skilled jobs” (20).
However, Louie asserts that women warriors are very vital in the roles they played in making everything they need available owing to their industriousness. For instance, they took a big role in provision of basic needs for their families. Louie notes, as a result, “These women of warriors have trekked across mountains, rivers, oceans, and borders, cutting deep path through the heart of this nation’s industries and inner cities” (3). The women have been viewed as the people who enlighten the communalities and have much to tell from what they have experienced, the lessons they have learnt. The sweatshop warriors are likened to the ordinary women who in their communities have had much to tell and teach the society.
Marx states that the majority of immigrant women find their first jobs in garment shops of the United States. Sweatshop workers toil for their bosses who are subcontractors that work under manufacturers. Their main aim is to minimize the cost and, on the other hand, maximize their profit; therefore, in the long run, the workers end up being exploited as a result of low wages and poor working conditions. Louie puts it better when she says that “Sweatshop workers toil at the bottom of a pyramid of labor exploitation and profit generation” (Louie 4). Marx’s quotes explain people’s workings and their hidden agenda is aimed at changing the world though they have their own ways. Marx quotes thus, “The philosophers have only interpreted the word in various ways: the point, however, is to change it” (Marx).
The Chinese proverb, “Women hold up half the sky” has been used to signify the hard work done by women. It portrays their power, courageousness, honesty and persistence. Though the women have faced a lot of challenges and heartbreaking issues, they haven’t given up. Their spirits are strong, no matter the oppressions they are undergoing. The proverb is a proof that women have impressive capabilities and they can achieve greatness. Majority of women are earning less than an average man. This is because women believe that they should be of service to other people before being of service to themselves. Therefore, these statements are proves that women are not just worthy, but also special, powerful, capable and able to achieve insurmountable greatness (Gold).
Louie’s writing explains that the working class has existed in strata whereby exploitation still continues. The subdivision of population is seen as a mixture of two classes: those who haves and those who have not. Louie says thus that the sweatshop system has taken advantage to relate some strata of the populace into super-exploited position and “…others to more privileged buffer positions” (7). Marx explains in his quotes that the ruling class ideas are found in every period and their aim is to control the society with their intellectual force. This is clearly expounded in Louie’s writings whereby she shows how the sweatshop women have been exploited.
Not only did the women spearheaded in industrial revolutions, but they also worked in their homeland. Most of the immigrant women were domestic workers, who worked on plantations to grow cash crops. Odd jobs were unexceptional to them; they “…..grew the cash crops and birthed generation of workers whose labors financed the industrial revolutions” (Louie 12). Marx describes clearly how human labor is useful in the conversion of natural resources into finished products. These are the results of labor force, brains, nerves, and muscles that yield the results of wonderful and quality final products. For instance, furniture is a result of conversion of natural wood through a series of processes; therefore, manufacturers that employ workers should put into consideration their interests and values, especially women’s. This is because labor is assumed as a social form and should be treated carefully, “In all states of society, the labor-time that is used to produce the means of substance, must necessarily be an object of interest to mankind, though not of equal interest in different stages of development” (Jahsonic).
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Marx expressed his opinion that the social relationship which exists amongst people occurs during their trading transactions. People may have no other relations except for business delas. Their social relations are frequently experienced and expressed by the commodities and money they are trading. He reckons that people will be obliged to have relations with one another for business purposes. People believe that markets function very well if the act of buying and selling continues without being interrupted. On the other hand, if there happens a distortion that will obstruct their trading activities, it will influence them negatively. People also believe that their labor efforts will give them values and earnings from the products and services they rendered. This means that the results of a collective labor effort of these people will be expressed in terms of value of the products, assets or services (Commodity fetishism).
Marx’s and Louie’s assertions are aimed at uplifting and enlightening those Sweatshop Warriors who have been oppressed, especially the women. Women are indeed vital in the world’s economy; industrial revolution has been realized as a result of their efforts. They have rendered their labor services in industries; moreover, they have worked on plantations though they have been mistreated. We have also seen that their social organization exists only in the sphere of trade. They believe that market is good when it functions very well and is bad if it doesn’t favor them. Women are also seen coming together to demand for their rights. This is another indicator of social co-existence between them at their time of difficulties.
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