I am a bit pressed for time this week, and will be back with articles too long to get big readerships soon. (I do it in the name of love) In the meantime, here is something else to read.
In The Chronicle of Higher Education today is an article on how students are encouraged to get higher degrees “in the name of love.” Love is a “troublesome” word, writes William Pannapacker. “It often is applied to undercompensated work done mostly by women. It’s also typically applied to ‘soft’ academic fields that are ‘feminized.'”
Although the article deals specifically with academia, I found Pannapacker’s observations to be especially relevant for people trying to support themselves through the arts.
No one asks a corporate lawyer whether he protects the interests of his clients for “love.”…
We hear the word all the time in discussions of graduate school: “Only go if you love your subject,” which is about the same as saying, “Only do it if you are willing to sacrifice most of your rational economic interests.” You are, arguably, volunteering to subsidize through your labor all of the work that is not defined as “lovable.”
The love rhetoric that’s so pervasive in academe—and certain other labor sectors—supports the transfer of resources from one group to another, typically from women to men, from minority to majority. There’s no doubt about it: “Love” is ideological, and it should not be left unquestioned when it is used in relation to work.
Also see a related article of mine: