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Gender Studies in Global Woman by B. Ehrenreich and A. Hochschild Essay (Book Review)


Millions migrate from their countries of origin to other countries in search of better opportunities. These individuals move from third world countries and travel to first world countries. They hope that they can earn enough funds to give them the kind of life they desire. Once they get to the first world countries, these individuals discover that there are many challenges related to relocating. Some of them end up doing odd jobs for a living. Such jobs include being security guards, nannies, errand boys, maids, and cooks among others. The situation is worse for women as some end up working in demeaning places such as brothels, clubs, spas, and other places. Others enter into marriage contracts with strangers for them to survive in those foreign lands.

This paper reviews a book, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochschild. This paper gives an overview of the themes used in the book and the policies proposed by the authors. It also analyzes the influence of globalization on the migration of women from third world countries to first world countries. Further, this paper provides a summary of the ideas presented in the book.

The book under review consists of essays written by different authors working together with researchers. These researchers concentrate on the challenges faced by women in third world countries. Editors of this book provide a comprehensive and factual discussion on the issues under consideration. The authors assess the situation of third world female house cleaners, nurses, nannies, and sex workers working in first world countries. In addition, the authors of the essays give detailed accounts on issues of slavery, sex trade, and contract marriages. Further, the authors analyze the effects of issues surrounding these women to the economy. They analyze the benefits and losses that the giving and receiving countries bear because of these women. Editors bring out themes such as poverty, oppression, love, and suffering among other themes. They use many examples to expose the plight of these women (Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2004).

The love and gold essay by Arlie Russell concentrate on the plight of women who leave their countries to go to the US in search of a better life. Russell uses the example of Ruwena Batista, a mother of two, who left Philippines to work in the US. Russell documents that poverty forced Ruwena to travel to the US. Rowena left the Philippines when she was a university student. She left in search of work and adventure.

In the course of her stay in the North, she met a Ghanaian man whom she fell in love with and later married. The two then went back to the Philippines with hopes of settling down. However, Rowena’s husband could not find a job in the Philippines. Therefore, he moved to Korea to look for a job. At first, things worked out well for Ruwena and her family. However, Rowena’s husband started fading away. He stopped helping and supporting Ruwena. Eventually, he disappeared completely. This forced Ruwena to travel to the US to look for a job. Ruwena got a job as a nanny in Washington DC where she has been working ever since.

Ruwena earns enough money to sustain her children who live in Camiling, Philippines. However, Rowena laments that she has lost touch her children. Ruwena says that she gives her employers children what she denies her children. This is on top of her living in a basement bedroom and having limited rights (Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2004).

The second essay focuses on the sex trade in the US. The author analyzes factors that force the third world women to join the sex industry. The author documents that some women are in the sex trade involuntarily. According to him, cartels kidnap some women and force others into signing contracts. These cartels then sell the women and girls to foreign places where they are enslaved and mistreated. The author acknowledges the fact that some women get into the sex trade voluntarily. He attributes this to poverty, needs for money, and desperation to obtain visas.

The author analyzes the condition of women working in the sex industry in Thailand. He links the current situation to the customs and the culture of the Thai people, who consider girls as assets. In Thailand, it is acceptable to trade girls for money. The author explains that most girls in the sex industry in Thailand come from poor villages. He explains that the naivety of these girls and their parents put them at a disadvantage. He gives an example of a girl whose parents get into a contract with brothel agents. The girl is willing to work in a brothel as she thinks that the results of prostitution are good. Further, the author explains the challenges involved in the sex trade. He explains that the career is short-lived and only the young and pretty girls have an advantage (Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2004).

The book analyzes how globalization contributes to third world women relocating to first world countries. Globalization has converted the world into a big village. Today, Individuals can interact with people from any part of the world thanks to technology. As a result, people are more aware of new opportunities and channels of exploiting them. Consequently, people are more confident in going for the chances they get. This has triggered massive migration from third world countries to first world countries.

The authors suggest that governments should implement policies to protect women who are susceptible to oppression and exploitation. They call for the government to put in place policies that regulate migration and employment processes of these women. For instance, policies that will address issues concerning salaries, treatment, and penalties involved when handling these women.

This book provides an unprejudiced view of the factors, impacts, and opinions of women who relocate to the US in search of a better life. This book is interesting as it analyzes the plight of these women comprehensively. Each essay paints a clear picture of the factors, successes, failures, and motivations of these women. The authors use interviews and examples to prove their points. This gives readers a firsthand account of the challenges that surround these women.

The book has several shortcomings. For instance, the authors focus on the plight of third world women working abroad but fail to offer clear solutions on how to counter these challenges. Further, some essays give very shallow analyses and options.

The editors have organized the contents of this book well. In addition, they have managed to address the plight of women working abroad efficiently. This book uses interviews and examples effectively in its bid to pass content. Further, the research conducted provides a deeper insight into the problem. Therefore, this book is a success.

Reference

Ehrenreich, B. and Hochschild, R. (2004). Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy. New York: Holt Paperbacks. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Gender Studies in Global Woman by B. Ehrenreich and A. Hochschild." June 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gender-studies-in-global-woman-by-b-ehrenreich-and-a-hochschild/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Gender Studies in Global Woman by B. Ehrenreich and A. Hochschild." June 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gender-studies-in-global-woman-by-b-ehrenreich-and-a-hochschild/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Gender Studies in Global Woman by B. Ehrenreich and A. Hochschild'. 29 June.

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