From “The High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Naomi Wolf at Project Syndicate:
“Western women have the seemingly delicious and liberating option of getting this summer’s must-have tiny floral retro eighties print sundress. But what has been liberating for Western women is a system built literally on the backs of women in the developing world. [These] women in sweatshops around the world report being locked in and forbidden to use bathrooms for long periods, as well as sexual harassment, violent union-busting, and other forms of coercion. We Western women turn a blind eye to it. The reason is simple: we like things the way they are.”
Questions for Consideration: Are American consumers and corporations that purchase or sell their goods at fault for sweatshop conditions in the developing world? Why or why not? Whose responsibility is it to improve these conditions, and what needs to change? How is “being a slave” to fashion keeping Western women liberated and implicated by their participation in what some deem an unfair global market?
Want to learn more?
- ”Sweatshops,” Boycotts, and the Road to Poverty
- Sweatshop oppression
- In Praise of the Opportunity to Sweat
Secrets, Lies, and Sweatshops
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