I was wandering around the internet today and came across an old picture from a feminist protest shown above. Something interesting caught my attention (other than the fact that the poster makers cannot draw fists). One of the messages on the posters is completely irrelevant nowadays. Another poster’s message is getting outdated as well.
“Washing diapers is not fulfilling.”
I’m sure it’s not! But I’d never know because almost no one washes their children’s diapers nowadays. With disposable diapers so cheap and convenient, the need to use cloth diapers has virtually disappeared. I’m not so certain it’s because feminists lined the streets with posters and made demands against changing diapers. It was the market that directed resources to developing a better alternative to cloth diapers. This freed people from having to spend the time—pretty unpleasant time considering what they were washing off the diapers—cleaning diapers to use their time in a better way. Maybe they used their extra time to do other work, maybe they used it to play with their children, or maybe they just took the time to relax.
Another poster features a picture of a broom. While most of us still use brooms to sweep up small messes, not only do most people have vacuum cleaners but many people also have robotic vacuum cleaners that clean the floors automatically. These innovations have made life for us all so much better. And again, we have the market to thank for that.
These innovations save tremendous amounts of time. This has freed many women who traditionally do a lot of the housework in family settings to be able to pursue careers. It also helps people like me who live alone. I wouldn’t be able to spend nearly as much time on this site or on my other interests if I didn’t have all of the wonderful cooking, cleaning, and washing tools that we all take for granted.
Innovation is not just for the work that women traditionally perform. You don’t need to use a scythe to cut your grass; lawnmowers (or tractors for those of us lucky enough to own them), weedwhackers, and blowers make lawn upkeep so much easier. The list of outdoor and garage tools goes on and on.
No central planner would have been able to foresee the value in all of these innovations and would not have directed the resources to their development. Innovation and the technological advancement that make our lives so much better are due to individuals pursuing profits by trying to serve the needs of other people. It has a proven track record: feminists (well, everyone) should be advocates to unfettered free markets as a means to achieve their goals.
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