Read the passage carefully and answer the following questions:
The brave new economy being rebuilt in the wake of the financial meltdown is being built on low-wage service work, as manufacturing’s decline has accelerated and construction ground to a halt. At the beginning of the Great Recession, economist Heather Boushey noted at Slate, manufacturing and construction made up fully half the jobs lost, along with financial services and other business fields, and writers declared the “Mancession” or “He-cession” or even, as Hanna Rosin’s popular book has it, The End of Men. But as others have pointed out, as the recession drags on, it’s women who’ve faced the largest losses, not only in direct attacks on public sector jobs that are dominated by women, but in increased competition from the men pushed out of their previous professions. Some 60 percent of the jobs lost in the public sector were held by women, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And women have regained only 12 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, while men have regained 63 percent of the jobs they lost.
Women may be overrepresented in the growing sectors of the economy, but those sectors pay poverty wages. The public sector job cuts that have been largely responsible for unemployment remaining at or near 8 percent have fallen disproportionately on women (and women of color are hit the hardest). Those good union jobs disappear, and are replaced with a minimum-wage gig at Walmart—and even in retail, women make only 90 percent of what men make.
“All work is gendered. And the economy that we have assigns different levels of value based off of that,” says Ai-Jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Poo came to labor organizing through feminism. As a volunteer in a domestic violence shelter for Asian immigrant women, she explains, she realized that it was women who had economic opportunities who were able to break the cycle of violence. She brings a sharp gender analysis to the struggle for respect and better treatment for the workers, mostly women, who “make all other work possible.”
“Society has devalued that work over time,” she notes of the cleaning, caring, cooking, and other work domestic workers perform, largely hidden from public view, “and we think that that has a lot to do with who’s done the work.”
This argument was at the root of the fight for access to employment outside of the “pink-collar” fields. To be trapped in women’s jobs was to be forever trapped in a certain vision of femininity. Breaking out of “women’s work” was a form of breaking through the “feminine mystique” that Betty Friedan decried. But that work still needs to be done, and, Poo notes, the conditions that have long defined domestic work and service work—instability, lack of training, lack of career pathways, low pay—are now increasingly the reality for all American workers, not just women. When we focus on equal access at the top, we miss out the real story, which historian Bethany Moreton points out, “is not ‘Oh wow, women get to be lawyers,’ but that men get to be casualized clerks.”
Q. "Breaking out of women’s work was a form of breaking through the feminine mystique". Which of the following statements best captures the sense of this statement?