A conceptual trap is to the thought world of the mind what the astronomers’ black holes are to the universe. Once inside, there seems to be no way of getting out or seeing out…Margaret Mead said that when she journeyed in her anthropological studies from tribe to tribe she discovered that it did not matter what was done in a particular tribe–it only mattered who did it. If the weaving in a particular tribe was done by men, it was an occupation of high prestige. If twenty miles away weaving was done by women, it was of low prestige…It is interesting that [most economists] thought this way too. When they speak of labor creating value and about payment for that value, it is very clear the labor they are talking about is not the labor of women in the home. The labor that creates value and is “productive” is industrial labor and in most generations has been the labor of men. The labor of women in bearing and caring for children, for example, was not considered, despite it being absolutely fundamental to an entire economy and culture.
From “Patriarchy as a Conceptual Trap” by Elizabeth Dodson Grey