Abstract

In the mid-1970s, two autonomous groups within the International Wages for Housework movement formed to address black (and) lesbian struggles over social reproduction: Black Women for Wages for Housework (BWfWfH) and Wages Due Lesbians (WDL). These groups foregrounded and mobilized reproductive workers often rendered disposable or superfluous to heteronormative reproductive imaginaries. By charting the conceptual impropriety of “housework” and “lesbian” that emerge within these archives, this article highlights the tensions and coalitional possibilities that come to the fore in struggles against housework through the analytic and organizational centering of nonheteronormative socialities. Concurrently, BWfWfH and WDL are situated in relation to contemporaneous neoliberal invocations of a “commons” threatened by racialized, nonheteronormative reproduction. The article argues that the intellectual and political archives of these groups evince the inextricability of social reproduction and queer politics, while also signaling the horizon of a “queer commons” that refuses fidelity to some of the founding assumptions of commons discourse.

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