Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Symposium 2019, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 203–218.

doi 10.1080/00397709.2019.1675307


Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


This article analyzes four contemporary short stories written by Basque author Eider Rodríguez that address women’s obstacles and oppressive conditions in the labor market. Using the theories of feminist economists such as Amaia Pérez Orozco, Cristina Carrasco Bengoa, and Lourdes Benería, I analyze how in these narratives women are forced to leave their paid jobs when becoming mothers, being reduced to a maternal and domestic identity, or they try to reconcile their professional and family life, thus suffering physical and mental exhaustion and emotional instability. The short stories also show the poor working conditions that women face, having to work in low-paid jobs and suffering workplace harassment from their bosses. Rodríguez criticizes the lack of participation by husbands in household chores and reveals how neoliberal capitalism is heteropatriarchal by not valuing women’s care work and taking advantage of them in the labor market.