In this chapter, I will argue that the willingness of women to enter the workforce in massive numbers, drawn by the rapid growth of the service sector, served the interest of capital in holding wages down. The income of wives supplemented that of their husbands, as unions weakened and corporations were able to resist the pressure for wage increases. Thus, historian Nancy MacLean argues that the most signifi cant feature of the period since the 1970s for women was not so much the rise of feminism as it was the abolition of the family wage, something the working class had fought fi ercely to obtain throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (MacLean 2002).