In honor of National Women’s Day, working women are supposed to fret about other working women who happen to work for us.
Let me explain.
Sally Howard researched cleaners, by working with them. Fair enough. There’s plenty of things to say about how some people treat their house cleaners and nannies to argue that all these people (usually women) deserve to be paid fair wages, and treated with respect. This is the same way we should treat all our employees–from Senior Vice Presidents to Interns. Everyone is worthy of a fair market wage.
But, Howard draws the opposite conclusion and decides that having someone else clean her house devalues women’s work and sets a bad example for her son. She writes:
The clincher, in the end, was my three-year-old son, who quizzically followed Jurate around the house as she squeezed her mop and brandished her ever-present Viakal. I did not want him to see the labour of some women as less worthwhile than the labour and leisure of other women and men. Middle-class women’s emancipation from housework has come at the cost of reinscribing poor women’s ties to it.
Did I find I could hire a cleaner with a clean conscience? No, but I found I could ease my feminist conscience by scrubbing my own toilet.
To keep reading, click here: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Hiring a Cleaning Lady–Or Any Other Kind of Employee