Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Maid to Order / Barbara Ehrenreich

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   In her article, Ehrenreich illustrates to us the business and opinions of housekeeping and those whose days consist of cleaning up after others. The majority of housekeepers are women, hired to work in the homes of others. Ehrenreich makes several strong points to the trouble this growing field is presenting. Many relationships have experienced the arguments pertaining to household duties such as laundry or dishes. Not only does this opinion that women are suited for housework serve a blow to relationships, but it is also teaching children and teens that they don’t need to clean up after themselves and crippling their futures when they are to live on their own. Maid services only continue to support the skewed opinion that women belong in the home cooking, cleaning, and even scrubbing on their hands and knees.
   This entry, once again, somewhat pissed me off. Not that I disagree! But that I completely agree and feel that more people, men especially, should step up to the plate and clean up after THEMSELVES! Perhaps if there were more opportunities for these women to work in other fields they would not be driven to scrub floors, invisible to the homeowners. I enjoyed Ehrenreich’s point that “Someone who has no qualms about purchasing rugs woven by child slaves in India or coffee picked by impoverished peasants in Guatemala might still hesitate to tell dinner guests that, surprisingly enough, his or her lovely home doubles as a sweatshop during the day”. I also agreed that such assistance or household help should be reserved for those that really need it; including the elderly, disabled, parents of new babies (even though I feel their families should help instead), asthmatics who require an allergen free environment, and the mentally handicapped not capable of doing such activities for themselves. In a perfect world, we would share all chores and occupations equally. BUT, this world is far from perfect.


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