While I was at work on this whole work-life balance stuff, a raging conversation sprung up on the WMST-L listserv about domestic workers and whether feminist women should or should not hire someone to clean their houses and help take care of their kids. (The discussion is still going on.) Some of the more interesting points have to do with questioning why this work has to be called women’s work, and why it just can’t be called work proper, and given some respect, and along with that some decent wages and benefits.
Meryl Altman, a professor at DePauw, posted a link to a short video, “Women and Work: Feminists in Solidarity with Domestic Workers,” which is on the Barnard Center for Research on Women website. I strongly urge you to view this video and think about its messages, among them: the home as a worksite; domestic work as actual labor, not “women’s work” that we just somehow need the men to help out with a little more; the need to support domestic workers in the struggle to unite, organize, and unionize for living wages, decent working hours, and real benefits; and the visual reminder that feminist women with jobs/careers who employ workers in their homes are not all white.
Of course, the video is full of a bunch of women talking about feminist shit, so probably it is completely bogus.