Feminist First World Dilemma: Should I Hire a Cleaner?

Feminist First World Dilemma: Should I Hire a Cleaner?

Feminist First World Dilemma: Should I Hire a Cleaner?

Behold the publication of yet another self-proclaimed Feminist willing to expose her emotional paralysis when her Up With Womyns! politics clashes with her desire not to scrub her own toilets.

Drenched with guilt

Author Sally Howard begins her piece with purple prose:

The day my cleaner used to visit, I would return home in the evening to the smell of Dettol mixed with Tania’s sweat, to a clean kitchen and bathroom and a drenching sense of guilt. It was the same unease that greeted me when I collected my son Leo from his nursery – a national chain disproportionately staffed by women of colour – or bought clothes from a mainstream clothing outlet that relies, as many do, on female garment workers in the global south.

It’s been 57 years since Betty Friedan put forth “No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor” in her book The Feminine Mystique; the book credited for launching 2nd wave feminism. Since then the Marxist-feminist movement has struggled with the ideal of [middle-class] women liberated from housework in conflict with the reality that a house still needs to be maintained.

Modernity has made the Feminist possible

Oh yes, prepare for it as I don my old lady bonnet and talk about in my day we …

Actually in my day I benefited, as my parents approved of child labor in the form of chores, from the labor saving devices and institutions that are the result of the modern era. Washers, dryers, vacuums, refrigerators, grocery stores, etc. My grandparents, even my great grandparents of a mere 100-150 years ago, did not benefit from electricity and all the household conveniences. There was a reason women divided the chores per day …

Monday: Wash Day ~ Tuesday: Ironing Day ~ Wednesday: Sewing Day ~ Thursday: Market Day ~ Friday: Cleaning Day ~ Saturday: Baking Day ~ Sunday: Day of Rest.

… as those particular chores would take the better part of each day to perform. Women wore aprons, not as fashion accessory to signal Patriarchal Oppression, but because affordable, ready-made clothing was not available. A woman might own a few good dresses and aprons protected them.

And, ironically, for the middle and upper class of the day, employing one or more servants for the household was standard.

Only as women had, not just the newly acquired time to pursue interests outside of the home, but advances in medicine which saw a drop in infant mortality, did the majority women even have the time to pursue careers. Women through history can be found in all manner of pursuits, but the majority of women, as well as men, were limited just by the circumstance of life itself being a daily struggle.

And without The Pill (1960) the increase of women into higher education and into the professional world would not have been so dramatic.

Wherein I offer advice to the conflicted feminist

Ms. Howard again on her wounded virtue —

For two months, I tried the fair pay option, contracting Jurate, a non-agency cleaner, and paying her, to her delight, £40 for a two-hour session. In the end, I couldn’t square this approach with my new knowledge about the relationship between paying a woman to clean my home and the structural devaluation of women’s work. 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.

Let’s review — a woman was delighted to take a voluntary contract for work for about $26/hour and then Ms. Howard got the weepies and sacked her after two months. That’s some feminist solidarity there, Sally! Part of the reasoning for sacking is Sally was creeped out about her 3-y/o son, who is warehoused elsewhere during Ms. Howard’s working hours, being curious about the hired help. I want to know where’s dad?

Sally? Time to take the red pill and realize the bill of goods you were sold. Time to put on your big girl panties and make new decisions because in your Woman-Hear-Me-Roar hubris you’ve already made some doozies. Somehow you got it in your head that housework is shitty therefore those who do it are lesser than. Maybe that’s why you were so cavalier in dumping the two women who voluntarily came to do a job at your house.

All honest work done capably is worthy of respect. Whether it is scrubbing a toilet or running a company. Go marry babydaddy, cut your hours, and balance chores and childcare with him. OR get married and stay home with junior and keep house. OR bring Jurate back and show her respect and let that be the example your son will take with him as he grows.

When you grow up and cease to be consumed by status and identity, you’ll be much happier with yourself and the world.

h/t David Thompson

featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license

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  • Scott says:

    Idiots like this woman say that all work should be valued, but then they themselves devalue the woman who cleans her house. How is cleaning a house any different than digging a ditch, or any other menial job. They are, as you point out, all jobs that need to be done, and should be valued by all of us. It’s these hypocritical loons that stuggle with the concept.

  • Joe in PNG says:

    Tom Wolfe wrote about what he called the ‘Apache Dance’ in his “The Painted Word”- referring to the newly wealthy artist’s need to dance between his Socialist Bohemian Values on one side, and the desire for a Wealthy Life of Bourgeois Luxury on the other. Some, like Picasso or Warhol, were veritable Fred Astaires at the process. Others, like Pollock, never could resolve the dilemma, and lived lives of misery.

    Our modern, prosperous society has made it possible for an increasingly larger proportion of people to have to face this dilemma, especially in areas where Socialism has a deeper root. Even Clickbait Serfs have to wrestle with this kind of guilt.

    The ironic thing is that those in the Upper Parties of Socialism don’t face this dilemma at all. Of course they have servants- it’s only their due as Leaders of the Vanguard of The Proletariat.

  • Bill S says:

    The coronavirus may bring some good. It may bring a sense of real-world reality into the lives of people who have clearly had things far too good for far too long.

  • Dietrich says:

    “The day my cleaner used to visit, I would return home in the evening to the smell of Dettol mixed with Tania’s sweat…”
    That’s one powerful nose you have there, Sally.

  • GWB says:

    smell of Dettol mixed with Tania’s sweat
    How the h*** hot do you keep your house?!?

    It was the same unease that greeted me when I collected my son Leo from his nursery
    Mind you, she’s uneasy about employing colored people of color, NOT about farming out the raising of her child to a national chain.

    bought clothes from … female garment workers in the global south
    That’s Brit-pansy-politi-speak for “people of color in the places where people of color predominantly reside”.

    Oh yes, prepare for it as I don my old lady bonnet and talk about in my day we …
    Meh. I’m gonna wave my cane at you young-uns! Pfft! You had a bonnet? We had to pound a dead horned toad flat and tie it on our head to keep the sun off!

    the structural devaluation of women’s work
    Right there you know she’s over-thinking this. That sort of malarkey – “structural devaluation” – is marxist talk for “I’m going to convince you of some absolute utter bull**** by using some big words that don’t even make sense when strung together.” (Go ahead, do a search for that phrase. Duck-Duck-Go will actually ask you if you’re sure that’s what you’re searching for.)

    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.
    Ummm, and what will cause him to think her work is worth less than… some nebulous other? About the only thing would be his being told or shown it is. And that would require you to do more than hire a cleaner.
    Of course, with your idiotic feminism warping his upbringing, it’s very likely he’ll end up thinking her work is worth less – because you’ll keep telling him that’s why racist people only hire those people to do the work.

    I want to know where’s dad?
    Obviously, he’s been “structurally devalued”.

    Time to put on your big girl panties
    WHOAH!!! There is SO much wrong with that! First, you’re assuming her gender, while simultaneously calling an adult ‘girl’. Then there’s the whole gender construct of females wearing “panties” and not “underwear”, like men. And that’s before you even get to the patriarchal concept that females have to wear undergarments!
    Back to the re-education camp with you!

    Go …
    Or, you know, she could always take the load off herself by enslaving her 3yo to doing things like cleaning the toilets. It will prepare him well for the feminist socialist hellhole she’s trying to make of the world.

  • Joe in PNG says:

    I’m also going to bet that our little Oh-So-Woke author of the piece will, in the Spirit of Valiant Proletarian Solidarity, embark on a period of cleaning the house herself. Which she will also crow and preen about, loudly and publicly, with the intention of garnering laurels of the Stunning and Brave variety.

    Then, once the Noble Feelings wear off, and the pressures of real life return, she’ll quietly hire someone to clean her house yet again.

  • CaptDMO says:

    We have a Retriever.
    GF is vacuuming all the time, in addition to laundry(machines) dishes (machine) etc., etc.
    ALL the cooking, food shopping, canning from the garden, as well as her street front shop in town.
    Last fall she decided to “get someone” to do ALL the windows.
    She conned me with “There’ll bee more light, heat, from the sun!” ECONOMICS!
    She hired a pro, took him three days, ALL windows, BOTH sides. (It’s a big place with eclectic architecture)
    I got the satisfaction of learning the tools and techniques for folks SERIOUS about cleaning windows,
    (No windex and paper towels) as well as supporting the local economy. (And light/heat from the Sun through the Winter.)
    I ALSO got a “report” on ALL the windows with cracks, etc.
    In addition to the (Pretty high IMHO) fee, I ALSO had to pay by disassembling 4 windows, just to get at ’em.
    Meh, check the counterweight ropes, and re mount the clamps that hold the windows open.
    Damned RIGHT I claimed “POINTS!” when I wrote out the check for the guy “cleaning lady”.
    Now, carpets……

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