When my daughter was three, we were driving along somewhere when she (obviously a victim of my penchant for fairy tales) said, “Mommy, you’re our servant.” I managed to avoid hitting a telephone pole and sputtered, “WHAT?”
“Yes, you cook and clean and take care of the house and us. That’s what servants do.”
Now, I consider myself a feminist. I think that women can do the same job as men and shouldn’t be held back or paid less just because they’re women. They should have the opportunity to have a meaningful profession outside of the home.
I work very part time (about 7 hours a week on a schedule of my choosing) so that I can do my real job: make a comfortable and peaceful home for my family. I take pleasure in planning and preparing nutritious meals, keeping things clean, organized, and in good repair. I find creative outlets in sewing, gardening, cooking, and so much more. There is intellectual challenge in budgeting, planning outings, education, entertainment, and other things too numerous to mention. It is truly emotionally satisfying to be the trusted confidante and sounding board for my husband, daughter, family, and friends – and to trust and confide in them in return.
Now that my daughter is 13, I think she has a greater appreciation for and understanding of my job (and knows better than to call me “the servant”). But I run into all kinds of people (even homemakers) who don’t have the appropriate value for the vital contributions of – I’m just going to put the word out there – housewives.
How does feminism – the valuing of women – turn into the de-valuing of the very important work that is traditionally a woman’s? Makes no sense.