Posts Tagged domestic work

Why the gender gap in children’s allowances matters

I figured the gender wage gap in babysitting had to be the earliest wage gap out there. But Bryce Covert has uncovered an even earlier one:

Nearly 70 percent of boys say they get an allowance, compared to just under 60 percent of girls, according to a new survey from Junior Achievement.

But unfortunately, it’s not likely because boys do more chores. One study found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls. A 2009 survey of ...

I figured the gender wage gap in babysitting had to be the earliest wage gap out there. But Bryce Covert has uncovered an even earlier one:

Nearly 70 percent of boys say they get an allowance, ...

Photo(s) of the Day: Domestic workers at work

The “hidden” nature of domestic work is what first drew Ellen Jacob to begin her photo series, “Substitutes.” For the series, Jacobs photographed and interviewed nannies living and working in New York City, increasing the visibility of work that is too often relegated to the privacy of individual homes. What follows are some beautiful images of daily life while caring for the children of others.

The “hidden” nature of domestic work is what first drew Ellen Jacob to begin her photo series, “Substitutes.” For the series, Jacobs photographed and interviewed nannies living and working in New York City, ...

This Week in Feminism South of the Border

Image translation: “While some breathe in, others expire.” Photo cred

For those of us who have family, friends and ties beyond borders, and those of us who care about global feminism, here’s a few tidbits on what our allies south of the border are up to.

Guyana’s Chief Justice rules that “cross-dressing in a public place is an offense only if it is done for an improper purpose.” The Guyana trans community and their allies argue that this is not enough. What is an “improper purpose?”

The Zapatistas haven’t made news in a while, but they are still making community away from mainstream norms. To read why many argue that the Zapatistas are feminist, click

Photo courtesy of NY Times (click photo for link)

The Feministing Five: Ai-jen Poo

For the past 12 years, Ai-jen Poo has been fighting for the workers “that make all other work possible.” Co-director of Caring Across Generations and director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), she was recently named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2012. And we’ve been fans of hers here at Feministing for awhile now.

Working in the private sphere behind closed doors, domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to basic labor violations. Our nation’s caregivers face long hours (sometimes as long as 16 hours per day) and no overtime pay or health insurance. There are no safety nets for domestic workers. If a domestic worker falls ill, is fired without notice ...

For the past 12 years, Ai-jen Poo has been fighting for the workers “that make all other work possible.” Co-director of Caring Across Generations and director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), she was recently ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Lucy

Melissa Harris Perry and others have been deconstructing just how disturbing the movie, The Help, really is. I haven’t seen it, nor have I read the book, but I recently picked up another book at my mom’s recommendation that deals with some of the same themes in a way that was powerful, complex, and surprising in so many profound ways. Published in 1990, it’s called Lucy and it’s written by the incredible novelist, Jamaica Kincaid.

Lucy, believed to be strongly autobiographical, focuses on the experiences of Caribbean immigrant au pair, Lucy Josephine Potter. We see American culture–family, gender, class–all through Lucy’s eyes. She is a fearless witness, a truth teller, and a woman changed by her observations. Much of ...

Melissa Harris Perry and others have been deconstructing just how disturbing the movie, The Help, really is. I haven’t seen it, nor have I read the book, but I recently picked up another book at my ...

Quick Hit: Ai-jen Poo-organizing NYC’s domestic workers

Please check out this must-read super inspiring write-up by Barbara Ehrenreich on the imitable Ai-jen Poo a now long time organizer, founder of Domestic Workers United and director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. Poo saw injustice and she did something about it–something that changed the lives of 100’s of women.

My image of a union organizer, based on extensive personal experience, is a big, loud guy with a bullhorn, not a slender, soft-spoken former women’s studies major whose reflexive response to a crowd is to melt into the sidelines. Nor does Ai-jen Poo look like a typical D.W.U. member, at least no more than than Jennifer Lopez looked like a housecleaner in “Maid in Manhattan,” and ...

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A Victory for Domestic Workers

Congrats to Domestic Workers United for winning a seven year battle to have a “Domestic Workers Bill of Rights” enacted in New York State. Yesterday, New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill that will guarantee domestic workers such as nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers of the elderly one day of rest per week and after a year of employment, a minimum of three paid days off.  It also includes protection against sexual harassment and other types of discrimination, and is supposed to strengthen current laws for live-in domestic workers.

One day a week off and 3 paid days off after a year of working may not sound like much but it’s a victory for the over 200,000 domestic ...

Congrats to Domestic Workers United for winning a seven year battle to have a “Domestic Workers Bill of Rights” enacted in New York State. Yesterday, New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill that ...