This pandemic has again brought to light the fact that the world runs on the efforts and consideration of the caretakers. In fact, the role of mother and homemaker has never been given it’s due respect from my perspective. We aren’t just undercompensated for the care we give the people who need it, we are under appreciated. And not just by everyone, but by ourselves.
An exhibit at the National Museum of American History titled All Work and No Pay: A History of Women’s Invisible Labor went up just as the lockdown happened. “Explore the history of women’s work in the home and the value and implications of unwaged labor. Despite making steps forward in the paid labor force, there is an implied and historical expectation that women will take care of the housework and unpaid work at home.”
100 years later with a right to vote and everyone still expects this of us, even us.
For the care of our loved ones, we willingly sacrifice our own needs for time, space, peace, and care. These considerations for self-care fall on our shoulders just as all the other caretaking considerations and we shove them to the bottom of the list as we’ve always done. But then here we are, “Do as I do not as I say” and “My needs aren’t as important as yours”.
Here we are raising another generation to disregard women.
So my cry for freedom is that we stop the martyrdom of not caring for ourselves and fake it until we make it. We share chores because all work is just as important. We share childcare as best we can because we need time off. We ask brothers and sisters to take a day or two off of their lives to care for their parent too, we need to get our hair professionally dyed or just sit in silence and turn off our auto buttons. And let’s pass on to the next generation the idea that there is no work that is just “women’s work.”
A banner from the Suffragist era reads,
” Forward out of darkness, Leave behind the night.
Forward out of error, Forward into Light.”
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