The Tea Turned Cold – IV

Please note the fourth part of an essay at POLITICS .

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

IV.

Imagine that in times of austerity, companies and organisations started sending out new job descriptions, proposing that everyone could keep their job if they agreed to do some additional unpaid work.

Since there were no funds any more for cleaning and catering nor for gardening, all staff would have to hoover offices and clean bathrooms, buy and prepare lunches and snacks, serve coffees and wash up, mow lawns and water flower-beds.

The schedules, we would be assured, would be very flexible, so that everyone could to a great extent choose at what hours to carry out these extra duties or whether to come in on Saturdays or Sundays. No one should be worried about their prospects because they would be kept on if they had to change their working patterns or go down on their hours.

There would be no law passed about this; it would be a general consensus of an enlightened society.

Read more here.

Corner of garden with flowers and climbers, spade and trowel.Garden planted from scratch. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

The Tea Turned Cold – III

Please note the third part of an essay at POLITICS .

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

III.

The notion that women are paid less although they work as much and as hard is erroneous: women are paid less although they work more and harder than men. In fact, women are paid less because they work more than men.

If you take into account that women spend much of their time and energy on domestic chores, it stands to reason that they have less space left for their education, training, development, paid and unpaid work, and are less likely to be promoted.

You wonder why someone devotes an essay to something as humble as cleaning toilets or filling washing-machines, and why this should be a political issue. Well, it is a question of principle but also a question of scale.

If you work out that a woman’s additional labour – by comparison to the life partner or other male peers – may well amount to 1,000 hours per year, you reach the figure of 10,000 hours rather soon across a lifetime. This is supposedly sufficient to become a veritable expert or great artist; and this is cut out of women’s lives, with no one noticing a hole as big as the Bermuda Triangle.

Read more here.

 

Line of washing outdoors, very colourful, above greenery and flower-pot.Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

The Tea Turned Cold – II

Please note the second part of an essay at POLITICS:

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

II.

When a woman cooks a nourishing meal from scratch for her family and afterwards wipes the table and counters, scrubs the sink, rinses and washes all the crockery and cutlery, all the spoons and utensils, and the casserole or baking-tray, will she say: “Well, washing up is as much work again as cooking”?

No, she will say: “I do it by hand. It’s only four plates.” And she will say it with a shrug of her shoulders and a throwaway tone.

Read more here.

Two round cakes from above, with cherries in patterns.

Home-made millet and cherry cakes. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

The Tea Turned Cold – I

Please note the first part of an essay at POLITICS:

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

I.

When I was a teenager, my parents agreed that I was academically gifted, but had no practical talent whatsoever (by contrast to my brother); this was despite the fact that I had been capable of cooking and baking and taking over the household to the same exacting standards, whenever the need arose, from the age of twelve.

This must mean that domestic work is no practical work and no skilled work either.

Read more here.

Three cakes: one glazed and decorated, one topped with fresh fruit in a pattern, one with plenty of dried fruits and nuts.Home-made Christmas cakes. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2012.

A new chapter will be added to this essay for several months running.

I Peel Potatoes Round and Round

I Peel Potatoes Round and Round

The pots and pans are stacked away
The fruit and flour packed away
The spoons and ladles tied away
And half my life is lied away

I peel potatoes round and round
And see the muddy peelings mount
I peel and chop and boil and feel
My lifetime passing with the peel

The dust and crumbs are sucked away
The sheets and covers tucked away
The mud and mildew brushed away
And half my life is washed away

I am a woman and a wife
And all of you deny my life
Cast speeches of equality
And stifling silence over me

The socks and shirts are stacked away
The boots and woollens packed away
The shears and shovels tied away
And half my life is lied away

I am a woman and a wife
And all of you deny my strife
Is this two thousand seventeen?
My shackles hurt me more unseen

Christina Egan © 2016

Line of washing outdoors, very colourful, above greenery and flower-pot.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

Pretended liberation of women = Double shifts for women = New servitude of women

Read more in the essay  The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup  at FEMINISM.