NOTIME TO CLEAN?
Doa mother and a housekeeper have the same responsibilities? Is ahousewife’s job to clean the house? Staying at home doing thehousework, taking care of the kids and being the mom and wife, hasbeen the female participation through the time and gives theimpression to be the role for any woman. But, is it truly for anywoman? In an ad which its title is “NoTime To Clean?”there is a normal woman cleaning her house. She is doing severalhouse chores she appears in different positions mopping, cleaningand resting on a couch looking tired. At first sight the picturelooks like any other ad it offers some cleaning services andincludes the contact information also. Apparently nothing is strangeon it, only this issue: how many white American girls or women cleantheir own house? Not many of them. Even the personality on this imagehas a serious expression on her face. She indicates that definitely,she does not like what she is doing on the picture. Besides, the wayshe is dressed, it is not usual or practical to clean the house.According to Evelyn Nakano Glenn and Leslie Satzinger, some peoplethink that they were not born to do this kind of occupation, suchAmericans.
Todayis typical to see Latin, Asian or black women working ashousekeepers. Sociologist Evelyn Nakano Glenn has made thedistinction of works by race on her article Womenand Labor Migration. Whoeverthat knows something about the United States of America culturerecognizes about the different jobs are developed by specificimmigrant groups of people. As it is written previously, the pictureis clearly offering cleaning houses services Nevertheless thecharacter on the ad is white, as a result it can be concluded thatthe services are offered for white American women. And who are thepeople that will do this job? The job is usually taken by the womenwith different skin color from white American females. This ad is aconfirmation of what Nakano Glenn states of the most common jobsoffered to migrant women. Otherwise in the ad instead having the sameperson doing several house tasks, it could be seen several women withdifferent skin color as the ones mentioned before.
Consequentlythe social status of these groups was degraded since the firstgenerations came into the country, Evelyn Nakano Glenn wrote “Theycame to be seen as particularly suited for, and only suited for,degraded work.”[ CITATION Nak86 l 2058 ].Butthis did not happen only at the beginning of immigrants arrival,Nakano explains that this occurs nowadays with the descendants ofthose first females and men. And it is not the immigration statusthat places these individuals in a discrimination position. The womanon the ad could not be American, actually she could be European. Thedivision is pronounced on minority ethnic groups, specifically:Asian, Latin, black and Chicana women, the ones with different skincolor. Furthermore American women did not have to face theresponsibilities of working for a long period, like migrants did.Females were supposed to stay at home when got marriage or havechildren, Nakano expressed, migrant women were “forced” into anew life rhythm for them.
Thereforein the picture the woman does not look like someone that is used toclean a house nor to work either. She is wearing a pretty dress andhigh heels, probably that is the reason why she looks so tired aftercleaning the house. Nakano Glenn established that by the time ofWorld War II there was high demand for helpers with the housework.With the privation of freedom, and this task perceived as hard workand undesirable job by white women, they did not want to do it. It isreflected in the picture the central character’s expressiondemonstrates that she is not enjoying the job actually it can besaid that she cannot stand it. As a result of this attitude towardshousekeeping, there were more than a few labor opportunities formigrants.
Onthe other hand, American women did not see it as opportunities, butthey continued asking for workers. They saw this situation with anegative visualization. “As jobs begin to be seen as long-termoccupations, degrading work becomes more distasteful and insecurityless tolerable” [ CITATION Nak86 l 2058 ].And evenwhen the ad seemed to be old and the references are post-war, in thepresent time this situation has not changed much. Leslie Salzingeron her work AMaid by Any Other The Transformation of “Dirty Work” byCentral American Immigrants,professional women as teachers, businesswomen, cashiers, etc. intheir native country now work as maids in the United States ofAmerica suffering a lack of progress by the denial of education andother services.
Asa consequence, they also felt the insecurity of not having a longterm job. Even all these obstacles, such as the discrimination, lowpayments and degraded tasks migrants realized that theself-employment was the solution as it could be shown on the ad whereis provided a phone number and a webpage to hire house cleaningservices. Nakano mentioned “how are migrants of color escape fromdead-end jobs? Self-employment is the main possibility” [ CITATION Nak86 l 2058 ]However,self-employment gives the impression to be the solution to informaljob for immigrants. The same sociologist who described this answer as“the main possibility” also remarked that the minor enterprisesare the migrants who were able to earn enough money to found abusiness. She also explained they hire their family members or fellowcitizens with the aim of having an “opportunity of mobility”.Unfortunately this is done by taking advantage of their compatriots.
Thesesmall aggrupation of refugees succeed because they develop otherabilities besides cleaning houses or agriculture skills. In words ofLeslie Salzinger “There is no other way to “advanced” fromclerical worker to executive or from janitor to nurse without formaleducation” [ CITATION Sal91 l 2058 ].Theprofessionals working as maids in this country are clever enough toimprove their situation in the United States of America by certifiedtheir studies or completing them. And people without any career alsoare able to have and demand for a better standard of living. In bothcircumstances and all similar, the only matter to be successful isthe determination of each person. An Asian can become a doctor andstop being a maid a Latin female can become a lawyer, and so on.Including white American ladies, with determination and spirit, theycan be totally able to clean their own houses and educate their kids.
Nakano Glenn, E. (1986). Women and Labor Migration. In Issei, & Nissei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese-American Women in Domestic Service (pp. 3-5, 8-12). Philadelphia: Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Retrieved from Southern Utah University SUU.
Salzinger, L. (1991). A Maid by Any Other The Transformation of "Dirty Work" by Central American Immigrants. Ethnography unbound: Power and resistance in the modern metropolis, 139-160.