DOMESTIC WORKERS HELP THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD NOT JUST MOM
Regarding Edward Schumacher-Matos’s Jan. 22 op-ed, “The helping hands career women need“:
I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Schumacher-Matos’s basic point: So many of us owe a huge debt to immigrant domestic workers, and they deserve more rights and more focused attention in the immigration debate. As someone who worked with one beloved nanny for 13 years, I can say it’s an issue near and dear to my family’s heart.
That said, Mr. Schumacher-Matos’s premise – that this is a professional woman’s issue – strikes a deeply anachronistic and even offensive chord. He suggests that the Latina nanny and housekeeper who cared for his and his wife’s children and household was essential to his wife’s career. Not to his? That’s true only if you buy the premise that raising children, cooking dinner or cleaning the home are of no concern to a “hard-charging professional man.” Surely Mr. Schumacher-Matos meant to say that for any family with two working parents, both parents should acknowledge the degree to which their personal and professional lives have depended frequently and often deeply on the hard-working hands of others – usually women, often immigrants.
Yes, we ought to raise our own hands – and voices – in support of those women. But the idea that protecting women’s rights is a woman’s issue is an argument that ought to get taken out with the trash – by anyone in the home who happens to have a spare moment to do it.
Lynn R. Charytan, Potomac