Perhaps no other time of year highlights the gender gap around unpaid labor as much as the holiday season. This is particularly punctuated for mothers with children in the home, or for daughters caring for aging parents, or for menopausal women like me who finally “see” what needs seeing.
It’s not that planning, preparing and tending aren’t pleasures; it’s the painfully pervasive “consumer mentality” that accompanies these valuable resources of attention, consideration and creativity, particularly in the home, or especially in the home, or more importantly–first seeded in the home–where women are often the prime weavers of the invisible threads that shape the fabric of family and community.
Does a vagina predispose one to carry the bulk of emotional (and other unseen) labor so necessary to society?
It’s taken me years of participation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to finally understand that the division of labor in the home is not an issue of fairness, but one of great moral consequence. Inequities impede women’s voice, women’s choices, their economics and their health which in turn negatively impact children and society as a whole.
So whether it’s Hannukah or Solstice or Christmas or Sunday dinner or a pre-game party or just the day to day, BE A COLLABORATOR, not a consumer, and expect the same from those around you.
Equity begins in the home, and thus must include children in the ever-expanding practice of awareness, gratitude, contribution and co-creation of that which we all deserve–joy, peace, love, magic, celebration, simplicity, a healthy planet, safe homes, net neutrality, truly representational government, thoughtful gifts and freshly baked cookies.