Unpaid Labour – What is Your Time, Your Diligence Worth? How Easily Are You Replaced?

Unpaid Labour – What is Your Time, Your Diligence Worth? How Easily Are You Replaced?

The list of what you do and how skilled it is gets longer as you go up the social ladder. But it also means you can afford to have someone else do it as paid labour.

  • childcare
  • housekeeping
  • social secretary
  • office assistant
  • hostess

When it comes to such things as estate planning and divorce/custody, or if you are taken ill and cannot continue these tasks, it becomes challenging to place a dollar value on these tasks. But without that ‘little lady’ tending the home fires, or at least supervising those who do the tasks, no man would get ahead.

And that’s just inside the home. There are also carer occupations where you do things you can’t get paid for. Or you stay overtime to clear your task list.

Like teaching:

  • marking
  • lesson planning

Like counter-staff:

  • cleaning
  • cash outs
  • phone inquiries

Or nursing:

  • report
  • checking in on that one patient
  • answering worried patient, parent questions on your way out
  • staying over because your relief is held up and the floor or home cannot be left unattended

Everyone knows these tasks must be done and it takes skill to do them. But because they are primarily seen as women’s occupations, and many BIPOC women do them, they are under-valued.

And that is even before tasks that are specific to fertility are added. No man can get pregnant, carry a child to term, breast-feed… yet they have no problem trying to police these activities. And put no economic value on them. What would society and cultures/religions do if all women refused to continue doing these things? We know the answer, don’t we? The world would literally end. In one generation.

Never has this become clearer than now with pandemic response being laid out so heavily onto these shoulders.

Yet we’re still having to explain why things like paid sick days, minimum wage and benefits are critical. Today at least, the doctors are joining the unions to call for these workers to be properly supported.

But some parties worse than others, the govt still doesn’t seem to hear how necessary these wage for care or service discussions are.

If there was any torch that feminists have carried thru the years that has had worth, it’s this one. And it has been carried thru the farm, cottage work, and industrial complex eras.

Women (and some men) are not valued if they care or serve. Yet that is who we need to value the most. We literally couldn’t survive without them.

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