“Didi mai kal kaam pe nai aungi.” Do you remember the last time your maid took an off or enjoyed a paid leave? In a time where many of us are privileged enough to be working and availing employee benefits, several domestic workers have either lost their job or are barely managing to scrape by due to the pandemic. Thankfully things are returning back to normal and house helps are now going back to work.
‘We need milk for our children’: India’s domestic workers – who cook & clean for the nation’s affluent families – struggle to feed their kids as employers stop paying them. They can’t work (or aren’t wanted due to covid fears). They have no rights to protect them. @divyaconnects pic.twitter.com/nReF5oYSE8
— Nicola Careem (@NicolaCareem) May 24, 2020
However, these testing times have revealed the sad reality of our society. In a tweet shared by @veenavenugopal, a Gurgaon woman, who posted her experience with her maid on a Facebook group, can be seen discriminating against her house help. The woman, who is apparently very nice to her maid, refused to give her a raise.
Have a look at the post:
Now, there can be two possibilities here -Either the employer didn’t pay her house help during the lockdown hence she is asking for a raise to sustain her family or the employer did pay her house help and the maid remains in dire need and seeks more money. However, either way, it is imperative that we help each other in every way possible since it’s risky to go out and work amid COVID-19.
Today in Gurgaon. “Maids will always be maids” and other classisms pic.twitter.com/0Wezz0aoUg
— Veena Venugopal (@veenavenugopal) July 27, 2020
Several people pointed out how the woman comes from a place of privilege and is ignorant of her house help’s needs.
Gurgaon Moms is one of the most classiest, elitist and shitty groups when it comes to discussions on domestic helps.
When I used to be on FB, it pissed me off so much that one day I had to do a rant-post calling these ladies out.
— Divya Rai (@raidivya27) July 27, 2020
God forbid someone asks you to pay them a little more during a fucking pandemic.
"Maids will be maids" no, they're GODDAMNED HUMAN BEINGS, YOU'RE CLASSISM IS SHOWING https://t.co/UKaIADhKsH
— mad woman in exile (@emansipashhunnn) July 28, 2020
The ‘odasity’ of writing this frankly!
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) July 27, 2020
And I have seen how they treat their maids when they take them out to functions, outings and restaurants for managing their kids.
— Mahua (@mahuadey20) July 27, 2020
Mostly when 'maids' are taken out to family functions, markets etc it's not for their enjoyment but to mind the kid.
— Saumyajit (@keysers0ze_80) July 27, 2020
This group is a gem I tell you. So called empowered women, cribbing about maids being entitled. I read this today and was thinking wow, the guts 😡
— Takeiteasyurvashi (@UrzC) July 27, 2020
The most revealing line for me is "as if we're working for them". This master-servant dynamic between employer and employee is deep-rooted and extends beyond house help and beyond Gurgaon. In see it in the whitest-collared jobs in the most liberal cities ☹️
— Ritesh Banglani (@banglani) July 27, 2020
Gurgaon households and maids are an altogether different genre.
— Salil Bijur (@salilbijur) July 27, 2020
The problem isn’t that she’s extremely classist.
The problem is she doesn’t even know it.
— SpacedLad (@CenteredAgnost) July 27, 2020
Local Gurgaon Aunty: I treated an employee with basic dignity and was shocked and hurt when they didn't casually risk their lives in a pandemic for me. https://t.co/zfz5KdfIfT
— mad woman D 🌊⚡ (@rainydaywavysea) July 28, 2020
This is how entitlement and privileges work https://t.co/IpxeE0Xqli
— Shalu Nigam (@ShaluNigam) July 28, 2020
Besides the “maids will be maids”, wonder what she means by “they are only good as long as we are good with them”. What does she expect? Feudal servitude no matter how the help is treated?
— Minari Shah (@MinariShah) July 28, 2020
Why not demand equal labour laws to put this menace to rest? But then who will pay maids:
-6m Maternity Leave
-Extra Allowance if you have guests forever
🔹Equality only for privileged women?
— Men’s Day Out (@MensDayOutIndia) July 28, 2020
typical upper/middle class attitude.this pandemic has brought it in sharper focus.
— Sanjay Kumar (@sanjayjavin) July 28, 2020
Took her out to family functions / market et al 😂😂😂😂 just how deluded is this woman thinking she was doing a favour. The maid was taken along for baby sitting for chrissakes.
BESH KORECHAY she asked for a raise. Boo hoo.
— PochaMaach پوچاماچ (@pochamaach) July 28, 2020
However, some others shared their bad experiences with their domestic help saying that maids are not right everytime:
I hear her too. Her expression and choice of words maybe poor and reflective of a certain mindset, and I will not defend her view. But the agent and the house help mafia in Gurgaon is very scary. Have 1000 horror stories – my own and from friends.
— Shweta Baxi Tyagi (@baxishweta) July 27, 2020
Later she never allowed any other maid to join our house. She used to go to their home and make quarrel if any other joined us. For six months my father took care of cooking. Me and my brother took care of cleaning part .You never know house maid mafia is too worst.
— PoRaPo | ಪೋರಪೋ (@urslikithbh) July 27, 2020
It’s the feudal mindset, my benevolence knows no bounds! Staff is a mean to an end and should be encouraged only to the extent that she gives her best, nahi to she will be too demanding. I handle my spouse too like that!
— ajay bhardwaj (@ajaybha04844557) July 28, 2020
Had a similar experience recently… Have been super accomodating for money, leaves etc but was shocked and hurt at her behaviour when asked to settle accounts as I moved city despite giving her extra money..its like she was pretending to be nice all this time.
— Aastha (@smiling_repose) July 28, 2020
Well, every coin has two sides. However, what do you think about the woman’s FB post? Tell us!