Childcare workers are underpaid because we’re women. We are the working poor
Women are exploited because of our capacity to put others’ needs ahead of our own. We are underpaid because we care – and we’re angry
So that’s the description from the subeditors. The first para reads:
I first began working in the childcare sector in 1990. As a recent graduate with a degree in visual arts, it was the obvious career path to become a cook in a long day care centre for toddlers! It was a non-profit community-based service and resonated with my values and beliefs.
Getting a job that resonates with your values and beliefs is pay luvvie. And perhaps the degree and career choice could have been more closely aligned?
When I began to have children of my own, the position became untenable. Around the birth of my first child I discovered a couple of things that really unsettled me.
First, as a spouse, I was not considered by society as an individual at all. I was without independence and completely financially reliant on my partner. I had never been without the ability to earn some money, and the feeling that I was now individually penniless was a humiliating discovery. To be clear, it was a feeling of my own doing as my partner had no qualms about being the breadwinner and did not in any way play a guilt trip on me but I profoundly felt as if I had been robbed of something.
Err, yes, the family is the primary economic unit among us humans. Not unusual among viviparous mammals either.