When we think about the inequality of this world, one of the most common topics discussed is our attitude towards labor. The work that we put in, and the hours that we do, often come under scrutiny. Many of us believe, though, that one part of society – women in particular – aren’t given their fair due for the work they do.
Well, a new exhibit down at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is shining a light on the inequality that female labor often goes through. It shows generations worth of unappreciated female labor in a fantastic level of detail.
It’s one that will resonate with every parent who feels run off her feet. The work that is done at home, which is part of the exhibits main focus, often goes unnoticed. If you are a female who feels like her work at home and in the workplace often goes without thanks, you might want to check out this eye-opening exhibit.
All Work, No Pay
Known as “All Work, No Pay: A History of Women’s Invisible Labor” is a fine example of how females are often undervalued at home. It shows a fine collection of the kind of clothing and tools that a female would use during work at home, as well as various other crass items that have often put a social expectation on the way that women should interact with the home.
It also shows that, despite progress since the 1890s, we’re still nowhere near reaching a point where the workload at home is reduced or appreciated accordingly.
From the kind of clothing that would have been worn to insulting board games about helping mother do the chores, this is a fine exhibit of a shameful side of modern society. It’s a great choice for a museum exhibition, though, shining a proper light on the inequality that is faced by all women, including those who were forced to work as slaves or domestics.
Speaking about this tremendous event is that of Kate Haulman, who is the Co-Curator of the exhibit. Speaking to Smithsonian.com, she said: “Usually when we say work, often people think paid work—wages, paychecks, salaries—but so much of work today and across American history has not been paid, so we wanted to highlight that this is true of much work.
It is certainly true for the work of domestic spaces and the work of care, and that work, historically, has been done by women.”
The hope is that the exhibit will not just empower women, but also resonate with men who might take a closer look at their own role in society. It’s a very important exhibit, and one that could go some way to opening the eyes of some people to where they might be going wrong. With distribution of home duties still very much uneven, today, the hope is that some men will finally take a look at how they help out at home and contribute further.
For a fine example of societal mistakes with how we treat women, then, be sure to come and check out this tremendous exhibit. It’s got something for everyone: especially those interesting in finding proof for the need of long-term social change.