Today's discussion includes the film, Maid in America, and the following readings:
- Various articles/videos on Domestic Worker Safety and Dignity Project
- Handagneu-Sotelo. "Cleaning Up a Dirty Business"
- Focus on the La Colectiva Campaign: http://www.lacolectivasf.org
THE FILM: MAID IN AMERICA
- Who are the women in this film? TELMA, JUDITH, EVA
- What are their stories? Key issues?
Issue One: the American Dream
- What is the American Dream?
- What sort of values does the "american dream" promote/perpetuate? neoliberalism choice
- What are some problems with the vision of the American Dream from a feminist perspective?
- What important questions aren't posed/explored when we don't critically interrogate the American Dream?
- How does the film challenge and/or reinforce the ideology of an American Dream?
"Rights as Workers in this Country and as human beings around the World"
- What rights do (undocumented and documented) domestic workers have access to?
- Health Care? To Travel Freely (and safely)? Benefits and private time? Safe/clean/dignified working conditions?
- How are accessing those rights tied to their identities as workers? Should rights be tied to employment?
- How do/can/should we distinguish between rights as workers and rights as human beings?
Issue Three: Ethical and Political Evaluation
- How can/should/do we ethically evaluate this issue?
- How should we frame our ethical and political reflection?
- Which questions should we pose? Which ones should we try to answer?
Issue Four: Resistance and Agency
- Hondagneu-Sotelo argues for reform and working within the system--not to abolish but to upgrade the occupation--in order to transform domestic work (210). What are some strategies she describes?
- Do the reforms she proposes come at the expense of revolutionary/radical/visionary change? Do her reforms merely serve to work within and reinforce the system or to do something else?
- What types of resistance and agency are the women in the film expressing/performing?
- Are these women resistant or merely reinforcing ideologies about the American Dream/Worker? (How) can we imagine them as neither victims or uncritical success stories?
- What is the value of organizing? Making others critically aware?
How can we compare/contrast the movie, Maid In America, with La Colectiva's video: