When watching the film, Maid in America, the woman's story who seemed particularly problematic/ conscious-raising was Thelma's. She was the woman who worked for the black family. I understand that families have a lot going on and some need assistance with keeping the house clean, cooking, helping with homework, possibly bringing a child to and from school, etc. This family in particular had Thelma there for all parts of the day. I did not catch if she may have possibly even lived with them. It was also interesting that the couple even brought up their own histories which involved slavery and domestic work. The father seemed to see this work as a means to an end for Thelma. What is Thelma getting out of this relationship; what great ending is in her future? The father also mentioned that anyone who is a part of your family like Thelma is there's should be paid as much as the family could possibly afford. If i recall, at the end of the movie Thelma was dreaming of earning ten dollars an hour. To me that is not nearly enough money for the amount of work that she does for the family (cook, clean , help with homework, assist at family gatherings, drop off and pick of child from school, tuck the child in for bed, etc.). It also was very sad to me that the family's son had been around Thelma so much that he began calling her mommy. This shows the amount of time Thelma spends in their home. Does Thelma get private time away from their home? How often does she come in contact with her own family? Does she get vacation time and/or benefits? I still am not exactly sure if the use of domestic workers is something that is reasonable/fair. Under what circumstances is this kind of work okay and what type of pay/benefits/vacation should be a set minimum standard for these domestic workers?
Maid in America
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