DE March 30: Group B


La Colectiva has a few conflicting messages. While their Bill of Rights demands improved conditions to empower workers and "level the playing field," their advertising is still steeped in the language of bourgeois capitalism. Despite labeling themselves as a progressive, labor-oriented organization, the first slogan that appears on their web site is: "you can call us your Fairy Godmothers." Invoking this fairy tale image doesn't do them any favors. A fairy godmother is a mythical creature endowed with special cleaning powers, whose sole purpose is to benevolently take care of people's chores. A fairy godmother doesn't have a family of her own to support, nor a personal life outside of her job - her entire identity is encompassed by her function. This completely negates La Colectiva's mission, which claims to be worker-driven.

Also, the idea of fairy godmother implies the presence of magic, which perpetuates the marginalization and invisibility of domestic labor. It promotes the notion that domestic work is not 'real' work, and erases the difficulty and toil endured by domestic workers every day. If a fairy godmother can solve all your household problems with a smile, a wave of her wand and a snap of her delicate fingers, she obviously can't be working very hard. So why should she be recognized or compensated for her labor?

Despite certain questionable instances of rhetoric, La Colectiva mostly has an effective grasp of internet media. The web site's layout is clean, attractive and easy to navigate. Its "About Us" section is clear and informative, but brief and to the point. It provides a quick and focused understanding of the organization's purpose and activities, and also has a number of links to related labor organizations that encourage visitors to learn more about workers' rights. The numerous videos and photographs in the gallery are compelling and provide a window into domestic workers' lives. While La Colectiva's image provides the stability and reliability of a large organization, it always emphasizes the humanity and individuality of the women who comprise it.

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