Friday, March 05, 2004

Update (The Nanny Debate Continues)

The long, often contentious, but always interesting interblog debate on motherhood, nannies, domestic service, and exploitation--which I weighed in on here, here, and over at Times & Seasons here--has reared its head again, this time with a few interesting twists. Timothy Burke and Belle Waring both post some wonderful, revealing, reflections on domestic service and the exploitation question in non-U.S. contexts. Laura takes Tim's comments and uses them as a springboard to wonder about the relationship between a desire for "privacy" (the main reason Tim is uncomfortable with domestic service) and our discomforting unwillingness to get our own hands dirty. She asks: "Are we losing the ability to take care of ourselves? Are we losing some of the rugged individualism and self-sufficiency that de Tocqueville observed in our country 200 years ago?" Chun the Unavoidable has a pretty emphatic response: "If you're healthy, and someone else is cleaning your house, you need to check yourself." Oh, and Nate Oman gets all lawyerly, as is his right, about the meaning of "exploitation." Anyway, read and comment away.