Across the UK, women are being held back from doing the unpaid, exhausting, boring work each and every one of them was born to do. As a result, the UK risks falling behind competitors in terms of the efficient exploitation of womankind.
According to experts, the social stigma attached to cleaning behind the fridge and ironing underpants is leading countless British women to neglect these tasks entirely.
“Attitudes need to change,” said one. “For too long society has been ambivalent about watching women get down on their hands and knees and scrub the floor for no pay whatsoever. Men in particular have tended to find this ‘yucky’. We want women to know that servitude is a normal part of daily life and in many cases will bring them great joy.”
I’m joking, obviously. No one would actually say these things, would they? While it might be true that both globally and within the UK women perform a greater share of unpaid domestic tasks, few would try to sell this as something women need to be “liberated” to do even more of, at least not without an offer of material support and economic recognition.
And yet we do this with breastfeeding. Time and again, the hard work of breastfeeding is sold to women as some luxurious activity – “a wonderful, joyous thing,” according to Prof Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – despite the fact that for many of us, it’s anything but.