Germaine Greer on Q

I was listening to Germaine Greer on Q the other day. She was talking about a documentary called The F word about the state of feminism, which I haven’t yet had the chance to see. But there was a point she made during her interview that really has me thinking. She talked about how one of the problems facing women today is the sheer amount of work – we work outside the home and then we return home and there’s more work to do. Not exactly a revelation – but then she made the point that when walking around her neighbourhood she passes doors and knows that behind each one mothers are labouring on almost identical tasks for their 1.2 children. She said that there has to be a way to somehow join efforts, but that in many ways women are still competing against each other instead of working together.

Maybe the point about competition is a bit unfair, but it definitely has me thinking. Every night I make dinner for four (well to be fair, J makes it sometimes too). It would be no harder to make dinner for eight, bring one to my neighbour and have her bring us dinner the next night. But I don’t really know my neighbour, which is one problem, so I’d never ask. I’m sure I have friends across town who’d do it, but driving dinner across town becomes more of a chore than anything else. Division of labour is a lynch pin of our economy, but we rarely use it at home – or do we? Does anyone else have ideas on how to divide and share labour more effectively at home?

You can listen to the podcast of the episode on CBC’s site. Unfortunately they use some weird Flash thing so I can’t figure out how to link directly to the podcast, but all the episodes are here. Greer appeared on the March 3, 2011 show.

3 thoughts on “Germaine Greer on Q”

  1. I think about this ALL the time. If you think about it, if we really worked together within our local communities, we could revolutionize the way we live. For example – we have a dog, our upstairs neighbor has a dog. It would so pretty easy for me to take his dog out from time to time when I take mine our, but I’ve never thought to offer. We could watch each other’s dogs when we go on vacation, but we just pay the local dog walker instead. Which is fine, of course, but it’s just an example of how there are all these interesting potential synergies across our lives. I think I told you that we have a local babysitting coop that is SO brilliant, and it works because we all live within like 30 city blocks of one another. It takes hardly any effort to run over and sit in your neighbor’s kitchen while they go out for dinner a few blocks away and their kids are sleeping, and then they return the favor next week.

  2. I need to know more about this co-op! How does it work? Something like that could totally work in our neighbourhood as there are so many kids.

  3. I think it’d be a treat to have one night be a night where we either all get together and eat what the other has made (taking turns) or drop off an extra batch of whatever it is we’ve made. Food for thought, pardon the pun.

    I’d be in on any sort of cooperative effort–could also be a shopping type of coop where we pick up extra whatevers and drop it off or share. I dunno, it would need some planning but I bet it could work. We don’t live that far from each other!!

    I’m also not immune to babysitting on a set night so we can trade a night where someone comes and sits on my couch so my and hubby can go out for a few hours. Let me know if you’re in…

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