CAUSES OF THE PRESENT UNSATISFACTORY CONDITION OF DOMESTIC LABOR
Ignorance and inefficiency in the home.
Difficulty of obtaining women to do housework.
The disadvantages connected with housework compared
with work in factories, stores, and offices.
The twentieth-century woman, in spite of her progressive and ambitious theories about woman’s sphere of activity, has allowed her housekeeping methods to remain almost stationary, while other professions and industries have moved forward with gigantic strides.
She does not hesitate to blazon abroad with banners and pennants her desire to share with man the responsibility for the administration of the State, but she overlooks the disquieting fact that in the management of her own household, where her authority is absolute, she has failed to convince the world of her power to govern. When confronted with this accusation, she asserts that the maintenance of a home is neither a business nor a profession, and that in consequence it ought not to be compared with them nor be judged by the same standards.
Is it not due perhaps to this erroneous idea that housekeeping is a failure to-day? For the fact that it is a failure cannot be hidden, and that it has been a failure for many years past is equally true. Recent inventions, and labor saving utensils, have greatly facilitated housework, yet housekeeping is still accompanied with much dissatisfaction on the part of the employer and the employee.
There are only a few women to-day who regard domestic science in the light of a profession, or a business, although in reality it is both. For what is a profession if it be not the application of science to life? And does not work which one follows regularly constitute a business?
Many women, however, do not regard housekeeping even as a serious occupation, and few have devoted as much time, thought, and energy to mastering the principles of domestic economy as of late years women of all classes of society have willingly given to the study of the rules and ever changing intricacies of auction bridge. Some consider their time too valuable to devote to domestic and culinary matters, and openly boast of their ignorance. Outside engagements, pleasures, philanthropic schemes, or work, monopolize their days, and the conduct of the house devolves upon their employees. The result is rarely satisfactory. It is essential that the woman who is at the head of any concern, be it a business, a profession, or a home, should not only thoroughly understand its every detail, but in order to make it a success she must give it her personal attention each day for at least a portion of her time.