Washington, DC – The “invisible and unpaid work” of women throughout the history of the country is the center of an exhibition at the National Museum of History in Washington, which reminds us that despite the social advances the gap of gender is still palpable in areas such as home care.
“Instead of doing something like the ones that had been done before, like women during World War II, the curators chose to look at the work that had traditionally been considered invisible, which is considered women’s work,” he told Efe. Anthea M. Hartig, the new director of the National Museum of the capital.
“It is a job that, paradoxically, is more visible when it is not done than when it is done,” remarked Hartig in the presentation of the exhibition “All Work, No pay” (All work, no salary), which was inaugurated. week.
The exhibition, which coincides with the celebration of Women’s Day on March 8, portrays the “changing” perspectives of gender and work in the early United States, and the subsequent “contrast”, between 1890 and 1940, between the progress in the salary paid outside the home and the persistence of unpaid work in the home.
Lastly, it underlines the “tacit expectation” that the care of the house will be maintained, despite advances in women’s rights from 1960 to 1990.
To do this, the exhibition presents various objects and clothing specifically designed for women to do domestic work, such as small items that facilitated freedom of movement in the home and were often complemented by large pockets stitched where they carried small utensils, such as scissors and thimbles.
It emphasizes how, in spite of technological advances such as electric irons, household work was barely lightened, which continued to be mainly carried out by women in the first half of the 20th century.
With a touch as sharp as ironic, the exhibition concludes with the contemporary version of “the housecoat”: the yoga pants that many women nowadays use to do housework.
The official data still reflects the evidence of gender disparity. Women earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man receives in 2018, compared with the 64 cents they got for every dollar a man earned in 1980.
Hartig is, in fact, the first woman to run the prestigious History Museum of the capital, something that is “especially honored”.
“As a public historian who has tried to make complexity, beauty and ugliness of history somewhat accessible, I will try to offer gender sensitivity to tell the story from the perspective of women,” he told Efe.
In the face of the controversial figure of the current president, Donald Trump, whose conservatism has generated the rejection of a large part of the women, embodied in the historic great protest march that they staged shortly after he arrived at the White House in 2017 and that brought together More than a million people, Hartig claimed the role of historians.
“History museums are,” he said, “one of the places where we rely the most to learn, we are a wonderful learning laboratory.”
“The objects we hold tell a lot of stories, from the pink caps (worn by the protesters of the women’s march) to the reds of the” Let’s make big back to the USA “(Trump’s motto). It is a great moment to live history, because we are aware that we are still writing it, “said Hartig. (EFEUSA)