NY Times: The Nannies’ Norma Rae

It’s the most intimate class divide in human civilization, or at least in such relatively civilized places as Manhattan and Park Slope, Brooklyn. On the one side, there is the professional couple bringing in six figures a year; on the other, the nanny or maid without whom the couple wouldn’t be able to practice their professions. Conditions of employment are as variable as the individual employers are — from respectful and considerate all the way to criminally abusive. On average, a domestic worker is likely to get less than $15 an hour, no benefits and none of the credit or glory. To my knowledge anyway, there has never been a successful career woman — or man, for that matter — who’s responded to being praised for “doing it all” by saying, “Actually, Manuela (or Angelica or Harriet) does most of it.”

Read more of Barbara Ehrenreich's profile of Ai-jen Poo in the New York Times »