“Where’s your helper?”, “Is your aunty coming?”, “Is that your maid?”: all questions you’ve most likely overheard someone asking. But have you ever wondered how your domestic worker feels about it?
A recent survey from HK Helpers Campaign shows that 72% of domestic workers are unhappy with the term ‘domestic helper’ and ‘maid’. Despite popular reference to the words, even by the government and authorities, negative connotations are associated with the term ‘helper’, making them feel inferior to their boss and even lower than that of an employee. The survey showed that they preferred the term ‘domestic worker’.
Some argued that being called a ‘helper’ is okay as ‘helping’ is what they are truly doing in the household. Others, however, find the term vulgar and degrading. Many said that the term ‘helper’ can result in them being treated like “modern day slaves”.
Of course, the term is definitely used at times without intention of degrading or insulting. When you introduce your domestic worker, do you say, “This is my helper” or “This is X, and they are helping us around the house”?
Source: HK Helpers Campaign (http://hkhelperscampaign.com/en/)