If you prefer to follow blogs and news through Facebook, I’ve created a new Facebook page for the blog. Going forward I’ll create a new Facebook post linking to each new post on the blog.
I’ve been reflecting on this for a while. When you look at the basic shape of my original outline for the project, there’s a lack of resolution. Or maybe you could say that it resolves, but on a pretty depressing note.
Hey look, the question of “Who does the dishes?” lets us understand things about the world we live in. Economic inequality! Racism! Sexism! More! Well, the world sure is unfair. See ya later!
So I want to add some discussion of what can be done. How can we make the world fairer for the people who wash the dishes? What are some policy responses? Some I’ve been thinking of discussing:
—the right to organize a union
In 2005 there was a piece going around called Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes. The tip that really stood out for me was
8. Mixing Topics
If you publish on many different topics, you’re less likely to attract a loyal audience of high-value users. Busy people might visit a blog to read an entry about a topic that interests them. They’re unlikely to return, however, if their target topic appears only sporadically among a massive range of postings on other topics. The only people who read everything are those with too much time on their hands (a low-value demographic).
The more focused your content, the more focused your readers. That, again, makes you more influential within your niche. Specialized sites rule the Web, so aim tightly. This is especially important if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
If you have the urge to speak out on, say, both American foreign policy and the business strategy of Internet telephony, establish two blogs. You can always interlink them when appropriate.
This convinced me to start a second blog, which was about Latin American politics, in addition to the personal blog I’d had since March 2004.
I don’t doubt the value of specialization for maximizing reach and readership, but I’m not trying to “rule the web.” So not everything I write here needs to be about the book and the project. That will also give my readers a better sense of who I am and I hope it leads to more posts.
That doesn’t even make sense. Who puts dirty dishes on the back burner? I guess if the sink is full and people leave the dirty pots and pans on the stove, like in the banner image for this blog.
Over the past few months I’ve thought a lot about this project, but written next to nothing. That’s common.
Over the past year I’ve been slowly working on revising a chapter of my dissertation about Brazil’s Zero Hunger Program into an article to submit to a peer-reviewed journal. Last week I finally submitted it.
I just kept feeling like I couldn’t really begin working on Who Does The Dishes until I’d finished the article. But I was sick of the project and was dragging my feet. That’s also common.
I feel like a weight has been lifted. I know at some point the article will be rejected and I’ll have to submit it to another journal, or the journal will require some revisions in order to publish it. But it feels good to be basically done with writing about Brazil and Zero Hunger. I picked the topic 9 years ago, so it’s been a long time; it’s time to work on a project I feel passionate about.
In my last post, I explained how experiences during my dissertation fieldwork in Brasilia led to the idea for Who Does The Dishes? This led me to write quick sketch of the book idea to share with a few people. I knew I needed to set it aside until I finished my dissertation.
Here is is, with a few minor edits:
The things I want the reader to take away from the book:
Chapter 1: Playing games
You live with four roommates: E.M., Pat, Chris and Joey. Three are away for spring break, leaving just you and E.M. Presents the idea of Economic Man and his approach to doing dishes (leave them for you to wash). Looks at strategic approaches to make him do his dishes (put them in his room, threaten to move out), showing how they might play out in a game tree. Continue reading
I had the idea for Who Does the Dishes in 2011 while I was living in Brasilia, doing research for my dissertation on the politics of anti-hunger policy in Brazil. During my time there (October 2010 to July 2011) I lived in an apartment with three Brazilians. One of them, M, was horrible about doing his dishes and would leave his in the sink and on the counter for days at a time.
The other two roommates, R and J, worked full time for government ministries, but M and I worked from home a lot (he was going to school and teaching dance). The sink would fill up with dishes to the point where it became nearly impossible to do my own dishes without first doing some of the ones already in the sink. The photo at the top of this blog is a picture of that sink. Continue reading
I’m writing a book. There. I put it in writing.
For over four years I’ve been mulling over the idea for a book called “Who Does the Dishes?” doing a little outlining, doing a little free writing, with it always as the thing I’d get to eventually. It’s time to start slowly chipping away at it. I’m going to use this blog to help do that.
The idea to look at who does the dishes–unpaid domestic labor, paid domestic labor, and professionally–and to approach that question from a variety of perspectives. This includes how class, race and sex determine who does the dishes, and drawing on research in a variety of fields, including anthropology, economics, history, political science and sociology.
Given how the book is about labor, Labor Day seemed like a good day to announce. it.