whole question of domestic service?
It often seems to me that the estimable ladies who are always urging, and with many good arguments, that young girls thrown upon themselves for support should choose house-work rather than the factory, miss the most important point in the whole affair.
Those who refuse house-work in this form do it, not because they dread work, for they usually work harder elsewhere; nor because house-work seems to them degrading, because they have almost all helped their mothers to do it, and they probably expect to do it for themselves when they are married.
There is nothing that the ladies who advise them can say about it which has any effect upon their minds, because the main point is so often left untouched.
The thing that really influences them is the dislike --which they share with dukes and duchesses-of having social superiors.
Say what you please, they are not made conscious, in the life of factory operatives or “sales-ladies,” of having distinct social superiors, whereas every day of domestic service seems to imply the clear and formal recognition of such a thing.
The more distinct this recognition, the less it is liked.
To be the “help” in a farmer's family, eating at the family table and coming in at the same door with the rest, reduces this sense of social inferiority to the smallest point, or extinguishes it altogether.