The hands and knees approach is a definite selling point for corporate cleaning services like "The Maids."  Explain why this old fashioned way of housecleaning is appealing. Why does it seem to...

The hands and knees approach is a definite selling point for corporate cleaning services like "The Maids."  Explain why this old fashioned way of housecleaning is appealing. Why does it seem to "gratify the consumers of maid services?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ehrenreich suggests that the hands and knees approach is a selling point because it enhances the stereotypical notion of cleaning.  The work of maids is both physically demanding because of the "hands and knees" approach and its insistence is to feed the image to the clients that there is significant work being done through this method.  Ehrenreich notices that the actual cleaning is not the main point of the allure of the "hands and knees" method.  Instead, it is to fulfill the client's expectation of cleaning when they see maids employing the "hands and knees" approach.  

As Ehrenreich details, the work of the maids is both demanding and demeaning, and the approach of working hands and knees helps to enhance both to the clients that use the maid service. For Ehrenreich, the approach underscores that it is not merely enough for the maids to be compensated in a manner that is subservient.  The approach ensures that there is a physical demonstration of their subservience to those in the position of power and to those who employ them.

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