The title of this work refers to the average amount of hours that women worldwide devote to unpaid domestic labor per day. This silent performance makes public the labor that is normally performed in private. In it, I sweep up a pile of dirt on a rug, gather it in a dustpan, dump it in a bucket, and then throw it onto the rug again. Then I start all over, repeating the ritual for 4.5 hours.

Performed as part of New York University’s “Histories Modern Visions: A Colloquium in Honor of Mary Nolan.”

4.5 hours DRAFT9 OneSIde

REFERENCES & RESOURCES

Personal Essay, Making the Private Public, Part II
The Broom or Wages for Housework” by Michelle Standley, An Autonomous Woman (2011)

Statistics
Time Spent in Paid and Unpaid Work, By Sex
Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development

Articles
How Society Pays When Women’s Work is Unpaid,” by Claire Caine Miller, New York Times (February 22, 2016)

Recognize, Reduce, Redistribute Unpaid Care Work: How to Close the Gender Gap” by Diane Elson, New Labor Forum: A Journal of Ideas, Analysis and Debate (March 2017)

Women Still Do More Chores Than Men, Study Finds” by Chloe Tejada, Huffington Post (September 27, 2017)

Other Links
This Calculator Puts a Dollar Value on the Invisible, Unpaid Work Done By Women” by Annalisa Merelli and Youyou Zhou, Quartz at Work (February 28, 2018)

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