Is This “Rent-A-Wife” Service Offensive?
For $40 an hour, a new business allows you to outsource all the crap you don’t have time to do like go to the post office, return stuff at Target or organize your underwear drawer (GOD, YES!). Founded by a Los Angeles business woman, Juliette Bresnahan’s “Rent-A-Wife” service offers a different “wife” packages, from “The Starter Wife” to the “The Trophy Wife,” depending on how much crap you need help with. And no, there are no conjugal visits included in these services. Ironically, Bresnahan claims most of their clients are not single men who need their ironing done, but busy, working women who don’t have time to bake cupcakes for that baby shower.
The website describes the wifely duties included in the service as:
“We can be your Girl Friday, your Handyman, your Suzie Homemaker, and your Rosie the Riveter all rolled up into one. We can wait in line at the Post Office, the DMV, the return line at Target or even the voting polls while you show up just in the nick of time. We can pick up your kids from school and deliver them to soccer, [with or without cupcakes]. We can organize your Tupperware, spice drawer and even your undies. We can plan your parties, send the invites, make the space look fabulous, and rent the bouncy house or the bartender. We can coordinate your home improvement projects with Bob the builder, choose paint colors, stage your furniture and take your house from drab to fab. We can transform your office into a money factory, sell your treasures on Craigslist, assemble your Ikea furniture, cook your meals, and walk your dog. We can manage your move out of the old and into the new with ease and TLC. We can plan your vacation, be your airport shuttle, Facebook the photos and watch your house & pets without setting off the alarm.”
I swear, they copied and pasted the job description from all my very worst personal assistant gigs. All I would add to the list is “acting as a go-between for wife and husband who may be getting a divorce,” “hiding mother’s weed from her kids” and “changing the dog’s diapers.” Yes. REALLY.
So, you may be wondering what the problem is? Because actually, I am frothing at the mouth to outsource the cleaning out of my closet. As NYMag.com points out, the name implies that wives are indentured servants or personal assistants or glorified babysitters or all of the above. “Bresnahan should reconsider what she’s calling this service, because it both conjures up some kind of perverted domestic fantasy and equates being a wife to being a servant/personal assistant with great skill in negotiating a contract.”
If the angle of the company was different, I would probably consider hiring them. What about you? Would you rent a “Trophy Wife” to put together your new IKEA dresser? [NYMag/The Cut]
[Photo from Shutterstock]