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It’s been called the "worst-ever job ad". It’s what many women do every day.

Some very fancy people in New York City are looking for an assistant.

Describing themselves only as an "Art World Family", the couple, who have one four-year-old child, and what sounds like many pets, were pretty specific about what they were looking for in the role.

"Must have the ability to seamlessly juggle multiple priorities in a dynamic, unstructured environment and possess flexibility to change course at a moment’s notice. The ideal candidate must be dedicated to a simple goal: make life easier for the couple in every way possible."

Watch: Superwoman is dead. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Here are some (and only some, the job ad is a modest three pages long) of the tasks required of the successful applicant.

  • Serve as the central point of communication to household staff (includes chef, nannies, landscapers, dog walkers, housekeeper, contractors, and building managers). Coordinate all cleaning, repairs, and guest stays.
  • Manage all travel bookings and itineraries.
  • Make restaurant reservations and RSVP to events (in communication with Studio Manager). Coordinate and confirm personal appointments. Prepare family for anything they may need to do ahead of time.
  • Keep private family documents up to date and organised.
  • Manage dog systems.
  • Manage online subscriptions.
  • Manage IT needs (phones, iPads, computers).
  • Pack for travel. 
  • Organise closet systems.
  • Extra: Dry cleaning, drop-off/pickup clothing from high-end stores, purchase gifts, grocery shopping, FedEx drop offs/pickups, delivering gifts to friends residences, etc.

This list paints a vivid picture. An impressive home - perhaps a tastefully renovated classic New York brownstone, perhaps a penthouse in a gleaming, modernist tower. Buzzing with people paid to make the "couple’s life easier", that long list of "household staff" the assistant must co-ordinate. A whirl of hard-to-get restaurant reservations and glamorous dinner parties at other fancy homes that must be immediately followed up with thoughtful thank-you presents. Lots and lots of international travel at the pointy end of the plane.


It’s not a life that many of us relate to, which is why - or at least, partly why - this ad has been so widely passed around, and ridiculed. 

Look at these privileged wankers, is the general reaction. Can’t do a damn thing for themselves.  

But the list itself? It’s familiar.

It’s the to-do list of many, many women. Who are, often, also the chef, the nanny, the landscaper, the dog walker, the housekeeper... AND have a paying job outside the home.

Let's be honest, here. It’s the unspoken job description of a Wife.

And written down, it’s jarring. Written down, it’s a lot. 

Look at that list of duties again and consider...

Family holiday research and booking. All associated admin and organisation ("Is your passport out of date, babe?").

Social life co-ordination and diary-keeping. (An adult human who lives in your home asking you, "What are we doing this weekend?")

Vet appointments, worming pills. (I assume this is what is known as 'dog systems' - also likely to include picking up sh*t.)

Keeper of the passwords, chargers and devices. (Mum! My battery's on zero, as if you stood there and sucked the power out yourself, along with your tea),

Folder of washing, putting away of clothes. (Organise closet systems. Often involves a bedroom chair draped in clean-but-not-quite-clean shirts).


And drop-off/pickup of kids and cleaning and shopping and doctors' appointments and haircuts and dog-clipping and football and dance and swimming and f*cking baby yoga.  

That job ad is a description of the mental load. In black and white. Crucially, there's a salary (between $65 and $90k, USD). 

Every single household comes with a tedious but essential list of jobs. But if the people in the house already have other jobs, who does them? You know the answer.

Usually, a woman (78 per cent of women say they carry their family's mental load).

And if, like this easily mocked, probably infuriating Art World Family, you farm these jobs out, prepare to be hammered for it.

Yes, outsourcing domestic labour comes with plenty of ethical issues. The privileged offloading to the less privileged, in almost every case. But if the hours are fair, the pay is fair; the treatment is fair; the conditions are fair, then these are jobs of dignity like any other. But they come with a sneer because nine times out of ten, what's being 'outsourced' here is what is considered women's work. And that has never had respect.

Listen to this episode of Mamamia Out Loud where we’re unpacking the viral job ad. Post continues below.

The outrage over the job ad, in the week of International Women's Day, echoes one of the most famous feminist essays of all time.

I Want A Wife was written by Judy Brady and published in Ms Magazine in 1971. 


In it Brady writes of a divorced male friend who comes over to her house and tells her he is looking for a new wife. After he's gone, while she's doing the ironing (closet systems), she fantasises about having a wife, so that she can go back to college and get the education she wants, to get the job she wants. 

Here's a little piece:

And while I am going to school, I want a wife to take care of my children. I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctor and dentist appointments. And to keep track of mine, too. I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly and are kept clean. I want a wife who will wash the children’s clothes and keep them mended. I want a wife who is a good nurturant attendant to my children, who arranges for their schooling, makes sure that they have an adequate social life with their peers, takes them to the park, the zoo, etc. I want a wife who takes care of the children when they are sick, a wife who arranges to be around when the children need special care, because, of course, I cannot miss classes at school.

A wife in 1971 is an executive assistant to an Art World Family in 2023. In most houses however, the 'Wife' is still the wife, with minimal outsourcing, higher expectations on parenting and paid work on top.

Such viral LOLs.

Feature Image: Getty.

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