The XX Factor

I Don’t Need a Wife, I Need a Robot

Emily, your post about employer benefits for housework reminds me of early feminists who attempted communal kitchens, housecleaning, and laundry services. We all need to eat dinner, the logic went, so why not outsource it to a pro and make it efficient for scores of women? Same with the laundry: Why do we all need to own machines and go through the task?

As for Sandra Tsing Loh’s desire for a “wife ” who disburdens her the labor of housework and the dreary conversations over the “splitting of decision-making authority” with her partner: I found a solution! Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology have invented a robot maid named Mahru-Z . The four-foot tall fembot comes preprogrammed to “make toast, pick up stray objects, and load and operate a washing machine.”

Best of all for Tsing Loh, Mahru-Z is relatively autonomous . “It can navigate the house without any direction or oversight from its owner, and it can perform certain chores without having to be told.” Since Tsing Loh is annoyed by the splitting of decision-making authority (and, for reasons beyond logic, can’t even propose that a living maid might solve her problems), Mahru-Z can provides the ultimate in domestic bliss: All of Tsing Loh’s domestic needs can be met without her having to communicate them-indeed, without her having to self-analyze and enumerate them to her partner or to herself. Yes, Mahru-Z will usher in the calm of unquestioned authority into the Tsing Loh household. Gratitude will gush forth, domestic bliss will be restored.

Screenshot of Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons via Cartoon Network.