How the study of feminism somehow led to life as an au pair

For four years I studied literature and history at university.

In both, feminist ideologies continually cropped up and I became a student of Simone de Beauvoir, Germain Greer and Virginia Woolf.

Since then I have somehow found myself in a job that is more suited to a 1950s housewife than the liberated, educated, modern woman I supposedly am.

I work as an au pair for a local family, looking after a two-year-old and a five-year-old.

I spend my days planning what to cook for dinner, hanging washing out and pottering around in my veggie garden.

Not that I'm complaining. I actually love cooking, enjoy spending time outdoors and find children to be hysterically entertaining.

There is part of me that feels somewhat guilty about my current job, that despite the efforts of my feminist forebears I am leaning towards a life of motherhood and domesticity. After all, what is the real point of an education?

Our universities are more of a commodity than ever, supposedly fast-tracking students to a well-paid job so they can jump on the mortgage paying conveyor belt.

But in the current economic climate I'm sure I'm not the only post-graduate who ended up hundreds of miles (figuratively and literally in my case) from the job they thought their degree would land them.

The value of an education is becoming increasingly dependent on how we apply it to whatever job we get.

Thankfully, more than any other generation, we have the facilities to generate our own work in our chosen fields – musicians can record themselves using Pro-Tools, writers can blog and artists can

set up small businesses on handmade selling platforms like Etsy.

So while studying the love paradigms in medieval literature doesn't help much when it comes to changing a nappy, I'm working on using the skills I learnt at uni to write about my experiences as an Australian living and working overseas.

I wonder if Simone de Beauvoir had an au pair?

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