11 September 2016
When one is asked to think about the word repair, we often think of tangible objects that need fixing. For example, we create the image of a car being repaired or a broken pipe. However, we don’t explore the other meaning of the word repair and it’s purpose. In the book Repair by Elizabeth Spelman, she broadens the idea of repair to things we would never consider. Spelman demonstrates how repairing can go into a deeper level and how different ways of repair exists; some people repair in an invisible way, some people repair in a conservative way, and some people repair just to make the object work again. Spelman expands the idea of repair to a deeper and remarkable way.
One idea Spelman expands on is the difference of repair between a male and a female. Picture this, you see a female working along dozens of other males in a mechanical shop, what would you think? Most people would be surprised, because women are usually involved in that work setting. So what is a woman’s role of repair? Spelman states that a woman’s type of repair is called domestic femininity, the repair of people and relationships. However, Spelman describes men as domestic masculinity, which is the repair of objects. The idea of repair of people is developed throughout the book and something that caught my attention. Spelman states that,
“When, then, we think about the work of the household as including the repair of humans from the wear and tear of everyday life, where repairing means restoring them to some kind of functional state, we surely ought to ask whether repairing them to be able to function in some ways is compatible with repairing them to be able to function in others.”
This idea of repairing exposes me to a different and interesting part of repair, one you would never think of. However, is this a good type of repair? Everyone experiences different wear and tears of life, some are good and some are bad. Throughout these times of our lives, we can potentially learn things that teach us about life and the mistakes we’ve made. So, after these wears and tears, is it reasonable to repair someone else, or have that person repair himself or herself. Repairing of oneself is related to domestic femininity because this seems to be the woman’s role, but is it a good role? Sometimes in these situations repair is not needed because they can teach a person about wisdom and appreciativeness.
Repair is a word that has many different meaning and jobs. There is the repair of a car, or a repair of a person. People will learn to repair themselves, however a car does not have the same opportunities, they always need someone to repair them. Repair to a person could ruin the wisdom and learning chapter of their life, repair is needed sometimes alone.