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Who is a domestic engineer? Title trends on Jamaican Twitter

Welcome to the brave new world of 2021, where job titles include social media influencer, community wizard and now… domestic engineer.

The title ‘domestic engineer’ soared on social media platform Twitter late Sunday (February 14) after it was used to describe the wife of veteran dancehall entertainer Sean Paul.

“Domestic engineer and costume designer,” was the designated title, given to Jodi Stewart Henriques by one of the nation’s leading publications, which sent Jamaican Twitter users into overdrive as they sought to understand the meaning of the term.

So what exactly is a domestic engineer?

Well it turns out that the term isn’t new, but was first coined in a 1998 Everton Dawkins theatrical production entitled “Man Fi Get Bun”.

In the then popular roots play, Actress Marcia James uses the term “domestic engineer” and later “household technologist” to describe herself as she applies for a position to assist a mature couple in maintaining the day to day upkeep of their home.

Forward to 2021, the title ‘domestic engineer’ has resurfaced and in this instance refers to a married celebrity mom of two.

But is there an actual definition for the term domestic engineer?

The term domestic engineer in reality is not a job title but a modern derivative of the term housewife which is used to describe a married woman who is in charge of her household.

According to a local sociologist, a more generally understood term is full-time homemaker which represents an individual who executes critical unpaid tasks such as: childcare, cooking, housecleaning and teaching this individual, not restricted to gender, shares income produced by members of the household who are employed.

Other similar terms that describe this function include: housewife, stay-at-home mom, family manager, home economist, and home engineer.

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