Recently, actor Tillotama Shome was trolled online. While sadly, women being trolled on social media is nothing new, this time around, in an attempt to insult her, she was referred to as a maid. And she had the perfect response to this ‘insult’: 

Shome correctly pointed out that calling someone a maid is not a form of insult. Furthermore, her last role that won her nationwide fame and appreciation, was that of a househelp. 


However, her tweet rightly raises the issue that it is high time we stop looking at manual labour, of any form, as a degrading activity. 

To call Shome’s body of work brilliant is an understatement. After all, she has represented India on a global scale and brought pride to the nation. And yet, people will find something about her to troll. 

But the discussion here is not on her contribution as an actor. But rather on how trolling has become a part of social media and it is perpetuating the ideas and beliefs that people have fought for years to dismantle. Like considering domestic service as degrading or using it as an insult to comment on someone’s looks or body of work. 


Of course, it’s time we retire the word maid altogether. But the issue here is not about the right phrase but rather, about the right perception. 

Respecting corporate jobs but looking down on domestic service or manual labour reeks of elitism. A person who chooses to work hard and earn a living deserves respect, irrespective of what work that might be. And it is absolutely despicable that even in 2021, we need to spell this out. 


Naturally, Shome’s response earned Twitterati’s respect, who were quick to support her opinion: 

Let’s stop using a profession, any profession, as a form of insult. Let’s retire from our vocabulary terms and phrases the contribute to classism and casteism. There is dignity in labour and it’s time we remember that!