Why is calling someone a 'maid' considered an insult?

Why is calling someone a 'maid' considered an insult?

Momina Mustehsan had the best response to this man who said she looked like a maid at his house
Updated 18 Sep, 2016

A few weeks ago, Cafe Flo was criticised for allegedly discriminating against men on motorbikes, this time Coke Studio singer Momina Mustehsan has been called a 'maid' as a put-down. What do these two incidents highlight? A sense of classism embedded deep in our society.

Momina recently found herself in the limelight after her Coke Studio debut with Afreen Afreen and while many have been swayed by her physical beauty, one person feels she looks like... a 'maid'.

In a comment on Facebook, an individual curtly attacked Momina's physical desirability and dismissed her beauty by comparing her to his household help. He wrote, "... no offense but she resembles the maid girl in my house."

To which Momina gracefully replied, "... resembling your maid isn't offensive, I'm glad I have lookalikes who work hard, even if it's a maid at someone's house #RespectAll."

However, she didn't end there. She continued to add to her argument, discrediting the man's unsettling perception.

His comment, however, paints a highly disturbing view of our society, a society in which the 'acceptability' of expressing classist attitudes has now extended beyond the 'safe' realms of private social gatherings and has made its way to public platforms like social media.

Momina's response garnered her many admirers on Twitter, including Shahbaz Taseer.

This episode triggers one to think along the lines of what the word 'maid' represents. Domestic help has long been viewed disparagingly. The use of the word maid (or masi in our part of the world) denotes a negative connotation. But why? And when did calling someone a maid as an insult become acceptable?

A quick search on Google describes maid as 'a female domestic servant.' Ironically, across the border the same word in Hindi, masi, denotes a caretaker and is usually used in reference for a mother or mother's sister.

Unfortunately, the negative associations we continue to ascribe to people providing services like cleaning will only go away once we start respecting all individuals, their professions and the hard work they put into it.

After all, everyone is working towards providing the best they can for themselves and their families, whether it's the CEO of a company or a maid.