Heather Newman

do•mes•tic

Used as an adjective, the word relates to the running

of a home or to family relations, such as a domestic

chore, domestic service or domestic worker


but when used as a noun, she (preferred pronoun) is that person

paid/or unpaid to help out with menial tasks such as cleaning

and cooking and scrubbing and ironing and mending and when

expanded, domestic can mean more than a helper or homemaker,

indigenous species or quiet pleasure, domestic can mean

in charge of a household, even lady of the house


Defined on a broader scale, she is neither foreign nor international, 

she exists or occurs inside a particular country;

for example: the current state of domestic affairs;

or in simpler terms, she is a product not made abroad


Synonyms for domestic abound: maid, housemaid, 

maid-of-all-work, charwoman, charlady, char, daily, 

daily woman, skivvy, scullion, and (the preferred term

used at country clubs) Mrs. Mop


Used as a verb: she domesticates a lion in the wild,

she domesticates the cubs in their den,

she makes them fond of, and good at, home life

and all the tasks it involves


Placement of domestic in word order should not be confused

with world order, dominance or domination

is reserved for the he: he is male, boy or animal;

he is spelled H E for high explosive, high efficiency,

His Eminence, His Excellency


He (replacement for God) is used in most grammatical situations 

while she is used for boats and ships, the female symbol

pertaining to vessels or wombs, and much like the domestic,

her function is to contain: She is one fine vessel.


On a side note, domestic nouns (male or female) can be contained

or concealed in containers on domestic and international waters;   

lack of documentation or channels to a mother ship can be cause

for muddied waters, bordering on the illegal


Of course, there are exceptions. In World War II, the German battleship

Bismarck was regarded as being so magnificent that it was described

using male terms, but back to the colloquial do•mes•tic and why it’s

always a girl, all ways a girl, all weighs a girl

object

to be or not

to be that thing

that ring

that-a-girl

easy does it


is animal instinct

the thing to make 

cat woman 

sex kitten

ski bunny

a real dog


when the sky is falling

don’t throw like a girl


man-made things

put a gun to your head


Heather Newman’s work has appeared in Barrow Street 4x2, Hanging Loose, Love's Executive Order, The Pi Review, Right Hand Pointing, Matter, The Inquisitive Eater, New Verse News, Voices From Here, vol. 2 (Paulinskill Press) and more. A new poem will appear in Storey Publishing's 2021 anthology, How to Love the World. Heather holds an MFA from The New School.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter