After decades of services in family homes, a maid became a writer in Rio de Janeiro. Born in Nova Iguaçu, Gil Santos had the idea of telling his countless stories accumulated over the years after watching the film “Crossed Stories”. The author compiled her entire affective collection in the book “Minha Vida, Minhas Histórias”.
Gil was born in Arraial do Cabo into a humble family, but despite the few material conditions he had, he never went hungry. She remembers that the times were difficult, but watered with great care.
Among the best memories of her childhood, she highlights her relationship with her father, who liked to tell stories and always took time to pay attention to his daughter.
“This relationship with my father inspired me. I had the dream of studying to be a teacher in early childhood education,” she told Complete.
The desire to pursue pedagogy had to wait. As a child, Gil Santos began to get involved in housework.
“First, I helped my mother and, after my two older sisters got married, I started my journey as a domestic worker. At 16, it was necessary for me to go out into the labor field to help meet the financial needs of the house.”
In the homes of other families, Gil started working as a nanny because he always liked children. As the weeks went by, he ended up taking on other services in the house.
After watching the movie “Histórias Cruzadas”, released in Brazil in 2012, which tells stories of maids, came the idea of telling their own experiences.
“I started writing in the form of a therapeutic exercise. My therapist recommended that I put everything down on paper. And then the writing was flowing and brought a very good result.”
The book covers passages of Gil as a maid. In the work, she talks about her childhood and her experiences. The stories detail difficult moments, but also recall good things.
According to the author, the intention is not to criticize any former boss. Work exposes a reality shared by most professionals in the employer versus employee relationship.
“I make it clear in the book how much the Constitutional Amendment 72/2013 has benefited us – known as the Domestics’ PEC – which brought rights to domestic workers that we didn’t have before. But there are still more achievements that we need to achieve,” he said.
Prejudice, she adds, is one of the negative aspects of the profession that needs to be tackled.
“It’s an unfortunate thing that happens to all general service workers. It’s as if the human beings who employ their labor power, so necessary to move societies, are disqualified.”
To produce his work, Gil Santos was inspired by other writers. Maria Carolina de Jesus, author of the book “Diário de uma Favelada”, and theologian Rubem Alves served as examples.
“Both are owners of great overcoming stories. This proves that we can get where we want to go,” he said.
She still continues to work as a maid, although it is only once a week. And in his spare time, he dedicates himself to volunteer work.
“I dream of being able to travel to some countries in Africa, as well as to Haiti, and other countries, in order to do voluntary work, especially with children, as I have always enjoyed working with children,” he said.
“I say that women have the intelligence, abilities and skills to work in any area and place, being able to be ahead of big companies, in politics, etc. Don’t give up on your dreams. We don’t need to compete with anyone, we just need to show that we are competent in what we do,” he concludes.