A friend posted a couple of pictures in Facebook of his family’s reunion with a former domestic help of theirs. I was taken aback somewhat; he is still using the term “domestic maid” in this era.
In the feudalistic or imperial old days, slaves were bought and sold to do one’s menial and dirty tasks. Many were treated like sub-humans; whipping was common. With slavery outlawed, these tasks had still to be performed. If one is rich, one could hire an army of them. But few actually use such a term nowadays. (But if you are a bureaucrat, no matter how senior you are, ironically, you are still a government servant, aren’t you?)
When Filipinas were first recruited over, we called them Filipino maids. They were laer joined by Indonesian maids, followed by Bangladeshi and Cambodian maids. These poor souls have to leave behind their husbands and children to serve in environments that are totally alien to them. Many are subject to abuses by their employers. A couple of deaths actually resulted.
I thought the term very degrading. I would use the term Domestic Help instead.