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Susan Lynn Peterson

“Things were different back then. Today if a woman was asked to do the things we did back then, she would revolt, declare that she wasn’t anyone’s slave, wouldn’t be put upon in that fashion. But you have to remember that this was before automatic washers and dishwashers, before blenders and electric knives. If the carpet was going to get cleaned, someone, usually a woman, would have to take a broom to it, or would have to haul it on her shoulders to the yard and beat the dirt out of it. If the wet clothes were going to get dry, someone had to hang them in the yard, take them down from the yard, heat the iron on the fire, press them, and finally fold or hang them. Food was chopped by hand, fires were stoked by hand, water was carried by hand, anything roasted, toasted, broiled, dried, beaten, pressed, packed, or pickled, was done so by hand. Our version of a laborsaving device was called a spouse. If a man had a woman by his side, he didn’t have to clean and cook for himself. If a woman had a man by her side, she didn’t have to go out, earn a living, then come home and wrestle the house to the ground in the evening.”


Susan Lynn Peterson, Clare
tags: marriage, women, work
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Clare Clare by Susan Lynn Peterson
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