marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Women's Work

Recently ran across a discussion in which someone asserted that women were -- historically -- judged more by their looks than by their handiwork.




Check out the Frog Princess tales.  You go through whatever practice your father sets to find a bride -- shooting an arrow, what have you -- and you, being the youngest son, find that you have hit on a frog.

What's your father's reaction?

Why, it's:  Can she sew?  Can she spin?  Can she cook?  Sounds like a fine bride, son!

True, a lady of high enough status would have a supervisory position, not a hands-on one -- just as her husband would not have to get his hands dirty.  She might even be able to wear clothes that advertised her leisure by making it impossible for her to work, but those were not unknown for men, too.

Tags: the past is a different country, world-building: clothing, world-building: economics, world-building: social structure

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