'A' is sweet and will wash the dishes, especially if we have visitors but I never saw his father wash them. He was a lovely kind man, but washing dishes was definitely women's work. There was a clear defining line between women's and men's roles. Women's domestic and men's secular. I have to say that it's never been a favourite chore of 'A's and the first thing he bought me when we got married was a dish washer.
Myself? ........I do quite like the feel of the warm soapy bubbles and the satisfaction of a pile of clean crockery draining in a rack......but it's great to have a machine that does the job for you, there are so many other things I'd much rather be doing...
'H' thought I'd be amused by a passage on the effect of dish washing on women, that she found in 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair that was written in 1906:-
"....consider one single item, the washing of dishes. Surely it is moderate to say that the dish-washing for a family of five takes half an hour a day; with ten hours as a day's work, it takes therefore, half a million able-bodied persons - mostly women - to do the dish-washing of the country. And note that this is most filthy and deadening and brutalizing work; that it is a cause of anaemia, nervousness, ugliness, and ill temper; of prostitution, suicide, and insanity; of drunkard husbands and degenerate children - for all of which things the community naturally has to pay. And now consider that in each of my little free communities there would be a machine which would wash and dry the dishes, and do it, not merely to the eye and the touch, but scientifically - sterilizing them - and do it at a saving of all the drudgery and nine tenths of the time!"
No wonder 'A' bought me a dishwasher to stave off the anaemia, nervousness and ugliness...not to mention the other things!!
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