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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Would I Want To Be A Woman in Colonial Times?

The kids both did a writing assignment on being children during Colonial Times, and whether they would want to live that way again.  They both had some very different, and interesting perspectives.  Since my 5th grader's writing is focused on improvement of sentence structure, staying on topic, and adding details, she mostly concentrated on the homes they lived in.  DJ on the other hand, who is a biracial child, reflected on the fact that he would have been a slave during these times.  I was surprised neither one of them reflected on the fact that there were really no schools during this time.  Maybe they don't dislike school as much as they say, lol.  So, they both asked me if I would want to be a woman during these times.  After some reflection, and research, my answer would have to be no.  Here is why.

First let me say, I have a great respect for women of this time period.  They were tough, strong, determined, faithful, and feminine.  They lived a hard life, tending to children and home without the luxuries of today, such as running water, and electricity.  Yet they survived, and persevered.  However, I can't get past the fact that they were content in being considered property of their husbands.  Yes, once a woman was married, they became property of their husbands.  Kind of like his horse, or cows.  Really?  No, this would not work for me.  Even if the husbands respected their wives, and treated them that way, no I would not go along with being considered someone's property.  Second, they wore way too many clothes.  I am all for dressing modestly, but long dresses, with long sleeves, and a bonnet, with bloomers underneath, is just a bit much.  Hats make my head sweat, gross, and itch too, even more gross.  I can't imagine dressing like this in the Summer months, here in the South, or anywhere.  I am aware they didn't have many other choices of clothing, but when clothing did begin to change, women were called nasty names when they decided to dress a little less.  Third there was a law called the Bastard Law.  I actually did not know about this.  They definitely didn't teach it in school, but it fits the mindset of the time.  If a child was born out of wedlock, for whatever reason, even rape, the child was considered a bastard.  Bastards had no place in society and were immediately at birth, of no use to society.  Um, OK punish the child for the sins of their parents.  I would so be bothered by this.  I could go on, and on, but I assume you get the picture.  My independence, free will, and determination would probably brand me a witch, and I would be burned at the stake. 

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