Dorothy Sayers on Industrialization and Women’s Work

[On Former “Women’s” Jobs]: ” . . . the whole of the spinning industry, the whole of the dyeing industry, the whole of the weaving industry. The whole catering industry and . . . the whole of the nation’s brewing and distilling. All the preserving, pickling, and bottling industry, all the bacon-curing. And (since in those days a man was often absent from home for months together on war or business) a very large share in the management of landed estates. Here are the women’s jobs—and what has become of them? They are all being handled by men. It is all very well to say that a woman’s place is the home—but modern civilisation has taken all these pleasant and profitable activities out of the home, where the women looked after them, and handed them over to big industry, to be directed and organised by men at the head of large factories. Even the dairy-maid in her simple bonnet has gone, to be replaced by a male mechanic in charge of a mechanical milking plant.” (From the essay, “Are Women Human?”)

“It is perfectly idiotic to take away women’s traditional occupations and then complain because she looks for new ones.”

H/T The Wartburg Watch commenter N. W. Clerk

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One comment on “Dorothy Sayers on Industrialization and Women’s Work

  1. Andrew says:

    I enjoyed the irony (in historical hindsight) of your blog in the light of an observation by a friend of mine. She is enjoying doing what some have called ‘women’s work’ (namely, nurturing and caregiving) in a role that has too often been denied women (namely, pastoring).

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