Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An enlightened sexist

A letter from John Gray appeared in the July 1863 issue of Scientific American,
“Messrs. Editors: All machinery requires attention, and occasional ‘fixing’; and the women are not good at such work. Every now and then it is: ‘John, I wish you would look at that sewing machine’; or ‘John, that wringer has something wrong about it’; and so on. Well, the only way to meet that is to buy the very best machinery; you will then have little trouble. Some churls may say: ‘I won't buy so-and-so; what else have the women got to do? Let them work!’ All I have to say to such is that I hate to see the women of the family borne down with the fatigue of severe labor; and if it is a little troublesome to fix machinery for them, I for one am content to endure that trouble. —John Gray”
John Gray clearly considered himself enlightened, and perhaps he was for his times.  Makes me cringe at myself from the perspective of the future...

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