By Monda Halpern
Targeting white; Anglo-Protestant farm ladies in southern and southwestern Ontario, Monda Halpern argues that many Ontario farm girls have been certainly feminist, and that this feminism was once extra revolutionary than their conservative photo has prompt. In And On That Farm He Had a spouse Halpern demonstrates that Ontario farm girls adhered to social feminism -- a feminism that concerned about values and reviews linked to ladies and that emphasised the variations among men and women, selling girl specificity, team spirit, and separatism. those rules have been proficient by way of farm women's overlapping roles as better halves and unpaid farm labourers.
Because males generally owned the "family farm", farm women's financial welfare depended mostly at the delicate negotiation in their interconnected roles. but the ladies Halpern uncovers have been unusually outspoken approximately their devaluation at the farm and approximately patriarchal traditions and associations that mistreated ladies often. And On That Farm He Had a spouse exhibits how Ontario farm better halves and daughters sought to enhance their lives, mainly in the course of the domestic economics circulate and Women's Institutes. They devoted themselves to private improvement, to raising the character and standing in their paintings, and to public participation in social reform designed to aid others in addition to themselves. All of those efforts have been an expression in their social feminism, which persevered in spite of the dramatic adjustments in rural lifestyles at mid-century.
And On That Farm He Had a spouse will attract students and scholars of Canadian heritage, women's background, and rural reports, in addition to to common readers drawn to a ignored tale of Ontario's earlier.
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Additional info for And on That Farm He Had a Wife: Ontario Farm Women and Feminism, 1900-1970
Every day comes the thought, will this home be ours long – one day more, one year, or by reason of great strength will father be spared us ten years, and what then? The horrors of an auction sale, no home, little money! Can we find a job? Can we stand it to live in a house that isn’t a home? ” She told the story of her Aunt Mary, a “country spinster,” who for years was imposed upon by her sisters and brothers to care for their children and clean their homes. When elderly, Aunt Mary, like other unmarried farm women who were “expected to serve without recompense,” could claim no assets of her own, and was forced to rely on others.
34 Women, then, knew that their acquisition of labour-saving devices was dependent upon both the tenuous goodwill and earned capital of men, and upon men’s presumed knowledge of domestic machinery about which they likely knew little. 35 Guelph-area farm woman Mrs Cragg acknowledged the priority of the barn, but felt shortchanged when it received plumbing before the home. As her son recalled, she tried to cope with this inequity by enlisting her husband to help alleviate her continued drudgery: “she bought two extra water pails, four in all, and ranged them beside the kitchen door.
Davis regretted “having to come back into the house and face the mess there and to clean up later. ” But Cairns himself hints at the public disapproval of women’s demanding barn and field work. H. Bass, who, like the majority of farm folk, opposed women’s outside work. She caustically declared that “real men prefer to do their own work themselves,” adding that “it is quite possible to train a man to expect a woman to do the ‘chores’ outside the house. ›61 In fact, many men supported this viewpoint, deriding those members of their own sex who turned their wives into “the pack-horse of the family … a sort of upper servant or slave”: “there are some women physically strong, or regular Amazons, who do enjoy that life, and speak from that viewpoint.