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03 March 2010

Women's Liberation: The Lost Years

Women, as we know, have gained enormous power since the dark days before the 70's when they were mere chattel in men's homes. But the funny thing is that so many of the cool inventions of the 20th century had the intended and practical effect of liberating women from their indentured servitude in their pre-liberation days. Perhaps most important was the washing machine, which liberated women from the most seriously taxing of household chores. In succession, women's housework drudgery was also greatly relieved by the vacuum cleaner, the clothes dryer and the dishwasher.

So by the end of the 1960's, these wondrous inventions were pretty much in place throughout America (as well as a few others of note, such as gas/electric ranges and electric mixers). So then what happened? It was decided by someone that now that women had all this spare time on their hands, it was now pointless to pay their husbands so much money to work when we could put their wives to work as well...or something. But whoever decided what, the era of liberating inventions to automate housework was over. Since then, it seems the useful appliances that have become popular have been to the benefit of men - like hand-held leaf blowers, snow blowers and riding mowers so men could dedicate more of their weekends watching ubiquitous sports programming on their flat-screens - another male-targeted invention.

We still read about how, despite working out of the home as many hours and their husbands, wives still bear the brunt of housework and rather resent it. So why has industry stopped listening? Why have there been no revolutionary appliances in the last 40 years? (I refuse to count the food processor (used by what - 1 in 20 women) and drip-coffee maker.)

Sure, there have been marginal improvements, but the chore of washing clothes hasn't changed since 1969: you take a pile of dirty clothes, bring them to the washroom; separate as necessary; place a load in the washer; measure out and add the detergent; turn the dial (or press the button - whoopee) to the right setting and turn on the machine. Return when done, load into the dryer, load a fresh load into the washer and fold the dried clothes out of the dryer; repeat until the separate loads are done.

There are a number of repetitive manual steps in there that could be easily automated with today's technology. Separating fabrics by color should be a trivial engineering challenge; by fabric, a little tougher but certainly doable, and surely could be performed by an automated process with no greater error rate than the manual process entails.

The robotic vacuum cleaners are cool, but surely we can have better robotics than that - ones with probes and such to get into nooks and crannies. A robot that could actually learn its way around the house with some coaching seems well within our engineering capabilities. But industry would actually have to believe that the commercial value in relieving women of housework is greater than teenage boys' demands for ever more challenging video games.

But of course many women have solved the problem with a much more direct approach: cleaning ladies. But this is not progress - the Romans did this 2,000 years ago. This is a step backward. Society does not progress by gathering more servants, it progresses by eliminating more work. But we of course are not progressing - our economy grows by less-and-less increments each year. Had we continued our technological growth at the rate of the first half of the twentieth century, we'd have many more wondrous appliances in our homes. But our slow growth would no doubt be even worse if not for the miracle of Moore's Law, which has given us some truly awesome gains in entertainment and communications, but not much else to brag about.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im coming around to the notion that women working = sub-replacement fertility.

Iranian birthrate 1.7 (at one time, it might be back up a bit)
S. Korean birthrate 1.15
Japanese birthrate 1.2
Taiwanese birthrate 1.0 (world's second lowest)
Brazillian birthrate was down to 1.88 children per female in 2007
Uraguay birthrate 1.92
Chilean birthrate 1.92

These are countries that really don't have much Western-style feminism. I think Singapore had the lowest birthrate, but its crowded there (as is Japan and S.Korea, so other factors are at work).

Simply put, when women can work and have their own apartment/condo/house, for multiple synergistic reasons, fertility falls

I have a statistic that I think you will appreciate on another matter, and might even bring a smile to your face.

The National Weather Service has "admitted" that this was the coldest winter in Tennessee (only noted as middle Tennessee in this article**) in 30 years. It was a full 4 degrees below normal on average. The average temp was 36-degrees (info from another article)

** Just to show you how despicable the local Gannett rag is, they had this story on the front page, but haven't linked it on their website. Im pretty sure this was on purpose.

I dont think even the warmists would argue with the NWS. 4 full degrees over 3 entire months is quite a spread for there to be "irreversible" climate change occuring. I hope conservatives keep tabs on any weather related news and link it out there. The carbon-thieves need to be discredited at every available opportunity. The massive "tax" that is at stake really would put a governor on our economic engine.

March 04, 2010 8:21 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Ha! And UT is giving Al Gore an honorary doctorate - perfect timing.

There are few phenomena more reliable than the "Gore Effect".

March 04, 2010 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was also South Florida's coldest winter in 30 years. I particularily enjoyed this quote from that story:

"Miami Beach endured its second-coldest winter ever, with an average temperature of 65.17 -- 5.6 degrees below normal. Other winter chill rankings: sixth-coldest for Naples, tenth for West Palm Beach, 15th for Fort Lauderdale and 34th for Miami."

Miami Beach was 5.6 degrees below normal.

12th coldest February on record in Memphis, 7.5 degrees below normal.

It was the 11th coldest February on record in Knoxville (east Tennessee, almost 300 miles from Memphis),
(The University of Tennessee, where Gore is getting that honorary degree, is in Knoxville).


I can't emphasize enough that we are likely to lose this (the Carbon Credit-trading scam) fight. Low sunspot activity probably wont hold out for several years, even though I'd personally like to see that. It will inevitably be getting milder again at some point and Wall Street (who stands to benefit most), blue states (who will be selling their excess "carbon allowances" to red states for their tax money), the globalists, the anti-Americans who'd like to disadvantage our economy, Gore (who stands to become a billionaire), and the lefty-media will all be there to pounce quite hard when it does. If Obama wins a second term and a bill gets to him, he'll sign it--- look what he is willing to do to get a bill he believes in (Health Care) passed.

March 04, 2010 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coffee Pots may also be brewed by steeping in a device such as a French press (also known as a cafetière or coffee press). Ground coffee and hot water are combined in a coffee press and left to brew for a few minutes. A plunger is then depressed to separate the coffee grounds, which remain at the bottom of the container.

April 05, 2010 9:46 PM  

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