Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 11:10:46 -0600
From: Kat Rose Kat.Rose[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SPOT.COLORADO.EDU
Subject: barefoot and pregnant
Rick Blom said:
I was far too glib in saying that "preganant is happy". It was
an unfortunate shorthand for a far more complicated social reality,
and I used it, in part, because I am a little uncertain of my
footing here. I have heard the expression used by men who thought
that women who were pregnant were less likely to challenge, demand,
or leave. For those men, submission, tolerance, or acceptance is
equivalent to happiness. Their assumptions are based on reality:
a woman who is pregnant or who has small childrem has fewer options
and is therefore constrained to accept things which she might resist
in other circumstances. Shorthand can be quicksand, and I stepped
right in it this time.
Well, step right back out, before you sink. I think your
perceptions are both accurate and thoughtful. Maybe these men find
that the submission/acceptance of "their" women makes them--the men
--happy. And since a woman's primary job is to make her man happy,
that must make her happy...?!?
My father's family has a long history in the Pennsylvania hill
country. The phrase was used with a sense of long familiarity by my
grandfather and his cronies. Although I have nothing but this
anecdotal evidence to offer, I suspect that "barefoot and pregnant"
was in common use in this area well before WWII.
[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] -- ---
Kat Rose Kat.Rose[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]spot.Colorado.edu
My words, my rights, my responsibility