Sunday, September 4, 2011

Alimony: “One of the Most Despicable Forms of Barter that Can Exchange Human Hands” - 1927


FULL TEXT: Sharp difference of opinion over the effect of equal suffrage and the tendency toward sex equality on women as wives was expressed by Fanny Hurst, novelist, and Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, social leader, in articles in an August magazine.

Married women “have become parasites and consumers instead of producers, taking no share in their husbands’ burdens, and are worse chattels than their grandmothers,” Miss Hurst said. “The vast army of women seeking divorce are mainly after easy alimony from men they have ceased to love – surely one of the most despicable forms of barter that can exchange human hands.”

Mrs. Harriman sees the new wife as “a comrade to her husband” and “a better wife than her submissive but often discontented and complaining grandmother.”

Miss Hurst contended in her article that woman's liberation had proved “phony.” Girls still dress for men, not for women, she said: working girls regard their jobs as stepping stones to marriage, and at the polls women are listless and man ridden.

But anyway, Miss Hurst concluded women continue to be the mothers of men, and “the band that wields the vacuum cleaner and the electric washing, sewing and coffee machines still rocks the cradle.”

[“Two Prominent Women Differ Over Present-Day Wives -  Fannie Hurst and Mrs. J. Borden Harriman Take Opposite Views in Magazine War.” syndicated (UP), Dunkirk Evening Observer (N.Y.), Jul. 12, 1927, p. 7]

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For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts

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