Sunday, June 26, 2016

Woman’s “right to fleece a husband” – The Alimony Racket in 1951

FULL TEXT: Justice Kenneth O’Brien, of New York City, has ordered Billy Rose to pay Mrs. Rose temporary alimony of $700 a week.

She is the former swimming star, Eleanor Holm. She asked for $1250. Mr. Rose also has to move out of their lavish home.

Since I know nothing about the details of this matrimonial break-up, perhaps no comments are in order. But may we not use it to point out the coexistence of an alimony racket in this country?

It’s time women spoke out against it. For, as it is practiced now, it is a serious reflection upon feminine character.

What is modern woman after – equality or the works?

I remember that Billy Rose helped Eleanor Holm to fame. At the time of their marriage 12 years ago, the Broadway columnists were lyrical over another Cinderella story, another working girl who married the rich boss.

The issue here is not the Roses and their troubles. It is the build up in this country of a conviction that a woman has the right to fleece a husband after she gets tired of him.

From this point of view, the wife is supposed to be paid for the time spent in marriage bondage, no matter how little she has contributed to the union in the matter of children, happiness or the homemaking arts.

The fact that our judges so often rule against their sex and give the women all they demand is a disquieting sign of our lov ethical ideals. As it is now, patient, hardworking mothers sometimes get very little after divorce, while the glamor girls walk off with papa’s entire bank roll.

So long as women have equal job and career opportunities with men, no wife has a right to alimony.

If there is a family, a fair division of the common property is necessary. But the man who is forced by law to support a woman who won’t live with him suffers a vast injustice.

[Mrs. Walter Ferguson, “A Woman’s View” (column, “The Alimony Racket,” The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), Dec. 11, 1951, sec. 2, p. 1]





ALSO: Mrs. Walter Ferguson


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


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