Comments on: Not one more winter in the tipi, honey: gender and labor “off the grid” http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:56:15 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: ugsome http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-850626 Fri, 22 Jul 2011 12:26:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-850626 I’m guessing that usual narrative template applies as much to homesteading as to any other grand project–He is Doing Something Grand and She is Helping Him Do It. I am more familiar with the Great-Arteest variant, but it’s all the same story.

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By: comparatrice http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849608 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 20:20:38 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849608 I wonder if it’s also the case that if the asymmetry goes the other way — it’s the woman who’s really enthusiastic about, and committed to, building a yurt or cordwood house — her partner is much more effective at saying hell no, not in a thousand years, and so they never even make it out there for a trial period after which the guy bails for civilization. No way to know, I suppose, but I really can’t see a similar number of women insisting that their male partners move into the wilderness with them. (I can more easily see women doing it on their own.) And that would make the stereotypical asymmetry seem, or be, more prevalent…

But yeah, boy. I’m pretty hippified (I used menstrual cups for years), but the odds of my moving with a male partner in support of an all-consuming living project that he clearly wanted to own: zero.

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By: Kathie http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849526 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 15:11:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849526 I also wanted to mention a memoir that portrays a similar issue of women “bailing” on rural experiments in living – I haven’t read this, but it got a decent review in the NY Times Review of Books:
This Life is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone, by Melissa Coleman (2011), about life in Maine on a farm adjacent to the Nearings, who were mentors and models to Coleman’s family.
As the review reports: “Ms. Coleman’s mother, Sue, always called Mama here, does a lot of laughing and smiling in the early stages of the story. But she also does a backbreaking amount of physical work, and it takes its toll. Mama has mood swings. She writes worrisome things in her diary. She takes too much refuge in fasting…”

Personally, I have taken a phrase I read somewhere years ago as my catch phrase – Roughing it is no room service!

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By: Kathie http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849518 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 14:56:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849518 Just had to say “me too” in response to H’ann’s CSA rant above – we had such good intentions, and were completely overwhelmed by far too much bok choy, chard, etc. Plus it all arrived AT THE SAME TIME and very ripe, so if we didn’t eat all of the heirloom tomatoes, apples, etc., the very first day, we ended up throwing most of it away. We lasted two months, trying to tweak our delivery program, but never managed to get it to a point that actually matched our eating style and habits.

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By: Perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849482 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 12:55:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849482 I once heard a lecture by an anthropologist who studied Berbers in Morocco. They had a fairly typical gender-divided labor system, and of course while everyone worked their a$$es off, the women worked longer and harder (mostly because the men’s work ended at dinner time and the women kept on working). Anyway, these Berber men had enormous respect for the hard working strength of their women, and often talked about how tough they were, and way stronger/tougher than any of the men. So, they didn’t *help* equalize the labor, but I found it somehow gratifying that they at least *acknowledged* it, unlike USians past or present.

I was once over at a thread where everyone was just tearing Ma a new one for being so uptight and rules-oriented. People pointed out how uncharitable Laura/Rose was in their depiction of her, but everyone seemed to agree. I was incensed, thinking of all the things Historiann mentions above. Yeah, Pa was great fun, but he dragged his family into isolation, poverty, even desperation. Remember the scene in Little House on the Prairie when they’re “visited” by some local Native Americans? Yeah, Ma was definitely the more racist of the two, but I can imagine being totally alone as a woman with three small children in the vastness of the prairie with no husband or gun must have scared the life out of her.

I too love greens. Chard more than kale. But I don’t do CSA, and where I am now, I don’t even do the farmer’s market (long story). But menstrual cups – well, that’s another thing altogether.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849337 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 03:20:42 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849337 Wow, undine FTW! I love “The Tell-Tale Box!”

Excellent twitter-length read of the school/piano/organ scene, too. As I recall, Laura outgrows her Half-Pint scampishness pretty quickly once she’s introduced to the world of work. She joins with the other women in the story, except for disabled Mary, in having to labor hard in order to help support her family.

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By: undine http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849334 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 03:06:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849334 Your CSA/Poe greens story: “A Descent into the Garden Maelstrom”? “The Tell-Tale Box”?

As Feminist Avatar says, Mary learned to play the piano while away at school in Iowa, and Laura gave Pa all the money she’d earned teaching school so that they could buy Mary an organ. That’s the scene in which Laura out-Ma’s Ma in being noble and unselfish.

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By: Miranda http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849316 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 01:04:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849316 I split a share with a friend, so we weren’t overwhelmed by the quantity…especially since the amounts of each vegetable were tiny and the quality poor. It wasn’t hard to figure out what to do with a baseball-sized cabbage. It was a little harder to figure out what you do with one bunch of tiny radishes other than just eat them raw…and there are limits to how many raw radishes I want.

I like greens, but the CSA greens were generally bug-eaten, covered in worms, and generally nasty. I did learn to cook kale, however, and I like it, so that was good. It’s the farmer’s market for me.

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By: Anonymous http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849309 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:46:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849309 Oh, Charles.

I have just been rereading the Little House books and I think your take on it is exactly right, except I would add that Laura did learn some basic construction skills from her dad, and they served her well when Almanzo was ill.

The washing machine is the best invention of all times. Yes, standards are higher, but I would rather run 20+ loads of laundry in a machine than do one load by hand. Washing clothes by hand is miserable sucky hard work. And someone else’s clothes? No way.

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By: Miriam http://www.historiann.com/2011/07/18/not-one-more-winter-in-the-tipi-honey-gender-and-labor-off-the-grid/comment-page-1/#comment-849307 Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:43:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15954#comment-849307 Must recommend Wendy McClure’s THE WILDER LIFE, on her preoccupation with all things Little House. In the course of churning butter, making snow candy, and visiting a range of Wilder tourist sites, McClure notes many of the points being made here.

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