Though the ennui of the suburban housewife is more commonly associated with the 1960s, as early as the 1860s the so-called materialist feminists critiqued women's dependent economic position, given that their work went unseen and unpaid, and argued against the wasted labor of each woman cooking, cleaning, and providing childcare for her household alone. Melusina Fay Peirce published critiques of women's dependent economic position in the Atlantic in 1868 and 1869, railing against the waste of women's education and their need to ask permission of fathers and husbands. Her solution was "cooperative housekeeping," where women would band together to buy a building and outfit it with equipment for cooking, baking, laundry, and sewing, performing the work together and sharing their husbands retail prices for the result.
Ode to Country Music
If I wasn’t such a deadbeat, I’d learn Greek.
I wouldn’t write sonnets; I’d write epics
and odes. I’d love a man who was
acceptable and conformed to every code.
I’d put together my desk and write my epic or ode
at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs!
But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni)
and smoke. Judge me judge me
judge me. Oh I’ve been through the shallows.
I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know
I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.
Sandra Simonds (2014)
A Poem of Thanks
I have been spared another day
to come into this night
as though there is a mercy in things
mindful of me. Love, cast all
thought aside. I cast aside
all thought. Our bodies enter
their brief precedence,
surrounded by their sleep.
Through you I rise, and you
through me, into the joy
we make, but may not keep.
Wendell Berry (1968)
As cartographer Denis Wood wrote in the provocative 1977 essay "Free the Children! Down with Playgrounds!": "A playground only makes sense if adults know better than kids where, when, and with what to play. But if kids know best — and everything suggests they do — than the adult construction of playgrounds is senseless."
"Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people." —Enrique Penelosa, pioneering urbanist mayor of Bogota, Columbia.
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