Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"And if you are a woman, decide whether you'd be happier being a nun or a whore. Or hope some nice free peasant marries you. You have my sympathies."

This pair of posts about whether women were better off, by libertarian lights, during the Gilded Age, reminds me of this old post at Tyler Cowen's about time travel to 1000 AD. Lots of affluent white dudes getting all excited about how awesome they would be, not much attachment to the reality of lived experience at those times for the massive numbers of people who were not affluent white dudes. For most women, going back in time would make our lives nasty, brutish, and short.

Married women in the Gilded Age had no right to their own earnings. Effective tax rate by husbands: 100 percent.
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