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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Claire Langhamer, Women's Leisure in England, 1920-60 (2000)

Perhaps not terribly directly relevant to the SG&SC revision, except for the chapter on young women and courtship. Extremely useful in more general ways for thinking about the gendering of certain activities, and the extent to which women after marriage were supposed to be other-directed and get their pleasure from serving others  (and  even when they did go out on pleasure-excursions these were for the actual benefit and enjoyment of husband &/or children, not to mention the kinds of holidays that were not restful at all for the mother of the family). And of course issues of public/private - women's leisure taking place in odd moments in the home or on the doorstep. A thought about the equation of women gossiping = idle women wagging tongues, versus what appears to have been the case that women were performing this social activity in the course of doing other things - over the back fence as neighbours hung out washing or while sitting on the doorstep peeling potatoes. Which says rather a lot about the invisibility of women's work!

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