Sexism Alive and Well in 1891


The Exponent included a couple columns dubbed “Women’s World” that wouldn’t pass muster today.

A rambling passage titled “A Scene From Real Life” described a “rude, ignorant woman, belonging to the laboring class” taking a child to a doctor. The physician berates the woman for giving the child meat, saying it causes fits.

A column called “For Housewives” declares that the best grade of rice is semi-transparent, claims rye is less nutritious than other grains and extols buckwheat because of its low gluten levels.

And later on it’s recommended that water in vases be changed every other day, with decaying vegetable matter — “so deadly an enemy to health” — removed.

A final tip recommends the use of skewers for cleaning corners and hard-to-reach spots in kettles and pans.


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