Highest Rated Comments

Apr_White576 karma

I think we forget just how recently it was that we started to think of marriage as being primarily about love and happiness, as opposed to economic and social stability. And I think that we forget that for many women in many places, it still is about economic and social stability. That realization helped me understand the women in my story and the history of divorce better.

Apr_White273 karma

This isn't the most pressing historical questions, but there's a woman in the book named Ellen Pollock, who figures into the first sensational public divorce trial -- but it is her husband, Edward, who went to Sioux Falls to seek a divorce. Ellen--who had been the family maid before the couple secretly web--goes to Sioux Falls to fight for the marriage. That happened almost never. (She lost.)
Anyway -- it's always really challenging to follow a woman through the historical record (don't change your name!) but it is particularly challenging if she isn't from a wealthy or prominent family. At some point after her divorce and years of additional legal wrangling, I lost track of Ellen. I'd like to know what happened to her.

Apr_White222 karma

I'm not sure that my research uncovered any particular golden age, but I'm going to point you to the work of one of my Atlas Obscura colleagues, Sarah Durn, who has talked to many women scholars who are studying exactly that. Sarah has a Q&A column called "She Was There" and it takes you all through history to moments shaped by powerful women: https://www.atlasobscura.com/categories/she-was-there

Apr_White141 karma

Oh, gosh, there's just too. much. news. But I think that 125 years from now, an author who shares my curiosities will write about the women forced to travel long distances, often at great hardship and expense, to gain autonomy over their own bodies.

Apr_White138 karma

Not a current law, but I've been watching a run-off in the Republican primary for a US House seat from Mississippi where the one of the candidates has proposed a "providing newlyweds with a $20,000 wedding gift, paid back if the couple divorces" -- wow, would that be a way to trap everyone but wealthy couples in marriage.