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Women as "legal property"

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Fri May 3rd, 2013, 8:17 am

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]Not always, Mythica. One of my novels had a decidedly Christian theme but was rejected because the agent told me that because it was alternate history that 'God wouldn't like you messing with history like this.' Very narrow view of both life and religion IMO, and one of the reasons I'm considering self publishing my alternate history series.[/quote]

Sadly, I'm not surprised by that reaction. Religion does have a habit of using God to impose their own feelings and beliefs on other people.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Fri May 3rd, 2013, 9:50 pm

Women may not have been property, but they had little control over their property, if they were married, as recently as thirty years ago. Back in the day--when I actively worked to get the ERA passed--there were still "Head of Household" laws on the books in several states. Those laws stated that a husband (as the head of the household) could legally manage/dispose of real property owned by the wife (even if he was not listed as owner on the deed) without her permission--but not the other way around. In other words what was hers was his and what was his was his.

As a single woman, I researched state marriage and property laws before I moved to take jobs--didn't want to move into a HoH state. The ERA may not have passed, but it was instrumental in getting a lot of state laws changed--so the opponents could say it wasn't necessary!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sat May 4th, 2013, 3:45 am

[quote=""Mythica""]Sadly, I'm not surprised by that reaction. Religion does have a habit of using God to impose their own feelings and beliefs on other people.[/quote]

Yes. very true. I will always believe in God but not the sick and twisted version many churches try to give me.

It shouldn't matter what the theme of a book is IMO, if it's well-written, grabs people, and can sell, why should it matter if the heroine's pagan or whatever?
Last edited by Helen_Davis on Sat May 4th, 2013, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Sat May 4th, 2013, 3:46 am

[quote=""fljustice""]

As a single woman, I researched state marriage and property laws before I moved to take jobs--didn't want to move into a HoH state. The ERA may not have passed, but it was instrumental in getting a lot of state laws changed--so the opponents could say it wasn't necessary![/quote]

fljustice, what do you mean by your last sentence? Do you mean you think the ERA wasn't necessary or that I t changed a lot of laws even without passing?

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sat May 4th, 2013, 7:34 pm

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]fljustice, what do you mean by your last sentence? Do you mean you think the ERA wasn't necessary or that I t changed a lot of laws even without passing?[/quote]

It was and--IMO--still is necessary. Back in the 70's, people advocated for a federal ERA, and states changed a lot of the most discriminatory laws (not enough!) Opponents said women were included in the 14th amendment equal protection clauseand we didn't need a separate amendment. We just needed to sue to get those unfair laws overturned in the courts (a long, drawn-out, expensive process) but many women's groups did that while trying to get the ERA passed, as well. So things are better, but not perfect and still not equal--why else would we have to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and other legislation piecemeal over 30 years?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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