The Thinking 

Instead of Accumulating Debt, She Made a Rug

October 22, 2012


This is a bed rug completed by Mary Foote (1752-1837), in Colchester, Connecticut in 1778. According to The Magazine Antiques, it was made in preparation for her wedding:

This is one of four spectacular bed rugs made to commemorate the weddings on November 5, 1778, of three siblings of the Foote and Otis families, prosperous farmers and landowners in the Connecticut River valley. The women likely spent the prior year spinning, dyeing, and sewing the rugs, all of which contain a center of stylized flowers enclosed within a reverse-curved border. The outlines are sewn with a running stitch and the designs are filled in with a darning stitch, requiring careful planning.

This beautiful rug is now in the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Given that poor Mary was obviously very oppressed, I wonder why this rug conveys such a sense of happiness and delight in the floral world.

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Pieper on Learning to See

October 22, 2012


DANIEL S. writes:

I was reading several essays by the late philosopher Josef Pieper (perhaps my favorite philosopher of the twentieth century) about art and music tonight, which can be found in his book Only the Lovers Sing: Art and Contemplation. His observations are ever timely, and I thought I would summarize a few of his ideas and observations that stood out to me. Read More »


Too Poor to Take a Vow of Poverty

October 22, 2012


IN A CULTURE where women are encouraged to take out massive debt for higher education, it is not only difficult to become a housewife, it’s hard to become a cloistered nun. Tara Clemens is trying to pay off more than $100,000 in loans she took out for law school so that she can enter a convent.

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The Second Sex in France

October 22, 2012


AT, a Frenchman named Darcel vents about the aggression and self-centeredness of contemporary French women. The piece is short and roughly written (or translated), but he makes some good points. He writes:

French girls used to be famous for coquetterie,” a behavior that made them charming and above all lovable. Needless to say it’s not the case anymore. It’s seems that all the good old qualities that used to make a girl desirable as a mate as well as worthy of devotion and respect, have simply disappeared.

I believe that comes mainly from education or lack of it. As the matter of fact, most of the girls of my generation (born in the eighties) are the product of divorce. Between 40-50 per cent of French marriages end in divorce.

Simone de Beauvoir, the mother of French feminism and author of The Second Sex, said at one point:

“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.”

French women have followed in her footsteps. Even though they surpass women in earnings and accomplishments, men are the second sex in France now.