My Blog Week: November 21 to November 27

Posted by ractrose on 29 Nov 2021 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

All the Latest from Torsade!












Cartoon of man and woman leaving buffet

Cartoon of the Week: The Cashier Always Rings Twice





A Word on the Week



Clip Art of GlobeThe Sensitivity Trap (part one)







[Wash. DC] Evening Star, 11/11/1950, Ad for product Chore Girl

[Kansas] Abilene Weekly Reflector, 12/13/1906, article on young people’s band


There was a copper pot-scrubber called Chore Girl, as advertised above. This was a staple product in my house, when I was growing up. My recollection is that in the 1980s, possibly the 90s, a feminist outcry was raised over the name, and the manufacturer (British firm Reckitt) changed the name to Chore Boy.

My research has been stymied, because I can’t find any reference to the date of the change, or reasons for it. The Wikipedia entry is thin on information. I found the ad above, and others going as far forward as 1963, in the Library of Congress archives. I know the product was Chore Girl long after that. As the other two clips demonstrate, chore girls and chore boys were, in life, fairly equivalent—low status, low-paid servants. Some of the teenagers mentioned, in the band organized for Kansas farm youth, were chore boys and girls to their own families.

I was going to discuss—though I think it makes no difference, being almost self-proving—that within time passed since the Chore Girl was replaced, we ought to have seen women lifted to new heights of respect, rights, and opportunities. Otherwise, it might seem as though the name change has done nothing for feminism.

The copy, in the advertisement, also points to the trouble over last year’s departure of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and the Cream of Wheat man. Convenience products, as a burgeoning category in the early 20th century, were sold (to a customer base that still had the reference) on this persuasion, that mixing pancakes or scrubbing pots could be as effortless as if you had a servant to do the work for you. Imagery, and the Aunt and Uncle usage, suggest the time-saving appeal of the black characters had its own resonance, an odd harking towards “comforts”, or an odd audience to hark them towards.


The Chore Girl alteration, if she’s been half-scrubbed from history, is another matter. Who suffers from the name? Or who did, at the time it was removed? I would argue that even if we had a product called Chore Gal, still on the market, the best case for damages would be that the name promotes disrespect, or gives a sense of permission

To not regard women as equals? These unproven damages, these broad categorizations, are useful to propagandists in stirring trouble. But look at fashion advertising, TV characters, music videos, filtered social media “selfies”…

Why does it seem that, if there are outrage mobs, and if they have any effect—any use—these behemoths of self-esteem crushing, and cultural role twisting, are never touched by feminist progress?






On Monday, a new Totem-Maker, the character receiving a confidence. On Tuesday, “Please Help” concluded, Milton made use of after all. Wednesday, a reissue of “The Culture”, my first poem. Thursday, a holiday, and no post. Friday, Hammersmith, Aimee and the gang infiltrating Mossbunker’s factory. Saturday, Catastrophe, more of Hess’s preface. And my own interpolation, an article describing Teddy Roosevelt’s response to the tragedy. The first appearance of this post was 2018. Headlines like: President moves promptly, and Entire machinery of the government is quickly set in motion, at that time pointed towards the incompetent response of the Trump administration to Hurricane Maria and its devastation of Puerto Rico (the relief ships for Martinique made their first stop at Puerto Rico). Now we can apply the contrast to the Covid response as well. 
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.







My Blog Week: November 21 to November 27


The Totem-Maker: The Citadel (part twelve)
November 22


Please Help (conclusion)
November 23


The Culture (poem)
November 24


Hammersmith: Up in the Rafters (chapter thirty-four)
November 26


Catastrophe (part three)
November 27




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