Raising daughters in a country that upholds (some) values you don't share can be tricky. Perhaps braver moms than I remained steadfast and spoke their mind. I opted to wait to share my views until the children were old enough to think for themselves. This was no easy thing since my nature is to question, speak up, and push against injustice. By the time I was a mom, I'd tossed out a myriad of political theories and isms. Why would anyone listen to those who talk and talk and never walk the talk? People claiming to have answers for everyone else wore down my patience, leaving no space for listening.
Historians shape our view of the past in how they tell it. Most of premodern human history is told through the male lens. If they wrote about women at all, it was limited to women with exceptional talents, powerful women, or those who exercised extreme malice and evil. Likely, these male historians didn't wear out their quill pen elaborating on the women's point of view or their feelings. So the best we can do is to infer women's emotional state from their reactions to their circumstances.
My one conversation with mamma took place in the basement laundry room. I sat on the first-floor cement open to the laundry room as she heaved sheets and clothes from one wooden barrel to another with an oar paddle. Fastidious about cleanliness, our laundry went through pre and post soaks. “Mamma, what’s it like to have a baby?” She strained to untangle sheets full of water refusing to separate. She didn’t answer. That wasn’t so unusual. Her concentration and work ethic was the stuff of legends.