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May 29, 2024 40 mins

During the Industrial Revolution, there was a lot of flux and discussion around the rights of workers. Yves stops by to share the multifaceted story of the life of labor activist Sarah Bagley.

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Annie and Samantha.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
I'm welcome to Stephan never told you a protection of iHeartRadio,
and this time for another edition of Female First, which
means we are once again joined by the wonderful, the
fantastic Eves.

Speaker 1 (00:25):
Welcome Eves.

Speaker 3 (00:26):
Hi.

Speaker 2 (00:28):
Yes, we are so glad to have you. You've had
a couple of obstacles that you have joined us. Anyway.

Speaker 1 (00:36):
Yes, I am here and I'm glad to be here.

Speaker 2 (00:39):
Yes, and we are always glad to have you, Eves.
I guess a blanket question, how are you?

Speaker 1 (00:47):
I am doing okay today?

Speaker 3 (00:50):
Yeah, I don't know if I can say I'm anywhere
above that or below that. Like, I am grateful to
be here. I'm excited to share this female for today.
I physically am doing okay. But I've been able to
sit out in the sunlight and work outside. You know,
I'm still drinking water, so I'm still sustaining my actual life,

(01:15):
and I think that's important.

Speaker 1 (01:17):
It counts for.

Speaker 3 (01:18):
Something, at least it does. But yes, I think the
challenges have been many. They've been abundant. Is what was
how I'll put that?

Speaker 1 (01:29):
Yes?

Speaker 2 (01:30):
Yes, do you have anything like a silver lining that
you're looking forward? To in the future.

Speaker 1 (01:37):
Yes.

Speaker 3 (01:38):
Actually, so I actually have some travel coming up that
I'm pretty excited about. I'm going to a spiritual retreat
and I am going to Jamaica. So even though I
will probably have some work to do while I'm away
in both of those places, I am looking forward to
getting a little relaxing time, a little reset, and and

(02:00):
enjoying being outdoors.

Speaker 1 (02:02):
Yes.

Speaker 2 (02:03):
Absolutely. And you know, that's kind of a good segue
into who we're talking about today, because before we got
a mic, we were discussing our difficulties when it comes
to taking time off of work, perhaps work boundaries, and
so hearing you talk about yes, I'll be doing a reset,

(02:26):
taking a vacation, but I'll probably still be doing work.
This is something a lot of us feel and a
lot of us relate to, I believe, and it does
relate to who we're talking about today.

Speaker 1 (02:37):
Yeah, I do.

Speaker 3 (02:39):
That actually is a very astute of you, I mean,
because I wouldn't have even thought about it that way.
I think it does because we're talking about today Sarah Bagley,
who was a labor activist, so she did a lot
of work around working conditions and about being able to
have some time for herself, you know, because her life
didn't revolve I mean, it had to revolve around work
because of her situtuation. But you know, she wanted less

(03:02):
time working and for herself and for all of the
other women who were working in textile meals at the time.
So yeah, I too have a very hard time setting
boundaries around work. It is very different today in twenty
twenty four than it was for Sarah Bagley who was
alive in the eighteen hundreds. But we are and yes,

(03:24):
I think this is a good way to start this
is that these issues that Sarah Bagley was dealing with,
although it was about her going to a specific industrial site,
this was during the Industrial Revolution, which we'll get into,
it's still relevant to what we're talking about today. The
ways that companies intrude on our time and pretend that
the work our live shait revolve around the work rather

(03:46):
than the work supporting our ability to live in a
healthy and sustainable way.

Speaker 1 (03:50):
Putting profits over people still a thing.

Speaker 3 (03:54):
I mean, it's not funny, but the fact that we're
still dealing with it is like, is pretty wild to
see when you realize that, like we seemed so distanced
from the Industrial Revolution, I mean, we're all holding these
insane computers in our hands every day to do everything,
but it.

Speaker 1 (04:12):
It spiritually, we're not that distant from that time, sadly.
That's one way to put it.

Speaker 3 (04:24):
Yeah, So should we get into Sarah's story now?

Speaker 1 (04:36):
Yeah? Okay.

Speaker 3 (04:39):
So Sarah was born in April of eighteen oh six
and her parents were Nathan and Rhoda are Rada not
sure how to pronounce it, but Widham Bagley, and they
were raised in Well. Sarah was raised in New Hampshire
and she had a few siblings, Thomas, Henry and Mary Jane.
And her parents they farmed, they sold a land and

(04:59):
they had a small mill, and they later moved to
other places, including meredith Bridge. It seems like there's I mean,
there's a little bit of information about her early life,
but not an overwhelming amount of information about her early life.
But the meat of her story, where we get to
is in starts in the eighteen thirties and that's where

(05:22):
her work in labor activism begins. So to put some
context around this, this is the time of the industrial Revolution,
you know insert you know, rainbows and progress to a measure,

(05:44):
we have all of these technological development, all of these
factories popping up. People are moving in droves from the
countryside to the city. You know, I'm just imagining. You know,
this is when the black and white turns to color.

Speaker 1 (06:02):
This is how you can think about that.

Speaker 3 (06:05):
And that quickly changes back to great scale because the
city populations, they're growing and they're getting denser. Just imagine
all of the other issues that come along with that.
One of the issues is that people are working in
these factories and a lot of those people are women
and children. So the children thing is a whole other story.

(06:28):
We're not really going to get into that today. We're
talking about women labor today. But in terms of the
women labor, women are enticed by this idea of getting
cash and having boarding houses to stay in when they
move from their rural locations and they go to these
urban areas where the mills and the factories are.

Speaker 1 (06:52):
So people want.

Speaker 3 (06:53):
Them because the men are away and the women are
there and they're like, well, we need to make money,
like this is an easy way to do it. So
it's similar to work that they're already doing. Like some
of these women are and girls I should say it's
girls and women. Some of them are actually doing work
in smaller mills, but these larger mills, they have these

(07:15):
large boarding houses and they're able to pay a little
bit higher wages.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
And that's the case in Lowell.

Speaker 3 (07:23):
So women are recruited from rural towns in New England
to work at the textile mills in Lowell. So Lowell
is this town where that has grown up around the
textile factories. The guy who opened those textile factories name
was Francis Cabot Lowell, and that's where that name Lowell
comes from. The town after he died, was named for

(07:45):
him and was developed up around this factory situation. So
the women who work in the mills are referred to
as mill girls.

Speaker 1 (07:55):
I'm not really going to call them that.

Speaker 3 (07:56):
Because that feels a little infantilizing that they weren't all
girls girls. They ranged from eighteen to like thirty was
the typical age, so they weren't girls. I mean, I
think on the lower end, you know, yeah, you know,
if to not make somebody older than they actually are,
but I mean they were old, or they were older

(08:22):
than to call girls. It feels like so to put
yourself in the shoes of these women in these factory locations,
think of all the noises that are being made by
the machines. They have bills that are summoning them to
and from work. So it's not just women there. There
are also men who are working in the factories, but

(08:44):
women are together often housed with like more than one
woman to a room when they're living in the boarding houses.
Their living situations in the boarding houses are also kind
of controlled, so they can get things like curfews, and
they have codes of cond and the conditions and the
mills as well can be pretty strict with how people

(09:06):
are overseeing them. Also, the actual conditions of like air
quality in the mills, the factories and the minds, all
these kinds of places can be horrendous. The working hours
are long, they're hazardous conditions. The mills are closed on
Sundays because there's still this religious tenor that's hanging over everything.

(09:27):
They have to observe the Sabbath, you know, they talk
about religious instruction at the time.

Speaker 1 (09:33):
So that is like the.

Speaker 3 (09:35):
Very culti sounding situation actually now that I describe it.
But that just comes from the control that the control
and the regiment that is structured around the work that
they do, and that they're always there together. Basically they
don't leave, although during the summers sometimes the women will
go back home. So at the time, there are people

(10:00):
who are starting to organize to advocate for themselves around
their working conditions and their labor to be able to
help attain better conditions for everyone. But the manufacturers end
up crushing these strikes, as you would imagine, they have
quite a bit of power, and they have other people
who will come in and work in the stead of
people who are advocating for themselves. And this is where

(10:24):
we get to Sarah. So by eighteen thirty seven, Sarah's
in Lowell, Massachusetts, and she's making money to support herself
and her family because I think what we do know
a little bit about in her earlier life is that
her family they were having some money struggles. So Sarah's
supporting herself and she's supporting her family. And this wasn't

(10:45):
unusual for women who were going to work in the mills,
like they were making money to help their families because
their families didn't have that much money. And at this time,
working in the factory was a good way to help
enhance your economic means.

Speaker 1 (11:00):
Working as a weaver.

Speaker 3 (11:01):
At the Hamilton Manufacturing company, and she's in her late
twenties at this point, so she is a little bit
older than I guess the majority of the women who
were there working at those mills.

Speaker 1 (11:14):
And the money is alright.

Speaker 3 (11:17):
She it's better than you know, what other people are
making and other mills, but the money's all right. She
gets eleven dollars and seventy two cents for her first
twenty four days of work, and then by her second
year she's earning almost a dollar per day in the
weave room. So that round about twelve dollars that she

(11:38):
was making is about three hundred and ninety dollars in
today's money, and that's for a twenty four days worth
of work. But the thing is the workers are supervised
very closely and they work long hours. So yes, they're
making money, but this is the trade off. And this
is what we were talking about earlier. That's still happening

(11:59):
to this day. But some of the workers are at
the mills in Lowell publish a magazine called The Lowell Offering.
So this is written by the workers but is managed
and partly funded by the mill corporations.

Speaker 1 (12:13):
This goes into one of those things.

Speaker 3 (12:14):
You got to see who's publishing the publications as well,
but Bagley contributes to it, and one of her first
articles for the offering is called Pleasures of Factory Life.
That's published in eighteen forty, and anyone who's listening can
go online and access that very easily. You can read
it online. But i'll give you a quote from it.

(12:35):
In the mills, we are not so far from God
and nature as many persons might suppose. We cultivate and
enjoy much pleasure in cultivating flowers and plants. A large
and beautiful variety of plants is placed around the walls
of the rooms, giving them more the appearance of a
flower garden than a workshop. So that's the end of

(12:56):
the quote. And in that article she also talks about
how in the job there is time for contemplation. She
says that they get to help elderly people, and she
also said that they get to have time for a
religious instruction. So this is early on. As we tease
in the beginning, Sarah is a labor activist. Right now,

(13:19):
it sounds like she's doing a lot to show how
good the conditions in the factory are. But there are
asterisks because there is like a despite in that article
Sarah does talk about how the factory girls are not
without guardian kind of loosely implying that they are closely watched,

(13:41):
but she also says that they are placed in the
care of overseers who feel under moral obligations to look
after our interest. That's a lot of words to say
that they are on our butts. Okay, Like it's clear that,
like it really seems like this article is in it
she's just making the best of a situation that now

(14:05):
we know is bad, which is not a bad.

Speaker 1 (14:07):
Thing to do.

Speaker 3 (14:08):
Like why wouldn't we cope in that way, you know,
not taking away her agency and like actually knowing that
these are good things. I'm not saying that, you know,
these aren't good things to have around you, but knowing
how the tables turn very quickly, and how she feels
about the conditions at the mills, it's like it feels

(14:28):
in a way, you know, kind of sad to me
with this hindsight that I have, because she's like really
aching for something that feels bright in dark times. So yeah,
that's you can read that article. It's not that long,
but she talks about it, so it doesn't take long

(14:48):
for those tables to turn. Sarah tires of her work
as a weaver, she's pressured to produce more cloth. She
ends up becoming a dresser where she helps prepare warp
threads for weaving. But of course that work has its
own pressures and hours are still long. And on top
of all of that, the mills themselves are starting to

(15:11):
make changes. So these mills are booming. Everywhere there are prices,
and that's including the lowl mill. So all of the
low mills we have, all of these popping up, and
prices for cotton goods are going down. But the mills
they have to keep production costs down too, and they

(15:31):
want to keep their profits up because that's what they're
in this for. So they start cutting wages and they
increase the amount of looms that weavers are responsible for.

Speaker 1 (15:41):
Okay, so pay is raised for men and not for women.

Speaker 3 (15:46):
So if we at a certain point when it pays
for at first is lower for everyone, and then when
pay is raised again, it's for the men and not
for the women. Now plots here for us to take
a moment and realize that this is like the exact
same thing that we still go through today, where wages
are cut and the expectations of productivity increase. Our wages

(16:10):
don't change at all in expectations of productivity increase. I mean,
you know, this is the United States, you know, but
you know in other places around the world too, And
so of course people are like, this is not okay.
We have to do something about this. I am unhappy,
I am unsafe. We can't go on living like this.

(16:33):
So there is a lot of labor activism that pops up,
and that includes the women workers. They go on strikes
in eighteen forty two women at the Middlesex Manufacturing Company mills.
They are wanting the women to do more work for
less pay, so seventy women walk out and they're all

(16:55):
fired and blacklisted. And Sarah's consciousness that continues to evolve
as all of this stuff is going on. She writes
articles in the Lull Offering criticizing the poor conditions in
the mill and how those conditions are that way while
the company is steadily continuing to profit from this.

Speaker 1 (17:15):
So the paper doesn't really.

Speaker 3 (17:16):
Want anything to do with that kind of rhetoric, stops
taking some of her work, and Sarah soon leaves the
Hamilton Mills and goes to work at the Middlesex mills,
and over time, Sarah begins to become more radical. Women
in the mills they're working these twelve to fourteen hour days.

(17:38):
They're still living in these boarding houses that are crowded
and don't have great air circulation. So in eighteen forty four,
Sarah and some other women meet in downtown Lowell and
they form the lull Female Labor Reform Association. Sarah is
voted in as the president of the association and the

(17:59):
association rows. It gains several hundred members and it collaborates
with other labor groups in the area, like the New
England Workingmen's Association and the New England Labor Reform League,
and it begins publishing this newspaper called The Voice of
the Industry, and Sarah contributes articles to the paper and

(18:21):
edits a column in it, and they use the paper
as this vehicle to advocate for shorter working days. In
eighteen forty five, there is this other publication that also
advocates for this ten hour work day. It's what they're
looking for. It's called Factory Tracks. I do have a
quote from this publication that I like to share. When

(18:43):
the whole system is exhausted by unremitting labor during twelve
and thirteen hours per day. Can any reasonable being expect
that the mind will retain its vigor and energy? Impossible.
Common sense will teach everyone the utter impossibility of improving
the mind under these circumstances, however great the desire may

(19:03):
be for knowledge. And I just think that that quote
is interesting from that article just because of how different
that is from Sarah's earlier quote from the other article
that I was telling y'all about, where she's talking about
all of these other ways that she's able to be
stimulated during a work day even though she's surrounded by

(19:24):
these loud machines and for working conditions.

Speaker 1 (19:29):
A big part of what Sarah.

Speaker 3 (19:30):
Was saying in that early eighteen forty article was that
she had time for contemplation while she was working. So
while she was doing these other tasks or this other
stuff was going around, she had great time for contemplation.
So there was some intellectual stimulation that she was able
to have while she was working. Versus, if you look
at this quote that came from Factory Tracks, we see,

(19:50):
how is my mind going to be able to have
any vigor and energy while I'm doing this work? So
definitely a switch between those two. Also, the time was
the time, so people were involved in other social pursuits,
so there were other people who were anti slavery advocates

(20:11):
and then there were people who weren't anti slavery advocates.
And one thing that's also interesting to me about this article.
It's not that interesting because it's not like it's not
a rhetoric that people didn't often use. It is just
another example of that. And in this article they use
the term slaves. They refer to themselves as slaves at

(20:31):
a time when they are not at all removed from slavery,
like it literally is right there, and they are referring
to themselves as slaves in terms of like this is
the work we're doing.

Speaker 1 (20:40):
We're confined to this work.

Speaker 3 (20:42):
They are not slaves, they are being paid, their conditions
are not good. They should be advocating for themselves. However,
they are not slaves, but they continuously call themselves that.
In this they say that it's lowell slavery. So I
just want to point out stuff like that because I
think when we read this kind of stuff is easy
to just I don't want it to just be like, oh,

(21:06):
she was this great advocate. A lot of times there
are complexities and a person's own ethos in the rhetoric
that they use. And also, we are living in twenty
twenty four and this was eighteen hundred.

Speaker 1 (21:17):
So they knew what they were doing.

Speaker 3 (21:19):
They knew what slave meant, they knew what that work meant,
they knew what the institution of chattel slavery was because
they were surrounded by it.

Speaker 1 (21:28):
They got news of it they could read.

Speaker 3 (21:30):
So, you know, just when you read stuff like that,
and if you if anybody listening goes and looks at
that article and sees that, just you know, calling attention
to it. I'm sure when y'all are reading, when y'all
are doing research for other episodes, y'all probably also come
across stuff when you're like, we were, I was rocking
with you for a while until we got.

Speaker 4 (21:51):
Here, Like that was too often when they're like, why
why would you say this? You ruined it?

Speaker 1 (22:00):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (22:01):
So in eighteen forty five, Sarah and others petition the
Massachusetts legislature and they're looking for that ten hour workday,
and a committee determines that the legislature doesn't have power
to determine hours of work and setting a ten hour
day is something that they're like, y'all got to handle

(22:22):
that between it's between y'all two, it's the companies and
the textile workers.

Speaker 1 (22:26):
Y'all can figure that out your own.

Speaker 3 (22:28):
But obviously that's not good enough for all the labor
activists and Sarah, and they keep getting signatures and sending
petitions to the legislature to get that ten hour day,
and that once again results in in action from the legislature,
and in June of eighteen forty six, Voice of Industry

(22:49):
shifts because John Allen becomes the editor and John Allen
does not want Sarah involved in the Voice.

Speaker 1 (22:57):
Of the Industry anymore.

Speaker 3 (22:59):
You know, he feels like she's a troublemaker and he
thinks it won't be dignified if there is a female
department at the Voice of Industry.

Speaker 1 (23:09):
And it's just clear that he.

Speaker 3 (23:11):
Doesn't want her speaking on her advocacy for this ten
hour day.

Speaker 1 (23:16):
He's like she's doing too much.

Speaker 3 (23:17):
So this is something that Sarah ends up saying in
eighteen forty eight to another women's rights advocate named Angelique Martin.
She says, I regret to say to you that the
Voice of industry is quite conservative and must be with
this present conductor. The present editor thinks that a middle

(23:39):
ground or half in half in our opinions is good policy.
He thinks that truth ought to be spoken in such
honeyed words that if it hits anyone, it shall not
affect him unfavorably. And that's the end of the quote.
So she's clearly saying that John Allen is he is
a moderate. I don't know what his I don't I

(24:00):
don't know much more about John Allen. I don't know
what his actual leanings were, but he clearly didn't want
these things said in the paper.

Speaker 1 (24:09):
So Sarah looks for another job.

Speaker 3 (24:12):
She finds out that the telegraph office has just open
and Lowell and in eighteen forty six, here's her first.
She becomes the first female telegraph operator in the United States.
She taps out messages. Oh, and I'm musa say that
first is probably not when people would have seen coming,
considering we've been talking about for activism this whole time. Yeah,

(24:36):
not part of her trajectory that I would have imagined
would become the thing that would be her first, But
that is it. She taps out these messages and she
helps people write their messages and letters, and there's not
much movement on the whole ten hour workday thing. But
in eighteen forty seven, the mills do shorten the work

(25:00):
day by thirty minutes. Thirty whole minutes. Fifteen minutes were
added to breakfast and lunch, so they got longer breaks,
and that's where that thirty minutes came in.

Speaker 4 (25:12):
I think I've seen too many memes because between like
that quote to him, she's pretty much telling y'all, you know,
to like you don't know the truth, you don't want
to talk about the truth, like type of thing, and
then this being like a win's a win. I guess
like it's kind of one of those things like fifteen minutes.

Speaker 1 (25:29):
Okay, well, yeah, how's that?

Speaker 3 (25:31):
There's that it's still not good enough though, there's still
not good enough. And the other still not good enough
thing is that that same year, eighteen forty seven, New
Hampshire becomes the first state to pass a ten hour
workday law, but workers can still voluntarily agree to a
longer workday, and Lowell is in Massachusetts, so this doesn't

(25:53):
even apply to Massachusetts there. I think Pennsylvania the next
year ends up coming up with a similar law for workday.
But you know it is still not happening for the
Lowell girls and for Sarah. But in eighteen forty eight,
you know, the money still has to be made. You
still got to put food on the table. For a
short period, Sarah works again at the Hamilton Mill in Lowell.

(26:17):
She works in the weave room for five months. But
you know she's still having a hard time making money,
and her labor activism requires it, her sustenance requires it.
But at the same time, she's still writing about healthcare,
prison reform, working conditions, women's rights, those kinds of things.
And she's writing letters like to people like Angelique Martin

(26:38):
where that quote came from that I was just reading
to y'all. So after leaving Lowell, Sarah teaches women how
to cut dresses in Philadelphia, and in November of eighteen
fifty she marries James Durno, who is a homeopathic doctor
who sells medicines. I will add a side note about

(27:02):
her marriage to James Durno. It's around this time, you know,
when the researchers are digging looking for more information about her.

Speaker 1 (27:09):
They kind of lost track of her.

Speaker 3 (27:10):
When she became Sarah Durnel when her last name changed,
because as we know, a lot of the times women
will become the man, they will be subsumed, eaten by
the man, And she became missus James Durno at the time.
But once they figured out that was her name, they
could start researching her again and documenting her history, and

(27:33):
she and James in the eighteen fifties moved to Brooklyn,
and they make this remedy used for things. The uses
seem pretty nebulous to me. They say it's like for
throw and long diseases. I think I've saw an advertisement
that it could be for like head things too, so
maybe that's like cold. So it's called snuff for Qatar.

(27:57):
So it seems pretty bad, y'all, it does. I think
you like it. Sniffed it and inhaled it to be
able for it to be able to work. But hey,
you know, this is a direction that Sarah chose to
go in. It was in eighteen fifty three when Lowell
ended up making the working day eleven hours, so still

(28:18):
not ten, but they made it eleven hours. And by
the eighteen fifties, immigrants were replacing the girls and women
who came from the farms to work in the factories.
Soon Sarah's husband dies and she travels goes back to
Philly and in eighteen eighty nine that's when Sarah dies.

(28:40):
And Yeah, during over those last decades of her life
and continuing on, you know, labor organizing becomes a more
prevalent thing. Labor unions are able to form and advocate
for better working conditions. But that period of the loll
women workers who were organizing for better working conditions kind

(29:03):
of like they got a little bit of movement, but
they weren't able to get that full, that ten hour
workday like they were looking for.

Speaker 1 (29:12):
That's the story of Starah Bagley.

Speaker 2 (29:24):
It is a really interesting one because, as you said,
the lead is kind of buried in her first and
we're like, oh, okay, but it's all It is fascinating
to looking back at this because as we started this
episode off with, we are still grappling with this. We
are still fighting for work life balance, work rights. Like

(29:51):
there's so many things that we're still doing. And I
feel like I talked about this a lot, but in America,
I think that we've really moralized work and that can
be a really messy thing where we've moralized productivity in
a way.

Speaker 1 (30:09):
That is not helpful.

Speaker 2 (30:12):
And so when you look back at something like yes,
the Industrial Revolution, which is when like so many things
did change, it comes up all the time and people seeing, Okay, wait,
I don't want to work thirteen hours a day to
make this small amount of money. And I think it's

(30:34):
also interesting because recently we did an episode on May
Day and I didn't know this. I didn't know about
the whole kind of labor implications of May Day. But
a part of it was that kind of well off
white people were like, no one has time to think anymore,

(30:57):
like let's bring back May Day holiday. But then other
people were like, actually, let's just get workers, right Yeah.
So it's just the history of it, the legacy of
it is still around today, and I think it's worth

(31:18):
thinking about why that is and why the fight is
so hard to get what like thinking about eleven hours
to me sounds ridiculous, but at the time that was
an improvement, right, Yeah.

Speaker 4 (31:36):
And not to like jump into the other thing that
we said we weren't going to talk to you, but
we're going backwards on the child labor laws as well.

Speaker 1 (31:42):
It's kind of like what.

Speaker 4 (31:45):
Are we doing here? What year is this?

Speaker 1 (31:49):
Yeah, we really are.

Speaker 2 (31:51):
And again I think a part of it is because
we because we're like such a capitalist society, or like
that's your works, that's your activity, Go make that money.
So yeah, this is This was a story I'd never heard,
and it resonated with me pretty hard, honestly because I

(32:11):
also struggle so much to not work.

Speaker 1 (32:18):
Yeah, it's just not yes.

Speaker 3 (32:21):
Yeah, And I think it's even hard to feel like
any measure of progress has been made since this time
that we're talking about today, just because the boundaries between
work and personal life are so much more unclear today
where it's actually went into they went into the well.

Speaker 1 (32:39):
To be fair, they also lived in.

Speaker 3 (32:41):
Boarding houses, so there is that very specific situation. But
just like, okay, we're advocating for a four day work week,
per se, and I know this is something that is
often very I want to be mindful that something is
often very limited to people who work in like online.
They work, they use their computer, they're able to work
from home. So this does not apply to everybody, But

(33:01):
I'm just speaking for the people who do advocate for
something like that. It's still like okay, but there still
may be an expectation for you to be able to
pick up and work on a different day.

Speaker 1 (33:11):
I mean, and I know, I'm sure, y'all, I know,
y'all know nothing.

Speaker 3 (33:16):
I'm sure I know people who feel that compelled and
not just compelled, I mean they really have to work
on other days to be able to fulfill their duties.

Speaker 1 (33:28):
And yeah, so it's hard to disentangle now.

Speaker 3 (33:34):
It's like, now the question is now we have really
fully I mean, we've stepped into that place where we
do associate our value with the amount and quality of
the work that we do. And it's really hard to
disentangle from that when you are barely trying to make

(33:55):
ends meet, as most people are in the United States, right.

Speaker 4 (33:59):
And a whole like turn and flipping of language when
it comes to workplaces to do that whole like, we're family,
You're not doing this for work. It's not just a
job for you. This is about us, you know, helping
each other and realizing we've really been brainwashed and making
money for people like one percent of the people while
the rest of us are told and guilted that if

(34:21):
we don't do these certain amount of things and create
a certain amount of profit, then we have let other
people down, Like it's such a weird gaslighting guilt trip
that has happened, as well as a whole like bringing
back kids back in the workplace, but the whole idea
of like it's teaching ethics, but it's really not. It's
once again just creating profit. Like there's this level of

(34:43):
like conversation and I think we finally come to the
point like, wait, this is this is not right.

Speaker 1 (34:52):
What is happening.

Speaker 4 (34:53):
I feel like you're lying to me and yet you're
getting rich and I'm suffering. Whether it's I'm anxious because
you're telling me I'm not doing enough when I'm working
sixty hours a week. This is not corrupt somehow, but
obviously Yeah.

Speaker 3 (35:08):
I also love that you brought up the word ethic,
because I think that's a whole other can of worms.
I think a lot of times we praise and uplift
the idea of somebody having a quote unquote good work
ethic without interrogating all that that means. Because the question
is at the end of that work ethic, like what
is the purpose and during the duration of you having

(35:32):
this work ethic or this good work ethic, what am
I doing to myself and my body, and we look
to people like God knows, don't come for me behive
Beyonce and are like, you know, while she has an
amazing work ethic and that's aspirational without considering like the

(35:55):
context of how we work and what we want for
our own lives, right, and what's the aim is. But
I mean, I think that's just worthy of conversation. I'm
not tearing her down. Yeah, she does her thing right,
you know, I just think, you know, for us normies,
we need to talk a little bit differently about.

Speaker 1 (36:14):
It, right.

Speaker 4 (36:15):
But also there's that level of like who assists her,
the amount of nannies and people who like attend her
to make sure this is functioning, Like the amount of
things that I think of that Taylor Shipt, don't swifties,
don't come after me because she is cost off, We're
gonna just canceled. She is constantly touring and creating new
albums and doing all these things. But again, she also

(36:36):
has a private jet that flies her home every night.
Like there's other things to this that we're not talking about,
so that she can care for herself and her own
comfortable home every night, no matter where she tours. Like
there's this level of like, yeah, I get it, there's
this worth work ethic people who push but again they're
also have a lot of money already. Not not tailor swift,
but Beyonce, I'm thinking about more like CEOs working off

(36:59):
the backs of other people in order to get more
essentially and telling other people to sacrifice themselves again health
and whatnot, while at the same time having to figure
out how to do childcare, how to correctly, how about
to take time off to go to a doctor if
some emergency happens, how to take time off to do that,
Like all of these things that come into factors when

(37:20):
we're talking about ethics and then wanting to do like
a scrunchy face disapproval. Look for people who have children
and have to take sickly because they have to take
a kid to a doctor, They have to take time
off to go to the school, to have meetings, you know,
all these things that we don't actually allow for when
we talk about ethics.

Speaker 3 (37:41):
Yeah, yes, that's a lot, and I don't know the
way out. If you can tell us, Samantha, please tell
us now know.

Speaker 4 (37:50):
My thing is just to spiral out and finally be
like I'm done, I'll talk to you later and just
like disappear. So not a good solution either. At the
same time, I'll probably be fired if you do that
bad an extended amount of time.

Speaker 2 (38:01):
Yeah, it is really interesting and definitely a bigger conversation,
but about all of the things that we do.

Speaker 3 (38:15):
Just to.

Speaker 2 (38:17):
Just to survive, just to live, just to make money.
We try just to try to go on vacation like
a little bit, but also how much, Yeah, we do.
That's a good point. Really look up to the work
ethic and we believe if you hustle enough and heavy quotes,

(38:41):
you could do it too right. And yeah, sorry to
tell you, Sorry to tell you pretty rare.

Speaker 1 (38:52):
I hate that for us. One day we'll hit it big.
Well that.

Speaker 2 (39:02):
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much, Eaves for coming.
As always, we love having you. Where can the good.

Speaker 1 (39:09):
Listeners find you?

Speaker 3 (39:10):
You can find me on Instagram at not Apologizing. You
can just go to my website Evesjeffcote dot com. You
can also listen to many other episodes of Sminty where
I'm doing female First. You can also listen to on Theme,
which is a podcast that I co host with Katie Mitchell.
It's about black storytelling in all its forms.

Speaker 2 (39:33):
Yes, go do all of those subscribe like whatever to
all of those things. Listeners. If you have not including
this show.

Speaker 1 (39:43):
I'm not putting that in there.

Speaker 2 (39:44):
If you're listening right now, well, if you would like
to contact us, you can our email Stuff Media, Mom
stephantiheartmedia dot com. You can find us on Twitter at
mom Stuff Podcast or on Instagram and TikTok at Stuff
One Ever told You. We're also on YouTube. We have
a tea public store. We have a book you can
get wherever you get your books. Thanks as always to

(40:05):
our super producer Christina or executive producer Maya and our
contributor Joey.

Speaker 4 (40:08):
Thank you.

Speaker 2 (40:09):
Thanks to you for listening Stuff I Never told You.
Protection of my Heart Radio. For more podcasts from my
Heart Radio, you can check out the heart Radio app
Apple podcast wherever you listen to your favorite show

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Anney Reese

Samantha McVey

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