The Domestic Slave

There are various kinds of slavery in the world, and many classes of victims of this cruel bondage. There is among others, the domestic slave, whose tyrant is her husband–and the scene of her bondage, her home!

His stinginess allows her scanty supplies for bare necessities. His selfishness is so engrossing and exacting, that his demands for his own personal ease and indulgence are incessant, and leave her no time for the consideration of her own comfort. His disposition is so bad, that all her diligence to please are unavailing to give him satisfaction, or to avert the sallies of his irritability, discontent, and complaints.

When such a man protests against Negro-slavery, let him begin the work of emancipation at home, by raising the oppressed woman he holds in bondage there, from the condition of a drudge–into the station of a wife!

But there are also many sad cases in which the slavery is self-imposed! The bondage comes from the wife herself! The husband would gladly release her–but she will not let him!

Some are slaves to neatness–and make their fidgety anxiety about this matter a misery to themselves and all around them!

Others are slaves to fashion–and are always anxious and troubled about elegance and refinement!

Others are slaves to domestic display, parties and amusements–and are always full of anxiety about making a splendid appearance!

Others are slaves to frugality–and are ever vexing themselves to economize!

In these ways women will torment themselves and fill their minds with unnecessary cares and self-imposed troubles! To all such we say, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about so many things!”

~ John Angell James, (1785—1859) , “Female Piety–The Young Woman’s Guide Through Life to Immortality”