The same reader who shared with us about Ada the quiltmaker offers some impressions of Amish women in general:
How many never-married 60-something Amish women are out there? The one I know has a very distinct individuality that I believe is due to her single status which has freed her to be the open, in-your-face sort of gal she is. Not that Brownville is lacking strong-willed women who know how to rule the roost. As Miriam proclaims in Amish: A Secret Life “I am the queen of this house” and there are many queens in Brownville homes.
I remember the trials and tribulations poor ol’ Rudy suffered at the hands of the women of his household because he could not properly engineer and construct a suitable clothes line. The poor guy tried 5 or 6 variations only to have them not acceptable to his houseful of women folk. Unfortunately, his best effort was obliterated by a tractor trailer truck delivering building supplies. I told him this would be a terrific time to embrace electricity and quiet them down by getting a nice, big Maytag dryer and plugging it in. If memory serves, I believe he was tempted to do so.
I have also noticed a very distinct and palpable tendency of Amish husbands to have a very healthy “respect”, for lack of a better word, for their mothers-in-law. While in a matron’s presence, I have seen a roll of the eyes here, heard a virtually inaudible sigh there, with the ever present longsuffering nature of the Amish fellows shining through. I may not understand much of their mutated German language but I can easily recognize a tongue lashing when I hear it.
As I have told my male friends, when you marry a woman it’s a buy one get one free special. You don’t just marry a woman, you also marry her mother. Don’t get me wrong, I have had two and dearly loved them both, but . . .
That said, I firmly believe the perception that Amish women are subservient and repressed is flawed when put in the context/setting of life in the Amish home. True, the younger wives seem to be eternally, terminally and permanently pregnant, surrounded by hordes of barefoot toddlers while cradling a baby or two in their arms, but all the ones I know seem to be happy and well adjusted and very much the queen of the household.
What do you think? Does this fit with your experience/impression of Amish women?