Division of labor

Civilization formerly mitigated the natural force of status and attractiveness by setting up a division of labor, and judging mates on their capacity for the appropriate type of labor. Civilization is long gone, so this is irrelevant.

One of those supershort Ripley features mentioned a highly specific test for brides. Ripley described it as a medieval English tradition, but after some googling, it appears to be a custom in only one church, at Nether Peover in Cheshire.

There is at the chancel end an oak chest of enormous thickness, and the heavy lid is lifted by an iron ring. I was told that in former time no damsel was fitted to be the wife of a Cheshire farmer unless she could lift this great cover up with one hand.

Makes sense. Beauty can’t carry a bucket or a baby.

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