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  1. #1
    Senior Member mr.jr's Avatar
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    Why Wife Selling Was Advantageous for Wives in 1700s

    Article on Motherboard discusses the economic study into the practice of wife selling in England in the 1700s. Jist of the study is that women became empowered once they were given property rights and were able, "to negotiate their own exit." I pulled a bit from the article and post below. Why Wife-Selling Was Advantageous for Wives | Motherboard
    Thing is, the practice of wife selling wasn’t fictional. In Industrial Revolution era-England, selling a wife to a gypsy for his horse was, for members of the lower and working classes, often the best option for divorce. And a new research paper from the economics department of George Mason University argues that being sold was often actually the best thing that an unhappy wife could hope for.

    It would have to be a pretty extreme legal context to make standing in the market being auctioned off the best option, but it was. “Industrial revolution-era English law created a strikingly imbalanced state of affairs with respect to marital property law,” Leeson explained.

    The practice emerged when married women could not own property. Coverture laws dictated that everything she owned belonged to her husband once they were married.

    And laws being what they were, men could get out of a marriage without their wives consent, but women couldn’t get out of marriages without the consent of their husbands. Getting a divorce was extremely difficult for either party, but a man could get a de facto judicial separation just by kicking his wife out of the house and alleging adultery. This practice was much more common than wife selling.

    But if the wife was unhappy, going to auction afforded her control over her situation, that she didn’t have as an unhappy spouse. The study found that almost every single wife went on sale or to auction of her own volition and held a veto over where she went next.


    I asked Leeson who was in the market for used wives, and he explained that the suitors were usually men who were looking for used wives, who had struck out on the conventional marriage marketplace, but sometimes it could be agents operating on some wealthy person’s behalf, or in some cases it wasn’t men who wanted wives at all, but the family members of the unhappy wife. It obviously still doesn’t sound like much by contemporary standards, but the money (and, often, alcohol) that a suitor was willing to give the soon-to-be-ex-husband was the only leverage an unhappy wife had to escape an unhappy marriage. “Such sales enhanced the welfare of Industrial Revolution-era English wives,” Leeson said. “The wives who participated in wife sales chose to participate, and even those who seemed to do so reluctantly had the power to veto their sales...Wife sales permitted unhappy wives to trade marriages they valued less for marriages they valued more.”

    The most hilarious thing about getting an economist to weigh in on marriage is how devoid of any talk of romance that perspective is. “The way that we think of marriage from an economic perspective is to think about how much each of the spouses value being in the marriage relative to one another and relative to living outside of the marriage,” Leeson explained. “If for example you’re not very happy in your marriage but your wife is extremely happy in your marriage—if she values being in it more than you value being outside of it—then we’d say the efficient thing to do is to stay in the marriage.”

  2. #2
    Senior Member FapMaster's Avatar
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    Re: Why Wife Selling Was Advantageous for Wives in 1700s

    You couldn't give these bitches away these days. Simply because they are already giving away the only thing they have of value to every thug in town.
    Not even her family wants to buy her back, they would rather have her leech off some poor simp.
    Ah the good old days...
    No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question of degree. -W. C. Fields
    The courts have no compunction towards fairness these days, and the women who push their agendas, no conscience. -My own self
    My Intro

  3. #3
    Senior Member mr.jr's Avatar
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    Re: Why Wife Selling Was Advantageous for Wives in 1700s

    Sort of like the 'damaged goods' section of half price stores.


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