lokakuuta 18, 2005

shoes and infanticide

I’m feeling lazy. Last week went by so fast and this one is threatening to do the same. I have a number of letters I should write, books to read, articles to translate, shopping to do for next week… We are going to Brussels, Luxemburg and Strasbourg, you see. Does that infamous triangle sound familiar? Yes, it’s the EU-tour of the research school and I am thinking I should be wearing something else than my jeans and sneakers. I have no shoes. I can regress back to the clothes I bought for my short spell in the ministry, but I have absolutely no shoes. Shoes are not my thing, which is why I end up wearing a pair until they disintegrate around my feet. For the current time of the year I have my sneakers and a pair of something brown, which used to belong to my sister and which say “woosh” when you walk around. Both of those options look alright only with my black jeans, which is why I have been wearing my jeans a lot lately. Aargh, I hate shoe-shopping. Shoes are ridiculously expensive. Seriously, if shoes look decent, they either cost a fortune or they will end up killing your feet. Maybe that’s why shoes exist: they hate their lives and get all they joy out of torturing feet. Or it’s a revenge thing against the smelly toes and all their wiggling. Oh well, no hope for it, I guess. But I’m not going shopping today; I’m just not mentally prepared.

What have I been doing today? Reading the general court records from 1800. I’m getting quite familiar with Carl Fredrik Krabbe who keeps asking the court if this or that person convicted of homicide can ask the king for clemency. These records won’t tell what happened to those people. Well, there was that one entry with an order from Stockholm to proceed with the execution of the death penalty: a maid convicted of killing her child. Most of the women who appear in these records are unwed women charged with killing their newborn babies. You didn’t want to find yourself pregnant in those times if you weren’t married; I can tell you that. It’s not just one or two women who decided to kill their little ones and risk the death penalty instead of raising the children in the society of those days. Different times, different values. Were you villains or victims, maid Carin Philipsdotter Philpula, maid Catharina Huttutar, crofter’s wife Maria Mattsdotter Klemola, sailor’s wife Maria Elisdotter Krook and you Valborg Tihotar, locked into a spinning house? Hmm, wives too – does that make you guiltier? What made you do it, Marias?

Those aren’t really my questions dissertation-wise, but I could actually do that. A micro-historical study – an article – about infanticide and the criminal reforms of the enlightenment era, taking the case of one of these women as the starting point. Or a more mentality-oriented study, maybe a sort of a discourse-analysis thingy – the court records and what they tell of the establishment’s / society’s attitudes towards women having children out of wedlock. Oh whee, I’m seriously starting to see the point in doing research still when I’m a gray-haired old little granny and surrounded by a cat-farm.

I will write that article. Not right now, since I have a million other things to do and the dissertation to finish before they stop paying me, but I bloody well will do it. Another ooohhh, if this Norfa-thing is still about practicing to write international articles I know what I will be talking about in April in Iceland. Yay.

Happy, happy joy joy. Okay, enough rejoicing, now home. But first I must wrap up my gorgeous Tilly-pictures, so I can get them home safe and sound. And dry. I put one up on my wall here at work. I must admit it is a weeeee bit distracting, but I’ll give it a chance.

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