I've been reading Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel and find it very interesting re the women on the trail. It is my belief that the hard life of women portrayed in the book really goes back to the days of the cavemen. I think in those days of the caveman, the female of the species was just as rough and tough as the male. We've seen the cartoons of the caveman dragging the woman by the hair and carrying a big club, but we've never seen a man being dragged by the hair by a woman because it was always men who drew the cartoons. The female could just as well have carried the club and bonked her mate on the noggin, as they almost do here on the westward trail.
As time went by, the female realized she didn't have to act this way, if only she would let the male of the house bring in the food and only wash the dishes. And soon, professional dishwashers replaced the man. And that is the way it has been until some great crisis or movement comes about wherein the woman is forced to take on a greater role and she again picks up the club. In the case of the westward journey, women were forced to take over the chores of the man in some cases and did just as much or more work than her mate, and she had to do it all when her mate died en route or became too sick to carry on and that meant taking care of the seven or more kids they had all by herself. And the healthy men were off trying to find some game to kill or helping the oxen pull the wagon up a hill or something.
I would be the first to admit that a woman's life on the trail was no joy in Mudville because if they wanted to get to Oregon before the snow flew, everyone had to pitch in. Some of them set off and made the trip in three or four months and others took eight or ten months due to one thing and another. If the husband kicked the bucket on the way, the woman had no alternative but to continue on. Going back to nothing was as bad as going on to nothing, since many of them were left penniless and with a horde of children. Others on the trail would lend assistance as long as it didn't hold them up.
And, maybe the time has come again for the women to pick up the club and bounce it off some noggins of the people who are running the country. Maybe just the hit on the head would put some sense in to those people who occupy the seats of Government, but if it had no effect, maybe the women should take over and send the men packing with their tails between their legs, as some did out of necessity on the old Oregon Trail.