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A 1,000-year rear-view mirror on work

In the 17th century, Europeans worked largely from their homes, often as artisans and farmers. Each family member had a hierarchical place in the flow of tasks, attuned to their age and skills, and were acknowledged for that contribution.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, which sent workers en masse into factories, and the accepted definition of work suddenly changed: laborers earning cash outside the home were doing authentic work, while those at home — largely women and children — were not.

This lost status has plagued European and American women ever since.