Vatican: Washing Machine Liberated Women
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 2:14 PM CDT
Washing machines.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Vatican’s newspaper appears to have come out in support of the washing machine as God’s greatest gift to women in the 20th century, Reuters reports. A weekend article in l'Osservatore Romano suggested that the time-saving gadget polls ahead of birth-control and suffrage in liberating the fairer sex. It’s called “The Washing Machine and the Liberation of Women—Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax.”

After finding its subject, the article contains a lengthy history of the washing machine, going back to its first iteration in 1767. “What in the 20th century did more to liberate Western women?” the author, a woman, asks. “The debate is heated. Some say the pill, some say abortion rights and some the right to work outside the home. Some, however, dare to go further: the washing machine.”