Women did not work so.
Some kept their husband's carts, and many passed as servants of the few wives who passed. There were none who simply worked on their own.
I had no real sense of how much choice the women of Copper Downs had in their lives, but I'd been raised by Petraean women. Except for Mistress Tirelle, they had come and gone freely from the Factor's house. They gossiped of the city as if they moved about it at will. And in my short time of freedom there between my escape and my flight, I had seen women in every crowd. Not under arms, surely, but carrying about the business of their lives as openly as men.
Here women were to be owned, either as playpretties much as had once been intended for me, or as servants and tools. Only the poorest women -- the cart vendor's wives, the dungpickers in their ash gray robes and drooping veils, the elderly sweepers who walked before the wealthy to ensure their feet trod on no shit -- only they seemed to move with any freedom.
Copper Downs had been a prison for me, but Kalimpura was a prison for all women insofar as I could tell. No wonder Shar had been afraid for my Papa's land. There would have been nothing else for her except to be a servant in deepest poverty.
[writing] Progriss riport
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