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The debate about confirming Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court has raised the ongoing debate about the role of history in court decisions, originalism, etc. Jill Lepore has a recent article in The New Yorker on the topic called Weaponizing the Past. There’s also a recent New Yorker podcast with her on the same topic.

In the article, there’s a great passing mention of dishes:

History, in one fashion or another, has a place in most constitutional arguments, as it does in most arguments of any kind, even those about whose turn it is to wash the dishes. Generally, appeals to tradition provide little relief for people who, historically, have been treated unfairly by the law. You can’t fight segregation, say, by an appeal to tradition; segregation was an entrenched American tradition. 

This definitely applies to dishes, too. Traditionally women do the dishes in the home, or hire working class women—often women of color—to do them. Changing that has meant challenging this tradition.