It was ever thus

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, set in ancient Egypt:

It was ever thus: work was gendered then — women’s work is domestic, men’s work is in the public sphere — and it hasn’t been ungendered yet.

It was ever thus, or ‘Twas ever thus, or ‘Twas always thus, has been a formula for some time (there’s a Shakespearean version), and eventually got the completion and thus will ever be / and always thus will be, and a context, in the script of the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, in an exchange between the teacher John Keating (played by Robin Williams) and one of his students:

McAllister: “Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams and I’ll show you a happy man.”

John Keating: “But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”

McAllister: Tennyson?

John Keating: No, Keating.

(I’ll generously take men here to be the putative generic, and re-phrase this as only in their dreams can people be truly free.) But: only in their dreams?

One Response to “It was ever thus”

  1. thnidu Says:

    That complaining person doesn’t look particularly female to me. The only possible clue I can see is the hair, and it isn’t a very strong one.

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