j68_challenges (j68_challenges) wrote,

Rights of Women Challenge - The Swedish Way

Rights of Women Challenge - The Rules


- Make a male and female couple in CAS; they can be set as married or wed later.
- Once they are married, begin to Try For a Baby until they have at least one female child. Generation Five is the end of the challenge.

- Note: each female continues living her life using the rules of the generation she was born into.

We start with the Census of 1890. The king of Sweden is named Oscar II, king of the Union between Sweden and Norway.


The country is governed by a two chamber parlament which stop each others suggestions all the time. First chamber is usually filled with noblemen and priests and the second with farmers and merchants, like in the old times (before 1866) with four stands in the parlament.

 In Homestead no 54 in Östersund, far from the King and the Parlament, lives my ancestors, among them my Great Grandmother (Mormors Mor) Vendela, born 1864.

She lives there with her parents Brita and Anders Sundberg and her two illegitimate daughters Matilda, 6 years old, and Anna, 5 years old.

- must be of Family aspiration;
- wear a traditional-looking dress (CC is allowed);
- must keep hair up- must remain unemployed (including in businesses), but is allowed to add money through a) breeding pets or b) tending to a garden;- cannot own or run community lot or business;
- cannot venture into any neighbourhood other than the one where she lives (not DownTown or Shopping);
- cannot have an affair or any sort;
- cannot have child out of marriage;
- cannot get divorce (can only Move Out to break up)
- cannot use any aspiration or career rewards (life wasn't that easy in those days);
- cannot use the OFB workbenches (not suitable for a Victorian lady).

Player Suggestions:
- only ever use Try For a Baby (no WooHoo option mimics no contraception);
- must do all the housework and child-rearing;
- can only have female friends.

Family legends says that it was Vendela’s later lawfully wedded husband that was the father of the “illegitimate” girls. I personally doubt that, but for the simplicity of the story I tagged along with this notion. Just to make you confused, or because it was an actual fact, him too is named Anders, but Engström.

The girls, blond Matilda and brunette Anna are not going to continue this challenge. Matilda is never going to be married, but will instead study to be a teacher, and end up as an old maid. Anna will marry and move away, eventually giving birth to my mother’s cousin Rune.

 This is however a long time into the future. At the moment, my grandmother isn’t even born!

The kitchen is the gathering point of the house, which consists of that and a chamber, which is used only for the adults to sleep in. Apart from that there is only a small hallway, working as an air lock from the cold outside in the winter, and a small store room for food.

There is no plumbing in the house, only a row of dry closets at the back of the house, used by all the neighbouring houses too.

All the women and girls are always wearing their hair up in some fashion, for girls mostly braids. After communion, when considered adult, they are supposed to wear it properly up. The men are always wearing hats and usually beards or moustasches too.

Some things are never changing. Vendela is suffering from her pregnancy as many many women did before her.

 When 1890 census was made she was registered as a “working woman”, not specified. She had to work to support herself, her daughters and her elderly parents. Maybe she worked with rich people’s laundry, I’m not sure. It was however common for not so well-situated women to do, it was heavy work, and the first thing you would let somebody else do if you had the money for it.

Now when Vendela is married though, she’s not working anymore. Her husband is supposed to support her and her family.

Behind every house there is room for a vegetable garden, where potatoes, carrots, beans and peas are grown. Tomatoes and aubergines were totally unknown in Sweden at this time.

When Anders and Anders are gone, Vendela is working with making beds and cooking. The men are coming home for lunch break, then going back to work. Britta is tending to the garden.

Vendela is lucky to have her mother still alive, to share the burdens, especially now when she’s pregnant. There are no guarantees that a pregnancy ends up in a healthy child, infants deaths are very common, every woman has experienced it, even Vendela. She had another daughter, Karolina, that died from coughing at the age of two, only six months ago.

Anders is continuously breaking the rules of this challenge, by taking charge of dishwashing and bed-making autonomously. He’s too neat! Vendela’s father Anders is acting the same. I’m trying to keep them in the garden and studying, but it’s hard to have time to stop them when they start cleaning and fixing.

Somtimes when the men went to work, and the girls to school, Vendela and her mother allows themselves to be a bit lazy, having a second breakfast and chatting a bit before starting the work of the day.

All children are attending school in Sweden, since a law of 1842 stated that every parish needs to have a school and a teacher. Even before that most of the children attended school, so literacy is high. Every year the parish priest is testing the knowledge of his congregation by “house questioning”. The household is meeting with the priest and he asks questions about Christian beliefs and reading knowledge.

Matilda and Anna are really good girls, and do well in school. Now they’re looking forward to their new brother or sister to come. It’s not sure they understand that this is going to happen though, I remember my Grandmother telling the story of when her little sister was born “One day when I woke up she was just there, no one had told me she would come.” It wasn’t a priority in those days to tell children other things than to keep clean, quiet and to do their homework and chores.

Baby on the way!

It’s a boy! His name is Axel. Mormor Brita was of course assisting at his birth.

“Hi, baby brother!” says Anna. Axel is interested in his sister. We’re now in 1893.

Directly after giving birth Vendela is back in business. In older days she would however not be admitted to church as long as she’s bleeding, approximately 6 weeks, and she would not be allowed to work outside for being “unclean”. Vendela is lucky to be born into modern times, living in the 1890’s.

A new pregnancy makes Vendela weak, and not even with the help of her mother and her two elder daughters, she manages to keep up with the housework.It doesn’t help that Anders and Anders haven’t fixed the broken tub.

In 1894 Vendela gives birth to a girl that is very weak. She gets the name Hilma and is emergency baptised by her grandfather Anders. She dies the same night.

Axel is a strong boy though, and grows up to toddler. Anders is playing with him, happy to have a son.

In 1898 another girl is born. It’s still not my grandmother, but her sister Clara. She will grow up to emigrate to America, get married to a Swedish man and give birth to my mother’s cousin Ingrid. She will live until she’s 96.

Matilda is a great help to Vendela with the babies. Here she sings a nursery rhyme with Axel. It’s a very dark and snowy winter in the county of Jämtland.

Anna gets engaged at an early age to an older man. I don’t know his real life name, so I go for this townies name which is Bengt. Anna and Bengt will be married as soon as possible and move out to his place.

Clara is growing and Vendela is pregnant again. If it’s a girl this time it’ll be my grandmother!

This pregnancy was atually twins! It turned out to be my grandmother’s brother Oskar (named after the King), and my grandmother Sigrid. This picture is Oskar, he’s got brown hair like his mother. Sigrid has blond hair like her father. (and also, coincidently, as she had in real life).

They were not twins in real life, Oskar was born in 1900, Sigrid in 1904.
Anna moved out with her Bengt, to start their own life.

Sigrid had a very tight connection with her sister Matilda, who was 20 years older than her, while her mother was already 40 years old at her birth. Sometimes I have been wondering if Matilda was her real mother, but in that case it’s a very, very well kept family secret.

 Below are the rules that will apply for Sigrid when she grows up.



- must wear traditional clothing and keep hair up;
- can be Family or Popularity aspiration;
- may work in Criminal, Culinary, Education or Slacker track;
- can run business/community lot, but not own it (husband/other male must);
- may not attend university;
- must marry a male and take his name (if NPC/Townie, ask to move in and he proposes marriage);
- must move into his house (or, if he is an NPC/Townie, must both move out);
- can have heterosexual affair;
- male must have better job than her (use own judgement as to what is 'better');
- must quite working when she has her first child;
- can go to to DownTown or Shopping Neighbourhood, if asked by a male.
- may have a male-instigated divorce;
- cannot use any aspiration or career rewards (life wasn't that easy in those days);
- cannot use the OFB workbenches (not suitable for a Victorian lady).

Player Suggestions:
- can hire help around the home (Maid, Nanny, Gardener, etc);
- can host social parties.


Next update will cover the up-bringing of Generation 2

Tags: rights of women challenge

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