Law enforced to lift outdoor-clotheslines ban…. wait, what?

Passing laws to prevent the banning of outdoor-clotheslines is nothing new in the nations that are Canada and America. I recently came across an article that discussed the controversy surrounding outdoor-clotheslines, and I have to say I’m shocked at how stupid it all is. The article discussed how in 2008, the Ontario premier enforced a law to lift  outdoor-clotheslines bans. (Forgive me for being a few years late on this, but I just saw this and had to write about it)

According to the video featured in the article,   bans are often enforced because some home buyers feel more comfortable buying homes in a neighbourhood where they don’t have to look at drying underwear. For the record, my family has been hanging out our laundry in the backyard for a longtime, and I can safely say that I’ve seen my neighbours’ laundry hang in their backyards as well. Not because we’re poor or rude, but because when the weather’s hot and the sun can dry clothes almost as well as any dryer machine, why not? (It should be noted, as it is on Wikipedia, that this view on clothes lines only applies to a small percentage of people, and does not represent universal views on clothes lines) It actually wasn’t the government who had banned it in the first place, but it was the building developers. They wanted to appeal to people who don’t want to look at their neighbours’ underwear hanging in their backyards. I personally think that this was a bit extreme in the first place.

One article on clothes lines by the New York Times stated that a reason clothes lines are banned is because “many people viewed it as an eyesore, not unlike storing junk cars in driveways, and a marker of poverty that lowers property values.”  I believe it’s common sense to air dry your clothes when the weather permits, not a sign of poverty. If doing so is a sign of poverty, can’t that mean walking to school, or anywhere for that matter, should be considered a symbol poverty? People have the means to buy bus tickets, bicycles, roller blades, cars, and so on. So if you walk to school, you must be poor, right? That means neighbourhoods with lots of ‘walkers’ should have lower property values.

Wrong. Just as some would argue “but there are people who actually LIKE walking,” the same can be said for hanging your clothes on clothes lines. Some people enjoy doing the chore outdoors, and I know that as a child I enjoyed running through hung bed sheets and hiding from my parents.

Why is it such a problem to appear ‘poor’ anyways? Why does someone’s property have to be devalued by how like to do things? Was the ban’s latent purpose to make it harder for poverty-stricken families who can’t afford to use drying machines? If anything, the ban is more embarrassing and degrading to the poor than…. whatever ‘good’ it was supposed to do.

So, I am happy the governments lifted bans on outdoor-clotheslines.

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4 thoughts on “Law enforced to lift outdoor-clotheslines ban…. wait, what?

  1. Sara says:

    I found a great deal of humor in your opening line. Passing laws to prevent the banning of outdoor-clotheslines is nothing new…in the nations that are Canada and America.
    hehe its almost an insult but not quite. 😀 Truely we are nations of excess luxury.

    • turnthrice says:

      Hehe thanks for the kind comment! Well, I don’t mean to bash Canada and America too much…. but I can’t help but think that quite a few eyebrow-raising stories come from these two countries. Of course there are miraculous stories too, but I find the odd topics so much more fun to write about 🙂

  2. harp says:

    You couldnt be more right!!

  3. voxxxie says:

    Strange… in Australia every new house must have a landscape design which shows where the compulsory clothesline is going to be and where the recycling bins (for bottles, cans, paper etc and green rubbish) are going to be – always out of sight of the street of course (but we usually have 6 foot fences of solid palings down the sides and rear of each property.) The landscape plan must also have a minimum of 2 trees in the front yard and 2 in the rear yard. Sadly we are only 25 million people… who contribute only 0.33% to the world’s carbon emissions.
    We have a wonderful range of clotheslines to choose from see http://www.hills.com.au
    I remember being in Oklahoma in 1998 when the temperature was over 100 degrees and thinking “these clothes would dry better and faster on a clothesline outside” Strange that the owners of the house I was staying had to turn the air con to be cooler because the clothes dryer was running also… what a waste of energy and money!!
    We have always taken it for granted that every house has a clothesline, and it is used.
    As my American husband says “whacky Aussies”

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