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.