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Is Laundry Banned In Your Front Yard?

Updated on November 19, 2009

Feed this into your 'has the world gone completely mad yet o meter', and let us know what results you get, as home owners across America gear up to defend their right to hang laundry in their front yards. Yeah, you heard that right. There is evidently a national movement against people airing their clean laundry in front of others.

Carin Froehlich has become the face of repression in Pennsylvania, where local town officials and neighbors have requested that she stop hanging her washing in the front yard. In spite of the fact that there are no actual laws in place to prevent her from doing so, local officials have requested that she cease to hang her washing in front of her 18th century farm house, and two of her neighbors have left snarky notes.

“They said it made the place look like trailer trash," she says, hanging out her washing anyway.

If you think this is a frivolous issue, think again. Twenty percent of Americans live according to terms set out by housing associations, and an estimated half of these organizations have rules which penalize people who hang washing in their front yards. A lawyer representing such associations explained the rules saying "The consensus in most communities is that people don't want to see everybody else's laundry."

And so goes the dehumanization of the world. We don't want to see anything that isn't nice and neat and pretty because it spoils the illusion we like to build up around ourselves. People don't want to live like humans anymore, they want to live as if they were little immortal gods. They want to deny all that is human in favor of becoming slick little robots, perfect to the littlest fingernail. Imperfection is tantamount to a sin to these people who have left their humanity so far behind that they may as well be cyborgs.

As a society, we'll pay for people to torture, kill and maim overseas, but we don't want pictures of it in the media. We'll pay for our elderly to slowly fade away in neatly tended care homes, largely abandoned by their offspring because we're all too busy watching the Jonas brothers, worshiping youth, and denying our own mortality. We santize language, we sanitize images, and now apparently even though our laundry is sanitized, it is still too much for people.

Now we can't even acknowledge that people have laundry. Clean laundry has become, in effect, dirty laundry.

Don't worry though, Froehlich and others like her are fighting back. Froehlich is writing a book, and says "If my husband has a right to have guns in the house, I have a right to hang laundry.”



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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      As the saying goes, "Right On!" Notice the contradition here though. While TV over the last four decades has come from showing a white Playtex Cross-Your-Heart bra on a plastic and headless upper torso rotated on a counter while a women comments on its comfortable and supporting features, we now see bras on live models as well as the ad for comfortable Friday's aired during the 2010 Super Bowl. Yet some are embarrased to hang their undies in the fresh air and sunlight for the best fresh aroma cleaning and sanitizing not to mention energy savings. Back yard or front yard or apartment balcony. It should make no difference. Yet I have friends and family who will hang out everything--except women's panties. Even though they have no qualms about hanging men's underpants/boxers outside. And they do not see the puzzling and humorous inconsistency. We are an interesting and amusing culture.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Ugh. Homeowner's associations. I cannot fathom the thought processes that would justify living someplace where a governing body can evict you from your home if you don't paint it a certain color, don't keep the grass a certain length, throw up an antenna for TV or amateur radio, or have the audacity to roll out a portable basketball hoop in our driveway. Y'know, just on the off-chance you or your kids wanted to get in a little outdoor exercise time.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A very large portion of the world doesn't have electricity or dryers or both. Look at the tightly packed cities in Brazil for instance. Your neighbors across the alley from you share a clothes-line strung between your windows and you help each other hang out your laundry whilst you share the daily gossip.

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 

      9 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      Yeah this is ridiculous. Clothes that have dried on the line smell sooooo much better. They last longer too. And it saves electricity - what's not to love?

    • jiberish profile image


      9 years ago from florida

      Lots of things are now banned, I just wrote a hub about the crazy bans, and soon we'll be lucky if we're allowed to wear underwear, let alone hang them outside. Good Job!

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      9 years ago

      Maybe some people don't have back yards? And what's so wrong with underwear anyway? Why do we have to pretend that people don't wear underwear?

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      One question,, why would anyone want to hang laundry in their front yard? Just what everyone wants to see in the neighborhood, underwear blowing in the breeze!

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      9 years ago

      When we were kids growing up in the village, no one owned a clothes dryer. the laudry was washed and hung out to be dried by the sun and wind. Fresh isn't word. didn't seem to need those perfumy anti-static things my wife sometimes adds to the dryer. Very economical too. My wife still hangs outr some bed linens etc, saves on the electricity bill.


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