Oprah Goes Colonial
Aha! moment number one: Hand over the panties and bras. Seventeenth-century women didn't wear them. As we exchange our clothes for authentic garments (including uncomfortable corsets), the PBS producers present us with the settlers' codes of conduct. The Sabbath was to be strictly observed. Profanity, infidelity, promiscuity, and insurrection were punishable by whipping. Women were to obey their husbands, stay silent in public meetings, and keep their heads covered as a sign of submission. If a woman was spotted outside without her cap, she could receive a scarlet letter from the governor, then be tied to a stake for two hours. "Nobody better tie me to a stake," I whisper to Gayle, "or they are gonna see a real African Puritan." Gayle, still adjusting to pantielessness, tries not to crack up.