As Maggie in a 1990 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof she was more than just a slip of distaff Mississippi flesh.
Indeed, the distaff vote may yet again break Republican this cycle—as it did in 2010—if the polls are to be believed.
One carried a distaff, one a ball of cord, and one a pair of shears, in imitation of the traditional three.
This distaff, which I have taken at random, decides the fate of all who are born while I am spinning it.
“There is meetness in all things,” said the old lady, picking up her distaff.
The door was open, and he saw a girl at work with her distaff.
Then let the men don women's attire and take the distaff and spindle in their hands!
The distaff had to be recovered before the question could be considered.
When the wool has thus been prepared, it is wound about the distaff and then spun into yarn.
On the distaff side, the thing is too obvious to need exposition.
Old English distæf "stick that holds flax for spinning," from dis- "bunch of flax" (cf. Middle Low German dise, Low German diesse "a bunch of flax on a distaff;" see bedizen) + stæf "stick, staff" (see staff).
A synonym in English for "the female sex, female authority in the family," since at least the late 1400s, probably because in the Middle Ages spinning was typically done by women. St. Distaff's Day was Jan. 7, when "women resumed their spinning and other ordinary employments after the holidays" [OED].