Summing it Up...
Now, that I'm way on the wrong side of sixty, I feel that being true to self is important. "I yam, what I yam." Kindness and smiles are to be given away. Women are strong. Men are more vulnerable than we believe. Husbands may come and go...but one thing I know for sure is that I will NEVAH live without a corgi or coffee in my life if I can prevent it. Come piles of dog fur or hot water!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Women of the '50's...fluff or ironmaiden?
It's Vintage Thursdays with the Apron Queen,
and this will be my last post concerning the 1950's. I think about the women of that era all the time. My mom was one; she's now 91, and still fit and fiddle. So, in honor of all that...I'm going to review their history; from my point of view.
Following WWII, women went back into the homes, losing their wartime jobs to the men, returning from service. 97% of all marriageable people at this time, were in fact, married. The women of this era were the mothers of the baby boom.
Home and hearth were very important. Women were expected to stay at home and raise their family, and somehow, get all their needed fulfillment from that. The Stepford Standard was alive and well. They weren't expected to be informed, and stress over national and world issues. They were expected to focus on family life.
The suburbs developed in the '50s. The sense of neighborhood in the 'burbs allowed children to run and play all day safely. Men went to work, in the family car, leaving the wife and kids at home until the end of his workday. Avon and Tupperware parties, became popular at this time, as a way for women to gather together and feel less isolated as neighbors gathered over coffee.
Women were wearing both seamed and unseamed hosiery. Neck scarves, hats, dress gloves, girdles, pointy-toed high heels, pleated skirts, pointy perky breasts and tiny waists were "IN." Can you imagine wearing one of those cone bras today? Yikes!>>a
Everybody did Lilt or Bobbi perms at home, using bobbi pins. Easy to make dress patterns by McCall's were popular, as the number of new fabrics coming out, made fashion easy at home. Consumerism grew due to the 50's woman. Advertising directed at women encouraged shopping.
Betty Friedan described the suburban home as "a comfortable concentration camp." She began writings on the subject around 1953, which led to a whole hog women's movement in the '60s. Maybe, women began to rebell, getting tired of being good, sweet and pretty. Maybe Sylvia Plath, a jeans wearing, chain smoking poet of the time, chucked it in too soon. I think women of this era had backbone, but conformed to the times. I think they got things done in their own way, without stirring the nest too much.
I think they swallowed their opinions a lot, but probably had some terrific conversations among the girls. What do you think?