We left off in the 50’s era with my last post. I am looking forward to the next chapter of history of housewives. It’s getting closer to the era I grew up in.
1960’s ~ This is an era for women that the entire revolution of the “The American Woman” term is redefined. More woman are entering the workforce only to be sexually harassed and about a 60% pay income of that of their male companions. Think I would have just rather stayed home and been a housewife quite honestly.
This is also the decade that birth control comes into play. I would have to guess because most 60’s housewives were working part-time but still expected to take care of the kids and home. Most husbands of this era were having affairs carried out on their said “business trips’ a stereotype that still lingers on today.
The housewife of the 1960’s worked hard and yet this was the decade that good old Uncle Sam said “house work” wasn’t considered a profession to claim head of household. Here we are in 2015 and there still isn’t a little box that says “Keeping The
Fucking Fabulous House In Check” And in the 60’s they were still expected to do housework while in a dress and heels and their hair done.
1970’s ~ The era of woman activists. From everything to the Equal Rights Amendment being approved into the constitution to abortion rights. Women began to construct their own feminist organizations and groups. These included businesses such as art galleries, bookstores and daycare. They began to speak out about the rights of their bodies and how no one else should have a say as to what they do with it. Ford came into play as the president and so did the first lady in a 1976 August addition of Good Housekeeping stating:
“We have to take the ‘just’ out of ‘just a housewife’ and show our pride in having made the home and family our life’s work,” she said. “A woman who is satisfied with her life at home is just as liberated as a woman with a career outside the home.”
She wanted to change the word housewife to homemaker for staying home and taking care of the family was something to take pride in. And that society should respect that choice.
There were also shows like “The Brady Bunch” and “8 Is Enough” coming into circuit displaying blended families and no longer was it all about the “nuclear” family anymore. “The Brady Bunch” even having a maid and the mother working outside of the home…sometimes even returning later than the husband.
1980’s ~ Now this is my decade. Not as a housewife of course but the era of my precious youth and discovering my inner wild child.
The average home cost a little over $68,000 and by the end of the era almost doubled. The average household income was $20,000 and by end of the era $27,000. A gallon of gas was right around $1.00 and you could buy a brand new really nice car for $10,000. And some of those cars are still on the road today because things were built to last. Not like all this cheap, full of electronic garbo, that they manufacture today.
Housewives of the 1980’s were considered the retro housewives. Gone were the days of always wearing a dress and heels when cleaning the house to now bringing into play the “designer jean” costing around $80 a pair and this was the 80’s. When minimum wage was $2.85 an hour when I started in the working field. Needless to say I didn’t have a lot of expensive designer jeans once I had to start buying my own.
In the 80’s 3 out of 5 families had both parents working just to keep up a standard of living. This was also an era that women began to want to work rather than get married. Being in the work force was now plenty acceptable and pretty much expected. They began to realize that they could work and provide for themselves and their children and didn’t have to stay in unhappy marriages.
Studies showing that those who remained married, worked outside the home, and still managed to take care of “inside the home” were actually putting forth more labor than that of their husbands. I wonder if this is where the average number of “
blow-jobs sexual commitments” declines. Because who wants to work full-time, come home and do housework, cook, and take care of the kids and then find the energy to please our husband?
1990’s ~ Most will say this was the best decade ever. America was prospering under the Clinton administration. The economy was rising at a rate of 4% a year. The job market was great at over 1.5 million available.
As for the housewives of the 1990s the word “feminism” started to come into play and it wasn’t pretty. Newspapers and magazines blamed everything from the rising rates of divorce to even rape all on that of feminism. The average housewife being fed up with having to constantly take care of the family. No longer was it picture perfect housewife holding a pie or cleaning gadget but rather the new face of “Roseanne Barr“. Tired from working all day and now expected to take care of the family. All while muttering words of frustration and sarcasm.
On the opposite spectrum was “Peg Bundy” also known as “the lazy housewife”. Doesn’t work, doesn’t cook or clean, and is horrible at taking care of the children. Her main focus being that of herself while she spends her husband’s hard earned money and expecting him to be ok with that. Smoking cigarettes in the house and trying not to set her Aqua Net hair-do on fire. Or the entire house with a cake she left in the oven.
2000 to current ~ It’s all about choices now. In most marriages a choice is made whether the mother or in some cases father will stay home with the children. Some of this is due to the rising costs of childcare and that the majority of one income would go towards said childcare. These days it is ok to be either a woman at home or a woman in the corporate world. But there are still so many stereotypes against the stay at home mother/ housewife/ homemaker. I have news for all the ones who have never been a stay at home parent…it’s not easy. It’s the hardest job I have ever had and I have worked a lot of jobs.
There’s also those “real housewives” portrayed on television that are anything short of the truth about being a housewife. Those housewives make Peg Bundy and Roseanne Barr look like mothers’ of the year!
So what era would you have liked to have been a housewife in?
Let me know in the comments!