Feminism | Posted by Sabina S on 07/6/2011
Blast From The Past
I was at my friend’s house working on a project for school. It was getting late so her mum made us dinner. At the table, my friend’s dad was ordering her mum around and asking for things to be brought to him. Now, it was all in good fun, but it still bugged me a little bit because it reminded me of the times that Betty Friedan discusses in “Feminine Mystique.” And then, to make matters worse, my friend’s mum started talking about how she just lost her job. While we were eating, she started complaining about her lack of employment. Then she concluded that now that she is unemployed she MUST resume the housewife roll. She proceeded to name off a laundry list of chores for her to do the next day: clean kitchen floor, wash clothes, scrub walls, clean kids’ rooms, etc.
Does this sound familiar? If you have read the Feminine Mystique then you know what I am talking about. If not, then I will explain to you that the matter at hand is one of 20th century thinking. It’s the concept that women used to believe that all they were good for was house work, being a housewife, and a stay at home mom. Women had no identity in those days because they would only be able to relate to the household world (the “domestic sphere”) and were, in turn, cut off from the outside realms of reality. They were essentially brainwashed by the popular Housekeeping magazines of those days – convinced that their only purpose in life was to serve their husband and children. They were slaves to their own lives, loves, families and own gender. Does this seem fair? NO!
Why was it that Pre-Friedan, anyone with a vagina was socially forced to be trapped in a house wearing an apron and heels the whole day in order to maintain a “proper image”? Thanks to Betty Friedan, a beloved founder of our modern movement, we have been able to branch out past these horrid confinements.
To be a woman is to be strong, independent, loving, powerful, and capable of doing what others can’t. We are born with a motherly instinct, with a heart, with a mind set for living life for happiness. And so, we march on and persevere through the rough patches of weeds that stand in the way of beautiful meadows.
Houses are for families to live in, love in, and laugh in. Not for women to be confined in, to clean in, and to cook in.
Read other posts about: Betty Friedan, female stereotypes, Feminism, gender stereotypes, housewives, mothers, parents, role-models, second wave feminism, stay at home moms, teenage feminism, The Feminine Mystique
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