Sunday, 22 March 2015

Is it still the 1950's?


I have just finished reading Perfect Wives in Ideal homes, the story of women in the 1950's.

I was born in 1951, I remember sticky out skirts with lots of net petticoats under them, I remember teddy boys, skiffle and I also remember the cold houses and drab clothes, most women wore wrap over pinnies, mothers wore them with nappy pins attached. Most women took great pains to be a good housewife, my mother didn't lol.
In the 1970's I worked in the offices of a large insurance company, even then we were not allowed to wear trousers  we had to wear a skirt or dress.
You'd think by now that things would have changed, but I'm not so sure, in the last week alone I've come across  a woman who is giving up the job she loves for one she hates 'Because my husband likes his tea on the table when he gets it'! I've also had to deal with a colleague who has suffered from a week long migraine as her husband has returned from a 3 month trip abroad and is bitching non-stop as her housewifely standards aren't up to what he's been used to whilst living in a hotel!
To be fair many people don't behave this way and I'd like to shake some sense into both these women and give both the husbands a kick.
My own L&M could appear to be a male chauvinist, but is really just an old fashioned gentlemen, he opens doors and doesn't like to see a lady carrying anything heavy. Having said that when a neighbour asked to borrow his drainage rods to clear a blockage he willingly loaned her hi rods and mucked in and helped her.

4 comments:

Pam said...

I too was born in 1951, I never saw a real live Teddy Boy, just photos of my Uncle Arnold all dolled up. I did see the full skirts and net petticoats, I wore them as a very young teenager right up till mini skirts came in. Our house was not cold, at least not downstairs. There was a huge range in the kitchen and a fireplace in the "front room", I do remember ice on the inside of the bedroom windows though. But with flannelette pyjamas, hot water bottles, wool blankets and thick eiderdowns I was never cold.

TrishWish said...

The 1950s were a great time in history and there was a kind of gentleness about life. Yes women did stay home but it took so much longer to do housework - no washing machines, just a boiler and a mangle! Shopping was done daily and there was no delivery unless you were rich. The 1950s man did a lot to help in the house - fetching coal, growing veg, doing the decorating, fetching and carrying. Not sure if many men now demand tea at a certain time or high standards of a hotel - just hand them a dish cloth and tell them to contribute to the effort is still a partnership!

Angela said...

I was born in 55, and do remember teddy boys and net petticoats worn by my cousins.
I remember liberty bodices, stockings and suspenders, and a bizarre station on the Radiogram called "Hilversum"
In 1981 I started a teaching job and was told females could only wear trousers if pregnant. Two months later...
Grateful to be married to a fabulous man who helps in the house and loves me for myself, not my housework skills.
Great post - thanks - Blessings x

Irene Holland said...

I was born in 1950 the youngest of five. Our home was always warm downstairs, my Dad would be up first to get the fires going. He also helped with all chores along with my brother and sisters. My Dad was born in 1906.
My husband and sons in law have no qualms about doing housework and child care.
I don't think that it is the times that we live in. I think that it is the people who live in the times.