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Women In The 1950S

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I would summarize this list as a list for how to submit to your husband. It is basically saying that all you do is for him and the reason for that is because he is more important than you. His needs and his wants outweigh yours and you should be happy about it. This list really plays into the ideals of the Cult of Domesticity. Those ideals being that in order to be a “real” woman, you needed to focus only on your family and especially your spouse. You should be the picture of domestic perfection. As a woman, you were what made the family run. The people who favored this “cult” made it out to look like a woman was the center of the family, and that she should feel so special for being so important. They made it seem glam to be a domestic goddess. What they didn’t tell you was that you were basically a slave in a pretty dress and makeup. You had to cater to your husband’s every whim, while keeping the house and taming the children, and you had to do it with a perfect hair-do and a smile on your face. It was a hard thing achieve and women were suffering because of it, but they couldn’t ask for help because that would be putting your needs above those of your husband and children and that was a no-no.

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This ideal was a good thing for the United States in the 1950s. It gave the picture of a perfect nation. One that was doing all the right things and that other nations should aspire to be but also be afraid of. With World War II, women were now able to join the military. They were able to go away from their homes as nurses, secretaries, and even airplane mechanics. This put a damper on the Cult of Domesticity. As did the knowledge that in the Soviet Union, an ally of the US, women had equal legal rights to men. This was not the case in the United States. Women had many more rights in the Soviet Union in general than US women had. Giving women more rights would take away the ideal that women needed to be homemakers and keep their family together. The idea of a perfect family unit was important to the US. They thought that this ideal was what made them better than the communists of the Soviet Union. Although they were allies, neither really liked the other and what they stood for. The perfect family unit was one of America. Of freedom and of capitalism instead of communism.

31 October 2020

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