Friday, December 5, 2008

Teacher, Mother, Or Nurse


As a girl growing up in the fifties, when someone asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", there were really only three choices. You could be a teacher, mother, or nurse. I of course had no desire to be any of those. My three choices were, artist, race car driver or movie star. I really believed my parents were somewhat worried about me.
I suppose they had reason to. One Christmas, I got the big gift. So excited as I ripped off the wrapping, I was devastated to find what was inside. It was of all things, a cardboard closet with little brooms and mops. My God, I thought to myself!
What are they trying to do to me! What an insult! All I wanted was a go-cart, or a bunch of toy cars and trucks. I wasn't asking for much, really. Bottom line, I was so shocked, I started crying. I think they thought I was so happy to get that gift.
My poor mother just wanted me to be like her. Well, that wasn't going to happen. I ran upstairs and hid under my bed, for fear they would come after me and make me sweep the floor. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.
Women of that time suffered with the dissatisfaction of making beds, cooking meals, and doing all the things homemakers do. Is that all there is in life? I am sure women were even afraid to ask themselves that question. Television didn't help matters much. Shows like "Leave It To Beaver" or "Father Knows Best" really stereotyped the image of the housewife.
It's interesting to think about our society. It forces boys to grow up, but not girls. Blue and pink. Black and white. Growing up in the fifties left no choices for women. Betty Friedan, who wrote "The Feminine Mystique" in 1963, called suburbia "a bedroom and a kitchen sexual ghetto." Wow! Those were strong words back then. She declared that while women were seeking fulfillment exclusively through their homes and families, they had in turn lost their own identities. She was quoted as saying, " If we continue to produce millions of young mothers who stop their growth and education short of identity, without a strong core of human values to pass on to their children, we are we are committing, quite simply, genocide." Friedan later helped found the National Organization Of Woman (NOW)
I must say, that I am truly amazed at the contributions and accomplishments women have made in modern society. My grandmother would just flip at the fact that a woman could actually run for president or go into orbit.
Myself? To this day, my main objective is not to clean house, thanks mom. I have accomplished much in my life without the push of my parents and there is much more to do.

5 comments:

pammyboo83 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pammyboo83 said...

what a woderful thoughts about women today and our society..thanks for dropping by

naira said...

I could so relate to this post not because I grew up in the 50s but my mother did... and reading this: "She declared that while women were seeking fulfillment exclusively through their homes and families, they had in turn lost their own identities" reminded me of the time when I heard my mother say that she feels that had "disappeared" a long time ago.

I felt sad for her then. As a result she has always urged me to do things differently than she did and I am thankful for her support.

Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. :)

Anonymous. said...

See how life leads and takes u where u r destined to be, m really happy that at this time of ur age u r satisfied with what u have in ur life :)
would love to read u more

Self-esteem Blog for Women said...

Very exhilarating words to read.I love reading the thoughts of a passionate soul. They are none short of genuine truth.

I grew up with 5 brothers...so my mother really was not very influential in the grooming department. Hence my wearing shorts under my dresses( that I did have to wear now and then)....and beating up every neighborhood brat.

I have grown in a world where it is not so much the domestic idealism seem to be tearing women down...more so the medias idea of the perfect woman.

This is the battle I have chosen. My mom was that domestic slave raising 7 children..perfect home...always fresh baking ect...
She did not have the opportunity to work outside of the home which I believe to this day has definitely stifled her ability to socialize greatly.

All in all...life should never be gender specific...both partners should carry a basic equal portion of the relationship commands as well as the daily domestic chores.

Myself being a very independent type...I tend to thrive on doing things myself...it is a shortcoming...Yes, but then if all fails I do have only myself to blame!

This is a hot topic and I love your thoughts!
Have a very positive day!

DorothyL