Dear Fellow Women: Please Tell Me I’m Not Alone
This may get some feathers in a ruffle. I’m good with that. As a woman, I am nothing if I cannot speak my truth — what matters to me greatly, especially in today’s climate.
For the past decade, I’ve watched, with great interest, various movements unfold. Some of these were reincarnations of campaigns that ran in the ’40s through the ’90s. Others reached fruition as our reliance on technology increased. Some, sadly, are merely concoctions aimed to promote a divide.
In the 1950s, the then-modern American housewife was expected to keep everything hunky-dory, having a drink ready for her man as he walked through the door. Women were homemakers, and men brought home the bacon.
The movie Mr. Mom premiered in 1983. By the early 1980s, 17 million mothers were in the workforce, a 44% jump from the ’70s. In the film, Michael Keaton’s character loses his job at an auto factory, so his doting wife, played by Terri Garr, re-enters the game. It’s a comedy that today has plenty of people up in arms over the narrative that women belong home, taking care of the kids. It also points out that being the “housewife” is a challenging and demanding job reserved for those who possess strength and time management skills.
In 2018, mothers accounted for a third of the female labor force. There were around 23.5 million employed women with children under the age of 18, and nearly two-thirds worked full-time, year-round, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (ACS).
Regardless, plenty of women embrace the traditional housewife role. I’m not one of them — seriously, cleaning and grocery shopping sucks — but I respect the hard work of today’s tradwife. Under different familial circumstances, I may have become one, too.
TradWives do not measure their value in being able to produce monetary income, but in how they can save their family money, how they can produce fine children, and create a loving home which is open all hours. Working women would do well to honour this side of them just as much as their workplace contributions.
— Alena Kate Pettitt, The Darling Academy