Apron Clad Housewife to Superwoman

September 22, 2010 | NeW Staff

In the 1950s and 1960s the ‘Housewife’ was a stereotype placed on women. Today, many women are viewed as superwomen….women who’ve got it all. Even though the terms are different, are we all that different from the women of the 1950s?

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, housewife means a married woman who is in charge of her household.  Being in charge of the household meant taking care of the children and all of their needs, waiting on the husband, preparing all meals, keeping up and maintaining the cleanliness of the home, and sacrificing oneself for the rest of the members of the household. Housewives were confined to the home during this time period, it was unacceptable for many to get jobs before this. Women were either married with children or single with a job for eternity. (Of course, there were exceptions.) One way that women were able to escape their homely duties were book clubs and dinner parties. Of course, with permission from her husband, women were able to get out for an hour…or two, and socialize with other women who felt the same way they did.

A superwoman is a woman who has it all-a loving and happy family, a clean and pristine house, and a successful job. Not only does she take care of her children, her husband and her home, she makes a living for herself outside the home. Living more independently, each member of the household takes on individual chores since the woman is no longer solely focusing on that throughout her day. Superwomen have so many various demands that sometimes, they don’t have time for themselves. Demand for time comes from all facets of life.

Women in both periods of history were extremely busy with the tasks they chose to take on. Many women are multi-taskers by nature and were able to thrive in both environments. But, can you see what else they have in common?
They both didn’t get enough time for themselves. What do you think? Have women gained more time for themselves because of the opportunities we have gained over the years? What have we traded in order for our opportunities?

Picture from(and it’s actually a sticker!):

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