Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Today in class we primarily discussed women in the postwar era. Such as, how women were getting married and having kids at young ages, which resulted in the baby boom. Also how women were placed in a domesticity sphere and how odd it would be if they left the sphere and got a job other than being a housewife.

We talked about appliances again in correspondence with Betty Crocker and her cake mixes. Surprisingly enough, I didn't even know that Betty Crocker wasn't a real person. The pictures that were put on Betty Crocker's merchandise changed as the years went on. Where in the 50's, Betty looked very motherly and like a housewife, but in the 80's she looked like a business woman. Funny how ideals change.

Ideals with television also changed. After the war, sitcoms such as I Love Lucy and the Honeymooners expressed women's dislike of being a housewife and wanting to enjoy the world outside her home. However a couple of years later, sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Ozzie and Harriet expressed totally different ideals. Instead, June Cleaver was a happy housewife who enjoyed waiting on her husband and sons' hand and foot.

After this discussion, we watched Eyes on the Prize, which was about African-American students trying to break the color barrier and enter non-integrated all white schools. Watching this film made me realize once again in my life how fortunate I am to able to go to school with people of all different races and even be able to attend such a great summer program at an Ivy League School.

The past 7 days of class I had has taught me a lot, and refreshed my memory about WWII and the Cold War era. I am able to learn more about society rather than government as I had in school. In regards to its teachers and classes, Brown would be a great school to go to. But the atmosphere and lack of excitement don't really suit me; which explains why I am so excited for our trip to New York/Columbia University.

Well, I will talk to everyone tomorrow! Goodnight.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


During WWII most of the young men were off fighting the war while the women were at home getting a taste of working for a living. With such a distance between them, the procreation and expansion of the family was kind of tough.

When the war was over, though, and all of these lonely men came home, they made up for their abstinence with a vengeance. They remembered what they fought the war for and they embraced the idea of creating a family.

Many of the women who had worked during the war liked the feeling of accomplishment they felt when working as well as earning their own money. Many of them liked the freedom they had being independent from their husbands—having their own money and not having to ask for an allowance. It was tough for them to take a step backwards and return to the life of a subservient housewife.

Things changed, Avauna, and they were never going back to the way they were.

One of things about some of those old TV shows that continues to amuse me is the way those TV moms dressed. They always wore dresses with heels of some sort and they almost always had a nice necklace around their necks. They always seemed to wear their makeup—even when doing their housework.

As much as anything else, they were the product of the male dominated and male controlled TV business and they depicted what these men wanted to see when they returned home from a hard day at the office. It was their version of The Stepford Wives.

I remember my own mother and grandmothers during those times, though, and I don’t recall seeing the makeup, the heels or the dresses around the house. (I also don’t recall the spotless houses, the folded clothes or the dinner on the table at 5:30. They were watching the same shows I was—weren’t they paying attention?).

Can I ask you, Avauna, to expand on your comments about how Brown might not be the best fit for you? You’re the only one that can make the decision, of course, but I’d be interested in understanding what it is that you find out of place for you.

Keep us informed, too, about the progress of the class and whether it ever approaches what you thought it might be about. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that, too. Just what were your expectations?