The Era Of The 1950s

1095 Words5 Pages
The era of the 1950s was an iconic era in American history. The American dream of freedom, self empowerment, and success was growing. After world war 1, the ideals of american culture changed. The country saw the aftermath of the war in the countries of western Europe where communism was beginning to take hold, and the U.S tried to be the opposite. Marriage was propagated to be the opposite of the war torn families across the world, where women were working in factories and children fending for themselves with no home. The American “nuclear family” strived to be one where the father supported his family, the wife stayed home and provided for her children. Family became a national priority, and women were taught that a happy marriage and home was their version of the American dream. These wives, known as the happy homemakers, could enjoy the spoils of capitalism and democracy. For men, they were expected to work, finding a good paying job to support his family, women were expected to raise children, clean the house, and provide a cheerful atmosphere. The picturesque image of a 1950 's homemaker was very different from the realities of a housewife, where husbands ruled the household and wives were supposed to take care of her loving husband. Her options for outreach were limited as there were no domestic violence counseling, female specialized health care. Marriage was considered a private contract, and women were locked in as soon as they said “I do”. A proposal was was one of the important moment in a woman 's life. The happy homemaker was a booming ideal, and women strived to be married out of high school, or before they finished college. To be single by the age of 22 was considered a sign of an undesirable women. Many young wo... ... middle of paper ... ...of a marriage being switched from a private to a public part of married life, the social expectations of entering a marriage have, to put it simply, switched. To be married out of high school or before the age of 22 was once a norm, now it is a sign of waste and a sure sign of failure. Happy homemakers were happy in shows and posters, but there was a curtain that shielded the public from the private sphere of marriage, but now, we have a very open window to the hard times of a marriage. Perhaps that is why marriage is not expected to be a long term contract anymore. We like to talk about how marriage has improved since the age of the happy housewife, but has marriage changed for the better all around? perhaps we have lost some values in marriage, and the value of a promise, commitment and the saying “ for better or for worse” has lost some force in the last 50 years.
Open Document