You've come a long way, girl!
Hubs and I usually enjoy a movie via streaming media in the evening, and , after the movie we sometimes look for an old TV show to wind it all down.
Being boomers that we are, we find ourselves attracted to some of those old early TV shows when production was still on the East Coast, in New York.
In those very early shows the setting was very often a childless married couple living in a city apartment. The husband wore a suit, all the time, and the wife never worked. Instead, she stayed home in the apartment to make a cozy home to serve her husband. Not having the skills needed to keep her husband well fed and his home well kept meant that the wife was not doing her duty.
We picked up on a rather obscure, to me, old show that stars a young Betty White, "Elizabeth". We have watched just a couple of them and it is appalling to our modern sensibilities to see how the female character is so abused and belittled by the husband. In the episode we recently watched, the old theme that driving a car is a man's job is driven home by what is supposed to be humor. In the end he has her repeating after him that she is incompetent and stupid and unworthy because, of course, she drove the car and hit a flower box and tore off the door of the car. She suffers insult and humiliation at his hands and this is supposed to be funny! How dare a woman drive a car!!! He treats her as would an abusive father treat a child.
After a few years, the settings moves out to the emerging suburbs and there are families. That would be something like Father Knows Best, a continuing theme. But, in these, the woman is not belittled by the husband but definitely is fully dedicated to serving him and the kids. She is not depicted as being so incapable and is not belittled by the husband. She is beginning to get smart and more valued as a mother.
However, in that sitcom, with each opening scene she is doing something so domestic. She is doing old fashioned "womanly duties", like ironing sheets or making slipcovers, baking cookies, and often with a fancy little waist apron that looks pretty darned impractical. He is usually sitting on the couch reading the newspaper and still in his suit.
This image eventually gave us June Cleaver and her pearls.
"Honeymooners" from the early days was too painful and horrid to watch the degree of dominance that Ralph exercised over his wife and his threats.
How our expectations and sensibilities have changed!!!
America laughed at this that we now consider to be abusive.
Thank goodness that things have changed for women. This is a good time for young women to have a life outside of servitude to a husband and kids and house. Now they have choices in place of obligations to fulfill.
So glad that things have changed.
As a young woman I had my share of sexual aggression from men and had to flee the scene and physically fight off the offenders. It is a frightening experience.
I do welcome the freedom and respect that we women have nowadays. It was not that long ago that things were very different.
How far along we have come!!!! Of course, things still happen, but, we are not apt to present it as comedy to laugh at anymore.