This is a blog about thoughts that crossed my mind today and brought a chuckle. Maybe some of you can relate, but at any rate, it will give you a view into the past. While it is written tongue-in-cheek, it did actually happen and reflected the thought of the time.
This conversation took place at my mother's dining room table in the early 1970’s. She had been born in 1916, and when she graduated from high school, she opted to go to college and become a teacher. This was at a time when most young women simply got a job and let their husband support the family they would quickly begin. She was an independent woman for her day. She began teaching, and when she met my father and married at the ripe “old age” of 29, she continued to teach. He was in the service, and when his enlistment was over, she continued to teach until she became pregnant with me.
At this time, women who became pregnant in the educational field were required to give up their job. She stayed at home to raise me and the sister that came along 3 years later. When I was in the 4th grade, she had the opportunity to get back into the classroom and decided to take it. My sister was a year from going to school and stayed with my grandmother during the day. My dad began driving a school bus at that time, so there was some coordination of schedules to accommodate all of our schedules.
It was a few years later, my mother related to me during our dining room conversation, that she overheard my dad telling a good friend about his view of a wife working. “The income helps, but she sure was easier to control when she wasn’t working.” Yes, my dad said this and actually lived another day.
I am currently researching years gone by for a new segment of “ A Look at the Bright Side” called Sign of the Times. The first 4 dates we are going to air are 1970, 1981, 1975, and 1943. As I look at the events, the prices of things like gas, homes, and even postage stamps, I also have to reflect on things like our values and views that contributed to the era.
As I worked many years later at Harbor House, a place where women could too if they were victims of domestic violence. There was one overriding factor, besides abuse, that caused them to come to us. They did not have jobs because their husbands did not want them to. Those husbands knew what my dad had realized. Women who are able to support themselves are not as “easy to control” as those who are dependent upon the income of the man in the house.
My mother was always the one in control of our home, but I think that with her getting back into the workforce, my dad just had the wake-up call that he had never been in control, to begin with.
Something To Ponder