This Wednesday, August 26th, will be the centennial anniversary of the passing and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women their voting rights.
But gaining the right to vote, for women, was only the beginning of the Women’s Civil Rights Movement (aka: the suffrage movement), which evolved into advocating for better job opportunities, fairer wages and advancement prospects, higher education opportunities, sex education and even birth control.
August 26th is nationally celebrated as Women’s Equality Day, and honors the exceptional struggles that women face on a daily basis. It also teaches us and reminds us of the triumphs of women’s rights activists, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth C. Stanton.
Let’s not forget Betty Friedan’s “Strike for Equality” and Gloria Steinem, who, in the 1960s and 1970s, lead the feminist movement, known as Women’s Lib, which went on to fight for more rights and equality issues to which women were still denied, compared to men.
For more information about the national celebration for Women’s Equality Day, check out these two websites: http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/August/womensequalityday.htm and https://nationaltoday.com/womens-equality-day/.
It was during WWII, when many American men were fighting over seas, that more and more women were needed to work outside of the home in factories and other male dominated industries. In fact, Rosie-the-Riveter became an icon for recruiting women to work in American factories.
Eventually, whether by choice or necessity, more and more women began breaking away from the traditional homemaker roles they were conditioned to assume, such as mothering children, cooking and cleaning. Many found another sense of fulfillment in the “outside, working world”.
The era of the Woman’s Liberation Movement, in the 1960s and 1970s, was a time, very similar to our recent “women-empowerment” campaigns and all of the political upheaval of late. Even today, the WLM still fights for women, as there still exists issues of unequal pay and promotions in the work place. There still remains many discriminations that generations just don’t stop re-generating.
While Mom was always in favor of equal rights for all, she was never fully on board with the whole Woman’s Liberation Movement. Before the Civil Rights Act, Mom’s generation was conditioned to do (or not do) certain things based on their sex, age, ethnicity, and such. Now it’s the 21st century and, as a human race, we are still trying to recognize and shatter the unwitting philosophies and teachings of our past.
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 295)
A MEAL BY ANY OTHER NAME
FAST FOOD RECIPES were not published in the best-sellers – and these were the restaurants where families were apt to frequent if they wanted a meal that was affordable! Paul and I could take all 5 of the children to Capri’s, an Italian restaurant down the road from us in Pearl Beach, and we could feed the whole family for less than $10, providing we ordered the large pizza with only pepperoni and cheese on it and one soft drink for each of us. It was not for substance that we ate out. It was for entertainment.
We could take the kids to McDonald’s and it did the same thing for us that going to the movies did for our parents. It was an affordable pleasure. It was a diversion from meatloaf and pot roast and peas and carrots. It was a treat. We looked forward to it. We felt good about the experience and even better after it was over. It carried us through a long week of paying the utilities, insurance, house payments and car payments and grocery expenses.
When we had to have our 10-year-old station wagon repaired, we had to skip eating out that week. If one of us had to see the dentist, it might be 2 or 3 weeks before we could afford to eat out again. We made do with what we had. We could make the most of what we had. In the 1950s and 1960s and early 1970s, this is the way parents raised their families, budgeted their earnings and allowed for their pleasures.
Things changed, as well they should. Women went out to work. If they weren’t working to supplement the family income, they went to work for their own satisfaction. Whatever the reasons, families changed. Eating at home became less and less appealing – and less and less convenient. Homes were built with smaller kitchens and bigger bathrooms. Microwave ovens were more affordable – and defrost and heat became more popular.
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer
(date unknown; circ. 1970s)
GIVE ME LIBERTY OR…
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Women’s Lib, I don’t think they can help me. I think they’ve done enough for me already! Frankly, I think I was doing alright before they came along. At least I could get a seat on a bus. Now I’m lucky if a man will offer to hold my packages for me.
I can also remember when cutting the grass was considered “man’s work”. These days my husband flips me two-out-of-three to see which of us gets the lawn mower and who will fix the iced tea and sit on the patio chair to watch.
Last week, I was visited by a new militant group of women in our neighborhood who are protesting the proposed 4-day work week for MEN. They advocated a simple test. If you cannot get through a two-week vacation and the Christmas holidays with a man who over-waters your house plants and alphabetizes your refrigerator then how can you get through a three-day weekend, 52 weeks out of the year?
For you must then decide if you have to run the sweeper [aka: vacuum] while he’s taking a nap, or does he have to take a nap while you’re running the sweeper. Arguing with a husband (especially when he’s your own), is like taking a shower/bath in a scuba outfit. But I have a theory!
There are some things in this liberated life, which a woman just cannot control. You have tasted instant failure when neither of you can agree on who gets custody of the only controls on the electric blanket; and if it’s fair that she who makes the garbage must also carry it out; and whose mother calls more – yours or his?
This is the same man who warned me not to go into labor on his bowling night and who, on Christmas, gave me a monogrammed tool box and a gift certificate from Sunoco for an oil change and lube job, and a can of Easy-Off in my stocking.
The liberating females of our society have missed the joy of knowing what it means to live with a man who claims he’s always out of socks, but YOU know there are two more pairs in the drawer and [of course] only YOU can find them!
Most husbands are generally quite liberal with their wives in spite of the ‘Lib Movement’… I’ll have you know that my husband has always allowed me to make all sorts of important decisions – like: ‘Does that child need a nap?’ ‘Should that baby have her pants changed?’ ‘Do you really need another new pant suit?’ ‘Must your mother call here every day?’ ‘Should we recognize Red China?’ ‘Will they find Howard Hughes?’
The only liberation I want is to get away from the kids once in a while, without having the school counselor label me as a parent who doesn’t care. When you cannot free yourself from the oven encased in molten lasagna and apple pie fossils, you know that liberation is but a piper’s dream in your soap opera saga.
On the other hand, my husband takes a realistic approach to my emancipation. He claims women have never had it so good… (What does HE know?) His trying to tell me about women’s rights is like trying to tell General Eisenhower about World War II. However, I look at it this way: ‘Either give me liberty… OR GIVE ME A CLEANING LADY!
AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer
(original date unknown; circ. 1970s)
JUST A HOUSEWIFE AND A PRO!
As a ‘suburban housewife’, I fail to see how anyone could classify my routine as ‘dull’! For one thing, everyone knows that the mother of an active family has no routine! We’re lucky if we can get our slippers on the right feet first thing in the morning.
In fact, we’re lucky if we can even find those slippers, having to, first, plow through an undergrowth of Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs on the way to the kitchen, where we must witness testy debates over who gets the [prize] in the box of [cereal] and why a 40-year-old man refuses to take the Donald Duck thermos in his lunch…
What’s wrong with a quest for a roll of Scotch tape that’s your very own or having the phone ring and the call is for you instead of your teenager? [Margaret Mead’s] working definition [of a ‘first-class’ woman, not being a housewife or homemaker,] is a ‘trained, competent, professional woman’.
Now, I’d be the last one to contradict an expert, but in defense of women who become wives and mothers… we have had training (although much of it’s on the job), are extremely competent and are professional [according to Webster’s dictionary] in that we have ‘a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or skill’…
If you don’t think it takes learning or skill to varnish a complex-of-disorder with enough love and efficiency that husbands and children grow up with security and comfort, drop around my kitchen some Sunday night… no matter what they tell us [working-outside-the-home homemakers] about turning our kids over to a day care center, there’s nothing like coming home from school to know that Mom’s in the kitchen, whipping up a pitcher of Tang and a plate of Twinkies.
I am still constantly amazed by the timelessness of a lot of the issues about which Mom wrote in her syndicated columns, newsletters and cookbooks. I guess the old adage is true – the more things change, the more they stay the same because history really does tend to repeat itself!
I’ve mentioned many times in my own writings how much Mom has influenced me. I enjoy writing and would love to make a living at it, as it really does make living worthwhile! Sorry, in advance to the women’s-lib-supporters, but I also enjoy being a homemaker more than working outside the home to make ends meet – I enjoy cooking and cleaning and taking care of my home and family – as long as it isn’t expected of me, simply because I’m a woman.
In honor of today, being National Waffle Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for waffles like Hotel Astor’s, as seen in The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 41). There’s also a recipe within this recipe for how to make your own homemade cake flour. Happy cooking!
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
…34 down, 18 to go!