Monday, June 15, 2015
As some of you may know, I have a 1950s fetish.
I like seeing women in those prim outfits, cooking and baking in the kitchen, serving their men in every which way possible with nary a complaint, and all in all being the proper housewife.
I find the juxtaposition between this prim and proper image and the underlying sexuality of the woman alluring. I find the thought of taking this same woman and savagely exposing the raw and animal slut inside her irresistible - using her to satiate my needs and leaving her soiled and undone, the direct opposite of the apotheosis of the model housewife and mother.
Saying that, I think we all have to be careful about going overboard and actually thinking that the 1950s in America was a better time overall for most people. We have to be careful about separating out the fantasy and nostalgia and fetish elements from the reality of the period. We have to be careful about not looking at the era using rose colored glasses that filter out the vast societal inequalities and unfairness that was rampant at the time.
The 1950s were not exactly the best times for many people in America.
1. Jim Crow laws still had a hold on most of the country, and racism was frequently overt and vicious. It wasn't until the 1960s that most of these laws were assigned to the dustbin of history where they rightfully belong.
2. Domestic violence against women was probably just as widespread then as it is now (no, people were not somehow morally "better" then), but it was not until the 1970s when widespread attention was called to this problem, so the hidden incidences per capita of such abuses could have been much worse.
3. The Civil Rights Act was not in place until the 1960s, which meant people could routinely be discriminated against for their race or gender or sexual preferences without any consequences for the malicious parties.
4. Although women did work outside the home at the time, mostly in menial and domestic type jobs, there were definite barriers to them being able to climb up the corporate ladder or work in certain types of jobs, and in all cases women earned significantly less than their male counterparts.
5. Communicable diseases had a much stronger grip on the nation at that time due to the lack of vaccination and many other health conveniences we take for granted today. For example, polio still routinely killed infants and young children, and in the epidemic of 1952 several thousand children died and tens of thousands were left disabled by the disease.
6. Many of the modern conveniences like cellphones and the internet that we have today were non-existent at the time, and people lived in a world that was much more limited and constraining.
7. People smoked. They smoked a lot. Besides the second hand smoke that intruded on the health of even those who chose not to smoke, the smell of cigarette probably permeated closed rooms and almost everywhere people gathered in large numbers.
8. Mainstream culture was a lot less tolerant of anyone who deviated from the norm than today, whether it involved the LGBT community or other alternative lifestyles.
In the end, there is nothing wrong with romanticizing that period in time, or looking back at it nostalgically as a simpler era. But it behooves us not to forget the very many negatives that were happening at that time as well.