THE STEREOTYPES OF THE 50S AND A FEW WAYS THEY INFLUENCED MY LIFE
Beware - negativity, neglect, and abuse
- •The mother who wore dresses all the time, even while she cooked and cleaned houseI wore dresses to school for 12 years years until the rules were changed in my junior year (11th grade). After school I changed into play clothes (pants and blouses). I wore dresses to church every Sunday until I stopped going at about age 15.
- •The mother didn't work unless all the kids were in junior or high school. In elementary school, children came home for lunch so the mother had to be there to make lunch.My parents made it clear it was important for my brothers to go to college and get a good job. I was not expected or encouraged to go to college. I was expected to graduate HS, go to work, and live at home and help my mother until I got married. My parents raved over my brothers' report cards and didn't ask about mine. There was no praise for me for the honor roll. They never even asked to see mine. To prove this to myself, I signed my own report cards and they never noticed! Never‼️
- •The mother cleans, takes care of the house, and cooks.I had to help my mother in the kitchen, with cleaning, laundry (with no dryers - hanging it on the clothesline), ironing, taking out trash, painting the house inside & out, wallpapering, My brothers only had to help shovel snow (we all did this). That's all they did! Sometimes they helped my father deliver milk over school holidays & vacations, but it was because he paid them. They had a choice & got paid. However, when I complained about inequality my mother used the milk route as justification
- •The mother watches sports, but the father participates in sports.My brothers played baseball, football, and basketball in the playground, at school, and in organized leagues. They learned to play golf with my father and billiards. They played stickball and meatball (city games) in the street and playground. Also, in gym they climbed ropes & jumped over horses. My mother & I watched every organized or school game. Girls walked & did calisthenics in gym. I learned to jump rope, be a cheerleader, & flag waver. Only my mother watched (sometimes). I quit them all.
- •The mother doesn't scold or discipline boys, even when the father works nights, sleeps days, and is generally absent. (Role-modeled in my house and in some others, but not publicly stereotyped widely to my knowledge)Boys can get angry, be rowdy, fight and argue. They can be mean and frustrated. They can take it out on girls. They can hurt girls. They can objectify, ridicule, and manipulate them. Boys can blame the girls for anything.There is nothing wrong with boys being this way. The girl must learn to "take it", to "deal with it", to stop "causing it", to be "sorry she upset her brother". She must never tell the father who might discipline the boy. Because that will escalate the abuse. She must accept it.
- •I rebelled beginning by ditching church at approximately age 15, wearing pants exclusively (bell bottom jeans specifically) at age 15-16, quitting school at age 17, smoking pot, immersing myself in music, books, and social issues (civil rights, woman's rights, the Vietnam war, and the path to peace and love), and running away from home 3 times.At approximately age 8, I realized my mother didn't love me. It was a bitter pill to swallow and I tried and failed for many years to gain her love by being the best daughter, sister, and person I could possibly be. I was about 13 when I gave up on her. Also in about 3rd grade and forever after, I suffered with deep depression. I began to dream night and day of running away and never coming back, killing my brother or myself, and while I was gone, learning my mother died. Awful of me, but true.
- •Those stereotypes hurt me deeply and took away my chances to become who I really am. Only now is the real me, before I was unloved, abused, neglected, and manipulated, beginning to emerge. I hope to discover fully who I really am before I lose my mentality or die.
- •Thank you for reading my list, despite its negativity. It is real, but sad.