Before the time of Gen Zs and online aesthetics, there was once a different time. It was not long after women had to take on men’s work during World War II, when feminists around the world realised that being a housewife is nothing else but an unpaid, full-time job. Worse yet, it is “a job that impresses no one despite incorporating every skill known to humanity”.
Between 1941 and1961, the number of American women in the workforce doubled to a record thirty-one percent, meaning that roughly one in three achieved relative financial independence. It also meant that they had experienced both domestic and professional work, and were beginning to understand that being a housewife is not every woman’s destiny. From there, it was only one step to Betty Friedan’s “comfortable concentration camps”. And, although Friedan was later heavily criticised for equating the plight of a housewife with that of the victims of the Nazi regime, the comparison is an indication of the mood of the feminist thinkers of the sixties and seventies.
Fast forward fifty years. A barely-out-of-her-teens... continue reading now →