Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Feminine Mystique

From My Journal, September 2, 1967
LeRoy, Illinois

I’ve been thinking seriously of going back to work. I saw an ad in last Sunday’s Pantagraph for an office manager with a minimum of two years’ experience. The salary is $98.00 a week! I called, and the man told me I would be in charge of the whole office…payroll, bookkeeping, everything, plus I would be taking dictation from him. He said a man had the job before, but he needed a secretary, so he decided to combine the two jobs and hire a woman. He wanted me to come for an interview right then. But I chickened out and told him I’d call him back.

At times, I feel it’s the thing to do, that a nursery would be just the thing for Suzanne, then, when she skins her knee or something, I wonder what would happen if I weren't there to comfort her!

I finished The Feminine Mystique yesterday, and it really set me to thinking. Betty Friedan says housework is something that should be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and no one should make a career of it. I agree about the housework, but what about the children? I’m responsible for my precious little girl and feel that I should be home with her. I'm not wild about housework, but it has to be done. I do love fixing nice meals, baking, and decorating the house, but even with cooking and baking and decorating and cleaning the whole house, I still have time on my hands! Sometimes, when I’m watching Suzanne playing with her dolls, I wonder if I’m doing right by her. She would probably love being at the nursery, with all kinds of playmates.
It’s so confusing! Sometimes I feel like Gloria Steinem living in June Cleaver's body!
The man called again just now! I’m surprised he would call on a Saturday! He asked me if I could come in for an interview Monday morning at 10. Seems like I’m just being pulled along on this…like getting out in the water, then the tide pulling me on out. In a way I want to get the job, and in a way I don’t.

Carroll dictated some letters to me and I practiced on my shorthand. I was pretty rusty, but the more I take things down in shorthand, the better I get. They’ll probably give me a timed writing, too. Wish I had a typewriter to practice on!

I’m getting ready to press my brown and beige suit. I plan to wear it with my new gold necklace and button earrings. Thank heavens I just bought a matching purse to go with my beige heels! My white gloves are still in good shape, so I don’t have to worry about buying another pair.


laura k said...

I like this post. I had this collection of 1960s Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks that I finally sold recently at a yard sale. I regret it so! All the pictures in it were of the moms and housewives in their dresses and heels. The recipies were all for dishes you never see anymore, and it would say things such as "Snappy pork chop bake cooks up hearty for Dad, kids smile at the crunchy corn flake topping..."

I never knew there was such a thing as unsliced white bread. I found those books strangely comforting to read

Brenda said...

I know what you mean. Life was so much simpler then...

ChristaD said...

I love this line: Sometimes I feel like Gloria Steinem living in June Cleaver's body!

Brenda said...

Thanks, Christa. It was quite a battle, but Gloria prevailed!

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley