Vintage Fashion: A Slap in the Face to Feminism?

In US History, we've almost finished the 1950s era, and discussed whether it was an era of conformity or the opposite. We looked at some ads and I realize that there is much debate in modern sewing communities about this very topic--kind of. Just think about how many people adore to sew vintage patterns, the 1950s all-dolled-up-with-nowhere-to-go appeal, and the beautiful, timeless clothing that came out of those years. But some people think that this represents women reverting back to the "fairer sex" image that was stamped onto women after 1945. Take a look at this inspiration:

This doesn't exactly say "Miss Independent," does it?
 Let me muse a little on why this sort of stereotype was put back into American life; I don't often get to share this sort of information! So during the war, and even before it up to the end of WWI, women were granted more and more equality: voting in 1920, a huge percentage were working in war industries [think Rosie the Riveter] and though they weren't equally paid, women were getting somewhere. Then hit the Commies and the Cold War--all these formerly independent ladies had to find some security, and they believed the only safe place could be their house, their family, their husbands. Makes sense, I suppose. So that's why this whole era came to be. Ever wonder why gals of the 1950s are SO gorgeous? That's the only thing they worried about: looks, cleanliness, family, hubby. There is, of course, scads of info opposing this theory, but whatever. It is what it is.

Anyway, so where's the controversy? Some people of today feel like recreating these styles symbolizes a return to the 50s "bondage" of women in the home.


Personally, there was some dang good clothing made in the 50s. Sorry feminism, if I look good, I don't really mind stamping out all the gains of females in the past half a century. Okay, maybe that's the extremist way of saying it, but that's what the 60s are for--they start to swing things back in a modern way. Living in a cookie cutter town with cookie cutter people and a man who expexts me to put his slippers on his feet and kids who can go anywhere they please--that stuff I don't want to include in my vintage persona. Let's update it a little, y'all. Change it to make the 50s silhouettes the idea of the strongest women to ever walk this earth. How did they put up with all that?! But in modern times, I am still going to be able to kick the butt of zillions of men in college and get a better job than them, by sewing a wiggle dress or not. That's all I have to say about that.

Of course, I wouldn't mind that colored toilet paper above (why don't they make that any more?!) and not to mention I wouldn't mind my husband measuring me for my own personalized iron either. I think ironing has a different connotation when not sewing...sigh...

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