A major part of the progressive mindset is the notion of a linear path of history (one might call it a “progression”). This is essentially the belief that all things today are better than all things in the past, and all things in the future will be better than all things today. Since things today are supposed to be good, this belief engenders a demonization of the past when problems inevitably arise in the present, as they tend to do in all ages.
It’s not very difficult to find examples of this phenomenon in the cultures of various far-left regimes that profess to be leading the way into a glorious future (in contrast, far right regimes tend to be more about reviving an idealized past, but that’s a different issue)–The Chinese Cultural Revolution and the various intellectual purges of the Soviet Union are good examples of the nation’s history and culture being destroyed, in many cases literally.
But it is today the United States, ostensibly the “right wing” home of open patriotism, that leads the charge in cultural and historical guilt, with the rest of the West following quickly behind (ironically, the Chinese government now celebrates, idealizes, and has essentially commoditized the culture it had so violently purged just two generations ago). A cursory glance at the classroom or culture of the United States would have you believe that its history–and the West’s as a whole–was nothing but a dark carnival of enslavement, genocide, brutal sexual repression, stifling culture, incest, imperialism, and was all in all just a worthless black stain upon the face of the Earth that needs to be destroyed for the good of humanity.
While I am certainly not one to sugar coat history, I am also a firm believer in fairness–the crimes of a nation should be calculated accurately, and compared to those of other nations and/or time periods. In an ideal world, either all nations are made to feel guilty, or no nations are. I am, of course ignoring that historical/national guilt doesn’t just come out of the sky, but is somewhere between an instrument of self-flagellation used by modern day Pharisees wanting to signal their moral superiority and a deliberately used weapon brought in by outside forces, but that’s a whole different can of worms.
As such, this article is the first of a not entirely regular series of articles that will seek to debunk myths of the “dismal past” that the progressives use to justify their own actions today. In addition, I will also be making connections to modern times and how these things have changed, if at all.
Now that I’ve spent 500 or so words getting here, let me get to the title of this article: The mythology of “Mother’s Little Helper,“ the idea of women in the recent past (1950s/1960s) being so utterly overwhelmed by housework, an unappreciative family, and the necessity to be the model housewife that they were forced to alleviate their pain–both physical and emotional–with various narcotics. But then second-wave feminism came upon a metaphorical white steed and liberated these domestic slaves from their thralldom, setting them free to have meaningful employment and “zipless f-cks”, slut walks, and etc.
I’m not going to argue about the usefulness of slut walks or hedonistic sex lives, nor am I going to argue whether or not working for a corporation is more or less fulfilling than working for your family. Instead, I’m going to look at the first half of this mythos–the idea of women being incapable of living up to the societal demands of being a stay-at-home mother, and needing to use their little helpers to get through the day.
First of all, the idealized house wife is just that–an ideal. It was an “over-woman” that women were supposed to aspire to, while acknowledging that it was not likely to be so perfect 100 percent of the time. Whether or not you feel this is something that should be aspired to is beyond the scope of this article–the fact is, people in the 1950s weren’t idiots, they knew that the glamorized, squeaky-clean housewives in film and television were wish-fulfillment: something that would be nice in reality, but not real. It’s exactly like the progressive criticism of masculinity: that it is “unrealistic” and thus should be discarded entirely, and my response to criticism of masculinity as unrealistic is the same and has been cited in other articles on this website.
Secondly, the concept of 1950s America as being some sort of fascist nightmare-land of patriarchal abuse where the women were all miserable and downtrodden is staggeringly incorrect: Ignoring how American women have historically been some of the most liberated women in the world (and by extension Anglo-Saxon women as a whole), ignoring how feminism as we know it today was born in this nation, allegedly the most patriarchal on the planet, and ignoring how even today there are a lot of places that treat women a hell of a lot worse than America ever has; there’s only one argument that needs to be used: the fact that polls state that women back then were just as happy, if not happier than women now.
I hear the rebuttals already: “They only SAID they were happier, because they were stoned out of their minds on pills! They weren’t really happy! What is this I can’t even?!”
And that brings me to my third argument: The fact that, in the “Current Year,” 25 percent of all American women are on anti-depressants. Anti-depressants being drugs specifically made to make you less sad. Are you seeing the point I’m making?
If not, I’ll spell it out for you: In the 1950s, a time when, admittedly, women were culturally encouraged not to work outside the home, 21 percent of women were on drugs, allegedly to help them cope with the stress and mental agony of being a housewife. Now, a time when good-think encourages being promiscuous and shames and admonishes women who want to be more demure, 25 percent of women are on drugs. So what does that say about modern life, and why women take these drugs?
Could it be that some women (emphasis on SOME) might want to be homemakers deep down, and be best suited for the role? Could it also be that these same women, despite outward appearances, wish they hadn’t blown their prime child-rearing years on “riding the c-ck carousel” as the kids say, and are now suppressing their mental anguish under a cocktail of anti-depressants and pet cats?
There are certainly many people, men and women, who encourage women to proudly refer to themselves as sluts and avoid settling down like the “timid house fraus” of the “Bad Old Days.” It’s also true that more than a few of the women advocating for these things have become desperate to settle–sorry, I mean, settle down–once the age of 30 approaches, and they realize that biology is indeed unfair.
Of course, this is not to say that every single woman on anti-depressants just needs to get a good rogering and be sent back to the kitchen with a crisp smack on the butt–that would be ridiculous. What I am saying is:
1) Perhaps the past wasn’t as dismal as we’re made to believe it was.
2) Having Freelance Shame Squads of shrieking harridans telling women how to live their lives isn’t helping anybody.
Are either of those extreme positions? I don’t think so, but it seems increasingly clear to me that the notion of “women are sentient beings that can choose for themselves” is somehow controversial in this day and age. Statistics indicate something’s wrong with society, and what I’m proposing certainly couldn’t hurt matters.
But for this plan to work, that would entail feminist writers, their hunched over male orbiters, and the various other sub-species of busybody do-gooders to stop writing their material and get real jobs, so it’s gonna be a real long time before somebody puts my ideas into effect.