one seems to know what to do with women once they hit midlife. This includes women in midlife.
At the turn of the 20th century, women didn’t live past midlife. We now live to 85 years on average. What do we do with the 40 years we’ve gained in the last century or so? What do we do past being wives and mothers? What do we do if we never were?
For the women currently in midlife, we were raised a certain way. We were raised by Boomer women that fell into one of two categories.
The most pivotal time of our mother’s lives, the point where they were most impressionable, the point where they learned who they were and how they should be, was the late 50s and early 60s.
One group of women succumbed to a world created for women following the Second World War, where society bucked hard against the independence that grew from an abandoned homefront forced on women who took to factories and manual labor in the absence of men who had gone off to war.
They were smart. They learned about world affairs by reading newspapers and magazines. They grew to understand finance because they had to. They held houses together and raise children alone because that was the only choice they had.
These women, who rose to the occasion to support their country and the men in it as best they could, were then deemed undesirable once the men returned.
Men wanted to return home from war to their soft wives but those women no longer existed. It’s hard to go backward. Enter the systematic reconditioning of American women.
In women’s magazines, news of world affairs was replaced by articles on how to dress, how to cook, how to keep their husbands happy, how to stay young, and how to focus their world around the home in which they lived. Really, has that much changed?