I really loved this week’s coursework and learning about traditional gender roles of the 1950s. While watching both the I Love Lucy episode and the Honeymooners, I kept thinking about the community in which I was raised in and its parallels to the sitcoms. I grew up in a very traditional community filled with many well-oiled breadwinner-housewife machines, and though these machines have more mutual respect for each other now then they did then, I kept seeing many similarities.
For example, while watching Ricky and Fred try to cook while Lucy and Ethel tried working, I was reminded of the babysitting I do at home. Often times, when the moms go out of town for the day, I have to stay not just until the dads get home from work, but until the supper is cooked and the kids are clean. It isn’t always because the dads cannot do it, but because their wives like to make sure their husbands are taken care of in return for their work and devotion to the family. I also thought about how my friends and I were raised. We helped with housework, while our brothers helped with the lawn. Marriage instead of college or going straight to the workforce for the local women is pretty normal. However, I grew up in a rural community, and there were not very many opportunities for women unless they enjoyed working in a grove and getting dirty everyday, like the men do. Being the traditional housewife was justified. I would hope, though, that, if we were raised in a more urban community, many of my friends would be more open to opportunities outside of the traditional. Although it is encouraging to see many gender stereotypes dissolve in modern sitcoms, these older sitcoms are still so valuable to use as comparisons.