More Work for Mother
It was in the nineteenth century when a new adulation of women came to be developed. More popularly known as the Victorian Age, it was during this era when the sacredness of the hearth and home has been born. It is a philosophy that has been endorsed with intricacies and complications from the year 1830 until 1860 (Payne NP).
Technology has caused an improvement in our standard of living. While it claims to make our lives easier, it doesn’t always appear to be a time saving device. “The creation of electric appliances has reduced the amount of work children and husbands do around the house.” Wives, on their end consume the same amount of time doing the household chores because the help they use to receive has been included in the elimination that gave way to the advent of technological advances (Cowan 102 – 217).
The functionalist interpretation of the recent history of the family has been discussed. “Industrialization was a participant in the ‘backward search for femininity’ because some of women’s roles in the household were being replaced by technology; women were searching for new ways of being a woman within the home.” Some theories would have it that the advent of home appliances has caused wives to leave their homes and find their niche in the outside world. Technology has been the causal agent to the entrance of women into the workforce outside the portals of their own homes (Ibid, par. 2).
Running a family means learning new things every single day. It’s like learning earth science and geography. It doesn’t end when you tie the knot. Instead, it just reminds you that you have just advanced to graduate – level studies. Just when you think you’ve mastered it, it changes itself a bit and as a result, you have re- learn it. After all, family life is a lifestyle. Old habit dies hard indeed that though there has been a transition from the hearth to the microwave, wives remained domesticated just the same. Times have passed and things have changed but you still find yourself doing the same things with just a little twist or two. For there will always be days when it feels like you’re struggling through remedial math.
Cowan, R. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, 1983.
Payne, Jennifer. “The Nineteenth Century “Cult of the Lady.” 24 August 2008. Jennifer
Payne’s History. Retrieved January 28, 2008 from http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/7032/cultoflady.html.
“Why Labor Saving Devices Don’t Save Labor: The History of Household Technology.” 23 February 2005. Pamela E. Mack History 323. Retrieved January 25, 2008 from http://www.clemson.edu/caah/history/FacultyPages/PamMack/lec323/household.htm.