It's amazing the things you discover when you start learning more about history. Today, for instance, I spent some time reading a 1930s magazine featuring a story of a guy called Tom, a simple office employee working for the city government. Being unmarried, he still lived at home with his parents and three grown-up sisters, even though he was over 30.
His parents wanted him to get married and thus urged him to go on vacation to search for a bride. This lucky individual had the whole 1 (!) week of paid vacation, which was rather not bad for the period, as some men had even less (or none). Of course, half Saturday was free from work, too, though working hours were in general longer than now. Tom's parents pondered the fact that with his decent salary he could afford to go away for the whole week!
Tom's sisters, on the other hand...weren't particularly doing anything at all. In fact, one of them went to visit an old school friend, just for the fun of it while Tom had to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Of course, some single women had to work. The whole divide between middle and lower class was whether the daughters had to go out and earn the living. Yet, Tom wasn't anything particularly special, just a clerk, and his parents were born in the country.
If you ever read Anne of Green Gables story, you'll remember how Anne had to go to college to get her teacher's certificate while her friend Diana quit after getting her school diploma. Even though she was only a farmer's daughter, her parents took care to provide for her so that she wouldn't need to bother with earning the income.
Now when I think of it, Tom's life doesn't sound like much fun to me. It's hardly surprising then that men kept voting for progressives in the 1960s, who promised shorter working hours and longer vacations. They also abolished male headship as stated by law and sent married women to the workforce. So now it's often the man of the house staying home with pain in his back or nervous breakdown while the little woman is toiling away.
The most amazing thing is that many women are proud of supporting a never-do-well husband and consider it to be the top of feminist achievement. Me, I just keep wondering as to who was really emancipated???