Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Women And Sexual Revolution

Below is a very interesting question that I got:

what made women support sexual liberation? I mean it has done nothing but harm to women and family. Are some women really so driven by lust, that it felt like a good idea? 

It is my personal opinion that women are generally motivated by lust to a lesser degree than men, simply because male sex drive is so much stronger Women also tend to use sex as a means to get something out of the man, ideally commitment, but it could be something else. It's not a secret that women often fall in love with men of high status or those they perceive as such.

Now in the times before the sexual revolution, a woman would use sex to ensnare a man as Constanze Mozart did, but in the process she risked her reputation and could very well end up as a single mother, not exactly a respectable person in those times. Sexual revolution allowed women to use sex as leverage, without experiencing any stigma, or at least, less of it.

On the other hand, all throughout the 20th century women were encouraged to become more and more like men, pursue professional education and careers etc. Since there was less stigma attached to casual sex while practised by men, and in fact, in some circles it was pretty much expected for a man to fool around with "bad" girls before settling down with a "good" girl, naturally, feminists pushed women into following the same pattern. It didn't really catch up at first, due partly to the absence of the effective STD treatments and reliable contraception, and partly to the lingering of old Christian morals.

Both reasons were pretty much done away with during the 1960s, so the sexual revolution finally became the reality. After this period of time, pretty much every media outlet started pushing casual sex as a way to go, for both men and women, and that became our new reality. Women, obviously, are pretty much more gullible than men, since it was so easy to persuade them than being a concubine to a man while also bringing home a paycheck is much more liberating than being a lawful wife whose husband has an obligation to provide for herself and her children.

Sometimes I think that women are their own worst enemy. And, before anyone starts throwing stones at me for pointing these things out, as I was asked a question, I proceeded to give my opinion, no more and no less.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Are Men Special Snowflakes?

One of the feminist tactics has been promoting female victimhood and thus appealing to the innate chivalry of men. Nowadays we have some anti-feminists who are trying to apply the same tactics to spread the idea that it's men who have always been victims of women and society.

The whole idea of some abstract "men" vs "abstract "women" is ridiculous, to begin with. Women don't just come out of an egg, they have family, extended family, friends etc. It's all fine to debate abstract principles on the internet, in real life people tend to disregard ideology and side with their own.

Take, for instance, single mothers debate. Without going into morality of the case, let's look at the financial side of the issue. As far as I understand, in the USA the man who sires an illegitimate offspring, is on the hook for child support which drives men's rights' activists crazy. In my country, the man is only a father if he is married/signed a legal contract, otherwise he may opt out of fatherhood. The society will pick up the tab in this case. Let me tell you, that the men who work and pay taxes are less than charmed with the idea of providing for someone else's kids and don't think American system half as bad.

Another example would be the idea of alimony/child support. The whole issue is presented as men vs women. Women fleece men through child support, I'm told. It's true to a point, but not entirely true. What really happens if the marriage ends in divorce and the woman didn't work or only worked part-time and can't support herself and the kids (and no, not all fathers desire custody and it's incredibly difficult for a woman in my neck of woods to find a well-paying job after a certain age) and there are no financial obligations on the part of the ex-husband?

What happens is that her menfolk have now to support her and boy do they resent the idea. They mostly have their own wives and kids at this age and their wives resent it even more. So once again, it's not women against men, it's one group of men against another. I could go on and on, but I guess you see my point.

Since the default position with some people is that per definition, everything is women's fault, they sincerely expect that women should change things for the better, by I don't know what, starting a revolution? On the other hand, they complain of women in the army and point out they can't fight. It's true that most women aren't cut out to be warriors and neither they are supposed to be social reformers. Women will always support the status quo. In communist countries, the majority of women supported communism.  In fascist countries, most women supported fascism. In liberal democracy, most women support liberal democracy.

Present day feminism started spreading when the Enlightenment ideas started spreading. Among the supporters of the New World Order were women, too, but nearly all of the fighting and dying and reforming and starting revolutions was done by men. If men aren't content with how the world is run nowadays, it's up to them to change it and if they are lucky, they'll find a sympathetic woman to stand by their side but don't expect women to fight your battles for you.

Another topic which causes an undue amount of interest, is marital submission. What is there to talk about for hours, is incomprehensible to me. Yes, the husband is the head of the family and yes, the woman should submit, at least, if you are any form of a traditionalist you should believe it. Yes, it's true that women will at times challenge the husband's authority. It's not the proof of their intrinsic evil. Children do it with their parents, too.

When you have a position of authority those under you will try to challenge you. It's not enough to have the title, you have to prove you have guts to be the leader. It's your job to make your subordinates to look up to you and to instill respect. They won't respect you if they sense weakness of any kind. The problem with those guys who pour their hearts out on the internet is that they appear to live in fear of their own wives and children. That's not a way to go through life for a man.

The way I see it the problem with Western men is that they collectively lost their will to power. Until they find it back, things will continue to go downhill.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Can You Afford To Stay Home?

Today I'm going to confess that despite my aversion to MSM I do read newspapers still. It's especially interesting to follow comments and to notice the incredible shift to the right on a lot of issues in recent years (of course, I usually choose the rightest newspapers to begin with:) So there were a couple of interesting discussions I read today, on healthy food and mothers staying home.

Surprisingly, a lot of men who are quite liberal on many social issues still agree that the best way to raise your child is the one income family where the mother stays home (some suggested it could be the father, but it didn't cause much enthusiasm). However, here came the usual trope of ''it was alright in the 1950s as everybody earned enormous salaries when nowadays the father can't provide" and even "the government should do something about it."

While I agree that the government could at the very least stop the incessant propaganda campaign to get more women into the workforce, the simple truth is that people in the 1950s weren't wealthy at all according to the modern standards and certainly not in the post-war Europe. The housekeeping books which I have give advice on how to substitute beans for meat and how to cook in the hay box to save on gas.

A 1930s children's book I possess talks about a young man who went to work as a driver for a wealthy woman and ate a ham sandwich for the first time in his life. His mother was a widow, but she didn't work.

This topic ties up nicely with the info about the majority of people in my country eating unhealthily, especially those of the younger generation. Again, the usual excuse is "we can't afford healthy food", and yet, as many commentators pointed out, those same people can afford cola, french fries, candy and all other sorts of unhealthy foods which are quite expensive over here but don't need much preparation.

There was someone who tried to give suggestions on healthy and cheap meals and was told that all that food preparation sounded too much like work. Well, I can excuse them because they are all men and when they come home from work they aren't probably that much into spending all that time in the kitchen. That used to be something which the wives and mothers used to do, before they became persuaded that cooking healthy meals was the nefarious patriarchy plot to keep them barefoot and pregnant as opposed to the freedom of eating junk and dying from diabetes type 2 at the age of 45.  

It's interesting that older people eat healthier, probably because they still cook instead of eating microwave dinners.

We as a society did away with the homemaker's role and got all sorts of problems in exchange. So may be, instead of asking if we can afford having wives and mothers at home we should be asking if we can afford not to.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Morning, Dear Housewife

Someone told me yesterday that being a housewife is at times an excruciatingly lonely job and how a homemaker would appreciate some daily encouragement which gave me an idea for this post.

So, good morning, dear housewife! Don't forget to drink a cup of tea and to eat breakfast before you start your work for today. Put on some nice clothes. Being at home doesn't mean one should look like one lives under the bridge. You owe it to your family members and to yourself. You aren´t just some domestic drudge, you are the queen of the castle.

Did children leave for school? Or may be, you have no children, or they don´t live at home any more. Your husband is at work so you are all alone, may be with a dog or a cat. Being alone during the day shouldn´t be the reason for feeling blue, look at it as a case for celebration. You are your own boss and you can plan your day the way you see fit and get some rest before everyone comes home in the afternoon.

There is always a lot to be done: laundry, ironing, vacuuming, shopping. Some of you probably have health problems and need to take time for doctor´s appointments for themselves or other family members. When you switch on the news, you hear all sorts of depressing things so it adds to the stress of life. That´s why it´s important to relax and to do some things you enjoy, read a book, draw a picture, visit a friend, knit a sweater. Things like that which make domesticity attractive as opposed to just cooking and cleaning.

Don´t neglect your appearance as your husband will compare you to the women he meets at his office daily. Try always to look your best, it´s a sign of refinement and good breeding. Don´t allow yourself to be pressed by the outsiders into taking the responsibilities you aren´t really up to. Many a husband complains on the internet about his wife pressed into babysitting for less than minimum wage by the two income neighbours or wasting time and money on a home business which brings no profit whatsoever but distracts her from her domestic duties.

Always remember you don´t have to please or impress other people, only your husband. Many men take pride in being a sole breadwinner and if sometimes they sound like complaining it´s more a form of bragging. They don´t really expect you to help with wage earning, they just want to hear from you how much you appreciate their efforts.

Being a housewife may be a lonely job sometimes, but it´s also immensely rewarding. Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

July 4, 1908

This issue of The Prince (De Prins) opens with a picture of Count Du Monceau, a retired general and the chief of the Military House of Her Majesty the Queen:

There is a short article about the count who was at that time nearly 81 years old. His father was a major by the Hussars while the son, after graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Breda started his career as the second lieutenant by the infantry.

In ten years time, the king promoted him to adjutant which was apparently a high position in those times and he continued his service till he was promoted to General Major in 1884 and, after the king's death, to Adjutant General by his widow. Count du Monceau was also the private secretary and librarian of the late king. He retired in 1892 as Lieutenant General but continued to serve the Dutch Royal family as the chief of the Military House.

The count was the Commander in the order of the Dutch Lion, Greatcross in the order of Orange, the Knight of the 1st class in the order of the Golden Lion of Nassau and overall, apparently, a very important man.

The next article tells us a story behind this monument in Rotterdam:

This is a statue of Gijsbert Karel, Count of Hogendorp.

 Gijsbert Karel was born in 1762 and fought in his first war before the age of 20. In 1782 he became an officer of the guards and was sent to America on a diplomatic mission, where he narrowly survived a shipwreck. When he came back, he resumed his studies at Leiden University and got engaged in politics.

Being a patriot, Gijsbert Karel refused to serve the French in the times of Napoleon, retired from his political position and started a successful business. He also wrote books on the political and social subjects, such as finances. After Napoleon's defeat he resumed his political career but eventually had to retire in 1826 due to ill health. He died in 1834, after receiving the Greatcross of the Dutch Lion from King William the 1st.

After this historical information, we are treated to a sentimental Victorian short story about the love triangle between an orphan girl, her guardian and a young army officer where everybody dies in the end and the admonition to the youngsters of Amsterdam to finally start behaving properly during the summer vacations.

On the next page there is a news item about the death of Grover Cleveland, an ex-President of the USA, with the picture of his family. Below it is the photo of the Sultan of Asahan visiting the zoo of Rotterdam:

Grover Cleveland, twice the president of the USA, started his career as a clerk in a lawyer's office. He was against protectionism and helped resolve a financial crisis.

Next comes the story of the castle of Rozendaal which the Lords of Gelderland fought and died for. In the end, it was inherited by Baron Torck who decided to renovate it according to the modern standards and thus changed it from a typically medieval fortress into this:

Still not bad, what do you think?

The next item is an article about butterflies, then comes a short story by Rider Haggard (the author of the King Solomon Mines) on the topic of love and honour, some info about building a new railway in one of the colonies, and finally, the first chapter of a German novel about a young lieutenant (of course!) unfortunate in love. His sweetheart forced him to choose between honour and love (do I see a pattern over here?) and he chose honour, so she chose another husband. Now his friends are setting him up with another girl, so I guess he will be comforted in the end.

The issue ends with pictures of the men which were in the news that week, including some officers who died in battle.

Next time we travel to 1935 and find out what were Dutch Catholics up to.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A New Project

I have decided to start on a new blog project. As you probably know, I collect all sorts of vintage stuff, including old magazines. Recently I acquired a yearly edition of an illustrated Dutch magazine called The Prince from 1908-1909. As I understand, it appeared once a week and published stories by such popular authors of the period as Arthur Conan Doyle and Anthony Hope, photos of famous personalities, some historical information etc etc.

I thought it offers an interesting sketch of the way  people in Europe lived a hundred years ago, things that occupied their attention etc. Another yearly edition in my collection is called The Catholic Illustration, from 1935. It has a lot of religious stuff, but also fiction, info about housekeeping and stories about life in different countries.

My plan is to regularly feature a review of one of the yearly issues of these two magazines, starting this week, plus I'm planning to write more about vintage housekeeping as described in my Encyclopedia For the Housewife. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Vikings And Class Structure

I've had a very busy weekend, starting with Friday, but now I finally have time for something sophisticated:)  Actually, I have been thinking of writing this post for a couple of years, so here comes.

Our Viking ancestors had an interesting theory about the origin of social classes. According to it, Heimdall, one of Odin's sons, decided one day to visit Earth and to find out what men were up to. Right upon his arrival Heimdall, who called himself Riger for the occasion, stumbled upon a hut where he met a very old (and dirt poor) couple by the names of Ai (great-grandfather) and Edda (great-grandmother). They offered him hospitality and Riger spent three days with them.

After his departure, Edda became the mother of a son called Thrall who had an inclination for all sorts of hard physical labour and as he grew up he married Thyr, a rather heavily built girl with flat feet who had the same hobby, doing heavy physical work. They became the parents of all the servants of the North.

Riger in the meanwhile travelled further and met a middle-aged couple who owned a nice farm, Afi (grandfather) and Amma (grandmother); who invited him to stay with them and share their simple but abundant meal. He spent three days with the couple, taught them a lot of things and left. After his departure, well, you know, they got a blue-eyed boy whom they called Karl and who showed an enormous knowledge of agriculture. Later Karl married Snor, a girl who was a capable housekeeper and who became the mother of all the free landowners of the North.

Riger went further on and came upon a castle. In the castle lived Fadir (father) and Modir (mother), a well-dressed, well-fed couple who offered their visitor a sophisticated meal and expensive wines. Riger stayed three days with them, also, and returned to Asgard to watch over the bridge there, and the lady of the castle got a handsome son whose name was Jarl.

The child showed an early interest in hunting, weapons and all sort of things to do with war, learned the runes and through his courage brought glory to his family. He married Erna, a slender, aristocratic girl who presided over his household with wisdom and bore him many children, all destined to rule. His youngest son became the first king of Denmark.

And that's how we've got different social classes.
Source: Noorsche Mythen by H.A. Guerber

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More on The Vintage Housewife

To continue with the topic previously discussed, here is an example of the weekly household activities:

(cleaning of) hall, staircase, bathroom, in the afternoon sorting clothes for the laundering service and washing at home

putting trashcan outside, washing

putting kitchen trashcan outside, folding and checking the laundry, setting apart things which need to be repaired; in the afternoon children and/or mending stockings or cleaning

exercises for housewives, clothes' repair, in the afternoon ironing, household accounts

putting trashcan outside, cleaning girl comes, together with her deep cleaning one of the rooms or a wardrobe, in any case hall, staircase, bathroom; in the afternoon shopping in town

putting kitchen trashcan outside, making some special food for Sunday; working at household accounts, planning for the next week, writing down what needs to be done, in the afternoon children and/or husband

the day of rest. Try to create nice atmosphere for husband and children, if it's a family custom, go to church, and try to relax as far as possible.

Monday, April 13, 2015

An Announcement

Out of privacy considerations I archived the previous post. I want once again to thank everyone who reacted! Your comments were much appreciated and I saved them all. I'll try to resume normal posting as soon as possible.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Vintage Housewife

My 1960s housekeeping book gives the following example of a homemaker's daily routine:

7:00 the alarm goes on, 15 minutes for getting awake, getting up, morning exercises, waking up husband

7:30 (taking care of the fireplace), airing the room, waking up children, check their dressing up, making breakfast, one more time prodding husband (if in good mood bringing him a cup of tea), reminding him to pick up the bed and open the bedroom window

8. ~ breakfast, preparing lunch for husband and children to take with them

9.~ washing up and cleaning after breakfast, cleaning rooms, taking care of plants, a special daily task


10:30 drinking a cup of coffee, preparing a shopping list, placing orders by telephone

12.~shopping, making lunch, children home for lunch

1:30 drinking coffee with children, cleaning the table, washing up

2:30 beauty sleep

etc etc

Well, what do you think?
 Next time I´ll publish the examples of weekly and monthly activities.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

or the death of manners.

Some time ago I re-read Emma by Jane Austen and was again impressed by how formal their society used to be comparing to the modern one we inhabit. It was formal in the way people dressed and behaved and even husbands and wives spoke about their spouses as Mr or Mrs X, instead of calling them by their first names.

In fact, Frank Churchill was indignant that Mrs Elton, the novel's epitome of vulgarity dared to address Miss Fairfax as simply Jane, when he himself, being engaged to her always said "Miss".

Not only are these times gone, the MSM keep mocking our past, traditions and ancestors in portraying them as reserved prudes who spent their lives adhering to some rigid ritual, without ever experiencing real feelings. Yet, strange enough, period dramas about this supposedly oppressive Western Christian society are a very popular genre indeed.

It is as if people, especially women, can't get enough of viewing the images of the accursed Western patriarchy (I just wish that instead of comparing pears and oranges, i.e., the way the pre-modern, pre-welfare Western society with limited resources operated compared to ours, they'd compare it with similar non-Western societies of the time, but by some strange reason, they never do). I believe that they produce a new Jane Austen adaptation every 10 years, milking the market for all it's worth.

What is it that attracts the viewers so much? Why is it that so many women, dressed day in day out in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers buy the magazines about the life of royalty and discuss their dresses and hats? Is it because they miss beauty in their life? Someone (I believe it was Laura Woods) pointed out that the popularity of Downton Abbey is probably due to the fact that it showed a structured life and so many contemporary families totally miss any structure and order in their daily lives?

Those supposedly artificial rituals people used to follow, served some very practical purpose. They taught people purpose and self-discipline, something which is too often totally lacked nowadays. You were supposed to do certain things on certain times and to wear certain clothes on certain occasions. You were supposed to make an effort to look well and put together, whatever happened and keep your distance from others, which prevented many a quarel.

Our society is too familiar and too casual. It's supposed to be "more authentic" but I believe it is not authenticity but laziness and slovenliness which are behind the modern death of manners. It takes an effort to maintain a healthy weight. It takes time and effort to dress well. It's a lot of work to maintain a well-run household. It takes trouble to teach your children to be decent people. It's much easier to just let go.

The civilisation which becomes too casual risks ending up in the mud huts.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Your Ideal Weight

Well, at least according to a 1960 homemaking book I have. I don't know how they calculated it, but here it comes:

(click on the picture to enlarge)
Well, what do you think?

 P.S. Obviously, it's about women since it was the book for housewives:)

Friday, April 3, 2015

When The Raven Flies

The original Icelandic name Hrafninn Flygur. 

Yesterday my husband and I watched a great Scandinavian (Icelandic-Swedish) movie called When The Raven Flies  from 1984. It is a story full of adventure and dark drama, exactly the sort of thing which I like:) The topic of the movie, as of many Nordic myths, is revenge, but it unexpectedly goes somewhat deeper than most stories of this kind.

The film begins with the father reading a book to his children and teaching them that the pen is mightier than the sword and that violence can't be solved with violence. A couple of minutes later, he is killed by the raiding Vikings and his wife and daughter are taken slave. The Viking leader orders his son to be killed as he is too young to survive the sea journey but old enough to have seen too much, however, the man ordered to do it can't bring himself to murder a child and lets him go.

Twenty years later, the boy has grown into a man who spent years of his life to track down and kill the murderers of his father. His quest brings him to Iceland, where the two Viking leaders of the raid, Thord and his foster brother Erik are living in exile since being outlawed due to their rebellion against King Harald.

The main character whose name is never revealed throughout the whole movie and who calls himself simply Guest manages to play the two Viking gangs against each other, using in part the rivalry which exists between Thord and his brother and the pagan superstitions of Thord. However, an unexpected circumstance threatens the success of his mission. The movie has somewhat an open ending leaving it to those who watch to decide whether violence is really an answer to many problems.

It was filmed in Old Norse with main musical theme being the famous A sprengisandi. It's quite interesting to compare this movie with similar Hollywood productions. It doesn't glamourise the period it depicts in the slightest. Life was tough and one had to be hard as nails to survive. Vikings, far from being glamourous warriors lived from the proceeds of plunder and slave trade and would cut each other's throat for the slightest provocation.

As for women, instead of being shown as sexy warrior females in bikinis wielding swords and commanding men around, they stayed home, took care of the children, cooked for men and had really very little to say even when it concerned their own children. Men in the film simply listen to what a woman has to say, ignore it completely and keep doing one thing they apparently love so much, that is slaughtering each other. Another topic the movie touches upon is the female lack of loyalty, which, again, is typical for the Nordic mythology.

The movie has brief nudity and scenes of violence (actually the whole of it is one big scene of violence) which makes it unsuitable for kids, but it's really a great adventure story. Watch it on YouTube with English subs:

When the Raven Flies

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Vintage Ads: American Industry

I'm afraid I don't have much time at the moment to write anything sophisticated, so I decided it was time for some vintage ads:

Can you guess which period they are from?