Redirection

Monday, July 30, 2018

Living On One Income Vs Your Consumption Level

According to what children study at school, my country has about 70% of the population thinking that mothers/married women shouldn't work. Yet, there are more than 70% women working currently. How comes?

Though I didn't spend much time behind computer last week and couldn't bother to write something long and sophisticated, I did read some discussions. One of them was on an American twitter feed which is also regularly visited by my countrymen. It was in Dutch and the topic was whether women would be happier as housewives. They finally agreed that it was probably so, but "impossible nowadays because we are oh so poor compared to the 1930s and 50s, when it was the norm."

This statement is one I come across regularly on Dutch right-leaning resources. Is there any truth to it, though?

So how did people live in those times? We can find out simply by a) talking to the older people; b) reading books, magazines and watching TV programs from that period. For instance, my husband's paternal grandparents rented (not owned) a 2 bedroom apartment their whole life though his Grandfather had a very decent job. Their two children (they had more but they died in infancy) of different sexes shared the same bedroom. They didn't go on luxury vacations, either (needless to say, Granny was a homemaker. Long after the children left the house.) You get my point?

Some years ago there was an American lady who ran a blog about her life as a child  in New York City, in the years 1950s and 1960s (she was later forced off the internet by tolerant progressives). She mentioned, among other things, that in order to reduce their water bills, they didn't flush their toilets quite as often (usually mostly for number two if you know what I mean). Again, no vacations, either. BTW, the new consumerist trick promoted in my country is the idea that your children won't develop properly if they don't regularly go on vacation in far-away countries ( I shudder to think how our ancestors survived without flying 3 times a year to some hot place/ski resort. Theirs was a tough life!)

Enter Miss Silver stories, describing life in rural England in the 1950s. Wealthier people go on vacation to the sea-side, in their own country. (Children used to be sent to the village to visit Granny during summer vacations too, in those times). Most women, even childless, don't work when married. A one couple like this the book describes lets one of their rooms (most single men of modest means didn't own or rent a house, they rented a room (and here you can still see it shown in the TV programs till the 1980s) and they have a couch in their living-room which the wife bought with her own earnings before she got married, 30 years ago!

(And not to forget, that in the beginning of I Love Lucy Lucy and her husband rented a 1 bedroom apartment and in Honeymooners the working class couple rented a 1 room apartment where their kitchen functioned as a living-room).

The only entertainment of the lower classes in these times was going to the cinema on Friday night, by bus, as most people didn't own a car.

What I'm trying to demonstrate is that folks in these times weren't wealthier at all, their demands and their level of consumption were lower, except for the very rich. While Western governments constantly *itch whine about saving the environment, they simultaneously promote a 2 income lifestyle with a high consumption level, which is supposedly good for the economy (but bad for anything else).

Which way Western (wo)man? You choose. Just remember that you have a choice!


75 comments:

  1. Love this Sanne. So true. My women friends who work, run themselves ragged working full time and keeping up the home, day in day out, then waste the money on a couple of overseas holidays. I’d rather have my daily peace with a simple life than give it up to fund a few weeks of lavish overseas holidays. What they’re doing just doesn’t make sense to me.

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  2. Because this lifestyle is promoted by the #lying media?

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  3. I agree! It is the level of consumption (as well as some excessive taxes) that are driving "need" for two incomes. Add to that the lie that women can't live a fulfilling life without a stimulating career. I explained to my man before I married him that when we become parents I would be staying home to raise our children. He was hesitant because he thought it would take two incomes to provide for a family. I told him that I knew how to live on one income and we'd be alright. He trusted me and we have been. The joy of being a homemaker and raising five children has far outweighed any satisfaction I ever got from working before I got married.

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  4. Also, about holidays, folks used to go camping with a tent, especially young people. Nowadays they all apparently need a 5 star all-inclusive to be happy. And before someone says it's impossible to do with kids - in Germany we stayed close to a camping and came across a young Finnish family with 3 kids, staying in a trekker tent. They all looked very fit, btw.

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  5. Housewife OutdoorsAugust 1, 2018 at 8:42 AM

    Wonderful post, Sanne, and my respect to Rozy!

    People used to camp with their kids even back in the 80's quite commonly. Not my family, because my grandparents were farmers and we spent holidays there. But for example my husband's family did go camping with several other families. Not hiking-camping, they just drove a car to some camping place and had a tent there. Nowadays people have very expensive camper cars for that..

    People also did not have so much clothes and they didn't throw them away and buy new s**t all the time. I have read old styling books that define "minimum Wardrobe". It was not that much, but you always had something decent to wear!

    I think people think they need two incomes because women working makes everybody so miserable that they need to constantly buy stuff to feel alive.

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  6. Thanks, Housewife! Yes, people here still go camping but it's considered to be more of a "lower-class" thing unless you go to some fancy camping in Italy or Switzerland:)

    BTW, how's the weather? Here it's STILL warm and it's prob getting back to 3o degrees next week! Can't really say I'm enjoying it:)

    Well, do you know what they used to do with old textiles back then? At least with those made of cotton? Women would gather it and use as sanitary pads hence the expression "going on the rag". Again, I'm talking 1950s and 60s, not Middle Ages. Nothing was wasted.

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  7. Housewife OutdoorsAugust 2, 2018 at 5:13 AM

    Today we still have over 30 degree. Tomorrow should be only 27 and next week normal warm summer weather.We are going to Norway for a week and there it should be max +20 and rainy. So looking forward to it!

    I reckon those home-made sanitary pads have been one of the main reasons it was concidered better women stayed at home. :) Or maybe they worked well?

    I still cut old cotton clothes to rags. When you wash balcony floor or car or something similarly diry, it is nice to have a rag you can just throw away. Those also work well when dog vomits...

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  8. Yes, I've heard the anticyclone is breaking! Can't happen soon enough for me:) Though two neighbours have informed me today that they like the heat...We are behind you somewhat as here it's about 26-27*C right now. And at night it cools off to +16*C. Norway has had some hot weather, too haven't they? I have friends there but they are now on vacation.

    I'm, not sure how well the improvised pads worked, but every woman is different so some don't need as much protection if you know what I mean. They were prob better for the environment:) Not that I advocate going back to it, mind you:) It's just that nowadays so much stuff is disposable people take it for granted.

    Have a nice vacation!



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