Pre-60s housewives were generally NOT expected to cough up fresh bread daily, or gourmet meals three times a day. They were also not expected to keep a very large home spotless whilst mincing about in heels and pearls. The community standards for what a housewife was supposed to do were actually pretty minimal and attainable for even relatively brokedown women.
A simple (truly simple) dish of meat/eggs/fish, a starch and one or two spices was considered completely decent and good enough. Needless to say, this is no longer true, particularly among conservative SAHMs, who tend to be most driven towards expectation inflation in the matters of domesticity for various reasons I’ve either already covered or will the next time I read through old posts to note allusions I haven’t written up yet.
One of the reasons Mormons are still functionally conservative in many respects is that they remember that you can’t keep up appearances if the appearances are very complex and detailed. People sometimes make cracks about how Mom wouldn’t let them mess up the ‘parlor for company’, but this dramatically slashed the ongoing cleaning burden and made for an attainable cross-class and cross-income and cross-racial set of housewiving standards that average to slightly dim women could manage with a little elbow grease.
Conservatives, if they want normal life restored, have to remember that broad-based community standards must consider all God’s children and be minimal without being token. It can be a fine line to navigate, but we have so much tradition from so many of the cultures that infuse American identity to draw upon in shaping those simple, reachable goals.
But it can be hard when Walter Mitty syndrome is rampant.
H/T to Cane Caldo, who has been discussing this topic in a few of his most recent posts as of this writing.
Conservatives tend to be cowardly when it comes to helping each other out. They hear the sneers of “white men’s club” and “old boy’s club” and “glass ceiling” from more liberal-leaning media (and sometimes even friends and family) and allow themselves to be pressured out of helping and supporting each other in times of need.
This is not always true, just as it is not always so true that liberals protect their own (as post-1970s black radical liberals found out to their great and lasting bitterness), but in broad general terms, liberals are much more likely to provide couches for years if necessary, jobs if they have them and plenty of food to eat when one of their own falls upon hard times for saying something impolitic.
This is something that modern conservatives have forgotten in aggregate. Using fake names to post crimethinky things on the internet isn’t really the problem, it’s the idea that nobody has your back among real people you live and fellowship with, much less the affinity groups you stumble into online. It is not loving, it is strange.
Having said that, however, offering aid and shelter to each other should come in defense of those who speak of normal life as normal and of real things as Real, not liars, dissemblers and hustlers. This is actually less strict than the Danegeld liberals levy for succoring their wolves among their sheep. We can do better. We can offer aid and shelter to each other for speaking true things, real things, honest things, and cast out those who are just wearing the skin but have wolves’ claws.
There is a difference between discernment before bringing forth the casseroles and couch-surfing and straight out cowardice. I seem to recall a very Good Book that explains how we can tell the difference….
Conservatives are very obviously known for the idea that any government run anything is inefficient/stupid/low quality/etc. This is one of the reasons their institutions were co-opted by leftists and liberal-friendly people.
What’s wrong with expecting your civil service and civil servants to do their jobs and do them well, and to expect from them useful services that suit your community (the Catholics call it subsidiarity)?
Of course if you start from the premise that there is nothing government at any level can do right, you’ll lose local control and state control and federal control altogether. We’re seeing the flipside, that if government must do everything that only central control is acceptable. Let’s try for the former. Local, helpful, practical governance and demanding accountability from the civil servants. They may not be able to be fired, but there are things that can be done to get them to stop interfering with people’s ability to earn a living and have a normal life.
Nation of laws, not nation of regulations.
Simply put, the takeovers of key institutions have produced a bunch of people who lack the ability to manage that power. Rabbits be rabbiting. Chill out, relax and pay attention to the opportunities you can have as someone competent.
Sin was not less in the past, it is a mockery of the propitiation of Christ to claim such a thing and anyone who claims to be conservative while saying there was less sinful behavior in the past is lying and dissembling monstrously. But it’s pretty common, especially for conservatives who like to claim people were better off in the 1950s/1850s/etc.
Secular outcomes make a lie of this though. Poor women’s babies are living in extremely high numbers, higher than the richest women’s babies from much of the 20th century. Poor mothers are making it through childbirths that would have formerly killed them. Poor children in America and increasingly the world over run the risk of being very fat at all, which would have astounded people from even fifty years ago, much less two hundred.
And the wealth, the ‘stuff’, the ‘electronic opiates’. Are these things not sinful because we live in such plenty? Of course not, they are often occasions to sin and monstrous pride. But the idea that in the past, when wealth for the masses was just a pipe dream, everyone was holier is a part of this wealth-thinking. People can construct castles of fantasia about the past and never get confronted with their lies, as we all drown in the blizzard of ready factoids and distractions.
Returning to normal life is not about returning to a time when there was less sin among the children of Men. It’s about returning to a time when people understood that despite being born into a world of sin, there were still echoes of the Divine to model and live by each and every day. It’s about not getting caught up in eternal possibility and choice addiction, but about accepting and living within the limits of the Real.
So, the attempts to sell people on a holier, happier, healthier past when the data and our sinful natures say otherwise should stop.
Ah, meal planning, a staple of the conservative-leaning frugal housewife. I could just make this post a link roundup of the various strategies out there, but that is not so practical for my target in this post, the young and/or new stay at home mother. Such SAHMs are ill-served by the defaults that are part of the typical meal planning post. I’ll list the necessary adjustments.
Firstly, go-to meals should be minimal. Not ten simple fallback recipes, not even five. Three. Three easy meals. That’s it. A lot of women who come home after the first child are not getting the benefit of being raised in traditionally conservative households. Expecting them to have ten or even twenty default meals is one of the reasons women are very reluctant to stay home.
Second, meals need to consider the reality of cooking in the 21st century. Many SAHMs are, as I’ve noted, not coming from home-cooked meals every night backgrounds. Many of them face massive learning curves. Advice that worked with that reality instead of the assumption that any SAHM can cook it all from scratch would be immensely helpful and prevent burnout and meltdowns over not being able to do three homecooked meals per day from, well, nothing.
Lastly, these are women having little babies. People need to be there for them, bringing already-cooked meals, helping out around the house and generally just supporting the woman at home with a new little baby by actually doing so and not just talking about it on television or before an election. They can learn the skills to have twenty go-to meals in a few years. Right now they just need someone coming by regularly and assurance that it is in fact fine to eat omelettes most days of the week if that’s what you can cook.
Some quick points:
Post industrialism brought a hard-hitting gnosticism to dietary practices for women. There had previously been here and there some saints advocating away from meat, but nothing like the full-court press of the Seventh Day Adventists. These heretics brought us breakfast cereal, the hearthealthywholegrains thing, and the beginnings of what eventually turned into vegan domination of what is nutritious, healthy and high-status. The link above offers some densely written, reference-heavy dot-connecting on the Adventists and how the modern New Age vegan is just a hanger-on to the recent idea of meat as low-status.
This is where the whole “gotta eat lots of fruits and vegetables” and “diverse diet” yipyap comes from. Conservatives don’t need the pseudo rationalizations of paleo to justify eating meat (this is why it’s so popular with conservatives, it’s ‘science’, so that makes up for doing the low-status thing of eating naughty naughty meat). Meat is delicious! Diverse diets are only necessary if you are a strict vegetarian, because you have no robustness to fall back on.
There’s nothing wrong with eating bread and stuff, it’s just that a startling amount of the whole conservative obsession with home-baked bread and fruits/vegetables on a budget and open denial/minimization of meat in the diet are due to frugality-obsessed conservative women aping what they think are higher status food habits.
There’s also the separate issue of women buying into the crazy idea that meat is masculine. It’s not. Women eating meat is not any less unfeminine than women being able to carry their own babies and children for hours a day (an extended feat of endurance and moderate physical strength and one variation of traditional female behavior).
The status issues around meat are another example in the endless parade of liberals being the ones to define health and high status food and conservatives just going right along because they view liberal ideas as higher status than conservative ones.