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.
About a third of all deliveries in America are c-sections, and a majority of those are primary c-sections. The anti-natalism isn’t in women having c-sections so much as the pressure for women to accept a primary c-section. This wouldn’t be possible without the subtext that women shouldn’t have more than two children, three at most, a view that is standard American these days. It also wouldn’t be possible without the medical community downplaying the risks of c-sections.
The reality is that c-sections limit how many children a woman can reasonably risk conceiving and carrying to term. While there are risks to naturally delivering seven or eight or ten children, those risks are significantly lower than the ones c-sections introduce through repeated surgical trauma and scarring. However, those risks don’t come into play for the average woman having c-sections until she’s looking at more than three of them. After three c-sections, the risk of losing the baby shoots up (the scarring makes it hard for the placenta to seat itself, increasing likelihood of fetal demise) along with the risk of premature delivery or catastrophic delivery complications like placental abruption.
This is not communicated to women when they are “encouraged” to have a primary c-section after say ten or twelve hours of labor. Thus, many women who would like to keep open the possibility of having a larger family are limited by a choice they were given misleading information about by medical professionals advocating approved choices rather than patients’ choices. It is possible to have 4-6 c-sections and deliver the children safely, but it’s also a range where health and life risks for both mother and baby come into play at rates exceeding 20%.
For perspective, women are not allowed to attempt natural delivery after a c-section in most American hospitals (VBAC) due to a 1% risk of rupture (which baby and mother typically survive without complications). Yet women are not presented with the data that way. And they certainly aren’t told that a primary c-section means probably not having more than three or four children liveborn and term. A primary c-section is not terribly risky, and neither is a second one, compared to natural delivery. But they are slightly higher risk and on average harder to recover from than natural deliveries.
Combined with the delaying of childbearing, telling women in their late 20s and early 30s that a primary c-section is no big deal is to consign those women to fewer children than they might otherwise be able to have even starting in their early 30s and further, to leave them struggling with (on average) more difficult recovery while struggling with a newborn. That also leads to fewer children born at the margins. It’s just anti-natalist. This isn’t to say that c-sections, including primary ones, aren’t sometimes medically necessary. But many primary c-sections are a judgment call rather than “have to cut the baby out NOW”, and the judgment goes in one direction due to the general distaste culture-wide for having enough little taxpayers to fund society.
Written some years ago, but more true than ever in the age of disease-hysteria and making increasingly weird, society-wide excuses to avoid normal socialization.
A number of people have noticed that American women work because they can get social interaction and an adult world that way. Well, without providing that for SAHMs, you end up with feral teens or hypocrites, experts at presenting the front that will keep them unharassed while they go party/drink/drug/etc. Without being considered part of the adult world, a mother can’t consistently or reliably model wisdom and cleverness for her children and be interesting enough to listen to for a balky teen. You’re stuck with selection bias, where a few women can make it happen anyway, but the rest cannot because staying home with your kids doesn’t turn your home into Lake Wobegon.
In America, the SAHM is not seen as a real, complete human because the domestic sphere is not seen as part of the real, complete world. It’s just where your stuff is, not where you live. But it is part of the world and the damage wrought by pretending otherwise is that women are incomplete and denied the fullness of their nature as wives, mothers, women, children of God, daughters of Our King on High. And it cascades down like rot through a tree. SAHMs need to be treated as complete adults with real social needs that are part of them doing their job and part of them fulfilling the completeness of their role within the family.
This would mostly look like encouraging women at home to come together for reasons other than to sell each other stuff or do homeschool co-opping. And again, due to selection bias, because a few make their social opportunities happen they believe it’s all about an individual’s efforts, which is ridiculously not conservative and also not the point. Life in community means helping it happen for the shy homemakers too.
Definitely returning to this one.
Those implications are that it’s not about your social life and only hanging out with people you think are groovy. It’s about the reality that if you want institutions to persist when unusually charismatic/high energy people are not running them, you have to work with and spend social time with people you would not otherwise be inclined to hang out with.
Interestingly, for all the conservative rhetoric about real community, they are just as interested in only being around people who are “good fits” as everyone else.
Affinity as the primary socialization mechanism is a sign of a degenerated culture.
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….