For as much as feminists abhor that housewife relegation period of the twentieth century, there are times when they must secretly wish it was still even an option (along with the delusion that eating red meat and smoking cigarettes was perfectly healthy). Why? you might exhale as a gasp expressing scandal. Because it meant that women actually had a partner, someone they could look to to share responsibility with and not feel as though they had to shoulder every fucking thing themselves.
There was a clear distinction of delegated roles, sexist though they might have been. “Men” made the dough, women made the pie dough. Expectations that a “man” wouldn’t simply flit about like a deranged butterfly were natural. “Men” who didn’t offer their complete monogamous devotion (even if they were glazed over most of the time in doing so) could have their offenses held accountable for via the then rigid opinions of an Eisenhower through Johnson society. Since divorce became normalized circa the 70s, women have been freer than ever–difficult though it may be to believe under the current administration. But, so too, are men (not that they needed any further liberties for their dicklessness). And with their freedom, they have left women with the stark realization that, as Prince warned, “In this life, you’re on your own.” You’ve got to be Beauty and the goddamn Beast, while “men” get to be just Beauty: dainty, effete and skittish as fuck. Don’t bother lusting after flower symbolism in this epoch.