Mr. Mom: Stepping in the Shoes of a Housewife

After flipping through the channels on TV, I realized with shows such as desperate housewives , our pop culture,   has actually depicted a realistic point of view of one of the most unfair and underappreciated professions today—home making. However, when it comes to our society , our ideology about women as housewives are still stuck in a time capsule of the 50’s where mothers easily cook up the family meals, cut the crust out of our sandwiches and  joyfully do the house chores, which leaves the rest of the days to themselves. But this is only half of a housewives job description.

Just recently after reading a chapter of Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism the work each housewife would earn if homemaking was in fact a paying job, would be $ 134, 121 a year. Reading this, I was shocked. Of course growing up and seeing my moms daily routines as a housewife, I already knew the amount of work stay at home moms had to do, but I never knew that work would amount to a salary greater than the countries average salary.

Then I started thinking…

Imagine!  You wake up in the morning, make breakfast, clean the dishes, drop the kids to school, clean the house, do laundry, pick up the kids from school, make dinner, and if you’re lucky, have a good night sleep. You wake up the next morning just to do everything all over again.   After a while, you could understand how exhausting a life of a housewife is like. Although many wives may seem like they have it all together, I wondered how would life be if a husband and wife switched places for a day. That is when I remembered one of my favorite movies–Mr. Mom (This movie is a must see for reasons more than just the funny Michael Keaton)

So with this note, grab your popcorn, sit on a couch, and relax  because you are about to take a journey that is both comedic and eye-opening at the same time.

The movie starts out with Michael Keaton’s character losing his job. As a result, he makes a deal with his wife to take care of the house chores while his wife goes to work. This compromise ended to be more of a handful than he thought.

After first watching Mr. Mom (I wish I was able to post the whole movie. sorry), I thought it was hilarious to have Michael Keaton’s character dabble with the job of a stay at home mom. The idea that this movie is made as a comedy, not only allows the viewer to enjoy the film, but also enlightens people on the difficulties housewives have to go through on a daily basis In one scene you see him fighting a vacume cleaner and in another you see him loosing his kids in the super market. As for the mother’ situation, she understands how easy it is to take advantage of her husband’s efforts and often feels guilty as a result.

All in all, the fact that an audience can see the difficulties in being a stay at home parent, whether you are a man or a women, teaches the  audience that pulling a family together is  difficult task that should be shared between two people. After all doesn’t sharing mean caring!

Information From:

Mr. Mom (1983)

“US mothers deserve $134,121 in salary,” Reuters Study, May 3 2006


5 comments October 7, 2011

Misconceptions Behind the F Word

Today I am going to talk about the F word. One of the most controversial words a person could use— feminism.

Often times when people imagine the word feminism, the first images that pop up into a person’s mind are burning bras, man-haters, and for some reason hairy legs.  Although these may be unpleasant sights, the good news is that these images are not the true definition of feminism. As I was browsing through the dictionary, because I just love reading my dictionary on a Friday afternoon (sarcasm if you haven’t noticed),  I decided to come across the true definition of feminism–Noun: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. As you can see there is no where that mentions anything about hairy women or burning bras for that matter. All feminists want is equality. What’s wrong with this?

Just recently Beyonce Knowles was interviewed and quoted saying “I don’t really feel that it’s necessary to define it. It’s just something that’s kind of natural for me, and I feel like… you know… it’s, like, what I live for. I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious.” Although I respect Beyonce as a person, I just don’t understand why women, even influential ones for that matter, are so afraid of being titled a feminist. It’s just a word. It shouldn’t mean anything.  After all  weren’t we taught that sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us?

All I know now is that this was a great opportunity for Beyonce to go against what society says and become a new spokesperson for feminism. With this type of publicity, Beyonce would have been able to attract a bright new light on such an influential word for women.

Although I understand that nobody wants to be called a hairy man-hater, why should we focus on these negative connotations that were formed before many us were ever born? It’s the twenty-first century for crying out loud, it is time for us to make our own definition of the word feminist and be proud for being strong women who doesn’t let society push us around.

1 comment September 30, 2011

The Life of a 50s Woman Seen in Black and White

Imagine! You’re siting in your favorite comfy couch with a nice bowl of popcorn ready to watch TV. Suddenly, this commercial shows up. Before you question yourself why a black and white commercial popped up on your TV, focus on the intricate details of the commercial. What is your reaction?

At first, I found myself intrigued by the whimsical 50s theme. But as I continued watching this vintage advertisement I noticed how my offense meter was increasing by the second.

Even before anybody knew what product was being advertised, I found it alarming how we were led through a stereotypical storyline of an “ordinary girl”–a dangerous combination of words.

Although this form of advertisement is a step up from our current style of selling sex, don’t get too excited, after all this commercial is originally from the innocent and conservative 50s. Instead of sex, there was major sexism.

According to the repetitive sexist remarks spoken by the narrator, women are led to believe that in order to be considered an  “ordinary girl”  and live happily ever after, they must follow a formula. A woman must be “beautiful,”  “slim,” and “married.” Sound any familiar? Who knew so many of the same insecurities we have today were found in the women of the innocent 50s.

But the big question is,  what happens when women of this age didn’t fit into these classifications? Women are instantly going to think that their not considered “ordinary”–talk about harsh and dangerous words to the psyche!

What made it worse, not to mention offensive, was how the commercial undermined the role of women in society by mocking housewives’ day-to-day errands: from their “exercise strolls” with their babies to their shopping trips as “competitive sports.” Unfortunately, with these images in mind, the viewer is helpless to defy the idea that women are low-class citizens that have no real contribution in society except for the image they provide their family. This is where I draw the line with the media. Messages like these are dangerous and poisonous to a society.

Although we look at these commercials now and laugh at the many trends and jeers that once pressurized woman; we ultimately laugh because we understand how ridiculous society was once viewed.  Let’s just hope that historical references like these teach us a lesson about what the media can do to an entire generation.

2 comments September 23, 2011

Fashion Hits with a New Trend

  Stop! Look at the image above. What is your first response? Before you freak out about Heather Morris’ safety and report this issue to TMZ, I should first mention that there were no Heather Morris’s hurt for this blog, well to be more specific, for Tyler Shield’s fashion photo shoot.

While many people’s perception of fashion are high-waisted skirts, bedazzled stilettos and the occasional smokey eye, the fashion industry has decided to throw another curve ball and start one of the newest trends of the season–the black eye. It’s literally to die for!

After seeing a series of art-directed  fashion shots by celebrity photographer, Tyler Shields, I noticed the large painful purple bruise on the famous Glee actress. Simply seeing this image,  I was very much surprised to figure out that the latest trend in high fashion was in fact domestic violence. Of course these were not the exact words the photographer used to explain his inspiration, but I must admit a black eye should never be used as a trend to promote high fashion.

But don’ worry, there’s more!By the time I came across multiple other layouts where Morris was ‘tied up and drinking from an iron,’ I did not know whether I should have felt either concerned or offended with the message the celebrity photographer was trying to communicate–“a bruised-up [50’s] Barbie shoot.”  Although I understand Shield’s attempt to express his artistic creativity, I find it problematic how Shields glamorizes a dangerous issue in society and display women in a demeaning light. Giving in to controversy may be a great way to attract publicity, but is it really necessary for a photographer, who has so much potential to promote change, to use his artistic powers for evil instead of good?

Just like any form of pop culture, fashion is a form of inspiration for many women, which I must admit is especially true for me. But is it right that celebrity photographers, such as Shields, portray bruises and battered woman as symbols of beauty?

As though size two runway models are not harmful enough for woman’s psyches, people in the fashion industry need to realize that fashion, is a form of inspiration for many girls.  As soon as new trends hit the runway and circulate in fashion magazines, chances are women are going to follow those trends no matter how extreme they might be. Woman may not purposely give themselves bruises, but they are given an idea that it is socially acceptable to be overpowered by people and disrespected. A bruise is a badge of domestic violence not a form of beauty!

2 comments September 16, 2011






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