True to Her Nature: Changing Advice to American Women
From colonial times to the present, advice givers from Cotton Mather to Dr. Benjamin Spock and Martha Stewart have offered a litany of opinions on proper child care and good housekeeping. Drawing on sermons, child-rearing manuals, and women s magazines, author Maxine L. Margolis explores changing ideologies about middle-class women s roles and asserts they can only be explained within a larger material context. Variables such as household vs. industrial production, the demand or lack of demand for women s labor, and the changing costs and benefits of rearing children have been instrumental in influencing views of women s true nature and proper place. This provocative and persuasive analysis suggests there are well-defined material causes for attitudes toward women s employment and housework, changing advice on child rearing including the discovery that fathers are parents too and the rebirth of feminism.
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Putting Mothers on the Pedestal
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activities advice givers American women appliances baby became become Benjamin Spock career changed chil child child-care experts child-rearing chores Christine Frederick cleaning clothes colonial consumption cooking decades decline Degler demand domestic advisors dren duties early economic Ellen Key employed women factory fathers female labor feminine mystique feminism feminist full-time hiring Home Journal homemaking household housekeeping housewife housewife's housewives housework husbands ideology important income increased infants James Levine Jerome Kagan job market John Bowlby labor force Ladies laundry Leo Kanner living male wages manufacture married women Martha Stewart maternal role middle-class women mother role motherhood nineteenth century nuclear family number of women nursing parents percent prescriptive writings production quoted rearing responsibility Ruth Schwartz Cowan servants social society spent Spock standards suggested sumer take jobs tasks tion told took jobs twentieth century washing woman women's domestic women's employment women's magazines women's roles writers wrote