A half century ago, Glen Campbell sang of “the everyday housewife who gave up the good life for me.” On television Laura Petrie, Harriet Nelson, and the bewitching Samantha Stephens made housewifery seem downright glamorous.
Advertisers wooed the “little ladies” of the home, enticing them with products designed to make their chores easier.
Housewives were on every street. High schools had Family Living classes to teach future housewives how to cook and sew.
Then came the 1970s and housewives were suddenly quaint. Mary Tyler Moore’s new TV persona was that of a career woman. Meanwhile Edith Bunker was just Archie’s “dingbat” and Peg Bundy was depicted as Al’s money-grabbing couch potato.
It didn’t take long to go from June Cleaver’s pearls and high heels to Roseanne Barr’s slovenly “domestic goddess.” Suddenly, it was no longer hip to be a housewife….