B. Domestic

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Domestic Menu Graphic | Domestic Time Graphic

(46) There are many aspects of the practice and ideology of patriarchy in the domestic sphere that do not directly pertain to sexism, the topic previously considered. We consider four of them — the socialization of children and teenagers into traditional gendered ways of acting; the patriarchal division of labour and sex/gender in the traditional householdhouse; the practice of the family wage in which men control the sources of household income on which women and children are totally dependent; and, the reverse practice of misogyny in which the union portrayed women as attacking and abusing men in the household.


(47) During the 1950s and early 1960s, the RWDSU published a large quantity of cartoons depicting the socialization of boys into traditional male roles and girls into traditional female roles. Young girls were pictured baking cookies, dressing in their mothers’ clothes, or taking care of their younger brothers and sisters, while young boys were portrayed as learning how to fight or how to demolish houses, like their fathers in their house-wrecking businesses. FN_60 In 1954, the RWDSU gave a prize to a male union member for his snapshot of a little girl washing her doll, with the caption “Women’s Work Is Never Done.” FN_ 61 Even the material published on adolescents reflected this gendered socialization. Male adolescents were dating young women on the basis of their ability to bake potato salads; teenage boys were pictured as owning and driving cars, with teenage girls the passengers; young men were going off to college to become doctors while their girlfriends promised to wait for them rather than going to college themselves. FN_62 From 1962 onward, the RWDSU stopped publishing much of this material, but did not replace it with alternatives emphasizing the socialization of boys into traditional women’s domestic chores, or the socialization of girls and young women into non-traditional and highly-skilled male occupations. However, it did start publishing material emphasizing non-traditional roles for adult women.


Household Menu Graphic

(48) Between the 1950s and mid-1970s, the RWDSU published an immense quantity of material in the form of cartoons and feature articles that lent positive support to the traditional patriarchal family and household. Eleven themes recurred in this material.