Then VS Now – Raegan's TED Talk Blog (2023)

March 17, 2017 Raegan S Pechar

Recently I’ve been really interested in older movies and tv shows in my spare time, but more than ever, I’ve really tuned into the depiction of gender roles within the storyline. It’s obvious that women’s roles in society and media have been ever changing, and will probably continue in years to come. I mean, compare I Love Lucy to the Sex and the City cast. Today I decided to go back to the early 1900s and follow the progression of women gender roles throughout the decades.

In the 1920s, women typically stayed at home and cared for the house and children while the husband was away at work. If they did have a job, it was something around the lines of a secretary, nurse, or teacher. However, some women did strive to defeat the odds and strived to become a business owner, lawyer, etc. Though, as sexist as it is, men wouldn’t give a woman business over another male partner. In the media, they were portrayed pretty accurately as their actual roles in society, except maybe with a little more sex appeal. They would make their advertisements of housewives appear more sexualized and appealing.

Flash forward to the 50s, despite protests and advocacy sparking for equality, only small strides had really been made. Though theywere seeking better job opportunities and careers, menstill would rather seek out a male counterpart in the field, regardless of qualifications. The media really combatted any progress made through advocacy. The ads and Hollywood still portrayed it as a “Man’s World”, with your everyday housewife waiting adhering to the wants and demands of the man. In fact, in 1955, Housekeeping Monthly released “The Good Wife’s Guide” – something that would be immediately shutdown in today’s world. Some of their tips read as followed:

  • “Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.”
  • “Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.”
  • “Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.”
  • “Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.”

……. W H A T

Comparing women today to women back then, we’ve made tremendous strides in both society and the media. It is not uncommon for us to have mothers that are also lawyer, surgeons, CEOs, etc. It is also completely acceptable for women to have their own goals and aspirations in life.We almost had a woman president. As for the media, we have seen a progression of women presence in the media. There are now multiple strong female roles in a lot of TV shows (Big Bang Theory, The Office, Sex and the City). Little girls grow up with women as role models that are paving a path for success with zero boundaries, as they should.


  1. It’s pretty crazy to think back on how much the woman’s role has changed throughout the years. “The Good Wife’s Guide” that you mention seems absolutely ridiculous to me today. The fact that being a good wife means not having a right to question your husband’s actions and judgment definitely perpetuates an idea that women are inferior and subservient. But luckily, we are breaking those stereotypes today–as women deserve to become anything they want.


  2. I definitely do agree that large strides have been made in terms of women in the entertainment industry. However, there are still major problems that still need to be addressed (like the pay gap and the fact that strong women characters are still seen as novelty and are often plagiarized or sexualized throughout the show or movie). Love that you brought up this issue though and the fact that you brought specific examples in!


  3. The quote from “The Good Wife’s Guide” was such a shock to me! I wonder how many women in 1955 would have read that and agreed with it. A book like that would have such an impact on a young girl and growing up with the idea of men being in charge of women must have been hard.


  4. Feminism is everywhere now unfortunately. Years ago, most women were Real Ladies.


    1. 👍🏾


      (Video) i told him not to dive there.. (BIG MISTAKE!)
    2. Ok b00mer


    3. What the heck, Ben


      1. He is very right though.


    4. pull up….. you fucking chode.


      1. Said the loser herself.


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  5. nice


  6. Today most women have their very high unrealistic expectations and standards making love very difficult to find for so many of us single guys now, unlike years ago when most women were the very complete opposite of today.


    1. Today most women have jobs and pride and they do not want to rely on a man or settle for less and give themself to someone who is not worth their time, or someone who is a bad provider, or not the intelligent person to talk to, or is overweight and doing nothing about it. If there’s not the man who worth their time (women with pride and self-respect) they would rather be single! And when it has come to the making love..many women these days go to the store and get a toy to make love to. Not only girls, guys too can have a high expectation from the partner..maybe because they do not want to settle? So it is not always a good idea to blame that there’s no good women or men, maybe you not fitting their criteria? So man either has to learn how to become better for himself and others (get a degree or have a good business) and take care of your self to look appealing to others..or make love to himself…is that make sense to you? I hope it helped you to see a naked truth..


  7. Most women today are very awful altogether with no manners and personality at all when it comes to us men looking for a relationship. Unfortunately most women do have a very serious mental illness as i can see which is why they’re really like that today. And there will be times when these very pathetic women will even Curse at us men for no reason at all when we will just say good morning or hello to them, and i can see how very troubled these women are nowadays. And i know other friends that had women Cursed them out for no reason too, and that is quite a change from the old days when most women were very civilized back then which made love very easy to find in those days just like our family members did. Now you have most of these women with their Careers that are so very high maintenance, independent, since they really don’t need us men anymore which even i will admit, very selfish, greedy, spoiled, picky, narcissists, since they really think they’re all that, gold diggers, since they love sleeping around with much older men that have the very big bank accounts, cheaters, since they can’t even commit to only one man anymore, very money hungry, and that list keeps on growing and growing. So many women now are real Feminists as well altogether which makes love very difficult to find for so many of us single men now because of the way they’re nowadays. It was a very good thing that the great majority of women in the past were very much the complete opposite of today, and they were certainly Real Ladies as well which is why this world progressed over these years thanks to those women back then. Very obvious why so many of us good single men are still single today with these kind of women around now unfortunately.

    1. Oh boy, you really nailed it.


    2. this comment is just borderline stupid


      (Video) Wiring a web for global good | Gordon Brown
      1. Guess what for your information? He really nailed it. Have a lot of fun with your cats.


  8. Most women nowadays are just awful, especially the ones that have no manners and personality at all since they need to get a real life.


  9. Most women nowadays unfortunately go for looks and wealth when looking for a man. But with so many women nowadays that are very overweight, tattoos all over their bodies, not really attractive at all like they think they’re, enough said right there. I am a good looking man that keeps in very great shape with a very nice personality, and i still can’t meet a good woman to accept me for who i am. So it is the women today that have really changed for the worst of all.


  10. why are you anonymous. are u scared drop dat addy bby💅


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