Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Curtain Reveals All...

The many measures of success.

Who would have thought that a curtain dangling on a window frame would be a measure of the life lived beyond it. A life that could be anything but is really defined by the curtains espied by others.

There was a fascinating documentary about German women of the 50's and 60's and their life as housewives. Well, it must have been the same in most parts of the world, but this program focused on a handful of housewives living in West-Germany. Oh my, have we come a long way.

Imagine ladies, only about 50 years ago, you needed to have your husband's permission for everything, be it a driver's licence or joining the local choir. Some housewives, and they were mostly freshly married and not even off age, had to live under the same roof as their in-laws and were taught how to pamper the offspring...ironing his socks, underwear, learning how to make his favourite meals and of course cleaning according to mother-in-law's idea of cleanliness!

One woman reminisced about the all important curtaining in the window facing the road. A curtain revealed all about yourself, or rather what you'd have liked to be revealed. Well, nobody ever saw beyond, did they? A big portion of savings was spent on buying curtains at the curtain shop and if you close your eyes, I'm sure you can imagine these types of curtains. Staid yet full of colour, incredibly clean and more than likely above the owner's means.
Gosh, the importance of being well perceived by your neighbours seems to stick around in each generation.

Life for our generation has changed a whole lot and thankfully our mums didn't want us to mirror their lives and helped change the stereotype of man being pandered to like a king.
Yes, he was the breadwinner, but often a housewife worked for harder and many more hours a week ( about 70 ) and without time off, leave, sick leave or pay.

Remember, for most an automatic washing machine was not on the cards, neither a Kindergarten nor help in the household. All those modern appliances that we think are a given, weren't always so.

Being a housewife and stay at home mum is an important job and I think it is about time that society rewards this. A salary from the state might not be such an outlandish idea because being at home while your children grow up shouldn't be a luxury but a necessity. Pension and paid leave & sick leave should be included.

Don't forget, the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow...


Here is the link to the tv program on ARD.