Journal Critique: The Good Wife's Guide

1241 words - 5 pages

Life in the fifties, we can say, is different than what life has turned into today. Most couples got married in their early twenties, had children and “lived happily ever after”. The men went out and worked (the instrumental role), their salary usually covered the household expenses. The women stayed home (the expressive role), raised the children and took care of the house. Life was very simple. As time went on, the roles of the household began to shift with more and more women were entering the workforce. (Kunz 5-19) The three articles discussed present the differences and surprisingly similarities of past and present households.
In May 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an ...view middle of the document...

Although the author portrays the married woman as having the sole purpose of pleasing her husband, this guide is aided to help her succeed at this task.
In contrasting The Good Wife’s Guide, as more and more women enter the workforce, an article published by the New York Times in 2009, As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force show statistics with women holding about 49 percent of the nations jobs yet, “women earn only eight cents for each dollar of their male counterparts’ income” (Rampell). More women are taking on the title of “ the breadwinner” and much more responsibilities than just cooking and cleaning. However, what is most interesting in the article is a statement about employed women still devoting more time to children and the home than employed men. (Rampell) The author of, As Layoffs…, Catherine Rampell, bases her arguments on facts. She mentions statistics well throughout the article as well as economists point of view. She interviews people who have been struck by the recession and gets real life points of view.
The final article, Golden Anniversary Reflections: Changes in Marriage After Fifty Years goes into detail about the shifts of household roles, the laws pertaining to marriage and many new trends emerging to the discussion of marriage. The author, Ann Laquer Estin, tells us about family and marriage law and how different they were just fifty years ago. A statement in the article, “Most married couples observed clear and distinct gender roles, with men bearing the responsibility as breadwinners and women’s lives defined by their tasks as wives as mothers” says it all about how life was decades ago. The article explained how it took women time to gain the right to contract and own property. (Estin 333-352)
Fewer people marry today than in the fifties and tend to be older according to Estin findings from the Census data. Divorce rates soared from the sixties through the eighties and finally started declining into present time. Also discussed were trends of new non-marital families such as singles parents, cohabitation, and extended and blended families. Estin concludes her article by saying, “The challenge ahead is to preserve what has been constant and make room for the changes…” (333-352). Estin definitely bases her arguments on facts. She uses statistics, other credible sources such as other authors and Supreme Court cases to state her arguments.
What I noticed between the articles was, yes, how the times have changed, however; still some similarities remain between household roles. In The Good Wife’s Guide, the author goes onto tell readers what women should be...

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