Searching for ‘Suzy Homemaker’–a Real-Life Sequel to ‘Stepford spouses’

Searching for ‘Suzy Homemaker’–a Real-Life Sequel to ‘Stepford spouses’

From time to time, a film occurs that, for reasons uknown, presents a word that is new phrase in to the US vernacular to spell it out a label.

There’s Captain Queeg (the tyrannical employer), Mrs. Robinson (the adulterous spouse), Dr. Strangelove (the angry scientist).

And there’s the “Stepford Wife,” a synonym for “Suzy Homemaker.”

Well, people, pay attention. a version that is modern-day increasing phoenix-like from the chaos of two-career marriages, leading social observers to anticipate that a real-life sequel to “The Stepford Wives” could be in route.

“Women are now being pressed back to being Stepford Wives,” records Los Angeles psychologist Rex Beaber and a faculty that is former associated with the UCLA class of Medicine, “but that movement will be promulgated by men and women. It is not only the guys that are carrying it out this time.”

Few would argue that within the mid-’70s a lot of men reacted to your feminist motion by desiring a Stepford Wife that would put her husband’s, children’s and home’s needs before her very own.

Today, every person dreams about a Stepford Wife.

The movie is based on a 1972 novel by Ira Levin in which the husbands of a seemingly normal Connecticut town called Stepford replace their women’s lib-minded wives with domestic robots who are forever young, for-ever cleaning and for-ever pleasing for anyone who has spent the past 12 years trapped on the freeway. The type played by Katharine Ross discovers the dastardly scheme too belated; by movie’s end, she’s changed into a Stepford Wife aswell.

Definitely, no body related to the 1975 movie ever dreamed so it would breeze up a kind of cult classic, minimum of most its celebrity. “You never understand,” Ross says with apparent amazement. “But I’m pleased so it has made some kind of contribution.” (For trivia buffs, Ross wasn’t the choice that is first the part; she replaced Tuesday Weld.)

Motivated by ‘Future Shock’

This campy Gothic thriller attracted a great deal of attention because it ended up being both a mordant indictment of males in opposition to the revolution that is feminist well as being a put-down of full-time homemakers. Really, Levin’s guide, adjusted for the display by William Goldman, had been prompted perhaps not by Betty Friedan’s women’s lib manifesto, “The Feminine Mystique,” but by way of an area of Alvin Toffler’s work that is sociological “Future Shock,” that dealt with domestic robots. Critics panned the film just as much because of its content as for its design; Newsweek reported it said “some unsightly and unsupported things about what sort of ladies males want.”

But there must be a kernel of truth into the movie as the Stepford Wife is just about the Concept That Refuses To perish. In 1980, NBC trotted down a sequel, “Revenge of this Stepford spouses.” And NBC achieved it once again with “The Stepford Kids. sunday” for longer than 10 years now, the word has been utilized to explain feminine zombies which range from unliberated Miss Americas to First that is husband-worshipping Ladies. “My wife calls Nancy Reagan a proper Stepford Wife,” claims Thomas Lasswell, a teacher of sociology during the University of Southern California, “although she are operating things a lot more than we expected.”

Today’s wanting for Stepford Wives just isn’t according to a unexpected fondness for “plastic, smiley, acquiescent, non-alive beings,” as Friedan de-scribes the film automatons. It’s because there’s no one in the home any longer to accomplish the chores. Certainly, the mother that is full-time going the way in which associated with dodo; statistics show that just 15percent of families in the nation are “Donna Reed Show” clones, where the spouse would go to work, the spouse remains house, two children are created therefore the few hasn’t divorced.

“The norms have gone very different, exactly just exactly what with 60% of married ladies working outside of the home,” records Paul Bohannan, dean of social sciences and interaction during the USC College of Letters Arts and Sciences.

“I personally don’t know any stay-at-home spouses at this time,” he says.

Also Marabel Morgan, the writer associated with the 1974 best-seller “The Total Woman,” who had been described by feminists during the time whilst the ultimate Stepford Wife, includes a full-time profession these times being a writer and lecturer. “I never ever did state that each and every girl needs to stay home,” she said in an meeting.

No body, minimum of most Morgan, is predicting that males are wanting to force females back to your kitchen. If any such thing, it is become a financial reality of life that husbands require their spouses be effective to be able to afford that two-bedroom, split-level Colonial house and brand new Chrysler convertible. “Probably today the earnings of the prospective wife is because essential as her breasts size,” Friedan quips.

However in today’s “have it all, get it done all era that is” of Superwoman, it is nevertheless spouses whom handle a lot of the housework along with their jobs. “Our culture did a terrible thing to females. It offered them a brand new part which included brand brand new duties,” psychologist Beaber notes. “Women said, ‘We may do any such thing a guy may do.’ And guys said, ‘Fine. You’ll do whatever you did as a lady, and anything you wish to accomplish as a person, too.’ ”

Morgan claims that she’s had to “train” her spouse become a kind of Stepford Spouse. “He folds the clothing, helps to make the sleep and dries the dishes. There’s great deal to be performed, so he’s likely to need to help, too.”

The issue comes whenever neither the lady nor the person, following a day’s that is hard, desires to place in a tough day’s night, too.

Guys are fed up with a front that is domestic’s deteriorated into “chaos,” Beaber claims. “Of course they’re completely fed up using this. Wouldn’t you’d rather get back in order to find supper ready, the table set, the washing taken, the repairs done?”

And women can be exhausted, period. A recently available Purdue University study unearthed that among couples whom both work time that is full the spouse places much more hours in combined duties in your home as well as on the work.

Not surprising there’s such nostalgia for Suzy Homemaker.

As Friedan states, “It will be exceptionally convenient for the household that is whole have Stepford Wife. Anybody who would like to produce one thing effective at purchasing groceries, changing toilet-paper rolls and operating the washer is going to make a ton of money. It’s bound to take place in the course of time.”

Comments are closed.