Tuesday, April 2, 2013

September 9, 1958





Mother Monster?
Witch and Wife?
Stifled Siren?
Pick a life.

It's either / or.
It's dark or light.
It's less than human.
Pick a life.

The above snippets are from a newspaper article published September 9, 1958.  You can view the article in its entirety here.

Inspired by Fireblossom's time travel prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Open Link Night at dVerse.

41 comments:

Sylvia K said...

And I do remember those days in the 50s all too well!!

Brian Miller said...

it is less than human...
or maybe the writer of the article is...
obviously conservative
and out of touch....

Kerry O'Connor said...

What women have had to put up with, and still do in many places in the world...

Lolamouse said...

Pick a LIE!

razzamadazzle said...

I figure we've set our sights at just the right level. We can have it all!

Ellecee said...

We have come a long way from those days,,excellent take on today's prompt

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Fascinating, but is there any significance to the date? We haven't come too far in 55 years have we? Very concise and trenchant.

Laura said...

as if either or could possibly define a whole human being... excellent poem!

Claudia said...

i hate the extremes...it's a lie..it's not either or or dark or light...i think many women have found a good way to combine both...ugh...good on you tackling that subject

Brudberg said...

Oh how history changes... but for many the better... but still.. Love the clippings.

Kay L. Davies said...

Well done, MZ. When I was growing up in the 50s, I was told I could be a teacher, because I wouldn't make a very good nurse.
I used your link and read the rest of the article, though, and laughed at what Alastair Cooke said about American men in 1958: “Strikingly spoiled on the whole. Expect to remain, though not a thing of beauty, a boy forever.”
K

manicddaily said...

As if one could pick a life and it would work out according to plan! Pretty crazy. Well done. k.

Mary said...

Interesting to see how perceptions of women were so different back inn the 50's!

Jenny Herner said...

I love this! Playful and sad!

Kim Nelson said...

I love what you do with this, MZ! I sometimes wonder if my young adult daughters understand the value of their current status. Women have come a long way in the USA in the last 50 years. You amplify that fact most ideally.

rlbk75 said...

Faulous! you said, exactly, what some truly need to hear. Gorgeous raw power.

Helen said...

Perfect.

ayala said...

Great !

Fireblossom said...

Mr. Cook is an ass. He obviously never met you, MsDemeanor.

Truedessa said...

Pick a life..but, be careful what you pick? Three words with power..

zongrik said...

we get to pick if we are happy or depressed, if we r good people or monsters

where is the food when mother is not?

Sabio Lantz said...

Ah, back in the days when men were men and women were slaves. What is the big deal about freedom?
;-)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

And little did we know the life we would be picking! This is perfect, MZ!

mrs mediocrity said...

Well if I have to choose, I vote for siren. ;-)

Beth Winter said...

Wonderful, I'm so glad that women stood up for themselves and made it a better world for us.

pandamoniumcat said...

Perfect! We're just so diverse aren't we...must be unbearable for some! :)

Other Mary said...

Not a wasted word. I don't think we're there yet, but we've come a long way, baby...er, I mean Mama!

Isadora Gruye said...

Using the newspaper article was a great idea....though the line from the article "A supreme escapist from the role of being a woman" made me snicker.

I love your lines here, a good pairing which finishes strong and rings triumphant. Viva la

HisFireFly said...

are the choices as difficult for men?

what say ye?

well done

wit, et al said...

This is a very interesting poem. I love your presentation, pasting the article snippets above the poem. The sing-song cadence makes it sound like a nursery rhyme, which is apropos considering your mockery --- as if a decision like "choosing your life" could be so simply --- like picking between vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream. But maybe it's not as easy as it seems (for everyone) to decide your fate as a woman, even when only given a handful of options, as in 1958. Well done.

wit, et al said...

This is a very interesting poem. I love your presentation, pasting the article snippets above the poem. The sing-song cadence makes it sound like a nursery rhyme, which is apropos considering your mockery --- as if a decision like "choosing your life" could be so simply --- like picking between vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream. But maybe it's not as easy as it seems (for everyone) to decide your fate as a woman, even when only given a handful of options, as in 1958. Well done.

Kodjo Deynoo said...

Pick a light, a strong stand for women's right. With all the going in showbiz media it is easy to think the battle has ended in sexism

Rowan Taw said...

Oh dear, I don't think my choices would have been popular with the newspaper writer!

darkangelwrites said...

I had a discussion with a man the other day who didn't understand why his neighbor's wife was going on antidepressants. I pointed out that possibly she was unfulfilled. "She only has the house that she doesn't keep clean and her son to take care of," he said. Would that fulfill you I asked him. "Hell no, but women are different."

kkkkaty said...

and on it will continue..a great poem for a granddaughter to paste in a scrapbook!!

Emma Major said...

really brilliant, thankfully those days are gone

rumoursofrhyme said...

Striking poem, MZ - although a little harsh on Alistair Cooke. He was the product of a very English upbringing in times very different to our own. He moved to NYC, which for him must have seemed like a different planet - particularly as when he moved, there was still rationing in post-war Britain.

Times have changed, and the place of women in the world is rightfully improving. I'll admit that there's still a way to go, but perhaps some of that journey might involve redefining men's roles in society? Just a thought.

Grandmother said...

Yes, things have changed in some quarters but those headlines could be today's in others. What a great write about this - tight, impactful.

Yiota Luyu Ladybird said...

I tried the Wife, discovered the Siren, finaly i become a Witch :) I think every woman can be all of that and more:)

Julia Chiang said...

it's funny to read this today as I was comment to my friend that I think I am mommy dearest. I love this poem....I think I'm going to keep it printed next to me at my desk. thanks for sharing.

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

My mother had worked in the 1940s before she married, but took on the role of fulltime housefrau in the 50s and early 60s. By the end of that period, she was literally cleaning every room of our house every day and was making herself and the rest of the family crazy with it. We three kids begged her to go to work. She did, and was much happier with herself, us, and the little two bedroom and den place where we lived in Redondo Beach, CA. Why do we think any choices are either/or, on/off? How did we get to such limited binary thinking? Different strokes for different folks!