I stitched the Corona Housewife on my Corona Kimono because I was seeing it happen to the women around me. They were falling into the old gender roles of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids, some along with still working from home.
But it wasn’t just happening around me, it was happening all over.
And it’s happened again and again throughout history, women making strides towards independence then dealing with the backlash. It’s a slow evolution but an evolution just the same.
I chose to draw a 1950’s housewife because I feel it’s a familiar image that speaks strongly to this phenomenon.
During WWII, American women filled the jobs that men left when they went to fight in the war. They got to know the independence and freedom that comes with earning their own money. But after the war, when men came back and reclaimed their jobs, women became the homemakers once again.
They were encouraged to defer to their husbands and do what it took to make them happy. This idea was so prevalent you could find it in ads and even on women’s hankies.
I don’t believe this time it was calculated as it was in the 1950’s or that we have regressed as far. But I do see once again how women still give themselves away, subjugating themselves to others often without even being aware of it.
In times of crisis, we do what we have to in order to survive, but I did find it interesting how quickly and easily we can fall back into these old roles.