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Before We Go Any Further I Need To Say A Few Things

This past year has been one of turmoil for many of us, there have been many ups and downs.

Interestingly, my site saw a spike of new visitors when several Youtubers did their own version of a Vintage Housewife Challenge. The videos that were created were fun, light spirited renditions of the 1950’s daily housewife schedule, but with this new exposure, during a time of unrest and uncertainty I saw a massive increase in negative comments being left on my site.

I am very aware that some influencers and social media accounts within the vintage enthusiast community are highly problematic. But I’ve intentinally tried to avoid political and religious talk here, and I don’t want this site to misconstrued into something it was never intended to be.

Initially, I dealt with the comments, often deleting those that clearly didn’t take the time to look around, or get to know my site. But after a while I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I was sick of seeing ugly comments and assumptions about me and my site and stopped logging into my site dashboard and email.

The longer I stayed away from this site, the harder it became to “come back”. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months.

When I did think about coming back, I began constantly overthinking EVERYTHING…

Thoughts like “How could this be interpreted”, “What value does this offer”, “When so many are dealing with life or death situations is a fun lifestyle post even relevant” were constantly swirling.

Eventually I began to realize what I needed was to clear the air, tell my side of the story and attempt to clear up any confusion, and move on, but that brought with it it’s own issues.

Once that self-doubt settled in, paralysis wasn’t far behind. I wanted so badly to address these misconceptions, but I was terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing and somehow ruining everything I’ve been working toward here.

The Appeal of The 1950’s

I was scrolling through facebook the other day when I ran across a friend’s post, she was saying how she missed the early days of the pandemic.

I know, it sounds crazy, right ?!?

When I think back to that time, it was highly stressful for a lot of people, and there was a lot of tragedy. Some might classify it as the worst period of time of their life. But my friend explained in her post that she missed the puzzles in the afternoon, the family walks in the evenings, and the slower pace of life.

I realized she had just summed up what I had been long trying to articulate. The world isn’t strictly good or bad. Good things can come from dark times.

I’ve never claimed the 1950’s were some sort of magical utopian era.

The 1950’s marked the beginning of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement. African Americans had been fighting against racial discrimination for centuries, but civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and activists like Rosa Parks drew national attention to racial inequality.

The Black Lives Matter Movement of 2020 is both reminiscent of the earlier activism of the 1950’s, and a clear reminder of how far we have yet to go as a society.

1950’s Popular culture and the mass media also reinforced messages about traditional gender roles, consumer culture, and the Cold War ideal of domesticity, but the reality of women’s lives during that time period did not always reflect these standards.

Despite societal norms that encouraged women to stay in the home and out of the workplace, approximately forty percent of women with young children, and at least half of women with older children, chose to remain in the work force.1

Women who chose to work had to deal with direct discrimination from companies, were often viewed as selfish among peer groups.

The assumption that I am ignorant to the social issues of the 50’s and 60’s, or worse that it is the oppression and segregation of those times that appeals to me absolutely couldn’t be further from the truth.

I have no hidden agenda.

I think I have been very clear that I enjoy vintage feminine fashion, style and decor. I also truly do enjoy being a homemaker, and love old fashioned pursuits such as canning, sewing, baking, gardening, and tending to a backyard flock.

I created this site to share these things with other like minded women.

I am not here to suggest all women belong at home in the kitchen. That decision is personal. Honestly, I think a woman belongs wherever she feels the most fulfilled. Period.

I have always welcomed women from all seasons and walks of life into the Vintage Housewife Facebook Group. I am proud of the diversity in that group, and how welcoming all the members are. When I envisioned this community before I built it, I pictured a fun, nostalgic site that speaks to ALL women who enjoy being a homemaker, or perhaps even encourage women who want to enjoy managing their home, and do it more efficiently.

In the past I have used the word “traditional” when describing “old-fashioned” activities such as sewing or baking. When I settled on the use of that word several years ago, it was primarily because I thought “Old-fashioned” sounded dawdy, and I thought traditional communicated what I was trying to articulate.

It has since become clear to me that the word “traditional” connotes specific positions on particular issues, and it has highly charged implications. Hindsight is always 20/20. “Simple Living” is clearly a better word choice when it comes to describing my interests.

I debated long and hard about writing this post. I didn’t want to. As Tony Robbins said, “Where focus grows, energy flows.”

I wanted this place to be a happy uplifting corner of the internet. But the idea that my content and I are being perceived in a manner that is so different than who I am, or what I intended is so disheartening, and I literally couldn’t move on until I addressed this.

Going forward, unless you have previously contributed a thoughtful comment that has been approved, all comments will be held for moderation. Offensive language, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal attacks will not be published. I have also set up a blacklist to filter out comments containing offensive language, certain terms and phrases automatically, so I don’t even have to see the vitriol left by anonymous users.

I reserve the right to block any IP address that violates the comment policy from commenting, subscribing, or accessing The Vintage Housewife.

There can and will be disagreements in the comments sections. However, as long as the discussion remains civil I will not be censoring differing thoughts or opinions.

I am looking forward to moving on. I feel that this community is brimming with promise and potential.

Thanks for reading, if you are new here I am exicted to have you join us! I have a lot in store for this blog, and have no doubt we will all learn a lot, and hopefully have some fun along the way!

1 See “The American Dream,” OpenStax College, U.S. History. OpenStax CNX. May 15, 2015.

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Christa Sterken

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

I am sorry you had to experience that, when to me, it seems to obvious you are just spreading joy about a time period you like...and that others do too! There isn't a period in history that didn't have dark as well as hope. When people look for offense, it is easy to find. That is on them but as a writer also, I truly feel for you. Please don't let the mean people ruin a beautiful thing you are doing ♥ God bless you in the season on beauty you are still going to spread

Lola Kamuda

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

I think what you're doing is wonderful! Home-making is a lost art. My kids are grown, but I quit my job a few months ago, and it's the best decision I've ever made. I was sitting at a desk 40 hours a week while paying for a gym membership. My house was always dusty, home projects went unfinished, and cooking had become a chore. I've had to defend my choice to my husband, my friends and anyone that asks me what I do for a living. The truth is, I finally feel like I truly am living. In exchange for my freedom I gave up alot, but I don't miss any of it. It's so ironic: women in the 50's were ridiculed for working outside the home and today we are ridiculed for staying home. To make matters worse, the flack is coming from other women! We're back where we're started, less a step or two. So sad.

Krystallin

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Hi Jen! I discovered your blog not to long ago and love it. Everything you publish is educational and brightens up my day. I can't wait to see what you share with us next!

Christy

Saturday 17th of July 2021

I see looking to the past as a way to rediscover techniques, tools, and ways of approaching daily life that we have lost track of. Especially when it comes to women’s housework, all traditional crafts, and the (often suppressed) traditional ways and culture of peoples of color in our country. Our grandparents and great grandparents’ ways can teach us a lot worth pulling forward and adapting for modern use. For instance, how did my grandmother keep an entire house clean inside and out while making 3 full meals, hosting weekend dinner parties, and raising a child? And still having her own social life? And her mother do the same with 8 kids and a farm? All without any outside help? She created tools and methods we can learn from.

Sherri A Wiley

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Hi Jen, It really makes me sick, that people have so little to do or think so little of themselves, that they need to say bad things about someone else. Didn't their mama teach them, if you have nothing nice to say, to say nothing at all? I've never understood people who have to demean someone else just to feel good about themselves. Jen, I for one, have missed you. Just keep remembering, that those people who decide that they have to belittle you, just don't feel so good about themselves. I know I've told you this before, but, please, please, continue to be you. Don't let the negative people of this world beat you down. You seem to have a good heart and it appears to me that you have no bad intentions towards anyone. So, again, please, be you and don't worry about those people who thing so little of themselves, that they have to make you feel awful too. Keep your beautiful smile on your face (with that fabulous lipstick) and hold you head up high, for you have nothing to be worried about. Most sincerely, Sherri

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