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papyrusbeetle

the disturbing IDEAL world of "Leave it to Beaver" (classic tv!)

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No, they weren't. Women who worked were called wives, moms, women or broads, depending on the conversation.

 

Okay.

 

I think we tended to refer to them as "working-women".

 

A woman who was married but didn't go out to work we tended to call a "housewife".

 

An unmarried woman with children (usually divorced or widowed) who didn't go out to work we tended to call a "stay-at-home mom".

 

A married woman with children who didn't go out to work we tended to call a "stay-at-home mom" or a "housewife".

 

I don't think we had a general term for single women who didn't work. Maybe "hot" or something similar.

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Know what? Even at 7 years old I wanted to **** Miss Landers.

 

I was a very sexual child.

They should have put you in a corner. On second thought...

Miss Landers was a cute little thing. Too bad she had to

marry that preppy tennis playing dope. Miss Canfield was

good looking, though she seemed a bit on the starchy side.

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I always got a kick out of the term 'the old lady.' I'm going

bowling tonight, I don't care what my old lady says.

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I always got a kick out of the term 'the old lady.' I'm going bowling tonight, I don't care what my old lady says.

 

We always used that term for our moms when we were growing up.

 

It wasn't until we started watching outlaw biker movies that it occurred to us we could use it for our wives or girlfriends.

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I remember once at a New Year's party, some cutie, at midnight, came up and kissed me.  When she was done, some clown was stupidly grinning at me and said, "Yeah man, that's my old lady."  Not being able to let it pass by I replied, "she looks GOOD for her age!"  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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Perhaps stay-at-home mom was more common in Canada back in the day than it was here.

 

Not in my part of Canada (Toronto). The only term I recall hearing as a kid was housewife.

 

Which is what my Mom was - until Dad died, and then she plunged herself back into the work force again for the first time in almost 30 years. I was ready to drop out of university but Mom insisted, despite her grieving, that I finish my schooling. She made it a hell of a lot easier for me. It wasn't easy for her to go back "out there" again but she adapted. My mother, a former housewife or stay-at-home mom, whatever term you want to use, had guts.

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Elaboration on housewives, maids, etc.

Perhaps it was a Southern thing, but back before the 70's most African-American women could not get jobs other than maids or cooks.  They also worked cheap as none were covered by minimum wage or anything else.  Not at all a fair system, but it did make it possible for middle class housewives to have maids for a day or two per week.  No Hazel types at all.

As for middle class, I would say we were middle, maybe a little lower, if you consider doctors, lawyers and such as upper middle.  I think in the 50's that is where they fit.

We had maid for two days per week, but my mother also sold Avon as it used to be sold.  Door to door until you got a clientale built up and then you went to their homes-and took a lot of phone calls.  She was also involved in a lot of organizations.  Guess you would call that networking now.  My father was a mill worker, first line supervisor so to speak.

Ironically she was offered a job at the post office and could have easily become a postmaster, but my father forbade it.  Her "job" was to take care of me and my sister and she could "peddle" her Avon when she had time.  Ironically he never knew how much time she devoted to selling Avon and other activities.

Regardless, the maid was to help with the heavy work, emphasis on help with.

My friends mothers did the following:  ran the family plant nursery, nurse, teacher, rural mail delivery, sold insurance, but many (most?) stayed home.  Actually I don't know what a lot of my friends mothers did come to think of it.  Have to remember my friends and I were the forefront of the Baby Boom - lots of kids to take care of.  There were no daycares, nurseries, etc.  

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I have to agree with Lawrence about "stay at home mom" being a more recent phrase.  Back in the "day" they were just called either "housewives" or "Moms".

 

By the late '60's and into the '70's there were jokes about referring to them as "Domestic Engineers".  Then for kicks, some called themselves "Domestic Godesses".

 

What does seem to rankle me a bit are those self righteous wankers who insist a "stay at home Mom" is a matter of personal choice  and that "Working Mothers"  prefer  to work instead of doing so out of necessity.  I'm sure there's a certain percentage for which that's true, but overall I think the latter case the majority.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Ever heard of men saying house cleaning is no big deal (whom never done any).  I've done a lot of it, men saying that to their wives should be flogged!

 

Sometimes I think dust / dirt grows instead of accumulate. :angry:

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Not in my part of Canada (Toronto). The only term I recall hearing as a kid was housewife.

Which is what my Mom was - until Dad died, and then she plunged herself back into the work force again for the first time in almost 30 years. I was ready to drop out of university but Mom insisted, despite her grieving, that I finish my schooling. She made it a hell of a lot easier for me. It wasn't easy for her to go back "out there" again but she adapted. My mother, a former housewife or stay-at-home mom, whatever term you want to use, had guts.



Tom-- I was in college and the same thing happened to us.

My mother hadn't worked in more than 20 years, but she pitched in and ran the family business after my father died.

Having lived through the Depression and World War II, she certainly was not a weakling.

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Thanks for all the interesting replies.

 

I wasn't really referring to June Cleaver's house-cleaning skills (or the fact that she looks so neat and unruffled in every single scene).

I was stunned by the SET itself.

This is lovely, lovely, set-building and dressing---to the "nth" degree.

It might not have looked so spiffy in color as it does in black and white.

But these people have SERIOUS décor.

I mean it isn't REAL---no piles of messy bills, no vacuum cleaner messing up TV reception, etc.

 

On the topic of a "spotless" house on television and in movies, which is quite a different thing.

 

This really ruins many older and brand new movies and tv-series for me.

No pets.

No maid.

No cook.

No cleaner, or cleaning crew!

But a SPOTLESS, sometimes massively many-roomed McMansion.

Add this to a MOM of today that is carefully dressed, manicured, and either coming in from Yoga class or on her way out to a "power job."

The children, usually fussy, bored teens, do not lift a finger to cook or clean, and probably never have.

WHO IS CLEANING THESE HOMES?

 

The shows of today are even more "fantasy" than "Leave it to Beaver"

 

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Thanks for all the interesting replies.

 

I wasn't really referring to June Cleaver's house-cleaning skills (or the fact that she looks so neat and unruffled in every single scene).

I was stunned by the SET itself.

This is lovely, lovely, set-building and dressing---to the "nth" degree.

It might not have looked so spiffy in color as it does in black and white.

But these people have SERIOUS décor.

I mean it isn't REAL---no piles of messy bills, no vacuum cleaner messing up TV reception, etc.

 

On the topic of a "spotless" house on television and in movies, which is quite a different thing.

 

This really ruins many older and brand new movies and tv-series for me.

No pets.

No maid.

No cook.

No cleaner, or cleaning crew!

But a SPOTLESS, sometimes massively many-roomed McMansion.

Add this to a MOM of today that is carefully dressed, manicured, and either coming in from Yoga class or on her way out to a "power job."

The children, usually fussy, bored teens, do not lift a finger to cook or clean, and probably never have.

WHO IS CLEANING THESE HOMES?

 

The shows of today are even more "fantasy" than "Leave it to Beaver"

but the beaver did overload the bathtub that one time. :)

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I always liked Ward's spacious study with that nice desk and

comfy chair, and the extensive library. I'll bet Ward even read

a few of those books. If I was him, I'd make that a no go zone

for Eddie Haskell.

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Thanks for all the interesting replies.

 

I wasn't really referring to June Cleaver's house-cleaning skills (or the fact that she looks so neat and unruffled in every single scene).

I was stunned by the SET itself.

This is lovely, lovely, set-building and dressing---to the "nth" degree.

It might not have looked so spiffy in color as it does in black and white.

But these people have SERIOUS décor.

I mean it isn't REAL---no piles of messy bills, no vacuum cleaner messing up TV reception, etc.

 

On the topic of a "spotless" house on television and in movies, which is quite a different thing.

 

This really ruins many older and brand new movies and tv-series for me.

No pets.

No maid.

No cook.

No cleaner, or cleaning crew!

But a SPOTLESS, sometimes massively many-roomed McMansion.

Add this to a MOM of today that is carefully dressed, manicured, and either coming in from Yoga class or on her way out to a "power job."

The children, usually fussy, bored teens, do not lift a finger to cook or clean, and probably never have.

WHO IS CLEANING THESE HOMES?

 

The shows of today are even more "fantasy" than "Leave it to Beaver"

 

I wouldn't go so far as to claim that nobody ever lived in such a house in America.

 

I have a friend who grew up in a good sized colonial home that his publisher's warehouse manager father had built  for them, and WAS always kept neat and clean.  But of course, his Mom didn't do so with remaining so neatly groomed at the end of the day either.

 

And, unbeknownst to you, you hit the core of it all with one word.  "Fantasy".

 

These ARE after all, TV shows, NOT "reality" competitions or documentaries.  The "Housewives" of wherever aren't REAL,  Any more than Curly Howard being hit in the head with a plank with a rusty nail in it.

 

To ME, the biggest offender of "reality" was THE COSBY SHOW.  And NOT because it featured an African-American who had a "professional" career as most of the show's defenders, when it's reality came into question claimed, but rather that as parents, Cliff and Clair Huxtable were NEVER WRONG or made ANY MISTAKES.   And as a parent, with many friends who are also parents, and even my OWN parents will testify, that is NOT the "reality".

 

 

Sepiatone

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9dKYxkYYXM

Nothing stays the same forever.  Even the Cleavers.

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Thanks for all the interesting replies.

 

I wasn't really referring to June Cleaver's house-cleaning skills (or the fact that she looks so neat and unruffled in every single scene).

I was stunned by the SET itself.

This is lovely, lovely, set-building and dressing---to the "nth" degree.

It might not have looked so spiffy in color as it does in black and white.

But these people have SERIOUS décor.

I mean it isn't REAL---no piles of messy bills, no vacuum cleaner messing up TV reception, etc.

 

On the topic of a "spotless" house on television and in movies, which is quite a different thing.

 

This really ruins many older and brand new movies and tv-series for me.

No pets.

No maid.

No cook.

No cleaner, or cleaning crew!

But a SPOTLESS, sometimes massively many-roomed McMansion.

Add this to a MOM of today that is carefully dressed, manicured, and either coming in from Yoga class or on her way out to a "power job."

The children, usually fussy, bored teens, do not lift a finger to cook or clean, and probably never have.

WHO IS CLEANING THESE HOMES?

 

The shows of today are even more "fantasy" than "Leave it to Beaver"

No pets? Wrong. There was a rabbit, goldfish, pigeons, and that's just off the top of my head.

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No pets? Wrong. There was a rabbit, goldfish, pigeons, and that's just off the top of my head.

Don't forget the baby alligator that they hid in the basement that bit Ward on the hand when he discovered it.

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No pets? Wrong. There was a rabbit, goldfish, pigeons, and that's just off the top of my head.

 

Have you ever actually pet a goldfish?

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Don't forget the baby alligator that they hid in the basement that bit Ward on the hand when he discovered it.

Another thmg. I saw an episode this morning in which Wally took out a girl named Myra. I swear that she's the same actress who played Mary Ellen Rogers.

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Another thmg. I saw an episode this morning in which Wally took out a girl named Myra. I swear that she's the same actress who played Mary Ellen Rogers.

 

Wally Cleaver, Mary Ellen Rogers, Eddie Haskell, Clarence Rutherford, Whitey Whirney, Gilbert Bates, Miss Landers.......

 

Ahh, but for the days of Anglo-only named characters on TV.

 

Though I guess Larry Mondello - for all he looked like a chubby little anglo - must've been Mediterranean on his father's side (or something).

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Another thmg. I saw an episode this morning in which Wally took out a girl named Myra. I swear that she's the same actress who played Mary Ellen Rogers.

If you watch the ending credits and then  web search for the actors, you will find that some played more than one role.  This was typical for the period as they made so little money, they had to be able to play multiple roles.  I assume the producers and directors also preferred working with a known actor even if the roles were different.

There is one blonde, don't remember the name, who showed up with different names in some of the LITB's

Same thing happens with Perry Mason TV shows. Example:  Harry Jackson.

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If you watch the ending credits and then  web search for the actors, you will find that some played more than one role.  This was typical for the period as they made so little money, they had to be able to play multiple roles.  I assume the producers and directors also preferred working with a known actor even if the roles were different.

There is one blonde, don't remember the name, who showed up with different names in some of the LITB's

Same thing happens with Perry Mason TV shows. Example:  Harry Jackson.

But double dipping the same actress for two different girlfriends for the same character would be a bit much. 

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But double dipping the same actress for two different girlfriends for the same character would be a bit much. 

It was a differnt era.  Doubt anyone paid that much attention back then as it would have been months, if not years, between the episodes.  Also, screen time would have actually been fairly brief.

 Now we can see two episodes every day so much easier to pick up on these things.

Wish I could remember the blonde's name as she was in several of them with different names.

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Another thmg. I saw an episode this morning in which Wally took out a girl named Myra. I swear that she's the same actress who played Mary Ellen Rogers.

 

I didn't see it this morning, but each episode usually has it's own title, and if you google that title you can find out casting info.

 

I've also noticed some of the girls and guys who appear peripherally in LITB also show up hanging around the "malt shop" on DONNA REED  and other shows from that era.

 

Casting directors usually looked for a type, and often several individuals would resemble others on those shows.

 

 

Sepiatone

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