Trading Places (Part 1)

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My name is Edward Franklin. It’s January 6th, 1963, and I am at a crossroad. I am running for office, but there is a pressing issue that may cause me to lose this election. There is a bill on the table that I need to make a decision on, but I do not believe in it. However, if I vote against it I will lose the election. If I vote for it, I will be going against everything I believe in.

The problem is, women want to be out of the house (1). They want equal wages and jobs that are male-dominated. However, I believe that their place is in the home. Society will be better served, as women have a very important job. That is, rearing future generations and supporting their husbands. I truly believe that where there is a successful man there is a strong supporting woman behind him. This women’s liberation has gotten everyone wound up and to make things worse, I am the last senator left to cast my vote. Therefore, it feels like the decision to give woman a place outside the home is on me. However, if it’s up to me I would make it illegal for them to work. Besides, I don’t know what the problem is. How hard is it to stay home and take care of your children and husband?

I had been working all day and I was exhausted. I listened to every reason why I should vote for this bill, but none of them were convincing enough. My driver pulled up at my 4,000 square feet home, and for the first time in a long time, I was relieved that I wasn’t at the office. I must say life had been good to me. At age twenty-seven, I was married with a beautiful home and wife. More importantly, I have a great job, though it doesn’t seem that way lately. I guess I need to be thankful that my wife is not influenced by the happenings that are going on outside our home. She has not mentioned her opinion to me. I consider this a blessing.

“Hi honey, dinner will be ready in two minutes,” my wife Mary called out to me as I entered into the living room. I walked up behind her and kissed her cheek. I’m going to get cleaned up.” I replied. By the time I came back downstairs dinner was on the table. We sat in silence for ten minutes before Mary spoke.

“Edward, I don’t want to pry, but I was wondering, will you be making your vote on the new women’s equality bill soon?”

“Why?” I asked

“This affects every woman in the United State, and in case you have forgotten, I am a woman.” She replied with a smile.

“How does this bill affect you, Mary? Do you have intentions of going to work or doing something other than giving me a son?”

“Have you ever considered that I wanted to be more than just a mother and a wife?”(2) She asked curtly.

“No!” I snapped. “You are needed here, not out there. Why do you think I’ve been working so hard? I hope you don’t believe that I’m working this hard so you could leave our children and go to work.”

“Remember, Edward, we have no children yet, and there is a good reason for that. I want a career,” she bellowed from across the room.

I lost it, in an instant. Our dinner went flying to the ground. I was two seconds from making her eat her words when she looked at me with tearful eyes and whispered. “You just don’t understand Edward, you just don’t understand.”

Her tears stopped me from putting her in her place. However, she was right: I don’t understand and I did not wish to understand why any woman would want to leave their place in the home.

“You will give me a child, and you will be home to take care of it,” I bellowed at her before I stormed up stairs.

The headache I felt that night was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The anger I felt pounded in my veins and head causing my blood pressure to elevate beyond normal range. My father didn’t have this problem. Things were simple back then, man had their place in society and so did women. (3) There was a clear line and now because of woman liberation and so-called inequality this line has become distorted. What does she mean, if this was all there was to her life, “wasn’t I giving her everything?”

“Everything, but my independence to do as I please.” She whispered from the door of our bedroom. I looked up at her with disgust. “You’re ungrateful, Mary,” I replied as I walked out of our bedroom towards the guest room. Right there in my guest room that night I made my decision on the bill at hand.

This bill will never see the light of day!”

(1) According to the Arharon Zorea, “in the 1963 the book called The Feminine Mystique, help [jumpstart] the wave of the second feminine movement.” Betty Friedan the author Feminine Mystique of argued “that suffrage did not guarantee equality. Middle- class women wanted more than just the role of housewife” (qtd. In zored). Zorrea further argued that “when they entered the professional work place they found out that there was inequality amongst male and female. Males got more pay for the same job that they were doing.”

(2) Betty Friedan further argued that “middle-class housewife roles in the house kept them from pursing self- fulfillment” in other areas of life, such as education ( qtd. in Zorea).

(3) In the 1920s the three Cs were prominent in women’s role; cook, clean and conceive. According to Hayley King author of “Woman in the Work Force in the 1920s,” “The ideal role of a woman was to get married, have kids and stay home to keep the house in order, and leaving the men to run the country and corporation and be the head of the house hold. [However, in the 1920 women worked, but could only do job that were feminine.]” For example, King further asserted that “working as a secretary taught a woman endurance modesty and obedience. Many thought of this as the perfect way to prepare a woman for marriage.”


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