The Betty Crocker Creed -
I believe homemaking is a noble and challenging career.
I believe homemaking is an art requiring many different skills.
I believe homemaking requires the best of my efforts, my abilities and my thinking.
I believe home reflects the spirit of the homemaker.
I believe home should be a place of peace, joy and contentment.
I believe no task is too humble that contributes to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household.
I believe a homemaker must be true to the highest ideals of love, loyalty, service and religion.
I believe home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country.
From The Scottish Women's Rural Institute Cookbook -
"They talk about a woman's sphere
As though it had a limit;
There's not a place in earth or heaven,
There's not a task mankind given,
There's not a blessing or a woe,
There's not a whispered 'yes' or 'no',
There's not a life, or death or birth,
There's not a feather's weight of worth,
But has a woman in it"
The Meal Planner's Creed
The health of my family is in my care; therefore -
I will spare not effort in planning meals containing the right kind of foods in the right amounts.
Spending the food dollar to get the most for it is my job; therefore -
I will choose foods from a wide variety, variously priced to save money without sacrificing health.
My family's enjoyment of food is my responsibility; therefore -
I will increase their pleasure by preparing a variety of dishes attractive in colour and form and pleasing in flavor and texture.
My family's health, security, and pleasure depend on my skill in planning meals; therefore -
I will treat my job with the respect due it.
From How to Keep House
Housekeeping is a profession, - The first thing to be done in order to better this state of affairs is to realise that household management is a serious profession, and that, like all apprentices, the woman who means to keep house must serve her time and give her energy to learning her profession.What strikes me from looking at these few quotes and creeds is that they emphasise the responsibilities of the homemaker, hinting at the homemaker's function societally. They talk about homemaking as if it were a serious profession...and the question is, did people really believe this, or was it simply away of keeping women in their place? My guess is the former. Victorian male chauvinists often denigrated homemaking as work for idiots long before the second wave of feminism came along in the 1960s! These quotes, I think, are the product of the large home economics institutes which were so prevalent in the early part of the last century and the women who ran these institutes took their work very seriously indeed. Now, I'm guessing that the vast majority of the women who read my blog are homemakers (whether full-time or part-time), do you see these quotes as relevant to your work? Are they inspirational or irksome? Do you think of homemaking as a profession, with a societal function? Is homemaking simply something to be done whilst the children are still small? I'm genuinely interested in your responses and welcome all manner of opinions, so please let me know your thoughts.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
I have a real soft spot for the inspirational poetry, creeds and mottos I find in my collection of recipe/household management books. It's not that they are simply relics from a bygone age, or examples of women's history, but that they can serve as a quite helpful geeing up to the modern homemaker. When read without prejudice, with new and fresh eyes, you can see how current the advice really is. Homemaking does has a very important social function; the physical, spiritual and creative aspects of homemaking are valuable and exciting. Here are some of the mottos and creeds I like, mainly from the beginning of the last century. I thought it would be interesting to see what my readers thought of them, and how they can be applied to modern women, with twenty-first century concerns. I would be really interested to hear you reactions and thoughts.