Suited to a Tea

Welcome to my tea. Please, have a seat; let me pour you some Lady Grey; one lump or two; cream? ....

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Sense of It All

"The mother is the most precious possession of the nation, so precious that society advances its highest well-being when it protects the functions of the mother." -Ellen Key

Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat, 1782, by Vigée-Le Brun

I'm ever intrigued by an era in which women were allowed to be women without apology or fear of ridicule. I really enjoy the fashion, the social behavior and customs of the late 1700's and early 1800's.(of course this means I am a member of the Regency...and not the great unwashed..) This time in our history is so romantic... Then something comes to mind like yesterday when I was watching the news when the Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen made a comment about Mitt Romney's wife and how she "never worked a day in her life" Get yourself heated up by clicking this link to read the article. 
I feel like I am constantly trying to defend my choice and position as a stay at home wife and mother.  Like the question you get asked from time to time when going out and about running errands like at the doctor's when the receptionist wants updated information when she asks, "do you work?"  Well I tell her.. yes I work...24/7.  I wish women would stop trying to be poor excuses of men...

Right now I am watching the movie Sense and Sensibility.  I wanted to research the movie and in my quest I came across this web site showcasing some fashions come to life in this lady's modern adaptation of several historic dresses.  If my mother was alive...she would love this site. Here's a little preview of what she does with her pattern reproductions.

View 1

If time would ever permit, I would love to make this...can you imagine wearing this...oh so pretty...

View 2
It's just so ladylike...such the opposite of your average everyday walmart sighting....

View 3
The whimsical appeal of wearing long flowing gowns...

Madame Anthony and Her Children, 1785, by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon


  1. What a subject, Rachel! I totally agree with your feelings here, being a confessed Batman-comic-reading, lego-building, feminazi... (I'm also a bit of a princess and a shoe fiend, so the female stereotypes are totally up my alley too.) I read a quote once by (I think) Eleanore Roosevelt that the art of being a woman should never consist of being a bad immitation of a man, and I think that's at the heart of the issue. Women get disgusted by a male-dominated society not taking them seriously, and they sadly turn to acting like men to try to compete. It's pitiful because you never see men bidding for the respect of women by trying to act womanly and "beat them at their own game." The worst thing about it is when we see women lashing out at housewives because they presume that the stay at home women are merely avoiding the anxiety and difficulties of the workforce.

    In all honesty, I have known women who do exactly that, but I've also known plenty of women like yourself who were perfectly capable of succeeding in a career and chose to invest in their families instead. It's sad when women get labeled as scared rabbits because they know what they want and do it.

    My opinion is, you oughtta go get some fabric and make a dress! We were fearfully and wonderfully made with an appreciation for visually appealing things and a propensity for interest in interpersonal relations as well as the ability to recognize the abstract ideas around that will translate into comfortable and nurturing surroundings in your home. No woman should ever be ashamed of having those qualities (even if she wants to get a job). That is just how we are put together, and men may not go around trying to immitate us, but that's because they don't understand us.

    It keeps the mystique going.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful response... feminism is an intriguing subject as well...I did an extensive study of the feminist movement; mainly focusing on the second wave, the time around the 60's sexual revolution. I read this book called "Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminsim." F. Carolyn Graglia. I highly reccomend it.

    "The principal targets of feminist fire in the on-going "gender wars" are not men but traditional wives and mothers, says a lawyer-turned-housewife in a powerful critique of contemporary feminism. With a profound understanding of the quandary of modern women, Carolyn Graglia shows that the cultural assault on marriage, motherhood, and traditional sexuality, rooted in the pursuit of economic and political power, has robbed women of their surest source of fulfillment.
    Mrs. Graglia traces the origins of modern feminism to the post-war exaltation of marketplace achievement, which bred dissatisfaction with women's domestic roles. In a masterly analysis of seminal feminist texts, she reveals a conscious campaign of ostracism of the housewife as a childish "parasite". Turning to the feminist understanding of sexuality, now pervasive in our culture, she shows how it has distorted and impoverished sex by stripping it of its true significance. Finally, after exposing feminism's totalitarian impulse and its contribution to the "tangle of pathologies" that have left marriage and family life in tatters, she argues for a renewed appreciation of the transforming experience of motherhood and the value of the domestic vocation." -Book Description...

    I had to paste the book description because it just makes me want to read it again...