In an earlier Foodie Friday post, we explained how 20th Century kitchen appliances and food creations made women’s lives easier. Take a look at this 1955 video entitled, “A Word to the Wives.” In it, two women conceive of a plan to trick one of their husbands into getting a new modern kitchen. What would you do to get the latest modern conveniences?
Jane is at her new neighbors’ house. The neighbor is ecstatic over her wonderfully modern kitchen. Jane is depressed.
The neighbor tells Jane she should buy a new hat to make herself happier.
Jane tells the neighbor she cannot go shopping because she does not have a “dream kitchen” and, therefore, does not have time for pleasure. She says she asked her husband, George, multiple times to move to a more modern house but George did not consider it seriously.
Neighbor says she needs “freedom from the unnecessary drudgery” of cooking and cleaning in an outdated kitchen. She suggests that when Jane goes away for the weekend to visit her mother, she leaves work for George to do himself (i.e. not planning out meals ahead of time for her family). If George has to do the housework himself, he might indeed get Jane the modern conveniences she has been wanting.
George makes a mess of the stove when trying to cook rice, has no ice cubes for his lemonade, spills garbage all over the floor, has no hot water to do the dishes, and cannot even open his own kitchen cabinet. He gets very frustrated, and ends up yelling at their son and banging on things.
Jane and George go to neighbor’s house for a dinner party. Neighbor explains to George how helpful having the latest kitchen is and tells him she even had time to play golf before getting everything ready for the party.
George discusses getting his own modern kitchen with the salesperson who got the neighbors their kitchen (he is also a guest at the dinner party).
Jane and George move into their own new “dream house.”
Plot is successful!
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Food insecurity “is the household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food” – Feeding America
Globally, there are approximately 870 million people who do not get enough food to lead a healthy life. Most of those that go hungry live in developing nations. International organizations, such as the UN’s World Food Programme and The Hunger Project, work to end hunger on a global scale. A main part of their work focuses on empowering women because not only are women hit the hardest by hunger, they are also the ones who most often are responsible for providing food for their families and communities.
Around 60 percent of the people living with hunger worldwide are women. Females, especially adult women, often are the last in their families to get food. Women also usually have less access to the resources needed to produce their own food or only have access to lower quality resources to make producing their own food a less daunting task. It is said that providing women farmers with adequate resources could help feed up to an additional 150 million people. The more educated and empowered a woman is, the less likely she and her family are to be hungry. When women earn more money, the health of their children improves.
The social media team at the National Women’s History Museum is always hungry—hungry for new and eye-opening, little-known facts about the women of this country whose ingenuity, resourcefulness and intelligence helped to build our nation.
We’re also hungry for yummy food and can frequently be seen munching on everything from mac n’ cheese to chocolaty brownies! So we came up with the brilliant idea to merge our love of all things women’s history and all things food into “Foodie Fridays”—your weekly serving of all things food history and women’s history. Hop aboard NWHM’s time machine as we uncover everything from strange mid-19th century fad diets to the most famous female chefs of the 20th century.
Disclaimer: Content on nwhm.org is updated regularly and provided as a resource for the general public. Our website reflects the dynamic nature of women's history and changes over time. Please join us as we move towards an even better and more diverse representation as we look toward building a physical museum in the future.