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Here’s a really dramatic GE advertisement from the 1940s. I case you can’t read it, it says,

Here at the sea’s edge is as near to Jim as I can go. Other women have gone farther than this. There were women on Corregidor; women have gone to Ireland and Australia and Iceland; women have been lost in the Battle of the Atlantic.

But I know I would be foolish to dream of serving as they have, For a woman to go farther than this shore demands a special skill, complete independence–and I have neither.

No, my task here, here in the little storm-tight house that sits back from the cove, here with my son.

And if I become discontent with the seeming smallness of my task, Jim’s words come back to steady me. “I’m leaving you a very important job, Mary. Until this war is won, there won’t be any more evenings when we can sit by the fireside and plan our tomorrows together. It will be up to you to make the plans for the three of us.

“Mary,” he said, “keep our dreams alive.”

I am all about supporting stay-at-home women. They do a lot of good things. They choose to have that job. And, boy, it can be a job.

However, to have Mary admit that she doesn’t have any independence, while she’s managing her house alone while her husband’s at war, seems a little skewed to me.

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