0240 - Domestic - 2022.05.09



The nineteen-fifties weren't real.

No doubt this comes as a surprise to those of you who are familiar with the typical linear flow of time (especially if you happen to be octogenarians), but let me explain what I mean - it all has to do with censorship.

Now, you may know that post-WWII mid-Cold-War media in America (which is where media comes from) was rife with censorship and censorship-esque projects. What you may not know is that things like the Hays Code or the Comics Code Authority didn't just bleep swear words or pan away from violence - they actively dictated what sorts of stories could and could not be told.

The CCA, for example, explicity said things like "No comic magazine shall use the words 'horror' or 'terror' in its title." and "Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.". This is particularly noteworthy in the case of Batman, who was created pre-CCA as a vigilante who strikes out at violent criminals when the police are corrupt or incompetent, and, post-CCA, developed a rogues gallery of silly lunatics and a phobia of killing.

Thankfully, of course, this wave of censorious censorship ebbed away as the sixties gave way to the seventies and eighties, but the damage to the culture - and to a generation - was done. I'm speaking, of course, particularly about the children who grew up in the days of early television, uncritically absorbing (as children do) all the stories and messages that were told to them.

Every generation has nostalgia, of course. It's natural. Everyone longs for the life they imagined they had when they were twelve, when life was simple and food tasted better and their back didn't hurt. But the folks who grew up with this particularly sanitized media - well, it gets down deep. The specifics of the stories you're told may not stick with you, but the accumulated messages have a way of worming their way down into the subconscious, the automatic, the "everybody knows" and the un-interrogatable "common sense".

So yes, regardless of what some silly bar chart or history book might tell you, there are plenty of people who - on a subconscious level - know that the 1950s was a time without corrupt police, without unsolved crimes or unpunished criminals, when no one swore or had children out of wedlock, racism was a solved issue, drugs were always bad, patriotism was always good, and homosexuality hadn't been invented yet.

And that generation, a generation with unusually strong nostalgia, a generation with memories of a robust post-war economy that seemed perfectly normal, a generation who were told that America is good and cops are good guys and Father knows best.... well, that's a generation who would be uniquely susceptible to some New York huckster promising to make America like it used to be, right? Back in the Good Old Days, before things got so dirty and complicated?

I may be getting off-topic.

On FetLife, there's a big ol' list of fetishes that members can be into, and the very first fetish, alphabetically, on that list is "1950s Household". And make no mistake - it is a fetish, and one that I kinda get, if I'm being honest.

Imagine the fantasy of just being a housewife. Look pretty. Make delicious food. Plan dinner parties. Support a Husband who takes care of work and bills and who always Knows Best. It's all fake, of course - in much the same way that a domme shackling you to a St Andrew's cross isn't actually preventing you from leaving - but you can surrender that control for a while and simply luxuriate in being neatly subordinate.

People usually have to go to Ren Faires or LARPs to pretend to be knights in shining armour from a historical time period that didn't really exist. But - if you have the resources for it - you can cosplay as a 'housewife' from the comfort of your own home.

(And yes, by the way, Orb and Bastacia are greeting each other with mangled Japanese in that second panel, because mangled Japanese is what the Martian language is. It's possible to be fascinated with more than one foreign culture at the same time.)


0240 - 2167/07/06/17:29 - front door, Orb Twofeather and Bastacia Marron's house
[OT arrives home]
BM: Ogai-Reemasai, Orb darling!
OT: Goni-Cheewa, Bastacia, my love.
BM: How was the first day of the new semester?
OT: It was... interesting. I'll tell you all about it over dinner.
BM: Mm, I was hoping you'd say that. I made a duck loaf with steamed fiddleheads, your favourite. All by hand.
OT: Oh, really?
BM: Yeah, I've really been getting in touch with my domestic side lately. I like preparing food and tidying the house for you while you're away, it... it feels like you're still with me the whole time. I'm like one of those submissive spouses from the nineteen hundreds - hence the pearls.
OT: Y'know, I was reading about that recently. Most modern historians now agree that the "housewife" of the mid-twentieth century was a fiction created for the first television shows, they never actually existed.
BM: Well, neither did knights in shining armour, but I still married one of those, didn't I?