“People today understandably feel that their lives are out of balance, but they yearn for something totally new-a more equal distribution of work, family, and community time for both men and women, children and adults” Coontz states as she refers to how unlike we do now, the 50s did not offer equal right. It is often said that the 1950s were the golden age due to the opportunities given and high prosperity, but it is not always what it seemed like. Yes, people were able to start all over again, buy new homes quickly, had well-paying jobs, low divorce rates, families stayed together, and you did not need a college degree to be successful but however, some fail to notice the negativity and reality of it. The 1950s were not the “good old days” because there was a great deal of discrimination. Although there were many positive aspects during the 50s like government aid and “perfect” families, it was not always fair. Rights and opportunities were limited towards woman and people of color.
As we know, to some the 1950s was seen as the “good old days” due to many reasons. However, there was a great deal of discrimination and those opportunities were only offered to white middle-class men; so, although the 50s were considered good to a particular group of people, it was not always considered fair to others. In the article, “What We Really Miss about the 1950s.” by Stephanie Coontz, Coontz provides research from a poll that more Americans chose the 1950s as “the good old days” than any other decade. Coontz implies that the 1950s provided a more family-friendly economic and social environment, and above all, a greater feeling of hope for a family’s long-term future; however, Coontz goes on to prove that everyone did not have this hope. Coontz states, “They are disregarding the number of people excluded during that decade.” This shows how the 1950s was a time period that was not to great according to a large group of the people who were excluded. While there were many great advantages like economic growth, friendly social environment, and “perfect” families during the 50s, not everyone benefitted from this. As seen in tv shows from the 1950s, it is seen that the middle-class white males were the only ones who benefitted from these so-called “good old days” and other groups like Jews, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, the poor, women, gays or lesbians, and “the red menace” did not. They were denied many of their rights and opportunities that the white males had advantage of. Those homes that were “so easy” to buy in the suburbs back then were mainly built for white working-class families and denied to people of color. In comparing the 50s to now, it is seen how unfair and injustice things were for people who were non-white. Undoubtedly, the 1950s were not the “good old days” because it did not allow a large group of people to succeed like middle-class white people. In addition to a large number of Americans not being able to succeed, the 1950s were also a time when American women had to deal with very strict gender roles and inequality.
Politically, economically and socially, the 1950s were considered the “good old days”. When it comes to the 50s people think of family-oriented culture, low divorce rates, economic expansion, high birth rates, etc. However, what many people fail to realize is that women had to deal with very strict gender roles and inequality, so it was not always considered “the best” for them. Women did not have that economic prosperity and positive outcomes of the 1950s. In the film, “Pleasantville” the wife, Betty Parker, shows the reality of what is was like to be a stay-at-home mom and do anything her husband demanded. Gender roles are one of the biggest issues shown in the film as well as in the 50s. Males were considered superior and had power over women which made them feel trapped in their own houses and had less freedom. In the film, her husband George states, “Now you listen to me, you are coming to this meeting, you are going to put on some makeup, you are going to be home at 6 every night and you are going to have dinner ready on this table ”. This shows how in the 1950s women were often oppressed and had to deal with this stereotype where men are shown to be controlling and they had to stay home, clean, and cook. The 50s show this perfect imagine image of families where men had to work and women had to stay home moms, but where women really happy? Women were often denied jobs because their only job was to stay and home to do anything a woman does. That economic prosperity was for middle age white men because women were not able to take out credit cards. Men were the only ones who brought the money home, meanwhile, women had to be stuck at home doing something they didn’t really want to do. In comparison to now, women are able to work, go to college, take out credit cards, vote, and many more. Back in the 50s, most of their rights were limited and unfair. Although there was numerous amount of opportunities for some, it was not always the “good old days”.