The Canadian Family

The typical Canadian Family 60 years ago was much different to the Canadian Families today in the modern society. The once idea of the “perfect family” included a husband, wife, and typically one son and one daughter. The division of labor between women and men was as follows, Women were the housewives; Staying home all day everyday cooking and cleaning. Very rarely did you see a women out in the workforce, many would frown upon that idea. Men were the “bread winners” in the family. They supplied the money and acted as the boss in the family. Prosperity and security to me means how successful you are and being able to live under well conditions and the safety of keeping a steady income and maintaining a good “reputation”. This “ideal family” was seen to have lived very prosperously and secure but in reality not every family was “ideal” when it came to multicultural families, women’s independence and women’s freedom this proved not everyone was secure and prosperous.

After World War II Canada was slowly becoming a more diverse community. Many Chinese and European foreigners were coming into Canada as immigrants. Although the ideal family is shown to be an all Canadian-blood white family many were seeking interest in “different kinds”. Many Canadians judged those who lived under a multicultural family. Velma Demerson faced this issue. As a late teen she had fallen in love with a Chinese man and this by Canadian law was “incorrigible”. “Whenever they went out strangers gave them dirty looks, so dates consisted talking in his room” (Article Prisoner of Love) Velma was even put to prison. This harsh reality shows just how unaccepting a lot of Canada was. Multicultural families could not feel secure about their selves because no one respected their lifestyle; As well could not prosper as easily due to the insecurities they felt as they represented something many did not respect. And due to the strict stereotype women were under being unlike the typical was very noticeable.

Women throughout the 40’s, 50’, and 60’s had little independence. Although videos show how happy these housewives were this was not the case. Women in “ideal” families were given a distinct reputation. Qualities needed to be the perfect housewife include “making sure dinner is always prepared and ready for his [the husband] arrival” “Make sure your home is a place of peace and tranquility for your husband” and “a good housewife always knows her place” (Guide to a good housewife) the mindset of a housewife continuously was “I have to make it easier for them” (Jane from A word to the wives) Women would develop a lot of pressure in making sure things were easy for their whole family, not even thinking about themselves.

Women working at home all day gave them little freedom to do what they liked. The freedom to go to shop whenever they pleased was not an option. They did not have independence to live their own lives and due to the lack of technological advancements in home appliances getting chores done took much longer. In the video A Word To The Wives Women’s home companionship it shows how two women trick a man into getting a new kitchen. The first woman has a new kitchen with all the latest advance technological appliances and the second women does not. The first women get through her day so much easier than the second as everything get done more quickly. Unlike many she has spare time in the day to do what she pleases. The second women’s house is very old and getting her work done takes a lot of time and the husband never fully acknowledges her hard work. When she leaves for a weekend and her husband has to do all the work, he fails considerably; In her arrival the father rejoices to see her and the second women ends up getting a new home by the end of the story. If the man never had experienced this stress he probably would have never decided to get a new house. As women lacked respect in men it was harder for them to live prosperously.

Acceptance, Freedom, and Happiness was not what every Canadian family had. People were unaccepted when it cames to who they were and whom they loved, the freedom to do as you pleased depended on who you were and your gender, and how happy you were depended on what everyone else believed was “happiness”. Not everyone was considered the “ideal family” or even the “ideal person” and those who weren’t did not live with prosperity and security.

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Would you consider a life of constrain prosperous or secure? To be prosperous means to be happy with your life path, free to do what you wish and able to live your life without the judgments of others. Canadian families did not enjoy prosperity and security in the 50s because of women’s confined career paths, the pressure to conform to the “ideal” family and the children’s limited freedom. Women were expected to follow only one career path: housewife. As written by Phyllis Lee Peterson in “Letter to my daughter in law”, “[the wife] is hurting her husband’s ego as a breadwinner [when having a career].” Not all Canadian families had a father, a mother and two perfect children, this made families that were not “ideal” feel judged and isolated. The children of the families had very strict upbringings that left them feeling confined. These limited views of what a family is made Canadian families not prosperous.

A typical 50’s mother/ wife had no career choices. In the past women were taking initiative to become female spies and take on other jobs in WWI, but now women felt socially needed to be loving wives and mothers. As shown in “ The good wife’s guide” in Housekeeping monthly, “Your goal is to try to make sure your house is a place…of tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.” From this quote it is apparent that the career path of a housewife is not to make yourself happy by pursuing what you enjoy, but to constantly pleasing your husband no matter how you feel about it. The career path of the housewife left women feeling empty and regretful, not satisfied and content. Also found in the Good Wife’s Guide, “Let him talk- remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours”, this quote shows how the wife is constantly putting herself second even if her happiness depends on her putting herself first occasionally. Narrow choices left wives feeling unhappy and therefore unprosperous.

Not every Canadian family looked the same as the picture of “The Schiefner family watches television” with mom and dad with perfect outfits and quaffed hair and the kids obediently gazing into their expensive television in their expensive home. Many families were made up of immigrants that couldn’t afford the luxuries of the “ideal” Canadian family. Also social stirs would be caused if a white Canadian woman fell in love with a man who was black or Asian, because of the society’s expectations. When this happened, neighbor’s of the couples and society would make judgments and make the couple feel as though they are not allowed to live their lives the way they wish. The feelings of unacceptance or segregation would make unconventional families feel insecure and unprosperous. Every human needs acceptance and having that need go unmet can defiantly make a family feel insecure.

The children of the Canadian families lived very strictly. Although they had the luxuries of plastic dolls and cowboy costumes, their mothers tried very hard to keep them in line and limit their freedom. As seen in The Good Wife’s Guide in Housekeeping Monthly, “comb [the children’s] hair and change their clothes…[the husband] would like to see them playing their part. Minimize all noise.” The children were expected to do just that. Play their part. Children should have the freedom to jump, play and run around to express themselves. Yet the constant need for a perfect, orderly family home comes at the expense of the children not being able to achieve their full potential. Also seen in the Eaton’s Christmas Catalogues, the kids were more or less forced to play with either dolls or cowboys, showing that they didn’t have choice as to what their interests were. Ultimately, the children of the 50s Canadian family wasn’t prosperous either.

Overall, although the Canadian family seemed happy and perfect from the outside, from the inside they weren’t. Women had very restricted choices, diverse families felt isolated and the 50s children had tons of regulations forced upon them. The restricted choices of women lead them to feeling insecure and lacking of mental stimulation. The diverse families were feeling pressure to be like the “ideal” family, causing them to feel remote. The children were subjects to their mother’s needs for perfection. This made the Canadian family lacking and in need of improvement.

Bibliography

The Good Wife’s Guide. Housekeeping Monthly. 13, May 1955. Web. 25,March 2013

Phyllis Lee Peterson, “letter to my daughter in law” Chatelaine (October 1957)

The Schiefner Farm Near Milestone, Sask. The Schiefner Family Watches Televison, Dec 1956

Selection of Toys from the Eaton’s Christmas Catalogue, 1956, p. 12. 

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The typical Canadian Family 60 years ago was much different to the Canadian Families today in the modern society. The once idea of the “perfect family” included a husband, wife, and typically one son and one daughter. The division of labor between women and men was as follows, Women were the housewives; Staying home all day everyday cooking and cleaning. Very rarely did you see a women out in the workforce, many would frown upon that idea. Men were the “bread winners” in the family. They supplied the money and acted as the boss in the family. Prosperity and security to me means how successful you are and being able to live under well conditions and the safety of keeping a steady income and maintaining a good “reputation”. This “ideal family” was seen to have lived very prosperously and secure but in reality not every family was “ideal” when it came to multicultural families, women’s independence and women’s freedom this proved not everyone was secure and prosperous.

After World War II Canada was slowly becoming a more diverse community. Many Chinese and European foreigners were coming into Canada as immigrants. Although the ideal family is shown to be an all Canadian-blood white family many were seeking interest in “different kinds”. Many Canadians judged those who lived under a multicultural family. Velma Demerson faced this issue. As a late teen she had fallen in love with a Chinese man and this by Canadian law was “incorrigible”. “Whenever they went out strangers gave them dirty looks, so dates consisted talking in his room” (Article Prisoner of Love) Velma was even put to prison. This harsh reality shows just how unaccepting a lot of Canada was. Multicultural families could not feel secure about their selves because no one respected their lifestyle; As well could not prosper as easily due to the insecurities they felt as they represented something many did not respect. And due to the strict stereotype women were under being unlike the typical was very noticeable.

Women throughout the 40’s, 50’, and 60’s had little independence. Although videos show how happy these housewives were this was not the case. Women in “ideal” families were given a distinct reputation. Qualities needed to be the perfect housewife include “making sure dinner is always prepared and ready for his [the husband] arrival” “Make sure your home is a place of peace and tranquility for your husband” and “a good housewife always knows her place” (Guide to a good housewife) the mindset of a housewife continuously was “I have to make it easier for them” (Jane from A word to the wives) Women would develop a lot of pressure in making sure things were easy for their whole family, not even thinking about themselves.

Women working at home all day gave them little freedom to do what they liked. The freedom to go to shop whenever they pleased was not an option. They did not have independence to live their own lives and due to the lack of technological advancements in home appliances getting chores done took much longer. In the video A Word To The Wives Women’s home companionship it shows how two women trick a man into getting a new kitchen. The first woman has a new kitchen with all the latest advance technological appliances and the second women does not. The first women get through her day so much easier than the second as everything get done more quickly. Unlike many she has spare time in the day to do what she pleases. The second women’s house is very old and getting her work done takes a lot of time and the husband never fully acknowledges her hard work. When she leaves for a weekend and her husband has to do all the work, he fails considerably; In her arrival the father rejoices to see her and the second women ends up getting a new home by the end of the story. If the man never had experienced this stress he probably would have never decided to get a new house. As women lacked respect in men it was harder for them to live prosperously.

Acceptance, Freedom, and Happiness was not what every Canadian family had. People were unaccepted when it came to who they were and whom they loved, the freedom to do as you pleased depended on who you were and your gender, and how happy you were depended on what everyone else believed was “happiness”. Not everyone was considered the “ideal family” or even the “ideal person” and those who weren’t did not live with prosperity and security.

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Prosperity is a state, usually of a country, that is successful economically and socially in providing for its people. Security is (also) a state, in which people are ensured peace from war, domestic violence, and societal pressure. If we were to talk about this in perspective to the post war era, we may say that the family unit and prosperity and security were co-dependent. The average family sought security in themselves while at the same time providing consumer-lead economic growth necessary for national prosperity. The family unit meant both security and prosperity for Canada during the post-war era.

Canada’s financial security, during the post-war era, was the catalyst to the reinvention of the family. The oppression of women and the role bestowed on men was nothing more than an extension of a strong economy. On a superficial level, Canadians felt liberated in that they were able to pay for houses at early ages, they were able to have children at early ages and they could afford luxuries like magazines, television sets and brand name household products. In reality this consumerism, security and prosperity changed the social landscape; and ultimately hindered the female rights movement. The same economic prosperity and security of the post-war era, that in many ways liberated Canadians, held back social development by defining the nuclear family, and pushing the ideals of conformity.

Economic prosperity and security called for the creation of the nuclear family. In many ways the creation of the suburbs was the creation of the nuclear family; a husband, a wife and children. Historically, this was the first time that one worker could support his whole family, and one house. With financial and the physical security of a house, many couples began to have children. With immense birth rates, the majority of women began to stay at home to act as the mother and wife. Very quickly a very mundane lifestyle, suburban carved itself out of the zeitgeist. This new lifestyle became so socially acceptable it became mainstream. Prisoner of Love deals with a young woman jailed for “Out-of-Wedlock” pregnancy. The Females Refugees Act, the reason for Ms. Demerson’s imprisonment wasn’t repealed until 1964. Society shunned those who didn’t conform to societal standards as a housewife (one of those standards being that your family could not be mixed race). Although Canada felt the security and prosperity of having a small family supported by one worker it was men who inherited the role as breadwinner, and it was women who were forced into a life of rigidity as “mom” and “wife.”

Security and Prosperity during the post-war era was the reason for massive media and societal pressure put on conformity. Society became highly dependent on the need for security through conformity. There was a strong sense of security in knowing that everyone was able to enjoy the same high-standard lifestyle. Men were expected to earn an income and women were expected to meet the demands of the home. The Good Wife’s Guide shows us that even the media endorsed the ideals of conformity; men were considered “master of the home” while women played the subservient mom-figure. The Good Wife’s handbook is just an excerpt to understand how the prosperous media was able to manipulate men and women alike into believing that a suburban lifestyle was one that was enjoyable — simply because this concept was very profitable. Extensive lifestyle advertising was the driving force in sales of products such as laundry detergent, “tv dinners” and other such household products. These lifestyle advertisements (no matter how insignificant they may have seen) were subtly defining women as incompetent, naïve and deserving of the role as a powerless wife. The ideals of conformity were so widespread the emerging media, and general population of post-war Canada pushed them.

Although Canada’s immense economic prosperity and national security afforded Canadian Families Homes, Luxuries and exclusivity (nuclear family) it also hindered women’s rights and freedoms. Throughout the post-war era women were forced to play the superficial role as mom and wife as their husbands contributed to the work force. The post war-era was traumatic to the image of women in society. Nation-wide prosperity and security of the post-war era, that benefitted Canadians, delayed social development by defining the nuclear family, and pushing the ideals of conformity.

Works Cited (secondary sources)

Jeong, Kevin. “The 1950s — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts.”History.com — History Made Every Day — American & World History. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://www.history.com/topics/1950s&gt;.

Watson, Jerilyn. ” American History: Life in the 1950s.” Voice of America – Learn American English with VOA Special English – VOA Learning English – VOA – Voice of America English News. N.p., 28 June 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/america-nineteen-fifties-family-life/1263187.html.

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Security is defined as, “the state of being free from danger or threat.” While that is the definition given, security has so many more meanings. Security could mean wealth, a job even a family. To have a secure family to feel like you can be safe at home. It means that the environment you live in is a safe area for expression and openness. The same goes for being prosperous. While the actual meaning of is to have money, to be prosperous could mean to have plenty of anything. A family should be prosperous in freedom and love and expression, but for a typical 1950’s family this was just a dream. Families living in the 50’s were portrayed as perfect but were far from it. To be more specific, Families were not secure or prosperous because they were not allowed to express themselves, they all have specific roles to play and they dedicate their lives to their husband and father.

Firstly, freedom of expression is something that we all value. Households, however, in the 50’s didn’t seem to practice this to its full extent. With tribulations being shushed and troubles being hidden nobody spoke of what they actually felt. In the video, “A Word to the Wives”, the wife doesn’t just tell her husband of the problems she faces. In the video, the wife has troubles with her kitchen and schemes with her friend instead of just talking it over with her husband. (Quintey) If this were today and we had an issue with our kitchen we would speak out about it and try to fix it. In “The Good Wife’s Guide” there are multiple examples of suppression of feelings. Some of these rules include, “Be happy to see him.” “Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.” And “Don’t complain if he is late.” (Housekeeping Monthly) These examples all show situations where emotions and issues are covered up. If we gain security from freedom of expression how are we suppose to live in a sheltered space when we are muted in these ways?

Secondly, the roles that each family member had to play restricted their freedom. Typical 1950s families all had very distinctive roles to play. The housewife cooked, cleaned and took care of her husband and kids. The working husband brought home the money. The son did their homework and took care of a younger sibling if need be. Finally, the daughter helped the mother with the rest of the chores. The reason why this family isn’t secure is that each of these roles constrained the person. If a mother wanted to get a job she would be judged and deemed as unfit for work. (Valentine-Dean) A daughter has to help the mother as well as keep track of all the work she had leaving no time for enjoyment. In the video, “A Date with the Family” you see the mother and daughter slaving away while the father and sons have a nice conversation. (Meservey) In the “Good Wife’s Guide” it states that one important role a wife has is to, “Have dinner prepared.” Even if this wife is busy with something else or just wants to rest for a night she can’t because she has to make the perfect supper for her tired husband. (Housekeeping Monthly) A liberty has been stolen when each person is restricted to a usually sexist job, female to cooking and cleaning and a male to running the house. The simple rule stating to each there own that we know to be true today was never instated or followed in the 50’s.

Finally, each family member dedicates his or her life to the man of the house. The big honcho, the boss, head of the house. Each of these names describes the most important person in the family, the husband and father. In the “Good Wife’s Guide” there are many rules that a wife must follow as to make sure that her husband stays comfortable. The rules its states is that they must “arrange his pillow” and “make the evening his.” (Housekeeping Monthly) All of these include dedicating their own night to making there perfect husbands happy. The son every night in the video “A Date with the Family” makes sure that he has a conversation with his dad and asks him how his day was. The kids always make sure not to stress out dad with there issues and problems because we wouldn’t want poor daddy to be upset. (Meservey) All of their lives revolve around their perfect husband and father. If they really want to have a prosperous life of love they need to focus on every single family member and not just the father. The father might get a lot of love but while everyone makes sure he is primped and relaxed neglect is given to others.

In conclusion, families in the 50’s were not prosperous and secure because there was no freedom of expression, they each had a specific role to play and they revolved around their father/husband. A family where simple rights such as freedom of expression are stolen can never be a true loving family. A family prides itself on its closeness and if one can’t express there true feelings or can’t do a certain activity out of the ‘correct’ social circle without being seen as a insurgent means that they will never reach the genuine love a family has to offer.

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Between 1946 and 1963 the conventional Canadian family consisted of a husband/father, housewife/mother, and three or four children (William L. Roper). During this time period, prosperity referred to the state of wealth and good fortune of a Canadian family. For instance, a prosperous Canadian family would enjoy watching television for entertainment. In contrast, if a Canadian family faced financial difficulties it was likely that struggles would exist within the household, such as parental arguments. Security referred to Canadian family member’s state of being free from threat, anxiety, and danger. This implied living in a safe household surrounded by supportive and loving family members. Men held the power in the households and marriages while women were submissive and obedient housewives. Women sacrificed their own needs in order to fulfill those of their husbands. Housewives were responsible to take care of their children and this arrangement satisfied the men’s sense of security. During this time period, Canada was a homogenous society, primarily of Caucasians. Canadians of other races faced racism and danger. Children were strongly encouraged by their parents to marry Caucasians, as mixed-race marriages were strongly discouraged. Between 1946 and 1963, Canadian males enjoyed prosperity and security; however, females along with mixed-race marriage participants did not enjoy these benefits to the same degree.

Male adults and boys played a powerful and active role in their Canadian families; thus, they enjoyed a decade of prosperity and security. Between 1946 and 1963, average wages, workers’ savings, and tax revenues were all on the rise. The unemployment rate ranged between 2% and 6% because of the government, the growing war industry, and the increased demand for raw resources. These conditions enabled the majority of Canadian males to be financially secure, enjoying a state of wealth and good fortune. The men developed an ego as a breadwinner since they had the competence to discover the outside world and to play an active role in the Canadian society. If an unmarried and professional woman was ambitious, marriage proposals would be rare because men would feel threatened by her. When a man saw a woman working in a menial position, such as a waitress, the woman was treated with disrespect. The men strongly believed women should be at home. “The father was the master of the household and the wife never questioned his decisions” (Housekeeping Monthly). This quote emphasized the dominant role of the father in the Canadian family and his dependence on his wife to take care of matters at home. The husband’s security permitted him to focus on his work, and be less concerned about family matters. Men felt secure knowing their wives were at home taking care of their households. In addition, television stations were introduced in Toronto and Montreal in 1952 (Canadian Communications Foundation). For the majority of Canadian families, owning a television was a symbol of a man’s financial success and was an enjoyable pastime for a thriving Canadian family. The first artifact was an image of the Schiefner family (including Mr. Schiefner, his dutiful housewife, and his two well-behaved children) watching television in Saskatchewan. It can be inferred that Mr. Schiefner had achieved financial success and security because of the television that he watched with his stable family. Even as children, boys were given more opportunities than girls. For instance, when the children returned from school, girls had the responsibility of helping their mothers prepare for dinner, while the boys would be free to do their homework and to socialize with their peers. Adult males groomed their sons to ensure they would also become successful men who would enjoy prosperity and security.

In contrast, a woman did not enjoy prosperity and security between 1946 and 1963 because as a housewife her position was considered less important than that of her husband. This period of time was the post WWII baby boom. Families with seven or more [children] were not a rarity (TV Tropes Foundation). Women were responsible of ensuring the well being of their children. In advertisements and articles, such as The Good Wife’s Guide featured in Housekeeping Monthly, women were taught tips in order to be ideal housewives. For example, “speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice…show sincerity in your desire to please [your husband]” (Housekeeping Monthly). The overall goal of a housewife was to, “try to make sure [their] home [was] a place of peace, order and tranquility where [their] husband [could] renew himself in body and spirit” (Housekeeping Monthly). It was expected for women to be exemplary housewives who were capable of always having dinner ready, keeping their children in order, and obliging to their husbands. Wives were constantly reminded that their topics of conversation were not nearly as important as those of their husbands. Women were in danger if they made their husband feel upset by threatening his ego. Additionally, women were treated like their husbands’ possessions that had no feelings, ambitions, or opinions. Hence, women did not feel content or secure because they did not have any control over their lives. Moreover, girls were taught from a very young age that they were expected to grow up to be a housewife or a nurse. Based on the artifact displaying the Eaton’s Christmas Catalogue, it can be inferred that the selection of girl’s toys consisted of dolls, nurse kits, and dollhouses. Playing with the toys would train young girls and would reinforce their future roles in the Canadian society. For example, playing with dolls taught girls how to take care of children, which prepared them to be acceptable housewives. Owing to the gender stereotypes and the structure of their lifestyles, women and girls did not enjoy prosperity and security between 1946 and 1963.

Additionally, men and women involved in mixed-race marriages faced a high degree of racism; therefore, they did not enjoy prosperity or security during this time period. Since Canada was primarily a homogenous society of Caucasians, “even those people at the very bottom of society thought they were better than anyone that associated with Chinese” (Jan Wong). If people of different races wanted to start a family or even simply walked around together, strangers glared at them in a derogatory manner. In addition, “having sex with a non-white person was considered unclean” (Jan Wong). People in mixed-race marriages were viewed as disappointments to their respective families, especially to their parents. For example in Jan Wong’s article titled the Prisoner of Love, Velma Demerson, a Caucasian Canadian who wanted to marry her Chinese lover was arrested. “She fell into a vortex of racism and sexual politics,” (Jan Wong) as her own father reported her to the police. In this article, Demerson described her life, “[I] experienced lots of terrible things in prison…[my] toilet was a bucket and Sunday dinner was beans”. Demerson faced severe assaults from the prison doctor, who performed “exams” on all the inmates. “[We all] had to stand there and watch. Then it was [my] turn” (Velma Demerson). Today, Demerson still remembers the dangerous conditions she faced, all because she wanted to be in a mixed-race marriage. The majority of Canadian families were Caucasian; therefore, Canadians in mixed-race marriages stood out in society and faced intolerant assaults and abuse. Many Canadian cities, such as Hamilton, refused to issue mixed-race marriage certificates (Jan Wong). Mixed-race marriage participants were often not considered for employment, which affected their livelihoods. Thus, during this time period, the Canadians in mixed-race marriages did not experience a flourishing life and instead faced anxiety, threats, and danger.

In conclusion, based on the artifacts, it can be inferred that males enjoyed prosperity and security in Canada between 1946 and 1963. On the other hand, females and adults in mixed-race marriages did not enjoy prosperity and security during this time period. In fact, females and citizens in mixed-race marriages were both considered minorities. Between 1946 and 1963, Caucasian men easily pursued employment to earn a stable income and relied on their wives entirely to take care of their households and children. Having a perfect housewife, demonstrated a man’s prosperous and secure lifestyle. Also, boys were given the opportunity to focus on school. In contrast, girls were taught how to become the model housewives, which was the only learning that was considered important for their futures. This emphasizes the expectations and roles that women and girls were obliged to follow during this time period. Lastly, Canadian citizens in mixed-race marriages faced racism. Just like women, Canadians in mixed-race marriages were forced to fight for their civil rights. Many positive societal changes have occurred over the past 50 years. Today, men share the responsibility with their wives of raising their children and are partners in their marriages. Women have successful positions in the workplace. Mixed-race marriages are now legal and there is also a greater acceptance for gender equality. Women actively pursue employment and still do their best to raise their children. Arlene Dickenson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs (CBC). She would not have excelled if women today still had to endure the same restrictions that women had to endure over 50 years ago. Since women from 1946 to 1963 fought for their rights, today’s women and girls have the potential to enjoy prosperous and secure lifestyles. As a Canadian society, we have to ensure that we treat all Canadians, regardless of gender or race, as equals to establish a safe and successful country for the present and future.

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To what extent did Canadian families enjoy prosperity and security in the 1950’s? To better understand this question, we must first ask was the 50’s prosperous and was there security during that era? In many senses, yes the 50’s was prosperous and there was security, because it was the end of World War II and many changes were being made to better the lives of Canadians. However, we can also alter the definition of security and prosperity which can in turn answer the question with a no. If we define prosperity as everyone having equal opportunities and security as feeling secure about oneself, then the average Canadian family did not have these two things. Gender roles were changing at the time, but there was still a lot of stigma surrounding women. Women were belittled, they had to face unrealistic standards, and there was a power imbalance between the women and the men of the family. These factors prove that they were not prosperous and lacked security.

Throughout history, women have always received the short end of the stick, and the 1950’s was no exception. They were not treated equally in the family or in the workplace. The belief that women belonged in the kitchen was strongly held in society at this time. This belief is evident in advertisements such as “A Word to the Wives” (1955). In the ad, a woman (not a man) is shown wanting to upgrade her kitchen, and tries to trick her husband into buying her a new one. Articles such as “The good wife’s guide” (1955) also portray this belief. The first point in the article is “have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for [your husband’s] return”. Furthermore, a woman was seen as inferior in the workplace, they were seen as less adequate and troublesome. These beliefs belittled women and reduced them to being only valuable as housewives; therefore they did not have prosperity.

Not only were women belittled, they also had to face unrealistic standards, especially married women. Once a woman was married, she was expected to answer to her husband’s every beck and call. She was expected to be a good wife and “one of [her] duties” (The Good, 3) was to be “more interesting” (3) for her husband after he came back from work. She was expected to “touch up [her] make-up” (2) and clean the house to be presentable and to “be happy to see him” (8). She was expected to “never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner” (11) without her and “never greet him with complaints or problems.” (13) Furthermore, she was expected not to work because that would hurt “her husband’s ego as a breadwinner” (Married). All these expectations and standards of women show the suffocating nature of society at that time. A person cannot feel secure if she is constantly told how she is supposed to act and feel, even when around her family.

Last but not least, there was a power imbalance between the women and the men of the family. This is a result of the previous two points. The father usually made all the decisions, such as financial decisions, which gave him more power. This is shown in “A word to the wives”; the wife had to convince her husband that they had to buy a new kitchen because he made the financial decisions, not her. Women were expected to stop working after marriage and look after the kids, which then left them financially dependent on their husbands. They were expected to refrain from speaking out to their husband, which further proves that they did not stand on equal ground. The power imbalance prevents the family from experiencing prosperity and security.

In conclusion, the Canadian family did not experience Prosperity and security because wives and mothers were treated unequally, they were faced with unrealistic expectations, and because there was an imbalance of power between the men of the family and the women of the family. Looking back now, we should be glad we don’t live in the 1950’s.

Works Cited

“Kitchens: “A Word to the Wives” 1955 Woman’s Home Companion Marsha Hunt, Darren McGavin .” YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoN1lusxsoA&gt;.

“The Good Wife’s Guide .” Housekeeping Monthly 13 May 1955: N/A. Print.

“Married woman, you’re fools to take a job.” Anita A. Birt. January 1960. Quote. 25 Mar. 2013.

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clip_image002The Canadian families from the 1940’s to the 1960’s differ greatly from the families and family life in present Canadian society. There were many different types of families inhabiting Canada, from immigrants to families originating from Canada. Prosperity and security was not experienced by all Canadian families, back then. While white, income earning, families experienced prosperity and security, immigrants and citizens of different ethnicities (with low income) did not.

This image represents the ideal Canadian Family. The atmosphere of the room represents financial security. In order to have a television, you had to have a secure income. To me, prosperity represents happiness and the ability to thrive. The family around the television, spending time together, portrays a prosperous, happy family. It creates the scenario of a family, with a father that only has to work one job, and is able to come home at night to his family. While many Canadian families experienced that prosperity and security, many others experienced hardships and suffering. Family is one of the most important values, and having to work multiple jobs, resulting in less time together was the situation for many struggling families.

In Prisoner of Love, Velma Demerson is imprisoned for being pregnant before marriage, and for loving a Chinese man. Back then, it was almost impossible for Chinese (and other ethnicities) to thrive, due to the prevalence of racism that was rampant throughout Canada. Velda Demerson stated that “Having sex with a non-white person was considered unclean. It was worse than being a prostitute. Even those people at the bottom of society thought they were better than anyone that associated with the Chinese”, and that “whenever they went out, strangers gave them dirty looks.” She explained how difficult it was being a young woman, and how difficult family life was being a part of a “mix family”. After her arrest for “incorrigibility”, separating her from her husband, she never felt fully secure, as the fear of another imprisonment constantly lingered over her. After the birth of her son, she was forced back to prison, along with her baby. Being separated from her husband, and having her son with her in prison, was far from a prosperous and secure life.

Overall, some Canadian families thrived, experienced prosperity and security. Family life was great, and there was no living in fear. Unfortunately, some other families, such as immigrants and low income earning families, struggled through hardships, and lived in constant fear of imprisonment, separation from their families, and searched for social acceptance.

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Imagine not being able to date outside your race, or being denied work solely on your gender. Would you believe that these astonishing regulations were effective in Canada just fifty years ago. Over time, Canada has created a wholesome image of acceptance and purity, but it’s past is full of hardships that greatly affected it’s citizen’s prosperity and security. Prosperity refers to when you are in a successful, flourishing or thriving condition, where as security is your personal freedom from risk, danger, anxiety, doubt and your guard against crime. To have both a prosperous and secure lifestyle was an extreme luxury to most Canadians, particularly women, between 1946 and 1963, as many Canadians were still recovering from the Great Depression and the two world wars. Canadian women enjoyed more prosperity, as they advanced in the workplace, but not security, due to the Female Refuge Act of 1897, that was not repealed until 1964. As women’s roles evolved, they would struggle to find a balance between the expectations of home life and their careers.

Most women were experiencing prosperity in this time period as they were finally given the benefit of choice regarding the way they were productive. After women had been given a small taste of what is was like to contribute to the workforce during World War II, they were hungry for greater opportunities to prosper and be more independent. By 1944, twenty-seven percent of Canadian women were working outside of the home, this number decreased upon the arrival of the ex-service men, but climbed back up to twenty-seven percent by the 1960s (Dunn, William and West, Linda) This gave them the drive to truly enter the workforce and forever change the “generic” family dynamic. Once women had their foot in the “workforce door” it immediately gave them an array of possible occupational paths. They no longer had to wait on their husbands, do housework and care for the children all day, they could have their own career. Although many women had the desire to work there were skeptics, even amongst other women. Phyllis Lee Peterson wrote a piece in Chatelaine Magazine, in 1957, where she stated, “You may work for a while after marriage but when the babies arrive, he’ll want you at home… The young mother who sallies forth to earn luxuries is making two mistakes. She’s hurting her husband’s ego as a breadwinner and she’s neglecting her children when they need her most.” (Peterson, Letter to my daughter-in-law) Although the government had supported women in the workforce by implementing The Fair Employment Practices Act and The Female Employee’s Fair Remuneration Act in 1951 (The Nelly McClung Foundation, History of Women’s Rights), finding the balance between home life and work was one that many had difficulty with.

The Female Refuge Act of 1897 was used in Ontario to incarcerate women, between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five, who were felt to be “incorrigible” due to a number of “offenses” including: promiscuous behaviour before marriage, the consumption of alcohol, and sexual relations with people of a different race. This act made it impossible for Canadian women to feel secure, as it created an environment that prevented them from expressing their opinions, feelings and identity. One of the most famous women affected by this act was Velma Demerson, who was highlighted in the recent article, “Prisoner of Love” by Jan Wong. Velma, a white Canadian, was incarcerated at the age of nineteen for having premarital sex with an older Chinese man, that lead to a pregnancy. An out-of-wedlock pregnancy was enough proof to the authorities of Vilma’s incorrigibility, so she was sentenced to a year at the Andrew Mercer Reformatory. It was during this sentence that she delivered the “illegal” baby at the Toronto General Hospital (Wong, Prisoner of Love). This further proves that no women could feel secure knowing that they could be arrested for simply being with the one they love. The Female Refuge Act was part of a system that controlled mostly middle class women’s behaviours, who did not fit the standards of conduct for women at that time. During the time of Ms. Demerson’s imprisonment women were not the only victims of insecurity and unrest. Many different races felt discrimination too. It is noted that racism and fear spikes during a period of “nationalism” and during societal transition. After Canada’s nationalistic contribution to WWII, Canadian’s became fearful of non anglo-saxons. Canadians had also just survived the great depression and were worried about job security. This made many of them unwelcoming of “outsiders” (The Canadian Encyclopedia, Prejudice and Discrimination) This prejudice is what fueled the creation of the laws that kept mixed race couples from marrying and having children. These restrictions further prevented women from having a voice in determining there own destiny.

Canadian women experienced levels of prosperity and security that can only be evaluated as either high or low in contrast to the hardships that they had faced before. Their situations could not be evaluated to the same degree, in the present day, as our society has evolved and learned to better accept one another as equals. Our world is still not perfect, not even Canada is free of intolerance. Discrimination based on gender, race and sexuality still exists, but it is a far cry from what these Canadian women had to endure. They had a surge of prosperity, compared to the little independence they had before, but their security was shaken by the implementation of the Female Refuges Act. These women were strong enough to persevere through hard times to achieve prosperity and finally get the security they deserved when the Female Refuges Act was repealed in 1964. I wonder what great strides our society will achieve next.

Bibliography

” History of Women’s Rights.” The Nellie McClung Foundation. The Nellie McClung Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ournellie.com/womens-suffrage/history-of-womens-rights>.

Dunn, William , and Linda West. “Women in the War – After World War Two.” Canada: A country by Consent. Artistic Productions Limited, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <www.canadianhistoryproject.ca/1939-45-06-women-war.html>.

“Prejudice and Discrimination – The Canadian Encyclopedia.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/prejudice-and-discrimination>.

Peterson, Phyllis Lee. “Letter to my daughter-in-law.” Chatelaine Oct. 1957: 18. Print.

Wong, Jan. “Prisoner of Love.” 2012/13: Print.

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The prosperity that Canada enjoyed between 1946 and 1963 was unrivalled. Many Canadians were at peace, they knew that Germany will not ignite another war in the near future. The seventeen years marked much historic advancement. Women began to receive greater rights at both home and the workplace, children began to enjoy new forms of entertainment and culture, and men once again began to work and had financial security. Many Canadian families were able to enjoy the pleasure of coloured TV, the convenience of brand new automobiles, and luxurious goods produced by the economy. This time period was defined by prosperity, financial, and political security, and the results of this tranquillity were reflected on the normal Canadian families. Many Canadian family enjoyed great prosperity and security between 1946 and 1963, because of togetherness with family, richness with money, and secureness with government.

The togetherness with family members between 1943 and 1946 brought many Canadians prosperity and security. Signs of security were evident in the nature posture of the Schiefner family (The Schiefner farm near Milestone, Sask). The parents sat cross-legged, two young men lay comfortably on the floor. The family obviously had no worry. The dad was in a semi-formal work cloth while the mother was in a clean white dress with fashionable high heels, everything a person might expect from a prosperous family with a sense of security. A decorative carpet covered the entire floor, the television also seemed to be coloured, with beautiful statutes behind the television, and the door also seemed to be quite modern and high end. The Schiefner clearly possessed financial freedom. If a farming family was this well off, it is not hard to imagine every other family in Canada, especially the family in cities, was just as secure and prosperous. The togetherness of this photo demonstrated how Canadian family were prosperous and secure.

The richness of Canadians between 1943 and 1946 proved prosperity and security. The average Canadian annual salary tripled from $999 to $2998 between 1925 and 1950 (Life in 1950: The bottom line). This time frame was also when large amounts of production and foreign investments were poured in to the Canadian economy (Life in 1950’s – The War Comes to a Close). Through the course of World War 2, Canadians were told to save by the government and spend little for the troops. Now after the war, the amounts of advertisements for non-essential goods proved that many people were well-off. The Eaton Christmas catalogue was a prime example of how secure people felt with their financial capabilities. The catalogue dedicated 2 fully coloured pages, 1 for boy 1 for girls, of different selections of toys meant to persuade the parents to spend money (Eaton’s Christmas Catalogues). Obviously the Eaton centre will only put forward pricey advertisements like this if it knew parents will spend the money. This advertisement showed financial prosperity and financial security of the 1950s Canadians.

The secureness many Canadians felt demonstrated the optimism of the country. Between 1941 and 1966, the Canadian population doubled from 11,507,000 to 20,015,000, with 1.5 million from war torn Europe. The immigrants very much thought that Canada was a beacon of prosperity and security. With the massive amounts of population increase, Canada saw the rise of suburbia. Evident in the photograph of the Toronto suburbia, the row of houses stretched for as far as the eye could see (Suburban Growth: Your Home Our City). Since a house was not cheap, Canadians have to be sure that the Canadian government will be able to boost the economy and protect its citizens from an economic downfall. Undoubtedly Canadians had full confidence in the government to gave them mortgages and their own financial capabilities pay the money back. The photograph captured the strong belief of federal security and economic security. The government further built trust in Canadians by passing the hospital insurance, old-age pensions, veteran pension, and the Canadian bill of rights. The sense of secureness showed by Canadians proved people were in a positive growth.

The sense of togetherness, secureness, and richness proves that Canadians experienced strong sense of prosperity and security between 1946 and 1963. Fast improvements in many different sectors, manufacturing, oil and gas, public services, etc, benefited the average Canadian families greatly by improving the economy, creating more jobs. Canadians enjoyed prosperity in the sense they have money to spend, family to adore, home to relax, and career to pursue. Canadians enjoyed security in the sense that the Canadian government was secure, and the economy was stable. Prosperity, and security, was the definition of the 1950s.

Work citied:

“The Schiefner farm near Milestone, Sask. The Schiefner family watches television, Dec. 1956. .” Library and Archives Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=3385747&rec_nbr_list=3385747&gt;.

“Eaton’s Christmas Catalogues.” Canadian Museum of Civilization. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/ip/c220622e.shtml&gt;.

“Life in 1950: The bottom line.” Canadian Human Rights Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <www.chrc-ccdp.ca/en/getBriefed/1925/bottom-line.asp>.

“Life in 1950’s – The War Comes to a Close.” Schoolworkhelper. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://schoolworkhelper.net/life-in-1950%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%93-the-war-comes-to-a-close/&gt;.

“Suburban Growth: Your Home Our City .” City of Toronto. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. http://www.toronto.ca/archives/current_suburbangrowth.htm.

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When one says they feel secure or prosperous, it means that they feel safe and are in a state of well being. Security and prosperity were experienced differently between men, women and teenagers during the Cold War. Men were financially stable as they had good paying jobs, which made it possible for them to have a roof over their heads and food on the table each evening. The wife of such a man would also have the same level of security. However to feel prosperous and to be able to say that you are successful and are in a state of well being was different between men and women. A woman were not offered all that a man was offered. They were required to stay home, do the cleaning and the cooking and to simply please their husbands. Often women would be too scared to speak up, which left some of them low and depressed at times, meaning they did not have a sense of prosperity. Teenagers were also not treated fairly like the women. They did not have a sense of equality and were not treated in the right manner by the Canadian government.

The expectation from an average wife between 1946 and 1963 was a lot. Women were required to do anything their husbands wanted from them and to base their lives around their partners. A wife would have to clean the house, cook dinner and when their loved one came home from work, do whatever he asks of them. Often during this time period, you would find in newspapers and magazines, articles teaching you how to be the perfect wife. Sometimes men would write these articles but a majority of the time women would do so. They would write these articles, as they were too scared to speak up. Women would simply do what they are told, out of fear of being thought of as rebellious or thought of in a negative way. In a magazine entitled ‘ Housekeeping Monthly’ which was issued on 13 May 1955 there is an article on how to be a good wife. This article includes things such as ‘Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to say to him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours’ and ‘Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.’ These kinds of things were expected from women. They could not talk to their loved ones about the way they feel, and how they are doing. Therefore, they often did not feel prosperous and secure in their relationships.

During the cold war not only were women supposed to do as their husbands pleased but also, they were not supposed to work. Women were frowned upon if they continued to work after marriage and giving birth. This was due to the fact that the husband would want his wife home to do all the household chores. If a woman earned more than her husband then she was required to stay home, as it would hurt her husband’s ego. She would also thought to be making a mistake by leaving her children at home. It was thought of as neglecting your children and not caring for them. “You may work for a while after marriage but when the babies arrive, he’ll want you at home… The young mother who sallies forth to earn luxuries is making two mistakes. She’s hurting her husband’s ego as a breadwinner and she’s neglecting her children when they need her most.” This is a quote by Phyllis Lee Peterson, “Letter to my daughter-in-law,” Chatelaine issued in October 1957. Women didn’t have a sense of freedom like the men did and could not fulfill their dreams.
Falling in love during the Cold War was different between one couple to the other. The Female Refugees Act meant that girls between the ages of 15 to 35 could be jailed if they had sex before marriage or got drunk in public places. Also, falling for a man who is not Canadian subjects you to racial abuse and sexual politics. Velma Demerson was a Canadian who fell in love with a Chinese man in Toronto 1939. She had sexual intercourse with him and since he was Chinese it was thought of as incorrigible. She got jailed upon doing so and she was thought to be worse than a prostitute. Women did not have any rights that subjected them to equality and fairness. They were treated in ways that one cannot imagine today as quoted from the article ‘Prisoner Of Love’ ‘she fell into a vortex of racism and sexual politic~ that Canadians today can scarcely imagine.’ Being married to someone of a difference race was illegal, especially if they were Chinese or Asian businessmen. Girls who got sentenced to jail for doing so did not have security. They were living a life of inequality and unfairness. They did not have a place to call home with a loving family and food on the table every evening. They had to work extremely hard if they wanted to feel secure and stable.

Women, whether it is teenage girls or older were treated very different to men during the Cold War. If one was to compare both genders it would be quite evident that men felt a lot more of prosperity and security. They earned a lot of money, which made them feel like they could get all the luxuries they wanted and get any house they wanted to live in. They also felt like they could control their wives and ask them for anything they wanted. Women on the other hand did not feel prosperous or secure. The ideal situation would be for them not to work. They had to stay home to cook and clean. The Canadian family during the Cold War definitely experienced prosperity and security however it was on different levels between the man and woman. For men they felt extremely secure and prosperous but for women it was very scarce.

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As said by Nido Qubein, change brings opportunity. Life after World War Two in Canada had changed dramatically compared to before and during the horrendous war. This brought the opportunity for Canadians to begin experiencing security and prosperity after the devastating years of war. Families, during that time period, experienced this by being secure in all areas of their lives, including shelter, jobs, neighbourhoods, and so on. Also, they experienced being prosperous by being characterized by good fortune and financial success. This was a period of capitalism across the country. Families across Canada had finally been relieved of war duties. Canadian families reclaimed their gender roles, specifically the father, the mother, and the children to help Canadians enjoy what they had not been able to enjoy before. Canadian families enjoyed security and prosperity to a great extent between 1946 and 1963.

To begin with, the father of the family retrieved his gender role to help families enjoy security and prosperity. After World War Two, the father of the family returned from war. The father would return to employment, to provide for their family. This created financial security for them and their families. The family would be able to afford food, water, shelter, furniture, and so on. They would even be able to afford luxuries such as the television, which made them prosperous. The father would enjoy doing activities with his family after coming home for work, as shown in the picture, “the Schiefner family watches television,” where the family watches television together. As shown in the video “A Date with your Family (1950)”, the sons would “greet their father as if they are genuinely glad to see him,” after he came back from work (Scheifner family watches television). The father would “[look] forward to the date with the family.” The father and sons engage in pleasant discussion and respect that it is not time to “spring unpleasant surprises on dad.” (A Date with your Family). He was respected and looked up upon, because he created security for the family. The father reclaimed his role in the family and helped families enjoy security and prosperity.

Furthermore, the mother of the family renewed her gender role to assist families to be able to luxuriate in security and prosperity. The mother returned home to do housework, after returning from employment during world war two. Some mothers would continue with their jobs, but most did not. The government encouraged women to return home and, with the use of propaganda, make them have children and become an idealistic family (Peterson 18). It also included the idea of men being bigger and better than women, yet the mother usually had more to do than the father of the house. The mother would also enjoy family activities with the family, whenever she wasn’t doing housework. She would cook, clean, assist the children, and do anything else required in the house, with the aid of the daughter/ daughters (A Date with your Family 1950). The mother would create a sense of security in the house by helping whenever and wherever she could. Reclaiming the role of the mother helped families enjoy security and prosperity.

Moreover, the children of the family retrieved their gender roles to aid families to enjoy security and prosperity. After world war two, the children returned home from either working at factories, or training for war. The children would “come home from school,” and “look forward to an important family dinner.” (A Date with Your Family) The daughter, after changing her from her school clothes to “something festive,” would help the mother prepare dinner. The male siblings would spend an hour doing homework. They were prosperous and received education, and they were secure by going and coming from school safely. The children were respectful of their parents and obedient, reducing parents’ anxiety about their children and helping parents feel more secure about their children and their activities (A Date with Your Family). Children retrieving their gender roles aided Canadian families to enjoy security and prosperity.

The father, mother, and children retrieving their gender roles supported Canadian families to relish security and prosperity greatly between 1946 and 1963. As shown in both “the Schiefner family watches television,” and “A Date with your Family (1950),” Canadian families’ lives had changed after the war for the better. The father and sons had returned from fighting in the war and the mother and daughters had returned from working in dangerous conditions. Families were able to enjoy luxuries such as new technology, being together, and finally being safe from the war. Families were encouraged by propaganda to become ideal and perfect families by the government, especially the woman of the family, without showing the amount of families like this or the eventual downfall of it. This era of time truly brought an opportunity for Canadians to go through change and to be able to experience security and prosperity.

Bibliography

Harrington, Richard. The Schniefner Family watches Television. 1956. Working in the home, Milestone, Sask.. Library and Archives Canada. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Simmel-Meservey, , prod. A Date with Your Family. 1950. Web. 23 Mar 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyDss5_FhpY.

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Despite the threat of “mutually assured destruction” and the fear of the development of nuclear weapons, hope and happiness still managed to grow within the hearts of the people of Canada. Economic growth and a daily feeling of general safety were very beneficial. Canadians enjoyed prosperity and security to a great extent from 1946 to 1963 because they were comfortable, safe, and financially stable.

First of all, during the Cold War era, most Canadian citizens were living comfortably. Their lives were conventional and classic, and could even be seen as dull. Without soldiers being recruited for war to split them apart, families focussed on their more trivial wants and needs. As seen in the video “A Date With Your Family” made in 1950, the concerns of this family in a typical day revolve around socializing, preparing dinner, and spending time with relatives. They are clearly living very comfortable lives, as they have someone to provide a steady income, are receiving education, are living in a nice house and eating delicious food. In the photo, “The Schiefner Family” we can see how this average family is gathered around a television in a nicely decorated living room. It is spacious and stylish, for that time period. Most Canadians could afford these living standards in this time period, showing how prosperous the country was as a whole. Overall, Canadians enjoyed cheerful, content lives from 1946 to 1963.

Secondly, Canadians were safe from most threats during this Post-War time period. The family shown in the video, “A Date With Your Family” is obviously not facing any sort of danger. The video is focussed on educating people on how to act in social situations. This is reflective of Canadian society during this era, and how our greatest concerns were manners and proper table etiquette. Clearly, people felt secure in their daily lives. The photo of the Schiefner family shows us that Canadians felt safe because they were willing to invest in new technology, which they wouldn’t have done if they felt their foreseeable future would put their investments in jeopardy. The family is watching TV together, which is something they may not have been able to do during World War II. If this photo had been taken in 1940, the two sons and the father would probably be fighting for their country, and the mother left at home alone. Money would not be spent on frivolous things such as a television, and would be used to help the men of the family stay alive. Now that Canadians feel safe, they can take risks and enjoy their lives much more.

Finally, the people of Canada’s financial situations were very satisfactory. The economy was in a positive state. The video, “A Date With Your Family” tells us a lot about how Canadian families were prosperous enough to afford many luxuries. They own a telephone, and eat cake for dessert. They focus on being courteous to their father, who must have spent a long day at his desk job. In times of economic distress, the family would be rejoicing that they at least had a steady source of income, rather than trying to ignore it. The sister and brother are in school, even though they are old enough to be working, showing that the family is not desperate for money. In the photo of the Schiefner family, you can see that they are dressed nicely and have time to relax, showing that they too are not worried about financial struggles. They can afford a television and nice furnishings for their home. During the Cold War, money was not a problem for most Canadians and their families.

In conclusion, prosperity and security were not hard to find in Canada during the Cold War era. Canadian families sat comfortably in their living rooms and at their dinner tables, free of financial concerns and with only a distant danger in Russia to worry about. They watched TV, spoke on the phone, and ate family dinners. Canadians enjoyed them to a great extent from 1946 to 1963 because they were comfortable, safe, and financially stable. No matter how many times the world could be blown up with all of the nuclear weapons created during this era, Canadian families remained inseparable and unshakeable.

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Throughout the period of 1946-67, the Canadian family enjoyed the feelings of security and prosperity. Financial security, increased amount of family time and the changing roles of women in society incurred such feelings during the post war period. Security and prosperity are when you feel safe and successful; financial security, having loved ones that care about you and being free from danger are some aspects of these two mind-sets. This is proven with two primary sources: a page from the Eatons 1956 Christmas catalogue and an image of a family sitting around their television. This time period was especially prosperous for Canadian families as well as the rest of Canada.

First of all, financial security was very common for Canadians during 1946-67. People were becoming more successful and had more money to spend, which is shown in the picture of the Eatons catalogue. This page from the catalogue shows desirable children’s toys and their prices so families could order them for their kids for Christmas. Canadians had a more disposable income thus they were consuming at a greater rate. During the war, Canadians didn’t spend a lot of money but because of a maturing economy, Canadians had the freedom and finances to splurge on their families.

In the course of the post war period, Canadian families were spending more time together, and new families were being started. This was brought on by new technologies being introduced in the household and the feelings of happiness and prosperity. In the image, a family is sitting around their television watching a show. This is not a biased image in the fact that most families in Canada owned a television set, not just the upper class as there were an “estimated 2.3 million” (Canadian Encyclopedia) TV sets in Canadian households during the 1950s. Besides the families that had already been started, many new couples were having lots of children. From 1946-65 was known as the “baby boom”, as newly weds were so secure and prosperous they were having lots of kids because they felt that they could afford them and properly care for them. In the image of the family, the boys are older, so this family wasn’t part of the baby boom.

During the war, women were in the workforce, which lasted even after the war ended. Women enjoyed working and the feeling of contributing to society and breaking out of the stereotype of what women “should do”. In the image of the family sitting around the TV, the mother is dressed semi-formal, which means that she could have came home from work and was unwinding in front of the TV with her family; where as before, she would have been doing housework. If in fact the mother had been working, she would have felt prosperous and happy because she was doing something meaningful and that she enjoyed doing and those feelings would radiate throughout the entire family.

As shown in these primary sources, Canadian Families enjoyed the feelings of security and prosperity that came to be during this time period. Through the introduction of new technologies, the start of new families, a maturing economy and new roles for women, the Canadian family changed drastically and for the better.

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