A sleepless housewife tiptoes to her refrigerator one night, only to discover her entire kitchen has disappeared. A male ghost’s voice welcomes her, and together they design her dream kitchen. These countless movies about equipping a kitchen always pursued a dual purpose: the new devices should be introduced to the woman, and they should put her back in her place—in the kitchen. One can interpret the 1950s as an attempt by the patriarchy to undo the forced emancipation of the war years—cf. Supervising Women Workers. The statistical reality, however, often looked quite different: most families in the United States in the 1950s depended on the wife’s income; the domestic goddess slaving at the stove was wishful thinking on the part of a male-dominated media industry.
Video, 14 min