During my weekend visit with my son at UCSB, we discovered how far women have come from my generation to his. (Yes, I’m talking about the same son that tried to give away the cat on Facebook — read about that here. And, he’s the one that wrote about his crazy mom for his senior project — read about that here.)
We were out to dinner at The Palms in Carpinteria, where you grill your own steaks or halibut, with one of my best friends, my son Robert, and his girlfriend (She’s a poet and an CCS English Lit major. You can read some of her poetry here).
My friend and I talked about home ec, and we wondered if it was offered as a major in this day and age? My mom was a home ec major in the 1950s, by the way.
My son said, “They really DID have an MRS degree!”
“Not only was it a college major,” I said, “but we were required to take home ec in high school.”
“Only the girls, that is,” my friend said.
“WHAT?!” both Robert and his girlfriend were horrified. How alien to their lives is a gender-based school requirement. We explained that the boys took wood-working or shop.
My son thought for minute and asked, “What did you learn in home ec?”
“Scrambled eggs, sewing an apron, sex ed, how to clip coupons and general household budgeting,” I answered.
“All of those things should be taught to men and women,” the kids said.
I think they are right.
Thinking of those days, made me remember the Virginia Slims cigarette campaign which began in 1968, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”
Also, Helen Reddy, and her song, “I Am Woman.”
Do colleges or high schools still offer home ec? Do you think home ec should be required for both men and women? Let me know your thoughts.