Generation Cedar

Actress Barbara Billingsley, best known for her portrayal as June Cleaver, died at the age of 94.  She was an important icon, though she is now virtually villainized for her portrayal of “the perfect housewife”.  Mary Kassian has some great thoughts regarding the influence feminist thinking had on the role of wife and mother:

“In the early sixties, a landmark book, “The Feminine Mystique,” burst onto the scene. It claimed that women were NOT happy as housewives—at least they shouldn’t be happy in that role!  Those women who were content as wives and moms simply hadn’t had their eyes opened to the extent of their oppression. Men had duped them to believe that a June Cleaver-type of existence was worthwhile and satisfying, when, in fact, such a role was subservient, and demeaning. As this feminist message spread, women in the sixties and seventies began to vilify Billingsley’s June Cleaver ideal….

Whether a woman ought to pursue an education, career, or have a job outside of the home is not at question here. The question in my mind is, ‘Do we as a society believe that family is so important that we uphold caring for home and children as the best and most important job a woman might ever have?’ “

Read “Grieving June Cleaver” by Mary Kassian

27 Responses

  1. This mind set not only affects women. Haven’t we also, in conjunction with the demeaning of a feminine ideal of motherhood and homemaker, seen the shrinking of patriarchal visions? As the role of a content keeper of the home has been devalued, the role of men as patriarchs of a family has also been lost, to a great degree. Without the understanding of the imperative role a “home-centered-family” plays, I believe our families have been set adrift. Without the vision of a patriarch, much of our impact on our world as families is lost. A patriarchal vision gives the generations of a family a strong sense of purpose and direction, and provides an anchor that will hold it fast in the face of culture that could otherwise destroy it.

  2. I certainly don’t grieve June Cleaver, but I am sorry Barbara Billingsley passed away. I wish Kassian would focus entirely on mourning her and not the caricature she portrayed.

  3. I had to smile when reading the title of this article. I have had the comment said to me a several times “Well, aren’t you just the regular June Cleaver”, and, “Striving to be June Cleaver, are we?”, just this past week by a receptionist the dr’s office when she looked at the paperwork I have filled out where you have to out in your occupation/employer. It has always been said in a non-complimenting/degrading/snarky sort of way. I had absolutely no clue who June Cleaver was! (I grew up in a church that tought that it was a sin to watch TV/movies, so my parents never had one at all, until they left that church. My husband an I don’t think it is a sin to have a TV, we just have better things to spend our money on than cable, so we have no channels.) So, this week I asked my husband who she was. We don’t watch TV, but have a subscription to NetFlix, so he streamed “Leave It To Beaver” for us to watch together, so I could “meet” her. I have ony seen a few episodes, but can completely see why feminists would hate her character and the ideals she portrayed.

    1. I really should proof-read before I click “submit”. Sorry for all the horrible typos! I can type super fast, just not very accurate. 🙂

  4. Great article. When we were first married and had our daughter (16 months into our marriage), we would go to various events for my husband’s job. People would ask me what I did. I would reply, sheepishly, “I am just a stay at home mom.” My husband gave it to me when we got home until I finally stopped saying it. He told me how I have the most important job in the world, and it was better than any other job any of those women had. The funny thing? I wouldn’t have taken a job even if I was offered $200,000 a year. I already knew and believed how important my job was, I just was picking up on the others’ perceptions of worth = work. I am grateful to my hubby for affirming how important my job is and valuing me so highly for it! No job can compare to properly raising your own children!

  5. I agree that June Cleaver was a caricature. She was an ideal that no woman, even in the 50’s measured up to. However, she was confident in what she did and content in her home, which is something our society is not. In answer to Mary Kassian’s question, I must say, “no!” We, as a society, do not value the family – we are quick to kill our unborn and do not mourn the break-up of marriages among other things. And our idea of what a family really is is so far from God’s design it can’t even be considered the same thing.

  6. One of the best compliments I ever recieved was from my very liberal sister in law who introduced me to her new boyfriend as June Cleaver,I know it wasn’t meant as such but I appreciated it anyway.
    I must admit that I kind of dreamed of being June Cleaver as a child. I also wanted to marry Wally sooo?

  7. “Should we run advertising glorifing the value of ironing”I think it would be a much better world if we did.I admit I must watch to much t.v. but I am sick of seeing laundry products being advertised to women in ridiculous ways.Like the one where the teen daughter asks her mom what has happened to her green shirt.To which the mother replies its not her style all the while knowing she wore it clubing and possibly stained it.I mean really how insulting is that commercial.

    1. That commercial is ridiculous, especially considering how that foolish mom LIED to her daughter on top of everything else.

    1. Daja,
      This is totally random and off-topic but I wanted to tell you anyway…I have been reading old posts of Kelly’s and came across one where she linked to a post on your blog where you made felt play food, (among other darling, frugal gifts) for your children for Christmas a few years ago. I fell in love with with the idea of felt play food, and I am currently making some for my littles for this Christmas! 😉

  8. I would have loved to be June Cleaver. What child wouldn’t want her as a mother? Yes, perhaps her role was glorified, but at least people recognized and appreciated what she did for her family and ultimately society around her.
    Women aren’t the only ones affected by this mind set.
    While my husband loves that I stay home. He still grew up in the feminist era with a very feminist mother and still thinks it would be easier on us financaily if I worked. He occasionally suggests that I go get a job since I am the one with the degree (he didn’t graduate college.) It’s an ongoing battle in his own heart and mind. His heart says it is better for our four children that I am home, but when money is really tight his mind starts getting the better of him and he wants me to “work” for money.

  9. I haven’t read the June Cleaver article yet (caveat) but I just couldn’t Russo (was a friend of Nicolas Rockerfeller) before he died that Nic asked him what he (Aaron) thought feminism was about. Aaron responded with the usual answers of equality in pay better conditions for women etc. Nic promptly turned to Aaron and told him he was an idiot. we (Rockerfellers, Rothschilds et al) sponsored feminism. We gave them the money to promote the idea of feminism (incedentally feminism works well with communist ideals.) They wanted to tax the other half of the population and get their children earlier too. Ultimately they want to microchip everyone (that’s their goal.) They want total control and together families living God’s way are much harder to control…I guess you just have to kill off those dissenters. It wasn’t just your Germaine Greers (in the us I think the main one was Betty Frieden, sorry if I have that wrong) that thought one their own “well aren’t women hard done by, isn’t this deplorable.” They were CIA operatives. Never believe what you read hear in the media the elites own them too. They then use opinion polls to see if the populus believes the way they want them to yet. Then they implement the next step in their plan. I know this makes me sound like a tin hat wearer, but we also have been brainwashed to think of those sorts of people who have found out the truth in a certain way as well. Anyway I digress and we as Christians absolutely must stand against this, even if if means our lives (remembering the words of Christ about losing our lives) as did the Russian and Chinese Christians who were slaughtered by leaders who were “planted” by the Rothschild/Rockerfeller/Black nobility (who believe they are related to Jesus through Mary Magdeline, supposedly having escaped Jerusalem…such blasphemy.) So in closing feminism is part of a much larger end time plan.

    1. Our lives, Hayley? Seriously? I somehow doubt that feminism is that important to anyone with the power or care to control people’s minds and kill off dissenters. I honestly don’t recall you saying anything about how or why they’d “kill off dissenters”; when did killing become part of it? Please speak more clearly, your post is hard to read.

  10. Sorry I must have deleted some words at the begining obviously. Aaron Russo was a friend of Nic Rockerfeller. Aaron was invited by Nic to “join them.” Nic said to Aaron “you don’t have to worry about them (the worlds populus) they’re nothing.” Aaron said no thank you I couldn’t do that. Just thought I’d add this extra background.

  11. I consider myself a feminist, but I don’t hate the June Cleaver character. I don’t think of housewives as weak by default either. I certainly believe they can be strong, educated women and some do consider themselves to be feminist. That is what I like to see- women that stand up for themselves, empowered by education, and hard working. If someone doesn’t think a housewife can be those things, then I don’t think they have met many.

    Hayley,

    I think you have missed the mark and might be bordering on paranoia because you cannot prove that about mircochipping or the stuff about the Rockfellers.

  12. Sorry I do have trouble typing when I’m either angry, excited or holding a baby on my lap. You know you can’t prove Christianity either (that’s what’s faith is you know believing without seeing.) Having said that as I hit submit I must have accidentally cut some of my comment out. Do your own research. Even if you don’t believe it or the Bible then read about the Russian revolution for example by Christians that escaped it and lived. How did Hitler kill off people who disagreed? You just think it couldn’t happen in America, well it could. And yes, feminism is about destroying the family and ultimately the individual. Even the Sufferegettes (sp?) were wicked, lewd, disobedient women. Studdies prove women are less happy than they used to be.

    1. Studies alone cannot prove something. One study might say one things, and another the exact opposite. It takes more than studies to make something a fact.

      I did look up some of what you were talking it. It doesn’t have any substance. I just sound like paranoid ramblings. Perhaps that is what you wanted to believe and all it took was a handful of people suggesting it?

      Something terrible could happen in America, but that doesn’t mean there is merit to your claims.

  13. The suffragettes were lewd, wicked, disobedient women? Please don’t make a blanket statement about a whole group of people.

    Susan B. Anthony was pro-life, involved in the temperence movement, fought against slavery, and helped make it so women could own land.

    Would we all really like to go back to the time of Jane Austen, where women were literally thrown to the streets when their fathers died because they could not own land?

    Feminism has a long, interesting history. You can argue whether more bad came out of it than good- but I’m personally grateful for the right to vote, own land, have equal access to my husband’s money and of course, my children.

  14. There are so many points I could debate here. I won’t for times sake and because I don’t know Holly or Ashley personally am not sure about whether I should debate with them anyhow, the Spirit in me says not to. Many offences will come but woe unto them by whom they come. I may have personally offended women here, I’m not sure. Anyhow, I do take issue Ashley with the term paranoia as that implies a psychatric condition. Now, I don’t agree with the psychatric assosciations of any country (they put themselves higher than God.) But just suppose I did then you would have to know my psychiatric history to make such a broad sweeping and offensive statement. This highlighted for me that really online communities are very poor substitutes for communities that happen off-line. Sometimes they can be helpful but I think I should probably stick to my Bible. Let me ask though, if we go with the dictionary definition (I realise these also change over time) then wouldn’t that make anyone who believed the words in Revelation paranoid? Or people who early on put two-and-two together in Europe during the Second World War and escaped while they still could (like the Von Trapps, as far as I’m aware.) It would probably make the Bible believing Christian paranoid too, wouldn’t it? All of us stand guilty of making statements and having beliefs we can’t prove 100%. Incedentally just because someone was a Quaker, doesn’t mean they were or weren’t personally involved behind the scenes in a secret organisation. Whenever we read personal accounts or history books it takes a certain amount of faith to believe what is written therein. I don’t know about you women but for me personally I find it hard sometimes to look at a persons “fruit” to be able to “know” them. How much harder of someone we only have writing about (unless you have personally met Susan B Anthony…sorry I’m not familiar with when she lived but take it that she is no longer with us?) The point I guess I was making was that as a whole the women in the first wave of feminism were disobedient to husbands, lived for themselves and weren’t the quiet, meek women that the Lord would have us be. The movement itself wasn’t about making conditions better for women. Sure that was their cover. Some well meaning “good women and men” were probably swept along with it as happens today. But the point is they were being used. The arguments about women being abandoned only apply to the unsaved as a saved woman should have other relatives that could look after her or if she has been a good Christian then the church she attends should be able to look after her otherwise it’s a blight on the bride of Christ. God places the lonely within families. I have seen “womens rights” in action. Most divorces are started by women and it distroys the family. Women are more easily deceived than men. There is no option for the Christian woman to divorce God hates it. She can separate if she is in danger and pray for reconcilliation. I have one more question. I can’t prove the Bible, does that mean I should ignore it because only a handful believe what it says? I assume you would call yourselves Christians too. Anyway, I don’t wish to debate really. I just felt the need to defend my personal character as it was being attacked. Maybe I’m wrong to do that as this (at least for the time being) is permanently stored in cyber-space.

  15. Hayley- I saw an Aaron Russo video- so I agree with you 100% about everything you have said. You are right about alcohol and the temperance movement. I read that alcohol was once used as car fuel- in the early car days. I no longer vote and have been homeschooling since 1985. At kingdombaptist.org the pastor goes into history on many subjects- tea, sugar, women wearing pants, etc. He has video sermons- click articles then videos. Keepersofthefaith.com covers these subjects in reviews of the Little House Books, Anne of Green Gables,etc.- click articles then book reviews. I have 6 children(the oldest are married with children). My mother-in-law had 9(7 daughters-married with children).

  16. Masonic and Occult Symbols is an excellent book by Dr. Cathy Burns(available at libertytothecaptives.net and her ministry, Sharing) as is her other books and articles. I do question one article she wrote. I have most of her books,etc. She covers the peace symbol, the heart,etc. in the symbols book.

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