Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matronly...and proud of it!

I've had something on my mind for a while now.  I've been mulling it over and have wanted to do a blog post about it but couldn't quite get my thoughts out yet.  I needed to think on it a bit more.  Then I read this post at The Apron Revolution and it helped me figure out what I want to say.  (Truthfully, she probably says it much better than I will be able to, so please click the link to read what she wrote.  True and wise words.)

I find myself a bit perplexed and confused as to how things like wearing your pajamas around in public has become not only the norm...but the expected.  And I saw firsthand on a forum today how if ladies dared to say that it was not proper to present one's self in that manner in public, the pajama clad side started slinging accusations of, "Judgement!!!  You can't judge us!!!!" and then they just went down hill from there with all manner of foul language and discontent.

I'll not lie.
It makes me weary.

How did we get to the point that instead of valuing women like this:

Our society now values and is enamored by women like this:

Don't even try to tell me you can't see the difference.

It's as though anything dignified is looked upon with suspicion and disdain.  Anyone who isn't going with whatever is the current flow is gets looked upon in the same manner.  If you don't agree with it and wish to encourage others who share your views, you're looked upon as trying to "recruit" others to your way of thinking.  And also apparently wishing damnation on those who feel differently.

Not true.

But I will be honest and say that our world could stand a rather large dose of dignity right now.   Not so long ago the majority of people wanted to live their lives in such a way that they would be seen as responsible, dignified, and mature.  Now it seems that so many would rather be seen as comfortable in their pajamas in public than a mature and dignified example to the younger generation.

My husband paid me a compliment recently.  He said something that would make the blood boil of most women my age.  But I dearly love what he said and it made me feel wonderful.  I was standing in our kitchen wearing a simple dress and a new apron that I had recently purchased.  He came in, looked me over, and said with a kiss, "Don't you look matronly."  He meant it as a compliment and I most certainly took it as one.  It still gives me a smile when I think of it.  

It seems that at some point being seen as something like "matronly" has become this taboo thing that women associate with...well, I don't really know what they associate it with but it's obvious it's something negative.  I happen to hold no such reserves where that and similar words are concerned and think that the thoughts they convey are wonderful.  I found in one place the word matronly described as, "maturely dignified or stately."  What woman in her right mind wouldn't want to be seen as maturely dignified or stately?

I know that some must think a "matron" could only be a lady who is very elderly.  But in the past, this word wasn't just reserved for the very old ~~ it was used to describe any lady who carried and presented herself as such.  This photo ~ looks to be from the 1950s perhaps? ~ is even entitled by the photographer, "Young Matrons."

So, yes.  I believe in being "matronly."  And I believe that no harm would come but plenty of good would if women still aspired to behave as and be seen as a "matron."  Pajamas in public need not apply.


Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

You are so eloquent...and matronly! haha!! I totally agree. I often get this question when I'm out in public "Why are you so dressed up?" and I want to ask "why aren't you?" Of course, I don't say that...but I should! I'm starting to come to grips with my own matronly-ness as well. I'm 26, have two kids and people are starting to call me "m'am" instead of "miss". Of course, I'm married so m'am is fitting and proper but I'm also starting to realize that I look like a lady instead of a girl and that makes me happy.

Mrs. V. said...

Thank you Brittany! I get the comments asking why I'm so dressed up too - even if only in a very simple dress, hair fixed, but not a stitch of make-up on, lol. I guess anything other than traditional casual wear is seen as overly dressed now by some? Sad, really.

I'm only 36 myself, but I very much feel the matron of this family. And it's a title that I'm proud to wear. I know what you mean about when you start to see that you're being seen as a lady instead of a girl. I remember that time frame when I went through it and it was a sweet place to find one's self. One thing that will still take me by surprise though is there are times now when someone who is a 20-something will address me as "M'am." I'm used to it with kids and teens but the fact that some in their 20s just instinctively call me that now is still a bit of a jolt, lol. I take it as a compliment though. :-)

Holly said...

What a wonderful compliment from your husband! I would love to see more matronly women (of any age) in society. I know more than a few truly matronly women from my church who have touched my life in so many different ways. :)

I oftentimes find myself shocked by what people wear in public these days. I do have house clothes and nicer clothes that I wear in public, but I would never step foot out of my home in pajamas!

I see so many parents dropping off their children at my son's preschool in their pajamas. Even if I am not feeling well, I still manage to get dressed and at least brush my hair and pull it back. Sometimes I go without makeup, but I still look presentable. I do this not only for myself, but for my son. Our children pick up our habits in their lifetime and will emulate us. I do not want my son thinking pajamas are OK out of the home! Love this post!

Kate said...

This reminds me of a time last year when I brought my children to a local greenhouse to buy plants. It is run by a conservative Christian family (denim skirts and jumpers type). I was wearing a below the knees skirt and had my hair in s braided bun. The grandmother asked me if I just got out of work. I told her that I am a stay at home mom and she was shocked because I was dressed like a career girl. I just smiled because I get it all the time. I even get asked why I just don't bum around in sweats all day. Blech. Not for me!

Mrs. Q said...

What a good post, Mrs. V. How women have lost their dignity with the rise of feminism! It is looked down upon to dress nicely and to want to stay home to take care of your husband and children. I hope that more Christian women would put thought into how they dress (as representing the Lord).

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a slippery slope once you let yourself get to the point of wearing pajamas out to the mall! When I see something like this, I seem to always try to give them the benefit of the doubt (I try to be compassionate), such as: hmm, maybe they are sick and just needed to get out for a bit. But no, it never works in the end because I know the real answer: they don't care - for themselves or anyone else. It is sad and I feel sorry for them.

They may argue "who cares what other people think" but really, everyone should care what others think. We should care about each other - in many ways. Other cultures do this very well, such as Japan and other world cultures.

On a final note, I am very glad I found this blog. I am not particularly religious but I still share very similar life aspirations as you. Please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I think the reason we have sunk so low is not just feminism. I believe we are beyond that, it is actually barbarianism. Look at the woman in the picture(the one who is "valued" by our society) and tell me that she doesn't look like she stepped out of a jungle tribe. That is exactly how she looks, and that is where we are headed at breakneck speed. The lines have been blurred between decency and indecency and male and female to the degree that many just have no clue of what true femininity is.