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May 17 2013

Your good ole day guide to marital bliss

Update: Bruce notes in comments that Snopes says it’s likely fabricated but still expresses many such sentiments common at that time.

Via the Stephanie Miller show I heard this 1955 guide to marriage, written for the then modern women, I guess? Anyway, it is hilarious. A few side-splitter excepts below the fold:

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal (Especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. A good wife will always know her place.

You could basically take that list and win any How to Lose a Woman in Five Minutes contest.

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  1. 1
    peterh

    Reads like a latter-day version of the misogynist/submissive nonsense in both I & II Timothy, greatly beloved of many fundies but now known to be forgeries.

  2. 2
    brucegee1962

    Actually, there’s an article about this on Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp

    Mikkelson definitely showed that the magazine version linked to was a modern fabrication, and she wasn’t able to find any exact source from the 50s; however, she didn’t write it off entirely, since her research came up with several other writings that expressed almost identical sentiments.

  3. 3
    Reginald Selkirk

    Be a little gay …

    Yes yes yes. What man doesn’t fantasize about a threesome with his wife and another woman?

  4. 4
    steve84

    What’s weird is if you contrast this stuff with WWII. With millions of men in the army, women at home had an amount of independence they’d never seen before. Millions of them were recruited into the war industry and hundreds of thousands into the military. For many it was the first job they ever had. I get that in many ways that was done out of necessity or desperation, but I still wouldn’t have expected the pendulum to swing back so completely after the war. And it was the same in other countries like Canada and Great Britain. I guess it makes sense for the men and society in general to go back to the old ways (and the men wanted their jobs back), but I can’t see that younger women were really happy with it.

  5. 5
    left0ver1under

    steve84 (#4)

    As the song used to go:

    “How ’ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm / After they’ve seen Pa-ree?”

    Which can be rephrased as:

    “How ’ya gonna keep ’em in the kitchen / After they’ve seen a paycheque?”

    Or generally:

    “How ’ya gonna keep ’em as second class citizens after they’ve seen what their rights are?”

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