Sunday, August 26, 2007

How To Be a Good Wife

From a 1953 Home Economics Book

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will also give you a lift.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small). Comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

Some don'ts. Don't greet him with problems or complains. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for hinm. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing, and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The goal. Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.


ladylawyer said...

this one must have "trickled down" from generation to generation : ) I still do that... well, when I am with someone that is!?! Oh well. -Lisa

ladylawyer said...
(an especially good one : )
(another good one…)
(yet another good one…)

andsoitgoes said...

I have read this before and each time it amazes me a little more. This shows how trained women are to take on traditional roles.

This to me is the after "seduction." The woman has already lived to gain a husband but now she is living to keep him happy. Why would a woman ever have to live like this. A constant charade. While it was taken from a book in 1953 I think it still rings true in todays society.

There seems to be a fight between women who try to reach a life in a traditional, male pleasing way and then there is another way where women are trying to please men but are playing feminist.

By playing feminist I mean they say things that seem to be views a feminist would hold but all in all they are still seeking male approval. They rebel against social trends but still give in to some beauty regimes just to try and be visually pleasing. They do freshen up and make sure they look nice without being the "hot" chick. They play artsy or attempt to be male like in order to grab male attention. Its much more underhanded and self destructive then the women who are simply putting themselves out there.

Now the women who do put themselves blatantly in the traditional roles are often bombarded by views such as the ones presented in the excerpt from the book. These women fall into their "place" and feel the need to become the perfect housewife, mother and comfort for their husband without giving a second thought to their own wants. Playing the part is mentioned in the article in relation to the children and this seems to be the way the world sees all excluding the male in the dominating position. Everyone in the home must play to him the parts he wants to see, must make his life easty even if that adds to the stress or discontentment of the rest of the family.

Regardless of the approach this take on a womans role is still evident in todays life and in the mindset of women everywhere.

Anonymous said...

This article is hilarious because it was actually in a home economics book in the 50’s. Now I will not argue, what man would not want to come home to this at the end of the day, but to teach in schools, that is ridiculous. This just goes to show the socialization of gender roles in our society. Men go to work and provide for the family will the women stay home and raise the kids while taking care of the home. I have said before if women want to do this that is fine with me, but I do not encourage it, but to teach it in schools is just wrong. To tell little girls that this is the role they should play in the world this just awful I cannot really comprehend the magnitude. We taught from a young age to do whatever they tell us to do in schools so how could this awful tutelage be taught and we expect women to do anything else. No wonder there was such a backlash during the sixties and seventies, I mean I get mad when someone tells I have to eat a certain thing or wear a certain thing, let alone have my entire role in society pre determined for me. I would have been pissed too.

Anonymous said...

This article made me laugh but at the same time it really pissed me off. It’s said that this was really published in the 1950’s for young women to read and learn from. Although it’s enlightening to look back on a text like this, I can identify parallels with this article and my grandmother’s behavior to a T. I admire my grandmother because I believe that she is a strong woman that has endured great struggles in her life. When I reflect on her behavior I just want to tell her everything that I’ve learned about feminism, I want her to understand where I come from, but I know I can’t. She came from a different time, a different place, and a different set of rules. Although those standards of how to be a good wife still exist through tradition, being able to identify the flaws of this school of thought is essential for change to occur.
My favorite part of the article is “Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.” This epitomizes the entire article and the self sacrifice that was expected of women during that time period. I hope that I never put on a “gay face” for my husband in the future and I hope when he married me he thought I was interesting enough to not have to pretend.

Scottye said...

How to Be a Good Trophy Wife, By Scott Sparks.

Cooking (or The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through Your Servitude in the Kitchen).

Start by learning to cook the basics, common breakfast foods that he likes, bacon, eggs, ham, your dignity and self worth. Things like that. Once they’ve been fried up real good, serve them to him with a smile (and don’t let him see the shame he inflicted upon you the night before in the bedroom).

Then move on to dinner. Pork roast is always popular served with some potatoes and carrots. On the side you my might include your humanity and autonomy. Those are always favorites at the Real American dinner table.

Housekeeping (or Slaving Your Way to a Gesture of Kindness).

Another major aspect of pleasing your hard working and diligent husband is keeping his house clean. It’s his house because he slaves all day in the office to pay for it. So shut your mouth about this and that triviality or he’ll be force to discipline you again. Just clean. Maybe, if you’re particularly good, he’ll buy you a necklace and take you to dinner. Something you both can enjoy!

Following these major guidelines will help you decrease all of those beating you get, but the psycho-sexual humiliation can’t be stopped. Sorry!