Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Good Wife Always Knows Her Place

A friend sent me this 1955 Good Housekeeping article about how to be a good wife to your hardworking hubby. I'll share with you some of my favorite tidbits:

"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."

"Let him talk first -- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours."

"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 always knows her place."

"After providing your husband with a healthful meal, washing the dishes and putting your little treasures of children to bed, join your husband in the marital bed and open your vagina to him so you may perform your wifely duty."

Ok, I made up that last one, but it's pretty much implied anyway. Wow.

On a similar note, I've started reading a book called Finding Betty Crocker by Susan Marks. While I'm willing to bet Betty had a lot of advice similar to that above, she also had a lot of good, practical cooking advice for all those housewives (and out of work husbands). Granted it was all loosely veiled advertisements for Gold Medal Flour, but in the Depression Era at the dawn of radio, Betty Crocker was a revolution in brand marketing.

Also the idea of a radio cooking show maybe isn't really that weird.


Anonymous said...

Check out the Snopes article on this - http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp.

Rogue Designs said...

I have always loved this article.
It was superfab meeting you last weekend!!

sizzler said...

Heinz was on the same page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sa_steve/2848783959/in/pool-consumerist

Sharon said...

*faint* This is hysterical. I can't believe anyone would have bought this back in the day. Can you imagine coming out with such nonsense now? Unbelievable!

Elfya said...


That is funny and explains so much!

How long was that ago? ha ha

I wish I could forward this to my Facebook page!

The truth is that we as women see this as nonsense but I think this mentality is still ingrained in a lot of people. Maybe not so obvious but there is still somewhat of that. A friend of mine for example said that "it was not Michelle Obama's role to give a speech - her role was to stand behind her man" - OMG! Anno 2008.

And I am sure a lot of men AND women out there still think like that.

I love the last part you added!

Very, very funny! And so true!

Anonymous said...

Too funny. You made up the last one, but it wasn't necessary since marital rape was legal at the time. A good wife always performed her duties in bed as consent was implied.