I know times were different then. But from today’s standpoint it’s really hard to believe women bought into all this. Yet at the time, it was normal. Though I expect there were more than a few nay-sayers even back then.
From a 1955 Good Housekeeping article:
[Alla italics stay mines ones.]
1. 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 is part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
3. Be a little gay [my, now times have changed!] and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
4. 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.
5. During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
6. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
Be happy to see him.
7. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
8. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. (OMG!)
9. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
10. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. [OMG#2] Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
11. 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.
12. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
13. 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. [OMG #3!!]
14. A good wife always knows her place. [OMG #4]
I get riled up just reading this! As if what women were doing at home was a piece of cake. Then I think, no wonder men began to think women were a bunch of beeyatches when da wāhine went to work and wouldn’t do all that stuff anymore.
Men had it so good back then. But what a burden on the women! I wonder if there were any nasty Letters to the Editor after that magazine hit the newsstands! Probably not, since good wifeys weren’t supposed to say anything in those days.
There are songs from that era that correspond to this kind of thinking too, the most egregious of which is:
“Wives & Lovers,” Jack Jones.
The melody and arrangement are beautiful, but . . . Here are some of the lyrics:
“Hey! Little Girl
Comb your hair, fix your makeup
Soon he will open the door
Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger
You needn’t try anymore
For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I’m warning you…
Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don’t send him off with your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again”
No…….i not touchin’ dis wun.
Of course I do some of this stuff, but my motivation is SO different.
I like feeding my guy, for example, but it is definitely not a duty!
Awwww… Actually, I think it is beautiful. To LOVE someone so much that such things like that aren’t chores at all, but how one demonstrates love to a lover. It reminds me so much of how Jesus washes the disciples feet. Everyone was shocked that he WANTED to do such things, but it was love. Total love.
Honestly…. I would LOVE to be able to love someone that way. And yes, if I did, that would be my place, because I would choose to be there doing all of that and even more! And if it were that way, my guy would be motivated to return Love in similar ways as well. We’ll be slaves to LOVE together.
But then again, for someone who has not found love like that, of course rebellion would occur if it was forced upon people. LOVE comes first, and then one gladly becomes bonded to it in such devoted ways. Without love as a motivation… such tasks are near to impossible.
I agree with Kikue Mugen! I’ve heard that message read at a wedding and everyone had a good laugh at how things had changed, but if you look beneath the surface, it’s actually about being unselfish and putting the other person first. Imagine if someone had written an article for the husbands: “Don’t be all grumpy and tired when you get home, don’t go on about how horrible your work day was… Remember your wife has been all day alone in the house with the children, with no adult companionship – she’s been busy getting everything nice for you… Make sure you tell her how much you love her, and how you appreciate all she does for you… Tell her she’s beautiful and you’re proud of her and the children… Give her the chance to talk about something grown-up” etc. etc.! Kikue Mugen is right – what a joy to love someone so much. Actually the Bible does not tell wives to love their husbands, but to submit to them. It tells the husbands to love their wives! If they truly loved their wives, the wives would’t need to be told to love their husbands – they would anyway. That’s Biblical love.
It doesn’t work because people are selfish and put their own demands first. It’s a sad world!