Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Good Wife's Guide

Are you familiar with the good wife's guide? It was written in Homemaking Monthly in 1955. If you haven't seen it, check it out:

(click to enlarge)

Clearly there are some sexist undertones to this article. For a class of mine I decided to rewrite the good wife's guide for a more modern audience. Before reading, it should be noted that this is definitely not something that would be published in a women's magazine today. I kept a lot of the basic meanings of the original guidelines, while trying to take away the sexism. I think a lot of people would still consider my modern version old fashioned. It makes a lot of assumptions, such as: the women reading this are married, have children, are home when their husbands get home, are in a heterosexual relationship and are married. Therefore, a lot of women would not be able to relate to this article!
Nevertheless, I still believe there is a lot of good advice and that it is well-meaning. A lot of these guidelines are still true today, and have a lot more to do with humility than sexism. Likewise, I think just because this is advise given to a woman, it does not mean a man is not also expected to do the same.
Lastly- it is entirely possible that people in another 50 years scoff at my version. Many of my changes feel simple and normal, but who knows where women and family will be in the future.

(click to enlarge)


T-Ray said...

You go girl! I agree with you!

Shelly said...

When I read that first one from the 50's it made me so mad. Maybe that's not the best reaction, but what makes a man's duties, opinions, and needs more important than a woman's? I know that through time our perceptions are changing and that women are becoming more respected, but stuff like that drives me crazy. I like this assignment that you did.

mallory said...


I dont know how else to get a hold of you. I got a package for you today. It is from urban outfitters. I am not sure why it came here but if you want to come pick it up you can. Or we can meet on campus or something. let me know.

Hotty2007isback said...

I actually want to be a 1950's stay at home mom. That is something I've always wanted to do so that 1950 guide I liked it because I would love to follow that when me and my boyfriend get married!

mick said...

Great article! Loved the updated guide.