Unlike most of my posts, this one isn’t based on my own personal memories of childhood in the 50s and 60s but has been triggered by something which amused me.
Recently, I was on a train and I picked up a copy of the free newspaper Metro. In it was an article inspired by McCall’s magazine’s list of ‘129 ways to get a husband’ which has recently resurfaced online. Fair enough, even now single people can struggle to meet a partner if they live somewhere remote, work in an environment dominated by their own gender or are extremely shy and lacking in confidence. Dating apps and websites are replacing the small ads and can be a great way of meeting people as long as certain precautionary measures are taken in order to stay safe.
What is different about this is how dated it now sounds now and also how extremely sexist! Were men given similar advice? This links with my last post which covered sexist brands and ads from the 50s and 60s. In it I showed some adverts which implied that a woman had to be great in the kitchen in order to keep her man. I’m sure there weren’t any equivalents for men urging them to be handy with the DIY tools so that the woman didn’t leave him for a more capable model!
What follows are some quotes from the ‘129 ways’ list.
‘Don’t whine — girls who whine stay on the vine.’
‘If your mother’s fat, tell him you take after your father. If your father’s fat too, say you’re adopted.’
In the list women are advised to sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons, or ‘accidentally’ spill the contents of their bag in the hope that a handsome stranger will come to help.
The next one is particularly bad!
‘Make and sell toupées. Bald men are easy catches.’
Some examples from the actual list, taken directly from Metro online –
I also did a bit of Internet searching to see if there was a similar amount of advice offered to men at the time but found very little. Some of the tips I did find still managed to turn it around to what was expected of a wife e.g. ‘When you come home to a clean house and a hot meal, be sure to thank your wife for providing you with these things. Surprising her with flowers or another small gift will take you far.’
Finally, this list – abbreviated for the post – gives a list of nine things a wife must always bear in mind if she wants to keep her man happy. All advice was given by so-called marriage experts of the time.
1. A Smile Goes A Long Way
2. Keep Quiet
3. Wear Pink Underwear
4. Don’t Let The Kids Be Too Much Trouble
5. Expert Cooking Will Keep Your Man Loyal
6. Put As Much Care Into Your Appearance As Dinner
7. Don’t Be Too Sexual Or Too Prude
8. Don’t Be Mad If He Goes Astray
9. Remember That The Man Is In Charge
Have things changed? For the better or not? I leave you to be the judge of that This is for entertainment purposes only and I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
As always, my disclaimer is that all pictures and some information has been accessed online. If anyone has an issue with anything in this post, or in any earlier ones, please let me know and I will remove it.