Retro Housewife: A Salute to the Suburban Superhero

Retro Housewife: An Attentive Wife

I chose Retro Housewife: A Salute to the Suburban Superhero as the January fact book because it shows the truth about how it was to be a housewife back in the 1950’s. While it doesn’t give all the “downs” of marriage, it does give some pretty forward facts.

An Attentive Wife Intro:

Women of today think they’re under a lot of pressure. What a hill of beans, the housewives of yore might say. They may not have had office careers, but even Xena, warrior princess, would have trouble meeting the exacting standards that Housewives of the mid 20th century were expected to achieve. Especially in the department of wifely duties – never mind the kids, the sock darning and floor scrubbing – being a satellite of planet husband was a full time job in itself, similar to that of celebrities assistance today.

She’s Dustin, wipes nose is, and bandage nice. The laundry is folded in the pot roast is warming in the oven. She’s ready and waiting with first lipstick and smooth hair. But she hasn’t really punch the time clock until the moment her world-weary office gladiator plants one wing-tipped foot through the vestibule.

Then, like an Earthbound Tinkerbell, she flipped around him in circles until he wants for no more – delivering the highball, the newspaper, the slippers, and the dinner with a smile and eyes overflow with a duration. Eagerly, she asked questions about his day, mention her own news and museum until further notice.

Disney’s animated film version of Cinderella was first released in 1950. Even though it was supposed to be for the kids it also inspired many are young women to set her pill box for her very own Prince. And like her mother before her, she accepted that finding and keeping royalty at her side required treating him as such.

And, boy howdy, did she have suggestions to help her in her quest! Women’s magazines and books of the 1950’s an early 1960’s offered endless dreams of advice on “how to be a good wife”, most of wishes women to sublimate their own needs and wants in favor of håå which by today’s moors makes marriage seem like a police state than bliss:

° “Accept him at face value – don’t try to change him.”

° “Recognize his superior strength and ability.”

° “Don’t have a lot of preconceived ideas of what you want out of life.”

° “Revere your husband and honor his right to rule you and your children. Don’t stand in the way of his decision or his law.”

The medieval, Lord-and-serf tone of these tips seems laughable even for the times. Still, the retro housewives motto was “Never complain, never show strain”. No wonder she didn’t need Jazzercise class is to keep that wasp waist trim.

For all her efforts tending to others, she also had a very satisfying secret: her husband, the provider and protector, watch over his nuclear family – but she was its linchpin. Pull her out of the picture and everything would fall apart!”

Tillotson, Kristin. “An Attentive Wife” Retro Housewife: A Salute to the Suburban Superwoman. Portland: Collectors, 2004. 1. Print.


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