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I don’t pretend to know everything about the life of a 1950’s housewife. I wasn’t born until 1980, so how could I? ;) I do know that the housewives of that era have somehow gotten a terribly bad name over the decades. It has become a joke. A HUGE joke. I think it is a shame and, unfortunately, makes being a wife and homemaker harder for many women to embrace now.
I saw a movie years ago called The Stepford Wives, made in 2004, which I’ve been told is a remake from 1975 but I haven’t seen the original. The premise of the movie is that men have control of their wives by microchip and they even come with a remote control! The main character (Nicole Kidman) was a bigtime executive, but is recovering from a nervous breakdown and she’s the one who finds out the truth about the women. The twist is, at the end of the movie, that the wife of the main “husband in charge” is NOT being controlled, but rather it is her husband who is a robot! She wanted to recreate the 1950’s housewives because she thinks it is the way women are meant to be as wives.
Want to know the truth? I couldn’t agree more!! Not the actual remote control part, mind you, but that women be submissive to their husbands like they did back then.
That’s probably a dangerous thing to say now, because of the way most people (especially women) look at women’s “rights.” Feminists despise women being submissive. What’s so bad about submission?
Webster’s Dictionary defines to submit in this way:
To give over or yield to the power or authority of another.
Did you catch the word yield in there? A woman who is submissive to her husband is yielding to him, not being controlled by him! Submitting is not the same as being a subordinate, which is defined as:
Belonging to a lower order or rank; subject to or under the authority of a superior.
As a young, married woman I struggled a lot with this. I didn’t want to submit because I was confusing submissive with subordinate. They are NOT the same. After much prayer, years of being with a good man, and reading Dr Laura’s book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, I have been able to be a submissive wife (finally) and it is blessing upon blessing for me and him!!
See, the thing is, my husband doesn’t order me around. He doesn’t demand anything from me. He adores me. He cherishes me. He loves me “as Christ loved the Church and offered himself up for it.” He treats me really well and he always puts me first (which does not equal getting everything I want, by the way) So, when he gives his view or opinion on a decision he has made for our lives, I don’t have to struggle, because I know he has our family’s best interest in mind. We talk about things – sure – but he has the ultimate say-so. He goes to work day in and day out – What, for…fun?! NO, because he cares for us!! When he asks me to do something, whether it’s to wait on that purchase I was going to make, or it’s a request that I bake his favorite cookies, I want to do it. I want to please him!!
Do I sound like I’m being ordered around? Did housewives in the 1950’s? Maybe sometimes, but I think it was more so that women enjoyed being wives (which includes caring for their husband, children and home). Is it tiring work? Of course. But anything worth doing is a challenge.
I want to share a magazine article from the 1950’s geared toward being a better housewife (you can click it to see it larger):
There are only a few things on here that are just silly – most are dead on!! The last one, “A good wife always knows her place”, has been made to seem like that place is a place of subordination, but it’s not. Yeah, I know my place. It’s as a well-treated, well cared for, loved and cherished wife, who lets her husband be head of the house.
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The Stepford Wives 2004 Paramount Pictures