I’ve recently been watching the show “Master’s of Sex” which is a “Drama about the pioneers of the science of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution.” The show starts out and takes place in the late 1950’s… about the time I was born.
While the show is primarily about the relationship(s) between Masters and Johnson and others in the cast, it also reflects some things that were going on at the time such as the Pap Smear (which I think is maybe some creative storyline writing as the “Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear” by Dr. Papanicolaou was actually published in 1943) as well as Mammography and also the general thought process on a woman’s place in the world – according to the 1950’s. The show does reflect where we were on smoking and drinking – even while pregnant or inside enclosed office areas and how much of a man’s world some people thought it should be.
The following is from a 1950’s Home Economics textbook intended for High School girls, teaching how to prepare for married life.
1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal – on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with alot of work- weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
6. Some Dont’s: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
Okay… 3 things
1. This was 63 years ago.
2. HA! You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
3. This shit still goes on.
I guess somewhere in my mind I figure that we humans are smart and evolve. What, a foolish idea? I realize evolution probably took longer than 63 years but come on…
Some people want to talk about traditional roles in a relationship, usually a relationship between a man and a woman. Researching this a little, I came across an article written by Yahoo Contributor, Adiv Azriel. Perhaps things were once “another way” and I don’t agree with the ideas that “In most cases men relinquish it in an effort to ‘keep the peace’, in some cases the women ‘demand’ it, believing themselves to be entitled to their ‘voice’.” or, “The family man has been reduced in stature and worth to ‘equal partner’ in a ‘union’ between two consenting adults.” In the end, Adiv suggests that “in order for the schism between the male and female haves of the human race to be dissolved, the traditional roles and equanimity between genders will have to be reverted.”
Well, I suggest that some of you dudes, and Adiv, just better wake the fuck up. Things have changed and there are a lot more things that probably should be changed. Reduced in stature? Relinquishing power in order to keep the peace? How about… you learned to stop being a dick and realize the value and worth of your partner? We will never, ever go back to whatever things were like in the 50’s. If my daughters WANTED to live life that way, it could be their choice to agree to it. I certainly hope that my daughters and my son… and their partners are enlightened enough to not perpetuate an idea that has died long ago.