Posts Tagged ‘1950s’

Little House on the Prairie and Father Knows Best

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

We squeal with delight when we watch old reruns of tv shows. That includes “Lil’ Hop” (Little House on the Prairie), Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It To Beaver. It’s a look back to gentler, simpler days when the man was the head of the household and us girls just stayed at home, set up house, and raise kids. We just watched a scene from Father Knows Best, where a protestant pastor played a central figure in providing a moral compass, imagine that! (Not the scene below, which has a misleading title, but take a look to get a feel for the show, if you have never seen it)

Stephanie Coontz first wrote a book called The Way We Really Are, then the following book The Way We Never Were, flip-flopping between the assertion that the 1950s conservative nuclear family was a reality and a later postmodern, revisionist reading of that arrangement as a manufactured existence. Whatever side you chose to be on, there existed an entire generation of women who were raised on 50’s sitcoms. We know elderly ladies who DO behave and talk like June Cleaver. They make sandwiches and glasses of milk for kids when they come through the door, affect a sunny disposition with clasped hands, and never seek to stomp other people out in a one-upMANship display of intellectual prowess during a dinner table discourse. They keep quiet, beam a radiant smile, and pass the butter.

Sadly, the overly feminist focus on the traditional family arrangement as an oppression of women a la Betty Friedan has removed the attention on the male figure. Yes, women were expected to attend to domestic duties and pleasing their husbands, but more importantly, men were expected to provide for the family, bring home the bacon, and rise to the responsibility of providing a compass to steer his family through tough times. If we wonder why father no longer knows best, and men today are take-no-charge, self-absorbed, metrosexual debutantes with cabinets full of hair products and well-maintained tattoos, it may have something to do with the “liberated” woman dropping the ball. We fought for many years to be able to bring home the bacon ourselves. And once men found they were dispensable and politically-corrected into obsolescence, they too, dropped the ball.

The dying tradition of the male head of the household and provided of the family is what we try to carry on at the Stepford Wives Organization. For new readers, the rest of our website is here StepfordWives.org and StepfordWife.com

Yesterday’s Woman vs Today’s Woman

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much: (The only people who oppose the Stepford Wife…are women)

Friday, December 10th, 2010

retro wife with husband in kitchen at stepfordwife.com

It’s no secret. We get frequent hysterical emails from readers who are horrified by what we say at Stepfordwife.com / Stepfordwives.org. It’s no surprise, in addition, that most of these offended individuals turn out to be women. Or so they say. It’s the internet, you never know! But our little secret – the one that makes us chuckle and brush the attack mail off – is this: have you ever noticed that everywhere else you come across an article denouncing the traditional wife, it’s always written by another woman?

We love reading newspaper archives from all over the world. And we never realized why our website had more British fans than American ones. After some browsing around, we found that English newspapers and magazines (and British culture) are still fascinated by the role of the wife. It’s only in the American consciousness that feminism has run rampant. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you can understand why the outrage is set at a higher cooking temperature in the U.S.

Here are two from the Daily Mail:

Honey, you’re out of date: Why men no longer want a 1950s wife written by Olinka Koster. (Notice how all the men in the comments section appear to support the traditional wife, even though the author feverishly claims otherwise?)

What women want in 2010: A husband who’ll be the main breadwinner by Beth Hale.

There’s more if you care to subscribe to Questia.com to or other online article / journal archives website.

As I’ve mentioned above, there’s really no way to tell who is who and what is what online. But we’ve pulled our resources together and actually conducted some research of our own on our friends. A few of the girls in the Stepford Group never miss an opportunity to ask real men what they think. The opportunity arises whenever we are in the company of long time friends who are men, or men who are husbands of our friends. Having known these guys for a long time, we have it on good grounds they are being honest. We’d ask something along the lines of:

“Susan and I was having a conversation the other day, and we were debating the idea of traditional roles in marriage. We seem to disagree on whether men would like the modern liberated woman or the conservative homemaking wife. So let’s see if you can help me with a man’s point of view?

Would you chose a wife who makes as much as you, can pick up and go at any time, whose idea of making wedding plans is discussing the prenuptial agreement, whose idea of dinner is “ordering out,” debates every point and topic with you, has strong opinions she will defend vigorously with Powerpoint presentations until she thoroughly and systematically dismantles your thinking through semantics, etymological deconstructionist theories, syllogistic paradoxes, and modern semiotic analyses, OR would you prefer a wife who deeply cherishes and appreciates what you do, admires you as a man, looks to you as the head of the household, and finds endless ways to attend to your needs, spoil you, and make a warm inviting home for you to return to?”

Do you want to hear their answer?

We have asked men from a wide economic range with varying educational levels. So some of the more enthusiastic responses need to be censored for improper language and imagery. In the privacy of our conversation and in the nonjudgmental atmosphere of anonymity, they all answered one and only one way.

Miss America: The Importance of Modesty (update: May 12, 2010)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Miss America 2010 in Lingerie

2010 Miss America hopeful Adrielle Churchill

Cringe ladies! Cringe!

Gone are the days of modest dressing, where men”s creativity was called upon to conjure up the sumptuous dreams of all that lies beneath.

Today, nothing is left to the imagination, as Miss America candidates bare all in recent lingerie shots. Is it further irony, perhaps a jeer towards tradition that they are presented in black and white photos? It”s not that we at the Stepfordwives Organization frown upon dressing suggestively. We do. Just in the privacy of our homes and for our husbands only. Why certainly not for the leers of the general public!

Witness, by comparison, 1957”s Miss America Marian McKnight. So delightful, charming, and demure. We should all be modest in public, because those were the days when ladies were ladies, and men were men!

Miss America 1957 Marian McKnight

2010 Miss America 1957 Marian McKnight