1950's Home Economics Book Shares Hilarious Tips to Look After Husband | "Put a Ribbon in Your Hair"
If this book were to be published today, it would have created an outrage or been badly trolled. However, it must have been an important document for women back in the 1950s when their role within the family and society was restricted. All they were expected to do was stay at home and take care of their children and husbands. The male members of the family— typically, their fathers or their husbands—would set the rules and women were supposed to follow them. Only after decade-long protests and struggles were women finally able to have a life outside of domestic and marital responsibilities.
A page from a 1950s Home Economics book made waves on Reddit as it featured a bunch of sexist advice and tips for women that are pretty invalid in the 21st century.
The tips are neatly categorized into 10 sections with sub-headings such as "Have dinner ready," "Prepare yourself," "Clear away the clutter," "Prepare the children," "Minimize all noise," "Make him comfortable," "Listen to him," and "Make the evening his." Reading through the list of "tips," we see that women were advised to "stay quiet when the husband speaks," "greet him with a warm smile," and "never complain."
Women were expected to be invisible and dedicate their lives to the well-being of their husbands. The book educated them on how to become "ideal" wives, or whatever the definition of an ideal wife was back in the day. As the husband was the "man of the house," the wife's duty was to make his home peaceful and orderly so that he could renew himself in body and spirit after returning from a day's work.
On top of that, women were required to look dolled up all the time, lest their husbands got bored of them. Some ways to keep husbands happy, as per the book, were to "be fresh-looking" and "put a ribbon" in their hair before he arrived. There are also some "don'ts" in this prescribed "to-do" list for wives of the 1950s. Complaining was a strict no-no for a 1950's wife, even if their husbands were late for dinner. They were told to be considerate and think about all the problems their husbands may have faced throughout the day.
The list also asked women to let the man talk first and air his worries. Even if the woman had something more important to say, she was expected to be silent until her husband finished what he had to say. She was allowed to speak on the condition that she would not raise her voice.
The Reddit community has been laughing their heads off in the comments.
u/Smiling_Duck666 wrote: "Sounds fun by the way, man or woman, a ribbon do be hella cute tho, and I mean we all should be more gay tbh." u/cmaxim doubts if he needs to sleep on the couch for some nights to avoid his wife's wrath after he showed this to her. He wrote: "I showed it to my wife just now and I fear for my life." u/MamaSaurusCat wrote: "I read this to my SO, who just got home from work, and now for everything I say, he is shouting across the house, 'Where is your ribbon!? Be more gay!'"