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Rules and advice for wives from the 1920’s

In 1923, the Legal Aid Society of New York City published advice to wives about their menfolk as a list. Here are the ten things you must keep in mind about your other half;

  1. Don’t be extravagant. Nothing appeals more strongly to a man than the prospect of economic independence
  2. Keep your home clean. Nothing is more refreshing to the eyes of the tired, nerve-racked worker than the sight of a well-tidied home
  3. Do not permit your person to become unattractive. A slovenly wife makes a truant husband
  4. Do not receive attention from other men. Husbands are often jealous and some are suspicious without cause. Do not supply the cause. Friendly attentions from others may be received in a spirit of perfect innocence. When reported by the busy-body they become distorted, often criminal
  5. Do not resent reasonable discipline of children by their father. Mothers should not assume that all chastisement of a child by his father is severe and unjustifiable
  6. Do not spend too much time with your mother. You may easily, in such a way, spend too little time at home
  7. Do not accept advice from neighbors, or even stress too greatly that of your own family. Think for yourself. Have a plan of your own for solution of home problems. In all causes consult freely with your husband
  8. Do not disparage your husband
  9. Smile. Be attentive in little things. An indifferent wife is often supplanted by an ardent mistress
  10. Be tactful. Be feminine. Men, in the last analysis, are but over-grown children. They do not mind coaxing, but they resent coercion. Femininity attracts and compels them. Masculinity in the females repels

I would have said that this advice wouldn’t have been out of place in 1950s Ireland. Maybe even later, I don’t know. What do you think?