Journal Critique: The Good Wife's Guide

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Life in the fifties, we can say, is different than what life has turned into today. Most couples got married in their early twenties, had children and “lived happily ever after”. The men went out and worked (the instrumental role), their salary usually covered the household expenses. The women stayed home (the expressive role), raised the children and took care of the house. Life was very simple. As time went on, the roles of the household began to shift with more and more women were entering the workforce. (Kunz 5-19) The three articles discussed present the differences and surprisingly similarities of past and present households. In May 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article titled The Good Wife’s Guide. This article provided eighteen tips for women; what they should be performing in the home and how to keep their husbands happy. “Have dinner ready”, “Clear away clutter”, and “Don’t ask him questions about his actions…” are just three of the eighteen instructions. (Housekeeping Monthly) One reason this article could have been so readily accepted, was due to the simplicity of life in that era. Women rarely voiced their opinions or challenged the gender norms. Therefore, the author’s intent could have been, “let’s give women tips on how to make their husbands happier and keep the households in order”. However, taking into consideration the gender norm of the era and contrasting it to the twenty-first century certainly brings up a host of issues when taking into consideration that the majority of today’s families are dual income earners. Although the article did not disclose the gender of its author, one can only assume it was a male. It would be difficult to fathom a female, at least by today’s defin... ... middle of paper ... ...robably go through several more changes in the workforce, household as well as in our legal system. We will see many more similar articles to these three. However, one thing is certain, women will still be seen as the domestic housewife while the man as the breadwinner of the family. Works Cited Kunz, Jenifer. Think Marriages & Families. Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print. Laquer Estin, Ann. "Golden Anniversary Reflections: Changes in Marriages After Fifty Years."Family Law Quarterly 42.3: 333-52. Family Studies Abstracts. Web. 02 Mar. 2011. Rampell, Catherine. "As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force." The New York Times. Feb. 2009. Web. Mar. 2011. . "The Good Wife's Guide." J-Walk & Associates Home Page. Web. Mar. 2011. .

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