Last week, I forwarded an e-mail that supposedly reproduced a 1950s home economics or housekeeping magazine article entitled “The Good Wife’s Guide”. However, Snopes.com reports that the article was probably faked.
But then this weekend I read Tanya Erzen’s book, Straight To Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-gay Movement, which reminded me of the Good Wife’s Guide. In one section, Erzen observes a “femininity workshop” at an ex-gay conference led by Lori Leander that teaches ex-lesbians about heterosexual femininity:
. . . Leander asked us to define feminity, and [Anne] Paulk answered that women are ‘soft, warm, nurturing, while men’s bodies are hard and muscular.’ Leander agreed and placed a transparency on the overhead projector listing feminine characteristics: nurturing, weak, relational, soft, gentle, responsive, sweet, expressive, charming, delicate, sensually receptive, prudish, and quiet. Her list of negative female traits included spiteful, smothering, weepy, clingy, and wishy-washy. . . [page 150]
Erzen also says Leander "constantly referred to her Lexus car and extensive wardrobe." Leander also provided a "four-page handout with tips on skin care, makeup, hair, and clothing".
So, it appears there are women today who truly do believe and uphold the "Good Wife's Guide".