This image has been bouncing around the internet for a while now, and though I’ve discussed at length against the will of my facebook friends, the validity of some of the claims made (for example: keeping the house quiet in relation to the homecoming of many soldiers deployed overseas, and the use of makeup as an act of patriotism), reading this still brings me shock. And not about the emphasized and circled notation, but about the one above it.
I doubt very much that women never questioned their husbands during the 1950’s when this was presumably published. I also doubt that a lady’s function in 1950’s society was limited only to these above societal rules, or similar ones. I doubt this primarily because of all the literature that is produced on this very topic. That is not to say that we can’t learn from these societal rules, and adapt some to function within our 21st century society. From this list alone three of my own personal social guidelines arise:
- Be happy to see them.
- Listen to them.
- Don’t greet them with complaints or problems.
Ladies, there is a social code to live by. Be kind for kindness sake. Ladies are often kind and go out of their way to help others. Don’t let all that girl guide training go to waste. Be polite for politeness sake. People will think highly of you if you are polite as often as you can be, and you will think highly of yourself. As a lady you are an ambassador for good taste, class and charm. Don’t let perceived notions of outdated behaviour dictate acts of rebellion. Your grandmother may have been on to something by telling you to pull your skirt down and put your chin up. Chances are that although you are on this earth to question your husband’s, boss’, neighbour’s … my decisions or words, you are to decide which are best for you, and for the others for whom your decision impacts. Your function as a lady is to be the best you can be in order to make the best decisions for yourself and all other parties involved. Think clearly about your role in life and what you want it to be, and go out and try to achieve it with whomever chooses to support you.
Myself? I admit, I’m a bit mixed up on who exactly I want to be in 30 years, but I can tell you this: Whatever I end up doing for the next week, I will try to do with patience, love and respect for both myself and others.
I might even do it in my Maidenform bra.