21 Feb 2012

Women: Judging The Shit Out Of Each Other Since The Dawn Of Time

From the March 1950 issue of Chatelaine, "Housewives Are A Sorry Lot" by Beverly Gray:

Get mad all you like. But somewhere in this article there's a truth for every one of us.

Beverly Gray, a business girl, looks over her married friends, shudders, takes reef in her girdle and strikes out these observations:
  • Marriage brings about a full stop in mental development.
  • As soon as the wedding is over a woman drops phoney interests in such things as sports, politics, and world events.
  • Her life channels into a narrow domestic little tunnel.
  • A girl expects her husband to be a combination of Ronald Coleman, Gregory Peck, and Humphrey Bogart.
  • Chat with any housewife and she's sure to bring the conversation round to how terribly frustrated she is.
  • If the individual housewife is a saddening sight, housewives in the mass are appalling. 
I want to know what kind of day Beverly Gray had that made her plunk her ass down at the typewriter and write this all out.

I don't know why I love this so much - it's got to be the bluntness and the how-dare-she'ness of it all. It, of course, only gets better from there:

And it goes on and on ... basically labelling housewives as lazy bags who let their looks and minds melt to mush on account of their obsessions with crap like soap operas, romance magazines, and running a home. Throughout the article, Gray has no sympathy for the women who put themselves into this position, but rather, she feels bad for the husbands who have to come home to these griping "militant matrons":


She gives no advice on how women can become happier creatures - that's not the point of the article; the point is: Beverly Gray has an opinion and a rabid need for attention. Why else publish something like this?

But, oh, how I love it. Her opinions are so unapologetically out there; wild, swinging, untethered punches to the face and stomach, as if they were Lindsay Lohan's boobs on the way to a courtroom. I think I adore it (the article, not Lohan's rack. Well, maybe Lohan's rack, too) because it's so ridiculous.

We, of course, still judge each other all the time, but do we really care that much about how other people live? Do we really feel that strongly about it? It's so easy today to get online and barf an opinion out about anything, but does that really reflect how we feel about each other most of the time (presuming we really spend that much time thinking about others at all)? And do we really care what other, totally random people think of us? Do you?

According the June 1950 issue of Chatelaine, over 500 housewives wrote in to comment on the article. I'll pop some of those entertaining replies in the next post!


Vivianne 7:13 pm, February 21, 2012  

I will go public and say that I am a housewife, and happy to be. But Beverly makes me laugh nonetheless. Certainly her observations are at least partially true, and that's what makes them funny, but the same kinds of observations can be made about working women in a general sweep. Equally funny, I think.
I really do wish women would stop judging each other (men don't!), but it would also take some of the amusement out of life, don't you think?

Marsha,  8:46 pm, February 21, 2012  

Little nuggets of truth, hidden amid the bile. But horribly funny, and as something of a "business girl" myself, I might have to confess to thinking some of these things. But I'd NEVER have the gall to say 'em.

My conclusion. Miss Gray is the "other woman", and is trying to justify why it's soooo understandable that her "boyfriend" is cheating on his wife. :)

Roberta,  1:15 am, February 22, 2012  

"Takes a reef in her girdle"??? Sounds messy.

Blair Frodelius 4:38 pm, February 22, 2012  


It's actually a misprint. It shoudl read "Tokes a reefer from her girdle". You could hide a lot of stuff in there.

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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