Marriage Advice from the 1950s—Was it Completely Wrong?—Wit Without Wisdom, Ep. 07

WAD pod Perfect Housewife 2

The 1950’s is perhaps the pinnacle of traditional gender roles. And much of the advice and marketing of the time can make any modern woman rage . . . and many modern men secretly long for yester-year. (Yeah, forget it guys.)

In this episode, expert homemaker, Lynda Dietz, joins us as we bring you your slippers and serve you these deliciously ridiculous tidbits in the style of the 50’s most dutiful housewife.

Trust us, we found some real gems! You’ll be more appalled than hearing a housewife talk about finances at a dinner party or being asked to skip Saturday golf to babysit the kids.

Crazy? Yes. Demeaning? Almost certainly.

But in the modern age of marriage and family, we ask: Was all this advice completely wrong?

With many people longing to return to simpler times and more family togetherness, is there any way to return to a traditional family model that doesn’t include gender bias and servitude?

In this episode you’ll also discover:

  • How to prepare for your husband’s return home from work
  • How to handle infidelity
  • Why our guest, Lynda Dietz, was sued by Hoover Vacuum for patent infringement
  • The study that found men who do these things get less sex

So, grab a cold Moxie from the icebox, throw you favorite Swanson TV dinner in your chartreuse range-top oven, and gather up the family for some good ole fashioned fun!


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Special thanks to Lynda for joining us on this episode! We knew she’d have something to say on the subject, partly because she likes to talk, and partly because she’s been married for quite a while now!
Plus, she even says this in her bio over at Easy Reader Editing: “My hubby and three children alternate between being hilarious or making me mental (there is no in between).” So yeah . . . she knows all about being a housewife! You can follow her here: blog ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook 

What’s the “funniest” marriage advice you’ve heard?


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  1. Listening to this was like chatting with you two all over again. And I had just as much fun the second time! Thanks for asking me to join you.

    I’m not sure if I should tell Tim to listen or not . . . I don’t want to give him ideas. Next thing you know, I’ll be rubbing feet all the livelong day.

    1. You know? Tim already has it good with “The Pennsylvania Most Expert Housewife of ALL Time” so no need to feed him unnecessary ideas, says I. 😂

      And thanks for joining us, it was such a blast!!!!! ❤

  2. Oh, what great fun! As it happens, I’ve been watching videos about the 50s. I’m astonished by some of this stuff, and I lived through the 50s. Had no idea what a traditional marriage looked like, though. Grandma was Rosie the Riveter, built the planes that won the war, and mom was a professional gambler. Neither of them took any guff, and the first man who was in my life on a regular basis was my boot camp D.I. Bonnie and I have been married 43 years; three kids and seven grandkids. Our secret? We do for each other. Some lessons learned from that experience:

    Yes, women following the traditional roles like nice appliances, but be careful when you buy them. Be guided by those times you’ve received power tools as gifts. Is the message “Happy Fathers Day,” or is it “Get to work?” You made me think about a commercial making the rounds recently in which this young hottie is a dominatrix in the traditional leather, boots, whip and all that jazz. She’s having middle aged men come to her house and making them scrub floors, wash dishes, and so on. She shoves the last guy out the door and changes into casual clothes in time to welcome her hubby home from work. There’s a lot to be said for thinking outside the box!

    Astonishing as some of this 50s advice is, the commercials and TV shows that have grated on me for the last quarter of a century are the ones that portray men in general and dads especially as incompetent boobs who can’t find their butt with a piece of toilet paper unless a woman is there to walk him through the process. Worst offender is Everybody Loves Raymond; is Patricia Heaton supposed to be his wife, or his mother?

    By the way, S.K., if you lived back in the 50s, there would be no cutting hubby off. Sex was one of your “wifely” duties, and you would have been required by law to provide it on demand. Guys may claim to miss the “good old days” when a woman knew her place, but I think we’ve all come a long way!

    Like I said, great fun. Can’t wait for next time!

    1. Oh my goodness! That is cool about your grandma!

      Okay, I must say: the young wife in that commercial? That is pure genius and now I feel the need to look into it lol. Ahem.

      And I agree, the same idea applies to men when they receive tools as gifts. On that note and the fact about sex being the wife’s duty in that time, well . . . I mean, my honey can use the tool belt and walk around shirtless, pretend if he must that he’s fixing up the house, and there’s absolutely no problem! My bows will be in my hair ready to go . . . hahaha

      But yes, we’ve come a long way. The balance between the idea of being subservient to your spouse and embracing independence in a marriage is needed. Definitely stay true to who you are as an individual but also be there for each other, do for each other, and do it without unrealistic expectations . . . like rubbing smelly feet lol.

      Thanks for the laugh, Jack! I always look forward to reading your thoughts. 🙂

      1. Hi, S.K. Glad you enjoyed it, but I can’t see your face or hear your tone of voice, so I want to make sure that I don’t leave any unsupportable claims here: Grandma was not the Rosie on the poster. She was one of that legion of women who kept the mines and mills and factories humming while the men were off wielding the stick. By the time I became aware of her in the early 50s, I knew her as a woman who could drive anything, fix anything, operate any machine you could drag in the door. During the war she worked for Lockheed building the P-38, then transferred to Convair to build B-24s. She was one of a handful of women that Convair kept on after the war, and built F-102s, F-106s, and B-58s into the 1960s. I guess once you’ve had a taste of that, it’s hard to go back to being the little housecleaning sex toy whose thoughts aren’t that important, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the seeds of the revolution were sown in the 1950s.

        Thanks for getting back to me on this. I, too, look forward to hearing from both of you; very stimulating conversations to be had here!

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