As International Women’s Day drew to close yesterday my thoughts were drawn to an unfortunate encounter I had with a book in the mid-seventies.
I was seventeen.
To read it now, one would think that this book was written centuries ago during the dark ages.
For the most part, the 1970s were about social change, the sexual revolution and freedom of expression.
However there was one major catastrophic blip that entered my radar.
It happened during one of my visits to Virginia. I often travelled there to spend some time with my Mother and her husband Jim.
While I was there, we went to visit one of Jim’s IBM coworkers.
Our hosts lived in the Shenandoah mountains high atop a ravine in a beautiful wooden house. They were obviously comfortably affluent.
The lady of the house was dressed in an appropriately 1970s stylishly long dress and her lovely blonde hair was done up in a bun. She wore an apron and when she was not preparing dinner she was knitting in her rocking chair.
Our conversation eventually revolved around to books and what we were reading. She told me that her favorite book was THE TOTAL WOMAN by Marabel Morgan.
I told her that I was unfamiliar with this book.
It was then that she excused herself and got up from her rocking chair and left the room. A few minutes later she reemerged carrying a paperback in her hands.
She handed it to me.
“Here,” she said to me.
“You can keep it.”
It was the book she had just mentioned.
On the cover was the lovely Marabel Morgan with her hair perfectly coiffed wearing a pink dress suit. It was uber 1970’s feminine fashion and of course, Marabel herself was beaming back at me from where she sat on the front cover.
As our hostess began to explain the premise of the book, I could feel Mother begin to bristle. She said nothing, but even from across the room I could keenly sense a low growl.
Mother’s beaming countenance still had the demeanour of a graceful and happy visiting houseguest.
But I knew better.
Mother, no doubt had heard of this book before.
Upon closer examination, each chapter of this book pertained to how to have a happy marriage.
And how do you have a happy marriage?
According to the book THE TOTAL WOMAN a wife must be 100% totally submissive to their husband, and have his dinner and martini ready for him when he gets home. Further, a wife must never ask their husband for anything and thus be a nag.
Yup, just when you think the dark ages are a think of the past, some yahoo comes along and resurrects backward thinking.
After several appearances on the Phil Donahue show, Marabel Morgan was unceremoniously crowned as queen of the anti-feminists.
Perhaps there are some of you who think that such backwards thinking is at long last a thing of the past.
One recent movie release, is a clever variation on this very same theme. It promotes male superiority and female submission in no uncertain terms.
I’m grateful that Mother gave me that warning shot across the bow which immediately made me wary of the backwards thinking that fills Marabel Morgan’s book, THE TOTAL WOMAN.
It’s easy to get swept up in what is thought to be popular, trendy and right.
But in the end I hope you will agree as I differ with another one of today’s popular trends:
It’s not about the bass…
It’s about the R.E.S.P.E.C.T.