The Good Wife’s Guide to International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day no less.


More importantly, as New Boyfriend helpfully pointed out this morning, whilst encouraging me to enjoy my day ‘being independent and thinking about voting and what-not’, it is also British Pie Week. Excellent. I can kill two birds with one stone and celebrate my release from the constraints of the kitchen by making a nice pie.

I do actually feel like I have done my bit for IWD this year, not least with my campaign for equal rights to orgasms. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a rant about my local arts centre’s plans for the day – a celebration of the social, economic and political achievements of women in the form of knitting, foot reading and a spot of afternoon yoga. All very lovely in its place, but it hardly felt inspirational – “that’s right ladies, reach for the sky! You can do it! Fantastic… That’s right, now bend down and touch your toes…” Hmmm…

Well anyway, following my less than enthusiastic response to the proposed programme, the organisers called my bluff. “Thank you so much for your interest,” they said, “we do actually have a slot free in the morning for someone to lead a discussion, and it would be great if you could talk about women’s respresentation in the media.”


Well, I could hardly complain and then not be prepared to put my money where my mouth was could I?

So on Saturday morning I found myself rocking up to Bridgwater Arts Centre, my arms full of the papers and copies of Nuts magazine, and my mind empty of any plan other than the vague idea that it would be nice to have a sit down and a chat over the papers, and that perhaps I might even be given a cup of tea.

There are apparently a grand total of ten women in Bridgwater, workshop leaders and arts centre staff not included, who care about gender issues, which was actually about eight more than I had imagined, so really a very positive start to the day. Four of them even opted to come to my discussion, rather than spend the morning discovering their singing voices or experiencing the delights of a massage chair, so I wasn’t left sat on my own. Hoorah! I found it all very interesting – we talked, there wasn’t too much yawning and looking surreptitiously at watches, so I considered it a job well done.

Meanwhile, in celebration of IWD, a friend emailed me this morning with a ‘Good Wife’s Guide’ from a 1955 edition of Housekeeping Monthly. How thoughtful of him. Top tips for preparing to welcome hubby home from a hard day at the office include:

  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but let him talk first. Remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment. Remember he is the master of the house. You have no right to question him.

Inspiring stuff.

So what are you waiting for ladies? It’s International Women’s Day – crack open the dustcloths and get involved…



  1. 8 March, 2011 / 11:53 am

    Lol, “remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours” – that tickles me :)

    Personally, I feel that I have slightly let the side down, having thought very little and done even less about IWD this year – I am going to see a about women and breast cancer and pole dancing later though, will that do?

    • 8 March, 2011 / 5:48 pm

      Hmmm, a show about women, breast cancer and pole dancing? Intriguing! If you could write it up on your blog with an IWD angle I think that would be acceptable. :-)

  2. 8 March, 2011 / 11:53 am

    You just made me snort so hard, Cup-a-Soup came out of my nose!

    • 8 March, 2011 / 5:48 pm

      Hahaha! I love it! I’m thinking of adding a testimonials page – can I include this please??

    • Beth
      8 March, 2011 / 6:37 pm


  3. 8 March, 2011 / 3:12 pm

    I know those tips are a bit reactionary but I suppose what you can learn from them is you should try to please your man (and he should try and make life easier for you too). I know many couples who are just totally knackered at the end of the work day and barely say two words to each other – which can’t be good for any marriage!

    • 8 March, 2011 / 5:51 pm

      I think you’re right Emma. As much as we scoff, we’d all quite like our husbands to be that caring wouldn’t we? Give and take and all that… Not sure I’d get as far as the dusting though, I might just have to stick to the warm smile :-)

  4. Lisbeth
    8 March, 2011 / 5:35 pm

    Tips for husbands:

    * DO NOT Be gay, even a little bit. Your wife wants you to put up shelves and take out the rubbish, not fanny about with her Clinique Facial Buff.
    * Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables. Then go to Asda and get the shopping. NOT JUST MEAT. Vegetables should also be given some consideration. Pick up a bar of Galaxy on the way out, for your wife, whose boring day needs a lift.
    * Over the cooler months of the year you should put a nice hot water in her bed, and not whine like a piglet if her cold feet go near your warm calves. Man up and take it. After all, catering for her comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
    * Greet her with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please her. Cunnilingus is always a welcome addition.
    * Listen to her. Yes you, you dozy fucker. The whole point is that one person talks, and the other person listens. Can you fucking concentrate for one minute? Jeez.
    * Offer to take off her shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. Not the voice you use when you notice that these shoes were still in the shop yesterday, along with that matching handbag and HOW FUCKING MUCH WAS THAT?
    * Don’t make tea unless she has definitely had an orgasm. Just lie there and get on with it until you are dismissed. Don’t sigh heavily or mutter about getting the dinner on, or you will get yourself a formal warning.
    * If you need to remember that her day was just as important as yours, it might be better to just pack your bags now and return to your mother’s house for the time being.
    * Don’t be a little bit gay. Oh did I mention that already? It’s really off-putting.

    Lots of love. YOUR WIFE.

    • 8 March, 2011 / 5:52 pm


      If I’d have been drinking a cup-a-soup when I read this I would have definitely snorted it out of my nose.

  5. Your Sisters Boyfriend
    9 March, 2011 / 10:14 am

    I spent the day cleaning, followed by cooking, followed by taking Finn swimming followed by more cleaning then cooking then took Finn to the park followed by oh… more cooking and cleaning… I really showed the world what a modern woman is made of in 2011… I did listen to Woman’s hour which had a FASCINATING discussion on lemons, apparently pancake day required far more coverage than IWD. Aaron did make his own pancake (although, I made the mix, the filling and washed up so he basically just tossed it)-does that count?

    • 9 March, 2011 / 5:38 pm

      I’m confused.

      I thought this was Aaron showing off (although the list of chores seemed unlikely) but I’m guessing this is My Sister rather than My Sister’s Boyfriend.

      Good to know you can rely on him to do his own tossing at least though.

      • Your Sister
        10 March, 2011 / 11:58 am

        Yes, it was me…obviously I can’t work the computer properly with my tiny lady brain.

  6. 9 March, 2011 / 9:20 pm

    After lolling exuberantly at this fantastic 1955 guide I felt the need to explain myself to my other half as to what tickled me so. I started like this “hehe, this except from 1955 on being a good housewife is hillarious, listen to this…” he interjected in a curt, very rude and dismissive tone “I’ll listen after the football darling I’m just concentrating right now”
    Well, I thought, haven’t things changed since 1955… oh no wait!

    • 9 March, 2011 / 11:33 pm

      Ha, that’s brilliant! Did he make you take his shoes off too and light a nice fire for him to sit by while he enjoyed the game?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.