Hilarious ‘129 Ways to Get a Husband’ article from 1958 goes viral because of how ridiculous it is
Though women are still far from attaining equality to their male counterparts around the globe, 2018 is still probably the best time in history to be a woman in the western world. We can vote, we can work in any industry we want, we can choose whether or not to have kids, and - overall - we can be in control of our own autonomy.
But it wasn’t always that way.
Not too long ago, women were expected to rely on men once they reached adulthood. And men, in turn, were pretty much raised to believe that women were their inferiors, and that their future wives would obey them.
As crazy as it sounds, these sorts of notions are still within living memory for millions of people - and one resurfaced 60-year-old article just proves it.
“I bought a McCall's magazine from 1958 because the cover advertised an article titled "129 Ways to Get a Husband" and it did not disappoint,” wrote Kim Marx-Kuczynski, who shared pictures of the article on Facebook. “The whole list is littered with WTF but my personal favorite (#40) has had me randomly busting into laughing fits since I read it three days ago.”
The article opens with the lines, “In the United States today there are 16 million women over the age of seventeen who are not married. Presumably, he vast majority of them would like to be,” and then goes on to present the 129 hot tips to bag a man. The list is separated into various sections: “Where to find him”, “How to let him know you’re there”, “How to look good to him”, “How to land him”, and, finally, “Wild ideas”.
Kim’s favourite tip, “Stand in a corner and cry softly”, is certainly one of the best ones - but there are a number of other close contenders. “Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers” is an absolutely cracking suggestion, as is “Get lost at football games” or “Send his mother a birthday card”.
Personally, though, I have to highlight "Point out to him that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men" as my favourite.
As funny as these suggestions may seem to us in the modern day, however, it’s actually a very disconcerting look into how we used to treat women. Almost every single one of these points is asking women to change themselves for the sake of a man, all the while simultaneously implying that men don’t have to change at all.
Plus, all these tips suggest that women can't do anything for themselves without the object of their actions being to score a husband. Just look at the "wild ideas" section, for instance. Renting out advertising space with one's name and number on it or stowing away on a battleship is considered just as crazy as going to Yale. Because, sure, getting an education sure is whacky!
Speaking to Bored Panda, Kim said of the article:
"It’s outdated and absurd and funny, but it had serious intentions.
"Society has changed so much in the last sixty years, and this article exemplifies the differences between what our moms and grandmas grew up with compared to ourselves and the coming generations. It’s fascinating."
I guess if you're a single lady looking for a husband today, you could skim this list and maybe find one or two tips that could be helpful. However, it's more important to realise that people don't need to get married in order to have achieved something in life, and being single is totally fine - no matter what some 1958 article tells you.