In 1923, the Legal Aid Society of New York City published some advice to wives in the area, in the form of the following list of rules.
(Source: Family (Great Contemporary Issues.); Image via.)
- Don't be extravagant. Nothing appeals more strongly to a man than the prospect of economic independence.
- Keep your home clean. Nothing is more refreshing to the eyes of the tired, nerve-racked worker than the sight of a well-tidied home.
- Do not permit your person to become unattractive. A slovenly wife makes a truant husband.
- Do not receive attention from other men. Husbands are often jealous and some are suspicious without cause. Do not supply the cause. Friendly attentions from others may be received in a spirit of perfect innocence. When reported by the busy-body they become distorted, often criminal.
- Do not resent reasonable discipline of children by their father. Mothers should not assume that all chastisement of a child by his father is severe and unjustifiable.
- Do not spend too much time with your mother. You may easily, in such a way, spend too little time at home.
- Do not accept advice from neighbors, or even stress too greatly that of your own family. Think for yourself. Have a plan of your own for solution of home problems. In all causes consult freely with your husband.
- Do not disparage your husband.
- Smile. Be attentive in little things. An indifferent wife is often supplanted by an ardent mistress.
- Be tactful. Be feminine. Men, in the last analysis, are but over-grown children. They do not mind coaxing, but they resent coercion. Femininity attracts and compels them. Masculinity in the females repels.