Says Candace Cameron Bure, an actress I'd never heard of, who has a book.
This got me trying to remember a trend in the 1970s that took this approach. There was Marabel Morgan's "Total Woman":
The Total Woman sold more than ten million copies and was the bestselling nonfiction book of 1974. Grounded in evangelical Christianity, it taught that "A Total Woman caters to her man's special quirks, whether it be in salads, sex or sports," and is perhaps best remembered for instructing wives to greet their husbands at the front door wearing sexy outfits, or draped in transparent saran wrap, with nothing (but herself) underneath. "It's only when a woman surrenders her life to her husband, reveres and worships him and is willing to serve him, that she becomes really beautiful to him," Morgan wrote.I think there was another book that was less oriented toward sex, something more like "the surrendered wife," but I see Morgan talked about "surrender" and that there was a book that came out in 2001 called "The Surrendered Wife," which inspired a movement, "The Surrendered Wife movement," if I am to believe Wikipedia.
Here's a 2001 NYT article about "The Surrendered Wife":
Her suggested path back to marital bliss runs suspiciously close to the doormat. ''Instead of throwing out traditional roles, try them on again,'' [the author, Laura] Doyle exhorts in Chapter 13, called ''Abandon the Myth of Equality.''...Do men really want their wives gathering in circles with other women and chanting "surrender" cant?
[The book] has inspired Surrender Circles around the country where women gather to practice saying, ''Whatever you want, dear'' with a straight face....
Ms. Doyle believes that every decision, from vacations to child care, is an opportunity to make a husband feel more masculine and thus more eager to please. To get hubby to carry packages, a wife should marvel at how big and strong he is. ''This will feel odd -- perhaps even dishonest -- at first,'' writes Ms. Doyle, who actually suggests that women practice covering their mouths with duct tape to curtail the urge to sass....I love the "at first." If you're bullshitting, at first, you'll feel uncomfortable, even ashamed, but make it a habit, and that old, nagging conscience becomes a thing of the past.
The surrendered wife provides sex on demand (a rather innocuous edict compared with a zestier suggestion in Marabel Morgan's 1973 work, ''The Total Woman,'' which urged wives to greet their husbands naked and wrapped in cellophane). Being available, Ms. Doyle temporizes, ''doesn't mean you don't have to ask for what you want first.''You've got to give old Marabel Morgan credit for putting an image in our head that we never forget... or remember mostly. Cellophane and Saran Wrap are not the same. You could get more compression with Saran Wrap — more of a Spanx effect — while cellophane would merely be loose, albeit transparent, packaging. But there's no accounting for taste. Try both! Try aluminum foil too. Who knows what household wrap best contains a woman's "zest."
By the way, why is sex on demand considered "innocuous" compared to presenting yourself wrapped in Saran on the day of your choosing? Maybe only because sex on demand is a more abstract concept. I think if you go through the effort of picturing it — and what an arduous mental exercise that is! — you'll see that it's "zestier" than the old 1970s Saran Wrap routine.
That's a long digression. You may remember that I was on a search for another 1970s books, something less sex-oriented than "The Total Woman." I ask Meade if he remembers, and he suggests "The Sensuous Woman." No, no, that's more sex-oriented. "Not too long ago only 'bad' girls had a good time in bed. 'Good' girls endured — and wondered what they were missing."
What I am missing is the name of that other 70s book. I Google "counter-feminist books of the 1970s" and get to Wikipedia's "List of feminist literature," which is in chronological order and is very long.
I spot Andrea Dworkin's "Right-Wing Women," from 1983, which probably has the answer I'm looking for, but I'm not seeing it in a searchable form. I searched the NYT for a discussion of Dworkin's book (which I read 20-some years ago), and I found the puzzlingly titled "JOINING HANDS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PRONORGRAPHY." (The NYT also spells "pornography" correctly many times, but also misspells it as "pornograpy," so I'm just going to guess that the word elicited messiness in the proofreaders.)
That NYT article revisits the old anti-pornography movement, which presented the feminist problem — I remember this so well! — do you want to win a fight that you can only win in alliance with the right wing?
Miss Dworkin said she had never met [Jerry] Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly or any other conservative leaders. ''But more and more right-wing women are coming to hear me speak,'' she said. ''They keep reading in the papers that they're on our side, and I'm having the most interesting conversations I've ever had in my life with them. I don't ask women to pass a political litmus test to talk to me.''Now, I've dragged you into the 80s, but the 80s grew out of the 70s, and there was an interesting interplay between feminism and the answers to feminism, especially in the way the more radical feminists diverged from liberal feminists of the NOW ilk and found fellowship with the right-wing women. But this is only a blog post, and we can't go down all these roads. I've already gone too far, I didn't find what I was looking for, so I'm stopping now, and I'll update if anyone reminds me what's that book from 4 decades ago.
While many feminists disavow Miss Dworkin and her work, she, in turn, is critical of what she calls ''organized feminism'' for not taking a stronger stand against pornography. ''The National Organization for Women is incredibly cowardly and timid on the issue,'' she said, ''because they don't want to alienate their liberal supporters.''
UPDATE: A reader emails the name of the book I was trying to remember: "Fascinating Womanhood."
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