Here's the 1950s Quiz That Proves You Are a Terrible Wife

Categories: Studies in Crap

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Author: Dr. George W. Crane
Date: The early '50s
Publisher: Dr. George W. Crane

The Cover Promises: "100 Point Rating Scales"! A "Blueprint for Happiness"! And that cutting out photos of the human head was tricky before Photoshop, especially when dealing with the lenses of glasses, which here make it look as if poor Dr. Crane had a small breastlike loaf of flesh growing from his eye socket.

See More:
- Here's the 1950s Test That Urges Husbands Not to be "Sissies"
- Ladies, Fail Your Families With the Housekeeping Board Game

Back before the godawful tyranny of "That's what she said," people who are incapable of making actual jokes yet who still wanted to be considered funny shared the habit of adding a spirited "In bed!" after a friend or authority figure or fortune cookie said something that maybe sounded a little bit dirty. Here's the perfect opposite of that trend: The first three words of the first entry on Dr. George W. Crane's fifty item list of possible wifely "demerits" are "Slow in coming." The the next two words are "to bed."

Here is the rare case in which adding bed actually cleans up a statement. Dr. Crane purports in this absurd, nasty pamphlet to have polled 600 husbands [in bed] about the merits and demerits of their wives; the most common of these responses he assigned a point value and then organized into two lists of 50 items each. None of these approach the frankness of that first entry's first words, but wifely "merit" #23 suggests that that phrasing was not a fluke:

"23. Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress. (10)"

That "10" afterwards is how many points that question is worth. Note that this is twice as important as merit #17 ("A good cook -- serves balanced meals") and ten times as #37 ("Gives husband shampoo or manicure") or #29 ("Writes to husband's parents regularly").

The demerits never state so directly that it is a woman's job to get off at her husband's behest. But if they ignore the receipt of pleasure, they're strident about the giving of it. A wife loses points if she:

8. Goes to bed with curlers in her hair or much face cream.
23. Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before a date or going to bed.
25. Wears pajamas while cooking.
27. Is more than 15 pounds overweight.
30. Shoulder straps hang over arms or slip is uneven and shows.
50. Walks around house in stocking feet.

But she can't be too sexy, as demerit #5 is "Wears red nail polish." (If all those complaints about what women should and shouldn't look like sound familiar to you, that's because dumbasses repeat them every single week in comment threads on recaps of Girls.)

The cover of another of George W. Crane's pamphlets offers all the evidence you might need that he is not impartial in the battle of the sexes.

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As you might expect, the husband's demand a higher standard of conduct from their wives than they themselves are willing to live up to. From the list of "merits":

11. Religious -- sends children to church or Sunday School and goes herself.
12. Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays.

And from the demerits:

11. Flirts with other men at parties or in restaurants.
12. Is suspicious and jealous.

One demerit suggests that we should give less credence than ever to the myth of a single-income1950s America ruled by high wage-earning fathers. Minus five points for the wife who:

17. Reminds husband it is her money they are living on.

Other choice demerits:

14. Smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope.
15. Squeezes toothpaste at the top.
32. Corrects husband's speech or actions before others.
44. Insists on driving the car when the husband is along.

And the most alarming/hilarious merit:

49. Praises marriage before young women contemplating it.

Why would a woman ever want to do anything other than that?

Anyway, the complete quiz is on the next page. Why not score yourself? (I would add "in bed," but there's a chance you might just have eaten an onion.)

Also, here's another Studies in Crap look at Dr. Crane's ridiculous work!



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16 comments
susanbatesbezek
susanbatesbezek

What about those UGLY men with nice looking wives?????????BAAAAAAAAAAAARF!

Naia
Naia

As much as people might disagree with the premise of having a test and say that it is sexist is pretty much nullified by the fact that there is a male version and that in modern times many woman regularly "test"themselves with quizs on every facet of their own personality. "What element are you?" "Are you a slut?"

Of course self evaluation is a good tool but often can be biased which is why anyone who is concerned about improving will eventually pick real evaluation.

Another problem some might have is some of the questions like does the wife drink. The disclaimer at the bottom of the test says that the questions are a summary of general complaints by 600 men!! Your bound to get such a wide spectrum!! In fact if my husband was asked he would say he's upset I don't drink more!!

Realistically if you were interested in evaluation by your significant other or even self evaluation depending on your spouses mores and goals then you would have them pick and choose what questions they were interested in and assemble the quiz from that.

Hopefully people in a relationship talk enough  and know each other well enough that there would not be so many surprises. Some of the questions come down to rudeness. Even though using the sink to soak various things is a time honored convenience on both sides of the gender line. It is rude to prevent your spouse from using the sink for an entire evening or in the case of a rude roommate 3 days!!! Not to mention the inherent rudeness of the soaker in more than likely not washing their hands post bathroom use.

I love doing tests with my husband. A big one we did recently was about the 5 languages of love. We found out 1/5 we dont care about either of us, 3/5 we were identical and 1/5 we needed to reciprocate better to each other to better express how much we value the other person.

I love improving my relationship with my loved ones whatever form that takes!


miss.laura.rae
miss.laura.rae

lolwut? This is the most absurd thing I've ever seen. Was it marriage or slavery? It seems more like the latter. HOW DARE YOU TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR MASTER OR USE THE WASH BASIN AS IF IT IS YOUR OWN?

emelio.lizardo
emelio.lizardo

How about a studies in crap view of the misandry of gender studies?

anonymous
anonymous

I'd like to see the quiz for husbands. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

The sad thing is many modern women actually take PRIDE in several of the demerits.  

Anonymous
Anonymous

There's nothing wrong with most of them.  

gentlemencaller
gentlemencaller

@Anonymous Where can I find my bliss by finding a woman who can pass this test?  All I've found are spoiled entitled princesses who profess that they are always put upon yet can't be bothered to think about anyone but themselves

jeckiemt
jeckiemt

@Anonymous yes, wearing pajamas while cooking is an ABOMINATION.  I like to make eggs in a ballgown, just to stay on my husband's good side -- and Jesus's, too!

vechappell
vechappell

@jeckiemt @Anonymous @jeckiemt @Anonymous its not about wearing ballgowns. Why does it have to be one or the other? I get dressed before I cook/before I do anything in the day. Why is it such a bad thing? I feel I can get a good start to my day by getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup.

Just because you disagree with what the quiz says doesn't necessarily make it wrong.

Again why is it that if you enjoy keeping house and looking after the family you're a slave? I don't see myself as a slave at all, I enjoy my life very much.

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