Conservative Women Propose A Solution To Income Inequality: Marriage (Time Magazine Article)

April 2nd, 2014

stepford_wives_serving_husband at http://www.stepfordwives.org

In the article, Mona Charen says, “Millions of women have taken feminist advice and it’s led to unparalleled misery.”

We couldn’t agree more. Look at the tempestuous married life of the unhappy housewife Betty Friedan of the Feminine Mystique and compare it to happy 67 year marriage of Fascinating Womanhood author Helen Andelin.

stepford_wives_serving_husband at http://www.stepfordwives.org 2

When my sister Carolyn went through all her Women’s Studies courses in college, she took it all in with an open mind and without judgment. Once she came out into the real world and found out that most women couldn’t have it out, it was time to throw in the towel and return to the kitchen. As we always say at the Stepford Wives Organization: “If you can’t do two things in mediocrity, it’s better to do one thing well!

To Read the Time Magazine Article, click here Conservative Women Propose A Solution To Income Inequality

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The Oppressed Majority by Eleonore Pourriat

March 28th, 2014



language and nudity warning for video clip

French actress / filmmaker Eleonore Pourriat makes a misandric 9 minute satire about what the world looks like when gender roles are reversed. No discussion about traditional male / female roles can be addressed without discussing gender studies – a subject in universities once called Women Studies.

Even though Pourriat calls this play of inversion humor and derision, the unfortunate truth is that the modern women and young girls and increasingly moving in the direction of traditional masculine behavior. Of course, the world isn’t going to come to an end if they reach their goals and begin acting and behaving increasingly like brusque, callous men (as if ALL men behaved that way!), but it would take away from the fascination of womanhood and femininity.

So the Stepford Wives Organization sees this video not as much as a social critique, but more a celebration of male behavior. When women behave this way, it’s grotesque and a distortion of nature, that’s why it has always belonged to the realm of manhood. A little sexism – or in our case, a lot of sexism – is good for a Stepford woman’s soul and well-being. Sexism isn’t as bad as feminists make it out to be; it’s an essential, complimentary half to fascinating womanhood. So men should continue doing these things, and we should continue doing what we do best: being women! Because the alternative, would be a world filled with angry, hateful, foul-mouthed wo-men.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day: Guinness Stew Recipe with cabbage & traditional white soda bread ( gluten OR gluten free)

March 17th, 2014


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You may consider trying out this delicious classic Guinness Beer beef stew. Don’t worry, the alcohol is evaporated and the Guinness stout flavor is mild and faint, but oh what a unique taste it is! Try it with some traditional Irish soda bread (recipe and instructions below) or Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread as a great meal for the last of the cold winter days!

There are a variety of Guinness Stouts. The bottled “Guinness Extra Stout” is the long time import into America, so we like using that. However, the newer canned, draught versions approximate the smoother, draught Guinness Stout you can drink in many an Irish pub in Dublin, just down the road from the Guinness brewery.

Stepford Cooking Tip: Use a leave-in oven thermometer for all your cooking needs. Your oven’s temperature knob is NOT your actual oven temperature!

Beef and Guinness Stew ( from Irish Central).

We recommend adding cabbage to give it the multi-dimensional taste that cabbage so often introduces in stews.

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
5 cups chopped onion (about 3 onions)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness Draught
1 tablespoon raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices carrot (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices parsnip (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled turnip (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Optional: 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded

Preparation

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to pan.
2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; dredge beef in flour.
3. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon.
4. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, and beef.
5. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
6. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
7. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return meat to pan.
8. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, raisins, caraway seeds, and pepper; bring to a boil.
9. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
10. Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrot, parsnip, and turnip.
10. Optional: Add cabbage
11. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
12. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

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White Soda Bread
( Soda Bread recipe from Epicurious )
Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, caraway seeds, if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.


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Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread ( from Carol Fenster’s excellent book: 100 Best Gluten Free Recipes

1/3 cup Potato Starch
1/3 cup Tapioca Flour
1 Tb Honey or Sugar
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Unflavored Gelatin
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Whole Caraway Seeds
1 cup Brown Rice Flour

Directions
Grease two 5 x 3-inch nonstick pans or a 9 x 5-inch nonstick pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well with electric mixer on low speed.

Spoon into prepared pan(s), smooth tops with wet spatula and bake small pans for 45-50 minutes, large pan for 50-55 minutes or until top is deeply browned and loaf sounds hard when tapped. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing with serrated or electric knife.

Makes 1 loaf (12 servings).

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Stepford Wives In The Kitchen Where We Belong ( Miles Aldridge for Agent Provocateur )

February 3rd, 2014
www.stepfordwives.org

Stepford Wives In the Kitchen www.stepfordwives.org. Photo by Miles Aldridge for Agent Provocateur

Photographer Miles Aldridge has been called upon to create an ad campaign for lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

Our husbands approve of the photo series, and we agree. There is nothing wrong with dressing in a racy way, as long as you are doing it for your husband and in the privacy of your home. Furthermore, our husbands have always encouraged us to wear garter belts to harken back to better, more traditional days of the 1950s. Click here Stepford Wives Dress Code to read more about it.

We have been told by our men to doll out and get down to our sexy delicates when spoiling and serving them on many occasions, even during meal times or just sitting watching television. It’s a harmless request, and shows our eagerness to be available to them at all times. Of course, we would definitely encourage the use of an apron if you are doing the dishes, and even if we get a spot or two on us, remember: what better way than to please a man visually when we are pleasing him by keeping his home clean?

Stepford Wives in the Kitchen www.stepfordwives.org. Photo by Miles Aldridge for Agent Provocateur

Here is another photo from Miles Aldridge’s portfolio. Notice that his women are portrayed low to the ground, a classic advertising position in portraying fascinating femininity.

Stepford Wives in the Kitchen www.stepfordwives.org

Miles’s work can be viewed at: Miles Aldridge’s website

Agent Provocateur’s amazing lingerie can be viewed at: Agent Provocateur

Visit our parent page: StepfordWives.Org which is also StepfordWife.Com

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WHR (Waist to Hip Ratio) The Stepford Rules of Attraction.

January 15th, 2014

We once saw a tv program that mentioned the ideal Waist to Hip Ratio for a woman that men would find attractive. According to the rules of the Stepford Wives Organization, we girls must do all we possibly can to fit into the exact specifications of what men desire and find attractive. We will provide all the hyperlinks at the end of this article so you can go play around with your measurements and numbers if you chose to.

For now, let’s focus on what that magic Waist-to-Hip Ratio entails.

That magic number is 6.7, according to an article in livescience.com.

So here is the chart of the perfect whr (not to be confused with waist-to-height ratio). Notice the inclusion of a 1959 Barbie doll as a comparison. Even though we know it’s next to impossible to get a Barbie figure, we know getting as close to it as possible is what men would want us to be. Also note the 36-24-36, considered the classic proportion for what is considered a beautiful body.

The Stepford Wives Organization Perfect Woman Measurements Waist-to-Hip Ratio

We didn’t go above 26 inches because that’s already getting into what our guys would consider “overweight.” So ladies and girls, it’s the New Year! Hit the gym, buy a corset, and cut down on the junk food (preferably all three…simultaneously!).

It’s time to get into shape for the pleasure of a man’s gaze!

source: LiveSciene online article about the ideal waist-to-hip ratio

Here is a nifty BMI calculator

And two interesting online 3D interactive models where you can enter your body measurements and get an idea of what it should look like: Optitex 3D Virtual Model and Body Visualizer.

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Secret Lives of Stepford Wives

January 12th, 2014

The tabloid-fueled public always had an insatiable, subconscious thirst to see success stories demolished. It explains why tabloid gossip magazines and tabloid newspapers continue to fly off the shelves at supermarkets. What greater joy and sense of satisfaction can be obtained than the knowledge that just as you have to go home to your boring 3 meal a day kitchen, scrubbing and cleaning, fretting over your husband, that current IT girl actress in Hollywood has divorced her gorgeous husband and their 30 mil Spanish Villa in Brentwood is being auctioned off? It gives us comfort – no matter how superficial- to know we are not suffering alone.

If you look at reality TV, the same pattern emerges. In the latter 20th century, beginning with Harrison Ford’s movie Witness, the Amish have been looked upon as the moral compass of all that is virtuous, practical, simple, and family-oriented. Tabloid-like reality TV immediately rose to the call to take down that image. After all, if modern America is unable to sustain a virtuous, practical, simple, and family-oriented household, we’ll be damned if someone in our backyard can! Henceforth Breaking Amish, Amish Mafia, The Hutterites…all depicting Amish people in a negative light of conflict and decline. We dust our hands; our job is done.

We had received many requests for interviews ranging from tv talk shows to morning news shows and reality tv to have our lives examined. We were contacted by the producers of Investigation Discovery to be interviewed and have our stories told in their upcoming series The Secret Lives of Stepford Wives. Our husbands said no, so we said no. And that was a good call. Just look at absolutely caustic – probably fake, like most reality tv scripts – stories they eventually came out with:

Playdate with Death – When suburban homemaker Candy Montgomery becomes bored by her cookie-cutter routine, she finds herself an exciting new hobby: a salacious affair with a church friend’s husband. From secret hotel rendezvous to church choir run-ins, this affair is exactly what Montgomery needs to spice up her blasé day. However, even the best-laid plans can go awry. When her lover’s guilt threatens to end the relationship, Montgomery’s seamless life starts coming undone and an unexpected confrontation ends in axe murder.

Third Time’s the Charm – Yvonne Stern is a domestic goddess, perfectly capable of balancing the needs of her family and her role as queen of the Houston social scene. When she isn’t redecorating their million-dollar mansion or shopping at high-end boutiques, she’s on the soccer field cheering on her young children. But in a world of high society affairs, it’s not all glamour and air kisses. Stern’s husband, a prominent lawyer, has developed a deadly conflict of interest that will leave her fighting for her life.

American Nightmare – At 23, Rose Keil’s life changes forever when she answers a mysterious ad in her local German newspaper. She is jetted off to Palm Beach to live in the lap of luxury with her new beau, real estate magnate Fred Keller, who is 35 years her senior. They soon marry and welcome a beautiful baby boy. But, this May-December romance goes from hot to cold when Keil can no longer stand her husband’s controlling ways. She wants a divorce and a piece of his $100 million fortune. Eleven days after their divorce is finalized, a business meeting turns fatal when three people are shot, leaving one dead. Is the domineering husband or the strong-willed wife at fault?

Milkshake Murder – Nancy Kissel lives a charmed life. From her high-fashion look to her sprawling $20,000-a-month Hong Kong apartment, this ex-pat wife projects the image of perfection. But even when you think you have it all, it turns out something’s always missing. As her workaholic husband makes millions, Kissel buries her loneliness in high-end retail and $5,000 haircuts. When an Asian epidemic temporarily forces her and the children back to the states, she decides to renovate her luxury Vermont ski home with an upgrade that includes an affair with the TV repairman. When a private investigator begins unraveling this housewife’s dirty little secrets, someone winds up dead.

The Mad Scientist – Michelle Rivera Nyce is a beautiful girl from a small village in the Philippines whose life changes forever when she signs up for an American pen pal service. She finds love with a shy scientist who sweeps her off her feet to the suburbs. When her hubby creates a new potion and strikes it rich, Nyce’s life goes from modest to millions. But despite the mansion, fancy cars, and closet full of clothes, she grows restless and begins a secret affair with her gardener. Torn between two loves, can Nyce have it all or will the truth destroy her?

Upper East Side Shootout – Fabulously wealthy housewife Barbara Kogan is the toast of New York society. With her husband of 25 years, retail and real estate mogul husband George Kogan, she enjoys an extravagant life with an unlimited expense account. But George is keeping a dangerous secret from his wife – one that threatens their life together. Barbara’s lavish world is pulled out from under her when George dumps her for a younger woman. After a two-year-long bitter divorce, one of the Kogans is shot dead, and the ensuing 18-year manhunt uncovers a shocking surprise.

source: Investigation Discovery Looks At Sundown Towns And ‘Secret Lives Of Stepford Wives’

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Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s Advice on Marriage and the Good Wife

January 4th, 2014

We don’t condone underage marriage, of course. At the same time, there was a time not so long ago where 15 wasn’t illegal. In fact, there are still many states in the U.S. (New Jersey, New Hampshire, Hawaii) where 15 yr old girls can marry with parental consent.

The controversial Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty is seen here giving playful advice. As we have said often on the Stepford Wives Organization website: men may joke around, but their desires and fears are hidden behind those jokes. Ignore the 15 yr old part, and listen to the rest of what he has to say about a good wife in the following clip. (transcript follows)

Make sure that she can cook a meal” and “make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road….and if she picks your ducks, now that’s a woman! They’re getting to where they are hard to find. Mainly because these boys are waiting till they get to be about twenty years old before they marry them. Look, you wait till they get to be twenty years old, the only picking that’s going to be taking place is your pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they’re about 15 or 16 to pick your ducks, you need to check with mom and dad of course.

source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20771027,00.html

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Constanza Miriano’s Spanish book “Cásate y sé sumisa / Sposati e sii sottomessa” – “Woman, Get Married and Be Submissive” English Translation Excerpt

January 2nd, 2014

Costanza Miriano recently came out with a book on being the perfect wife. It has sold over 100,000 copies and the Catholic Church even chimed in. The media has wasted no time in rushing to call it a Stepford Wives Guide, but pfttt! you know if you want the authentic, complete Stepford Wives Guide, you go to Stepford Wives Organization We have been an institution for over a dozen years, and we’re getting recharged every day by fan mail and enthusiastic emails from female AND male readers from around the world.

Miriano’s book includes advice to women and wife along the lines of the following:

“Women forget that they can’t have it all: working like a man and being at home like a woman. Power is not designed for women.”

“We are not equal to men. When you have to choose between what he likes and what you like, choose in his favor.”

“You must submit to him”

“When your husband tells you something, you should listen as if it were God speaking,”

All very reasonable advice if you ask us here at the organization.

The book is not out in English yet, but she provides an English translation from a few pages of Cásate y sé sumisa on her website Costanza Miriano:

(You can purchase her book at Spanish Amazon)

Dear Margherita,

I had intended to come to your wedding with a beautiful letter for you – Holy Cow, I am the maid of honor! I’m amongst the first characters in the closing credits, the time has come for me to take the scene and to come prepared. At your wedding, at least, since to my wedding, spiritually well-prepared as I was, I was (not) combed and made up, like always – apart from a white eye-shadow that my sister had forced me to buy – and late, as I had gone for a run two hours earlier, and taken by an unstoppable burst (fit) of laughter and cheerfulness that didn’t turn exactly out in me being at my best in the some ten pictures uncle Gianfranco remembered to shoot.

If nothing else, you had Guido wear his tie, a really considerable undertaking. “Why did you wear your cape?”, Lavinia asked his father, disconcerted by this fresh article of clothing. The rest of the family, on the other hand, arrived stylistically unprepared to the princely event of your nuptials; I didn’t find the time to write to you, nor had I provided a flawless outfit for me or for the kids, who, God knows why, are always stained with chocolate, with one shoe untied, pants which happen to be too long or too short, and a torn sock showing a peeping bruise on the knee. Anyway, tattered and ragged as we are, the six of us all came there, and on time even, as I had to sit next to you. It was a celebration full of divine grace and precious hints, even if my girls will especially remember it for your lace train worthy of a local Cinderella, our unbeaten fashion icon.

From that day onwards, I can hear them whispering to each another, “This is for when my prince comes and marries me,” while they give out plastic tiaras and earrings. To be honest, the boys especially remember that fatal day because that was the day of the Roma F.C. vs. Sampdoria soccer game, which cost the “maggica” the Premier League Championship that year. What can you do with them? They are male, the basic model. Despite it, they are not rednecks, at least not yet. Bernardo is a model student, he can’t get less than an A at school, a little soldier always ready to carry out orders. Tommaso, a little less precise (at home he’s also known as the drain man), the other year, i.e. in the fourth grade, had called me at night to ask me when the Teheran Conference was held – a historical episode totally unknown to me, as the latest historical fact I knew was the fall of the Western Roman Empire. And, a few evenings ago: “Mom, what is dialectic materialism? I’m calling Dad if you’re not sleeping now” – I tried to scare him while I frantically browsed the Philosophy section of the encyclopedia or the History handbook that I learned to keep close at hand, together with the fundamentals – like the West wing DVDs or mother Speranza’s novena – ever since I began perceiving my flawless ignorance (a Flaiano quote). If I catch him in front of the Pc, it’s easier for me to find him reading news on the Visigoths than playing Texas Hold’em. But, belonging to the male gender, he also has an almost universal taint. His brain turns dumb when he sees a rolling ball. I know men who can be defined as normal, even as special as the one I married, that undergo a mutation at the starting whistle of a game and they instantly turn without batting an eyelid, from the violent films of Sam Peckinpah to La Signora in Giallorosso – a talk show on a local Rome tv -, from a re-reading of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot to Big Mario’s radio, losing any restraint. I’m only telling you, so that you can get ready, as you took one of the same species for yourself, and not for a weekend getaway, but for all of your life, until death do you part. Exactly because of this, I really care about giving you my real wedding gift, much more precious than the other one, the one that arrived on time, at least. It is the secret for a holy wedding, which is the same as saying a happy one. The secret is for a woman, in front of the man she chose, to make a step backwards. And, as you know me well, you also may well know this is not in my nature at all, being one who took for herself the motto of my grandpa, the Colonel: “Wall or no wall, three steps forward”. I believe I represent one out of seven or eight cases on a world scale of people who hit a car while going for a run: I got a concussion, she was pretty dented. Unfortunately, I would like to fill the story with epic details, but no, she wasn’t an Aston Martin, just a Fiat Punto. Anyway, I’m not exactly a docile person, but I have turned to one I believe, I hope, because I think this is what being a spouse means: to embrace, first of all. And you know that I, just like anybody to say the truth, don’t like losing. I’ve been more than competitive at school, at university. Even more in sports: the only “break” I would grant myself, from when I was studying during the seventh grade until my pregnancies. Some fifteen miles running between a Homer and an Eschilo, just to clear my mind a little bit. And then, in the years when we lost touch, you don’t know that when I was preparing some marathon I could even go running at three in the morning, when I was supposed to be at the editorial office at five for the tv news. I left home in shorts in a city that is not mine (Rome), in the dark, and it even seemed normal to me, even when I met an all-naked mad man in front of the altar of the Unknown Soldier, who, seeing me, probably asked himself, in turn, who that crazy woman was. And even now, being a lady almost turning 40 (enough of the “boys” after their forties) and running when I can without preparing races, if someone passes me – even a pigeon – something still gets to me. But when it comes to life as a couple, you have to compete in the opposite way: wall or no wall, two steps backwards. And you must do it even when you don’t understand why, when you’re intimately convinced you have good reasons. In that very moment, perform an act of trust towards your husband. Get out of the logic of the world, “I want to get the better of him”, and enter the logic of God, who put at your side your husband, that saint who bears you after everything, and who, incidentally, is also a handsome guy. And if something he does is not fine with you, it is God Himself you have to confront, to begin with: get down on your knees, and most time you’ll solve anything. Luigi is the way God chose to love you, and he is your way to heaven. When he says something, then you must listen to him as if God was talking to you. With full discernment, clearly, in wisdom and cleverness, of course, because he is a creature, but with respect, because he often sees more clearly than you do. Our vocation, whatever it is, is always to make us happy. As Pavel Evdokimov says, the Russian Orthodox theologian, if the objective end of the wedding is generating children, the subjective end is to generate ourselves. Margherita is not fully herself without Luigi! Can you realize how great, invaluable a thing you have in your hands? In this enterprise you just started, with the grace of God, you will generate yourself. “But how do you do that?” you asked on the phone some thousand times. Do I have to let him have the better of me even when he’s wrong? I say yes. In the first place because it seems to you that he’s wrong, and if, as we were saying, he’s the one who leads you to your wholeness, to your completeness, it is exactly when he thinks different from you that you have to open up to him, and embrace him. It is exactly then that what he tells you has a precious meaning to you, it adds something, it makes you whole, has you grow, lets you make a shift. If you just embrace what corresponds to you, to what you think, you are not married to a man, but to yourself. While you must submit yourself to him. When you two must choose between what you like and what he likes, choose in his favor. And this is easy. When there’s a decision to take, and after you weighed the pros and cons the answer is still not clear, trust him, and let him have the last word. And this is a little difficult sometimes. When, of your positions, it seems to you that his is completely wrong, for the two of you, even for the kids, maybe, still keep trusting his clearness of mind. This may seem to be an unbearable effort. You will be afraid, because abandoning your beliefs is scary. But you’re not jumping into the void, you’re jumping into his arms.

Nice words, aren’t they? When you read them you could think I’m an angelic creature, but really I have just read and listened to good words. I’m not sure if I’ve been able to live them in real life. Not always all of them, for sure. But I let my husband take a look at what I’m writing you, and he didn’t show any strong or loud protests. Not even blowing a raspberry. That’s something. I would even say he likes the idea of submission elevated to the rank of a theory. “Are you done with the bath, my lovely dear?” he asked me yesterday evening. He is Roman, unfortunately, and he always finds a way to put an end to my lyric bursts.

You’ll see, I can swear on it, a man cannot resist a woman who respects him, recognizes his authority, who makes a sincere effort to listen to him, to let aside her own way of seeing things, who tramples on her ever-biting, teasing, failure-highlighting tongue (we’re very good at that, no doubt), who accepts to walk on paths that are extremely different from those she would naturally choose, just out of love.

Day by day, he will start asking you what you think, what to do, which way your family should go. And this respect you achieve through respect, this devotion through submission. This is why, having finally won my husband’s respect, I now feel ready to calmly explain to him how greatly beneficial it would be to build a walk –in closet in our bedroom (the first benefit would be that I wouldn’t have any more piles of black t-shirts down there, and I wouldn’t, believing I had lost them all, buy seven more next season).

And even when the fruits seem to be late (I won’t have my wardrobe closet), we Christians must know they are ripening. We are happy in hope, aren’t we?

We know what happens to us is not to be measured on the world’s meter. We know any suffering, even a little one – you don’t have the same idea, you wouldn’t have planned that thing, you wouldn’t have picked that vacation or that evening – produces sometimes mysterious, yet never lost, fruits, if accepted with love. “Let those things causing you suffering be held more dear to you than the Hermitage,” St. Francis used to say, he who would have spent any minute at the Hermitage of the Prisons, in the sweetest, continuous prayer, while he accepted to stay amongst people who did not understand him, friars included, sometimes.

And you know we don’t stand mortification for mortification’s sake, we are not austere ones, for sure: we like chatting about our interior Castle and of the latest nuance of the Chanel nail polish, the unobtainable dove gray, reading the Dialogue of the Divine Providence and gossiping – in acclaimed bad faith – of Carla Bruni’s short neck (divine justice exists). We like mortification just in sight of a wider good, and this good is embracing your husband, therefore generating a new self. May I confess, then, without you feeling offended, that when you tell me he makes you angry it always seems to me that it’s all about silly things? They’re just little stings to your pride, little attempts at your too weak self-esteem. When you know who you are and how much you are worth – a lot, trust those who know and love you – you are not afraid of some criticism. True, you’re not a skilled cook yet, nor a perfect landlady. What’s the problem if he tells you so? Tell him that he’s right, and you are going to learn. Seeing your sweetness and humbleness, your attempt at conversion, he will convert, too. Without speeches, but seeing himself through you. You’ll feel like you’re losing months and years, to exercise patience for an endless time with Luigi, to be in an away game whose score is never zero, but it’s not like that. No gesture of love will go lost, none of your steps backwards will miss to be transformed into a step forward for the two of you, no useless word unuttered will be regretted. It’s a difficult and perhaps inexhaustible path. You’ll feel like you’re the one who gives the most – we fit the victim’s role very well, just an instant and we dress up like housewives in the Fifties, round skirt, hair set and all- but are you really sure? He’ll probably feel he’s the one who walks the longer distance to meet you, too. I believe in these cases you do not measure who gives more, but who can give more. Even if now you feel like a martyr. Balances can change infinite times during a lifetime. And then, you believe you love him the way he wants, but maybe you are loving him the way you want. You write him little notes, while he would like you to do something concrete for him: inviting his mother to dinner, for instance. You want a bunch of flowers, and he tells you that he loves you by going to buy an octopus and cherry tomato pizza. Speak his language, that of concrete gestures, and he’ll learn to speak yours, that of the love declarations down on his knees with violins playing. You complain about the fact he doesn’t speak, but where have you been living till now? Don’t you know a man only issues a statement when has the need to give you useful and pertinent information? It took me a couple years, but I eventually renounced dragging my husband into a whole series of conversations, like those involving the sentimental life of human beings. But if I really want to talk to him, it is sufficient for me to emit a very sharp, and most probably wrong, opinion, on the 4-4-3 formation of Roma F.C. soccer team, or the war in Afghanistan, to have the certainty to obtain an answer.

It is a continuous effort of elasticity, and it may also seem to you that you gave a lot, while in fact you remained in your selfishness. For instance, I would always like a house full of people; my husband, also known as “add a place to your table”, lays a claim to the etymology of his name (he who lives in the forest), and he’d rather emigrate to the woods than share companage and double the cheerfulness. The balance is quite difficult to reach, and it requires tolerance on both sides. Measuring who moves towards the other is pretty hard, also because in the meanwhile we have added four more places to the table, and those are permanent: lunch and dinner, on a daily basis.

When in doubt, anyway, please obey. Subdue yourself in full trust. To make another example, in my view, everything is to be planned, so we can squeeze in as many appointments as we can, like pinball: the more goals we achieve, the more points we score. In my husband’s view, on the other hand, the best ideas happen in boredom, in the void, and I must admit that sometimes it works; it happens, just because we have three spare hours, that we randomly watch together “Luci della ribalta” or the undergrounds of san Clemente, or we have an endless football game including all of us three girls, who sometimes leave the field to pick flowers, or that we invent new games, even if the most popular remains the dear old “tell me you’re fat if you dare”. Let’s also say that from time to time planning has its own reasons, if you consider pediatricians dentists parties little friends catechisms matches competitions, but I am beginning to be a little more flexible, the supreme quality of any wife and mother. You will need, in fact, much more flexibility, when not only your husband, but also your children, will rotate around your capability of embrace. Their wellbeing, their serenity will at least partially rely, at least hopefully until they’re on their own (how many more years to come?), on your capability to absorb their bad moods, whims, tiredness, discontent. I don’t know why, but this is a privilege that remains all ours. Our children give their worst with us, and this is well-known. On the other hand, who do you vent to your anger to, if not to whom you know is going to love you after you’re done? With whom do you put down any mask, any restraint, and you display the whole catalogue of your deepest degradation, if not with whom will never abandon you (like your best friend from college, which would be me, by the way, and viceversa)? “Look, now I need to complain a little bit”: we both know it, now. When the phone calls open that way, you just have to listen, be noisily quiet, to sympathize with conviction, to admire exaggeratedly and absolutely not to give bright suggestions. Because on those moments one doesn’t want a solution, but just energetic and little wordy pat-pats on the shoulder.

Here, kids learn this roughly on their third minute of life: we will always embrace them, and so the overflowing diaper, the not-given candy or the homework that’s too hard – according their age- invariably translate into a reprisal to us, under the disguise of whims, long faces, cries, various insults (my latest is “fascist colonel,” I just got it a short while ago). Sometimes I try and say, “Kids, I’m going out to get some cigarettes”, but nobody believes me, probably because I don’t smoke. If I may risk forseeing the future, even Luigi will take advantage of your soft structure – even if you weigh 110 pounds, you’re soft inside – to utter his opposition to all the annoying sides of human existance, which, in some mysterious way for you but all-evident to him, will all be traced back to you. Don’t worry. It’s nothing, it will pass in the end. Try to embrace him even in those moments. He doesn’t want a solution, either; he wants you to encourage him, to tell him you appreciate what he does, and, if I may say so, for how I know your husband and a decent set of samples of the same species, to allow him to withdraw like a prehistoric man into his cave, which often takes the more technological form of a computer screen, but in substance it doesn’t change: the hunter’s rest. And don’t complain with him. Call me or some other friend, a female one, warn us in advance not to care too much about what you’ll say, and start groaning a bit. Never do it with him, because if you complain, a man (I don’t know why, whether he’s a psychiatrist, a philosopher, or a manologist of any sort) will try and find a practical solution. He’ll offer to prolong the nanny’s working hours or to take longer breaks, when you just wanted him to say it’s all working just fine as it is, that you are an admirable, unbeatable heroine. And don’t begin, I know you, to ask yourself if you were wrong, if he was really the right one for you…this is the devil’s doing – whose meaning comes from dia ballein, to divide. He wants to divide: us from ourselves, ourselves from God, and us from the person we swore loyalty to. It’s not you who went wrong, nor him. It is just that embracing is our charism, guiding and supporting is theirs. And I don’t even think there are cultural differences, I don’t know, see the manologist above. But I have a super dear friend of mine who lives in Germany, a genius, a superlative head. I hadn’t heard from her in a while, and every now and then I happened to imagine her life, completely different from ours, a couple with interchangeable roles, he pushing his stroller and she going to a meeting or planning the week. I called her on her birthday, and I found out she had decided to stay at home and be a mom, archiving her degree in electronic engineering. Moreover, we ended up sharing every single word on family dynamics, hers and those of a Bulgarian percentage of her Teutonic friends with whom she confronts, in greatly envied (by me) mornings drinking tea or in afternoons set in parks that I imagine to be tidier than my living room. And apart from the fact that where she is the streets are clean and the pink car parking spots (for moms) are respected, we didn’t notice any other noteworthy difference between us. Dear Margherita, what else can I say? I promise I will watch over you, over your happiness which you will have to start building now, even if I invite you to find more powerful guardian angels than I am. Unfortunately, I’m just a couple years ahead of you in life, and I keep getting the same things wrong, with the junk trade of someone in her twenties, constantly looming over me. In exchange then, you may also help me explain to my girls that the story of the prince arriving and saving you needs a bit of reworking…

Costanza Miriano replies:

Never in my life would I have imagined reconsidering the highly boring sermons released, completely free of charge, by the greengrocer of the holiday village, Mrs. Pots (her real name, not a nickname due to her cylindrical physical conformation). Not even the pearls of wisdom strung one after the other by the little women taking fresh air along the street with my grandmother, in the evening. To us little chicks, dealing with wearing make-up for the first time and purposefully slipping shoulder straps – you only need a little jerk with your shoulder – they launched disapproving looks, and sighs foreseeing the worst possible future for us. The image of the woman they evoked in their speeches, strong and silent, capable of holding up the whole family like a wheel hub does with its spokes seemed less plausible to me than Sigourney Weaver playing the role of Ripley in the 80’s movie Alien. I wasn’t capable of supporting myself, let alone supporting someone else.

Then, luckily, you grow up, or at least you try, and I’m sorry neither of my grandmothers had the chance to meet my four kids, all of them now grown up, very dirty but safe, and without too many stitches. Grandma Gina would have found something to say nevertheless, since I forgot how to crochet and I could improve my domestic economy skills: “My mom is very good at warming up frozen food”, Bernardo told a friend once, to convince him to stay over for dinner. But they would have appreciated their report cards, especially the French professor, and their pietas: “I’m going to be a saint when I grow up – Lidia told me once – maybe saint Therese Delilah.”

I often think of them, to the women of other generations, when I see women in search of identity and are therefore suffering because of it. They didn’t have to try too hard, they already had a role, they had already been given one. Something that may have protected them, made their personal research less difficult. They didn’t look unhappy to me, and if they were they kept it for themselves. If I had spoken to them about obedience, they would have understood me.

Now, instead, I have a few Christian friends with whom we can discuss our ideas on marriage. Because if we share these reflections with our “worldly” friends, either they insult us or they pity us, or they invite us to ask for a quick psychiatric consult. You can expect this. The strange thing is that even between the Christians, if you start talking about submission they think you are joking. “No. Sorry. What do you mean? You are being ironic, aren’t you?”

There were already few of us Christians – not that they didn’t warn us, with the story of the salt and the yeast – and what more, sometimes we don’t even make a great effort to get far from the Vulgata, not meaning saint Jerome’s, in this case, but the common mentality that emphasizes freedom, self-determination, one’s own will as the highest and only untouchable values. Talking about submission raises disapproval, disconcert, rebellion, irritation, even disgust. And not only for the original sin that has us hate the idea of obeying someone apart from ourselves, but even for this autarchic culture in which we are all immersed, even as Christians. And we would be those who had been told to serve others, to put ourselves in the last place. Saint Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, explains how we serve one another in the couple: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.” Not even the priests dare say this anymore, afraid of being lapidated by us females. But I’ve personally seen in the life of those who wanted to try it, that this is the way to salvation. Not the heaven that hopefully awaits us, but salvation even in this life, that is peace, a matrimonial life full and fulfilling. A life that also non-believers should perhaps try and experience. Because, as Paul explains a few lines later, what happens next is this: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”.

It may also be true that all happy families look similar – who could ever contradict Tolstoj – but even among those unhappy I cannot see a huge degree of fantasy: betrayals, arm wrestling, subtle proofs of strength, measurement of the forces on the field, “I did more,” “no, I did,” “let’s call a judge.” As usual, the only really new word on the subject comes from God. When we talk – in a low voice, to avoid lynching – about submission we must exit the language of the world, which reads everything in the perspective of dominion, of power. Our king is on a cross, but so he won against the only unbeatable enemy, i.e. death. Therefore we must also exit the logic of power, turning it totally upside down. First of all, because submission is not out of depreciation, you don’t choose it because you think you’re not worth it. Moreover, the fruit of the woman’s choice is the fact that the man will be ready to die for it. When St. Paul tells women to accept this submission, he doesn’t think they are inferior at all. Actually, we owe it to Christianity for the only real great re-evaluation of women. The greatest of all creatures is a woman, to begin with. And Jesus honored women so much that he also scandalized people. He first revealed Himself after the Resurrection to them; who knows, maybe the males were all gone to the stadium, since it was Sunday. “Basically, St. Peter was a sucker before the Holy Spirit”, my son summarized once, with a slightly colored vision, yet theologically sound.

The submission that Paul is talking about is a gift, and a free one as any other; it would be a duty, otherwise. It is a spontaneous gift of oneself, out of love. I renounce my selfishness for you. And if we really want to speak in terms of greatness or smallness, of strength or weakness, of power, it is better to remember that “he that is greatest among you, as he that doth serve”. This measures the greatness of a person.

“Let the most intelligent use his intelligence”, said my mom when we were little, hoping by this noble call to raise good sentiments in the three of us siblings, when we would beat each other up for very valid reasons such as the choice of a TV channel or the conquest of a bicycle. Just for the record, her call never worked. A woman doesn’t need to feel diminished by this invitation of St. Paul; on the contrary. The problem is that, during many centuries and along with many cultures, we have been “held down,” not in this perspective of a free and spontaneous gift, but under the logic of power and strength. So talking about obedience still touches somebody’s nerves. Feminism, in this sense, had the credit to bring forward instances of justice, when there was very little justice (and in many non-Christian cultures there’s still very little of it). The only thing is that it gave the wrong answers, and it produced a lot of unhappiness. There is a new slavery in women who believe to be liberated while they probably are aiming at the wrong target. But I also know many women – like those of the generation before us – who naturally obey to their husband, because that’s in the order of things, the woman is for the man. “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you,” Genesis says. There’s a hidden spark here, a way to happiness. Already here, on this earth. So the woman obeys because she can listen, not because she undervalues herself. The humble is someone who knows who he is, which are his riches and his weaknesses. Even if one thing is to know it, another is somebody who tells you, so guys, I’m taking this opportunity to invite you not to speak about the distressing repetitiveness of my menus too much, nor do I find strictly necessary to call me doctor flatbelly in a high tune in front of everybody. Anyway, when a woman subdues herself not to be crushed but to embrace, she also points the way to the man, and the whole family. The woman precedes the man, who needs to be embraced. With such a woman, who is loyal, who doesn’t play the rival, who doesn’t want to take control of everything, to dominate, who doesn’t even behave like a sissy, a man can be fertile.

Loving in the first place, but also in the last place. We also perform the duty to keep loving, to maintain the fire lit in the house. A faithfulness which can also become essential when love – which is not only a feeling but a commandment in the first place, demands a strong, steady decision. It takes a strong decision, for instance, not to leave the marriage when you are betrayed. Warning: the reading of what follows is strictly forbidden to my husband, and the noble words that follow apply to any wedding but mine.

But even a woman who is betrayed has a possibility to defend her love, which is in a serious life-endangering condition: she can remain faithful and keep on loving. It is a terrible storm, but not a shipwreck. It is a vase that breaks, and that will not be new anymore, but even if the signs of where it’s been glued are visible, it will hold until the end. We as women also defend life this way, bringing its flag high even when everything seems lost. To forgive doesn’t mean to forget what happened. It is not refusing to look at the face of grief. It is not refusing to give it its importance because in the end the good and the bad are undistinguished. It is not indifference. It is deciding to stem disorder, and to let the good win. The women who manage it are the stronger, the most capable of love, their shoulders are wider, they are able to perform the miracle you need to overcome a betrayal. The same cannot be said for men, because a man and a woman love in a different way: the woman with a specific love, capable of understanding originality. Man is fragile, and not always capable of understanding the differences between women. Only these, in the most painful, entangled and despaired situations can proclaim hope and stay up on their feet to give courage again to everybody. But even without getting to the real, consumed, enacted, betrayal, to a menace of death to the relationship, there are many possible small betrayals. There is by necessity a stage when habit takes off a little shine.

Even Robert Redford’s – non the wrinkly director of Sundance, but the legendary man who made himself in the Great Gatsby – wife, probably, seeing him wandering about the house in underpants and unmatched socks, clinging to the remote control in front of a Lakers match, would be tempted to start exchanging messages with the young and good-looking greengrocer from West Hollywood.

Even in these cases love works if you make a decision, and you don’t follow your emotions, your needs, your instinctual part. How sad is the most, the very most of contemporary films and books: a lamentation on nothingness, a boring tautology, a demonstration that obeying your own selfishness you are unwell, you are disquiet and never satisfied. All grains of wheat refusing to fall in the soil. Celebrations of “I’m not like that,” or “I don’t feel that way.” Wojtyla told the couples he went camping with during summer: don’t say “I love you,” but, “I participate with you in the love of God.” A very different kind of music.

English Translation by Zelinda Davolio.

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The Evolution of Man and Woman

January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year and a great Stepford 2014 to all our readers.

Carolyn’s husband showed her this fascinating series of drawings from Italian comic illustrator Maurilio Manara (aka Milo Manara) on the evolution of Man and Woman through historical periods. She forwarded it to us, so we decided we had to share it with you. As you can see, some things change, but some things will always stay the same. Here at the Stepford Wives Organization, our edict is that we put out and serve our husbands on demand, without question, at all times. So this graphic shows that we are in good company and that our credo has been carried on for thousands of years. It suits our Stepford philosophy perfectly!

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT IN ILLUSTRATIONS. NSFW. NOT SAFE FOR WORK. SEXUAL AND VIOLENT DEPICTIONS IN ILLUSTRATED FORM. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU ARE UNDER 18.

click to open up and zoom in for full resolution:

You can see more of this Italian artist’s work at his website: Milo Manara Official Website

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Happy Thanksgiving: Then vs Today 2013 Stepford Wives Organization

November 28th, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving: Then vs Today 2013 Stepford Wives Organization

Thanksgiving 2013 Stepford Wives Organization

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