Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile

Where would lazy dim feminists be without a 1950s ‘advice for women’ book or article to complain about? The latest one supposedly causing a social media frenzy — although an internet search suggests that’s a bit of an exaggeration — is a 1958 article from McCalls magazine that contains 129 bits of advice for snagging a husband. Feminists are falling over each other in their haste to tell us all how stupid the 1950s were because of the dumb and offensive advice in this column. Female journalists, meanwhile, found themselves an easy column to write:

Modest Honesty:

At the peak of McCall’s popularity, the dynamic between men and women was in a very different place.


The 1950’s and 1960’s are often viewed as a period of conformity, when both men and women observed strict gender roles and complied with society’s expectations. After the devastation of the Great Depression and World War II, many Americans sought to build a peaceful and prosperous society. However, even though certain gender roles and norms were socially enforced, the 1950’s was not as conformist as is sometimes portrayed, and discontent with the status quo bubbled just beneath the surface of the placid peacetime society.


Although women were expected to identify primarily as wives and mothers and to eschew work outside of the home, women continued to make up a significant proportion of the postwar labor force blah blah blah

The UK Telegraph:

Do you find yourself carrying hatboxes around, mining the obituaries pages of newspapers for eligible widowers and starting whispering campaigns about how desirable you are? If not, and you are minus a spouse, therein lie the reasons why, according to a 1958 article from McCall’s magazine. Published in the (now defunct) women’s monthly 60 years ago, an article listing 129 ways to get a husband has resurfaced, providing both a window into history and, perhaps more crucially, something utterly hilarious for us to wring our hands at/take notes from.

The Poke:

If it sometimes feels like women’s rights haven’t moved on since the Stone Age, never mind the 20th century, these images of an article from a 1958 magazine will be an eye opener, because there’s no way it would be written unironically now

Thing is, quite a few of the entries read like pisstakes. Apparently modern feminists haven’t twigged that people had senses of humour back then. More so than now, in fact. Consider the following entries:

2. Have your car break down at strategic places.

19. Get lost at football games.

21. Get a job demonstrating fishing tackle in a sporting goods store.

31. Stumble when you walk into a room that he’s in.

33. Carry a hatbox.

50. Practice your drinking with your women friends first.

58. Get a sunburn.

111. Go to Yale.

113. If your mother is fat, tell him you take after your father. If he’s fat too, tell him you’re adopted!

114. Stow away on a battleship.

115. Rent a billboard and post your picture and telephone number on it.

116. Paint your name and number on roof and say, “Give me a buzz, pilots.”

117. Start a whispering campaign on how sought-after you are.

119. Ride the airport bus back and forth from the airport.

120. Bribe Ferris-wheel operator to get you stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel.

121. Stand on a busy street corner with a lasso.

123. Ask your mother to take in male boarders.

124. Make and sell toupees – bald men are easy catches!

125. Advertise for male co-owner of a boat.

126. If you see a man with a flat, offer to fix it.

127. Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile.

128. Let it be known in your office that you have a button box and will sew on bachelors’ loose buttons.

Were the writers really suggesting a lonely woman buys a boat and advertises for a male co-owner, like the femis think? Or were some of the writers — apparently there were sixteen in all — having a laugh? Well, what do you think?

A lot of the other advice is, needless to say, quite good. It is, at least, much better than any of the idiotic articles you’ll see in modern feminist magazines.

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3 thoughts on “Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile

  1. “the 1950’s was not as conformist as is sometimes portrayed”

    … by the likes of the Guardian. When did rock & roll start? When were the beat poets around? When were the Goons on the radio?

    “Apparently modern feminists haven’t twigged that people had senses of humour back then.”

    To be fair, feminsts don’t have any now, so it’s understandable.

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