The 1950's guide to being a perfect housewife could not be more different than today's modern attitudes. Tips for pleasing your husband (because that was what it was all about!) were even printed in the newspaper for young women to educate themselves with.
In today's world, most couples view one another as equal partners working together. Of course, men and women have many differences. We are biologically not the same, and there are different ways of communicating between the sexes. That being said, both partners strive to please the other. Back in the '50's it was more of a one way street. The women was encouraged to support her husband's ideals, even if that meant sacrificing major parts of who she was.
In today's world, we see husbands and wives sharing their duties in a variety of ways. Couples pick what works best for them, based on their financial circumstances. Many wives still stay home, but many do so out of personal choice. For others, it is the financially logical decision. The same goes for dual-earner households. Some women desire to work and are passionate about their careers. Others simply cannot support a family on one income. Regardless, all choices are valid. Not so in the 1950's.
In the '50's, the housewife was the standard, whether she liked it or not. And she also had to put her own needs on the back burner to always make sure her husband was accommodated.
Housekeeping Monthly's "The Good Wife's Guide," was printed in May 1955, and outlined all the things a wife should do to keep her husband happy.
Among the advice is to have dinner ready when your husband comes home from work. It also advices women to take fifteen minutes to refresh themselves, so that they can look perky when their man walks in. The clutter should be cleared away so that he can come into a peaceful atmosphere, and the children ought to be cleaned up and quiet.
Today's world is so different. Couples might switch off who cooks, or they may just go out. And wives are valued for more than just their looks.