The Soul of the Total Woman

Time magazine recently ran a cover story on Marabel Morgan’s Total Woman philosophy. The article was about the “housewife blues” which the Time writers feel Mrs. Morgan helps alleviate by restoring to marriage and housewifery the dignity which allegedly has been undermined by the women’s movement.

The magazine smiles at Mrs. Morgan’s antics, which include greeting hubby each night in a wide array of brothel-style costumes. But after all, it’s much more comfortable to laugh at silly women than to be threatened by competent ones.

The article concludes by bemoaning the fact that marriage is no longer seen as a calling. This is caused by the “intensity of our impatience with barriers to self-realization.” The selves in the Time piece who want to be realized are the same villains who make house wives feel insignificant--feminists.

The posited solution a-la-Morgan is that women see marriage as a calling. Men obviously have callings that are unrelated to their marital status. Self-realization for men has always been seen as a worthy pursuit. But when sought by women, the same pursuit becomes a social problem.

Things would be better, the article insinuates, if we returned to the mentality of the 1950s, when housewifery was glorified. Woman should return to the bedroom and kitchen, and man should return to his historical prerogative to dominion over at least one poor creature.

The breakdown of American family life which Time blames on the women’s movement might just as easily be blamed on what the movement is reacting to--the paucity of shared experience in the fifties-style marriage.

Read the Full Article

​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!