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How to Create the Pefect Wife


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Fascinating review on Slate a few days ago about a new book, How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate" by Wendy Moore.

"In 18th century England, Thomas Day adopted a little girl and tried to mold her into the perfect wife."

"“If the whole female Sex cannot furnish one single rational Woman,†he whined, “I must make use of them in that Manner for which alone Nature has perhaps intended.†Yet he very much wanted a wife, and his requirements for her make Julia Allison—she of the 88-point checklist—look laid back. Mrs. Day was to be pretty—he was particularly insistent that she possess plump, white arms—but not vain or fashionable; smart but not above her station; psychologically and physically constituted for housekeeping (he wanted few if any servants); and receptive to his criticism, which by Day’s design would be constant. He could occasionally convince a woman to consider him romantically—he was engaged several times—but these entanglements fell apart once the women realized exactly how dreary their married lives would be. So in his early 20s, he set forth on his life-defining scheme to raise his own wife."

I have always suspected that more than a few men have set out to "raise" their own wives in history - hey, that is why Roman girls were married off so young. It's just interesting to see it from a frank, pseduo-rationalist early modern perspective like this. Thing is, how many fundies would totally take this idea seriously? At least the ones who actively work to marry off their daughters...Steve Maxwell would never go for it.

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That does sound interesting - and creepy. I've seen fundie and even fundie-lite couples where I suspected something like this was going on. The pairing tended to be 19-21 year old almost-college grad women with men in their mid/late 30s. At the church where I grew up, sometimes a newly married couple would be trotted out to speak with us about purity, happy marriage, etc.., and there always seemed to be this suggestion that the early years of marriage were for the husband to mold his wife's character. It's been long enough that I don't remember tons of specifics, but I do recall frequent mentions of "building on her parent's teachings and training her on what kind of household I intended for us to create."

I could totally see some of our fundies taking this to a more extreme level.

So, what happened to this poor girl Thomas Day adopted? Please tell me she got away!

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Oh duh! I forgot to post the link, sorry! (Not broken because it's a news site.)

http://tinyurl.com/bnufspj

The rest of the horrifyingly creepy (I got nauseated) story is worth a read. I may buy the book.

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That's really disturbing. I looked at his wikipedia page and it say that he eventually did get married, and he forbade his wife from contacting her family again. How charming.

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Fascinating review on Slate a few days ago about a new book, How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate" by Wendy Moore.

"In 18th century England, Thomas Day adopted a little girl and tried to mold her into the perfect wife."

"“If the whole female Sex cannot furnish one single rational Woman,†he whined, “I must make use of them in that Manner for which alone Nature has perhaps intended.†Yet he very much wanted a wife, and his requirements for her make Julia Allison—she of the 88-point checklist—look laid back. Mrs. Day was to be pretty—he was particularly insistent that she possess plump, white arms—but not vain or fashionable; smart but not above her station; psychologically and physically constituted for housekeeping (he wanted few if any servants); and receptive to his criticism, which by Day’s design would be constant. He could occasionally convince a woman to consider him romantically—he was engaged several times—but these entanglements fell apart once the women realized exactly how dreary their married lives would be. So in his early 20s, he set forth on his life-defining scheme to raise his own wife."

I have always suspected that more than a few men have set out to "raise" their own wives in history - hey, that is why Roman girls were married off so young. It's just interesting to see it from a frank, pseduo-rationalist early modern perspective like this. Thing is, how many fundies would totally take this idea seriously? At least the ones who actively work to marry off their daughters...Steve Maxwell would never go for it.

Isnt' this sort of like what we see with these aging stay at home daughters. If not the perfect wives, the perfect nonsexual help meets, being raised to do Daddy's bidding?

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That's disturbing to say the least. It also makes me wonder how many fundie fathers are trying to mold their daughters into being perfect fundie wives using something like this? It give me chills to think about it.

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Not 100% different from Woody Allen or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydie_Marland married to EW Marland

Marland was a rich oil man. He and his wife adopted her niece and nephew when they were in their teens. Wife died. 2 years later, he undid the adoption and married his not by blood niece and former adopted daughter. Apparently, they lived happily ever after .....

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