This ‘129 Ways to Get a Husband’ Article From 1958 Shows How Much The World Has Changed

If someone asked you to describe the 1950s, would you be able to do so? What reminds you of those times? The Cold War? The first satellites going into orbit? Others might remember it as the decade of the Coronation, the end of food rationing and the birth of rock and roll.

Hmm..most of you wouldn’t mention magazines instructing women how to seduce men, would you?

Back then, long before the days of mobile phones and the internet, dating was a much simpler affair than nowadays, and it revolved around weekly dance nights and well-defined social norms.

Dating etiquette dictated the proper ways for men to court women, with marriage being the desired outcome for both of them.

Times have changed, and a 1958 McCall’s article, entitled “129 Ways to Get a Husband,” shared by Kim Marx-Kuczynski from Madison, Wisconsin, is a perfect example of this change.

People have been looking for somebody to love for the entirety of human existence, and will do seemingly anything to find that special someone. When the search for the right one lasts too long, some go on dating shows, try to meet partners online, read books and ask their psychologists, but this magazine has come up with some truly bizarre pieces of advice.

The text initially stated that in the US, there were sixteen million women over the age of seventeen who were not married, and presumed that the vast majority of them would like to be.

The publisher asked 16 people to brainstorm strategies that would be useful to lonely women to get men to pay attention to them. They were also asked to throw away their judgments when writing down their thoughts.

They mentioned tips like no gossiping, getting a hunting license, ordering rare steaks and even crying in a corner of the room, and many of them were ..let’s say, questionable, like the one:

“Wear a Band-Aid. People always ask what happened. “(34)

Are you serious?

Additionally, list items are suggesting you should take up golf (number 7) or learn poker (103), which are harmless. Yet, there are items which are degrading to the women who would be reading the article, some are degrading to the men they’d be hoping to date, and others are just plain bad advice, like the one we mentioned above, the idea that you should rent a billboard and put an ad with your face and phone number on it (115).

Let’s not focus on the weird list item suggesting a woman should get a sunburn (58).

Kim explained that her boyfriend John Bascynski spotted it at a rummage sale and she bought it for a dollar.

She shared it because she believes it is reflective of the social mores of the era, and one can compare acceptable things then, with the ones acceptable now.

She added that she is grateful for the progress that has been made. She believes people who are considering a long-term relationship these days should stay away from that kind of stuff.

Kim wrote that if someone is actively looking for a life-long partner just for the sake of being married, they will end up in a failed relationship.

She commented that she would “like to read about someone’s attempts at trying out everything on the list though. They would either end up with a degree from Yale, in federal prison for stowing away on a military vessel, or in an intervention meeting with friends who’ve been very concerned with their recent behavior.”

It is fascinating to see how funny, absurd, and outdated these tips sound nowadays. She concluded that society has drastically changed in the last six decades, and the article reveals the differences between the world our mothers and grandmothers lived in and the one we live in today.