The Stepford Wives Etiquette Page
The Stepford Wives Organization has a large collection of books, clipping, and articles on proper etiquette and manners for our ladies. We begin at Amy Vanderbilt's 1957 edition of Complete Book of Etiquette: The Guide to Gracious Living. Of course, Miss Emily Post's book comes in a close second. The reason why we chose earlier editions is due to the fact that modern etiquette guides are basically edited for the woman on the go, people who don't have the time to be ladylike the proper way. Therefore, we hearken back to an era before cell phones and I-phones were invented, before people talked through a luncheon on phones with their mouths full: The days when time was more freely available. After all, isn't that the essence of comfort and gracious living? We think so!
While we spend our free time (usually at the end of the day) putting these pieces together, please check back regularly to see what we keep in our notebooks.
© 2009 Stepfordwives.org
Going out with your man is one of the luxuries of getting hitched: not only do you have the benefit of masculine protection when in public, you get the perks of masculine attention and courtesy as well. I can't count the inconvenient times when I had to put off running an errand after it gets dark.
When a woman goes out with her husband, the dynamics of behaving in public is infinitely different from when she goes it alone. Flying solo, she has to make sure she sends a clear resounding message to men that she has been spoken for: she has to walk without looking around; she has to act disinterested; in a word, she has to be on the defense. When she is with her husband, she can let down her guard, and devote her attention to him.
Here is a list of things we at the Stepford Wife Organization feel a good wife should follow when she is out and about with her husband:
If he makes a decision, don't question that decision. Do NOT say "Do you think that's a wise decision?" Us girls sometimes make a mistake and say "If you think that's best," or "whatever you think is best." That's a bit patronizing. Instead, DO say, "I think that's a wise choice," or simply"You're right."
Apologize to your husband for the smallest thing. It takes no effort to say, "I'm sorry" with a smile!
Always dress your best, but dress conservatively. Never flaunt yourself, just because you have a man to protect you from leering eyes. Remember, you only dress sexy in the privacy of your home, for your man!
Carry yourself in a dignified, chaste, and demure way.
Always thank your husband when he pulls out chairs, holds doors, or assists you.
At restaurants, the man always orders for the both of you. Let him decide what you should have, or if he asks you what you would like, ask him then what he thinks may be a good dish. Always accept his decision and cheerily say, "I think that's a good choice, I'll have that please." And remember to squeeze his hand and thank him for a delicious dinner as you walk out the restaurant!
If for some unfortunate reason he gets irritated or scolds you in front of strangers, don't say "can we discuss this at home?" Accept the responsibility and meekly say "I'm sorry!" with a cringe and a smile.
Remember to always smile around your man. It shows that you are there to please him.
© 2011 Mrs. EdwinThomas Stepfordwives.org / stepfordwife.com
I feel a bit embarrassed about writing this, but I'm prompted to share, in the belief that it will bring joy and fulfillment to countless married women's lives. We Stepford ladies have mentioned it here before: good sex and sexual fulfillment the Stepford Way, means we, as wives and women, have relinquished our personal gratification to focus 100% of our efforts on giving our husbands physical pleasure. Remember, every second you deny from paying attention to your own gratification means another second devoted to giving your husband the pleasure his sex is entitled to.
The Stepford Way, or the Stepford Wife Way, is our gentle Stepford ideological equivalent of female circumcision: no operations are performed, but the spirit of idea is the same. Although we here at the organization all fervently believe that female circumcision is barbarous, wrong, and should be outlawed, we also think that on some level, the original intent and motivation behind the practice isn't all that far off from the principles women uphold at Stepford. We carry and conduct ourselves in a way that is akin to someone who has been circumcised, which, according to Wikipedia, is a step to "reduce a woman's libido" and is "associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty, which include the notion that girls are “clean” and "beautiful" after removal of body parts that are considered "unclean."
Modern. liberated women may call it repressed, but we prefer to see our chastity as a symbol of saving our bodies for our husbands' delight.
In our world, the girls in the organization believe that to give physical pleasure and gratification to our husbands, is - in and of itself - the pinnacle of feminine indulgence and achievement. We never pursue a sexual climax for ourselves when we pleasure our husbands. The sheer benefit of being able to give a man physical satisfaction is already a reward of the highest honor. Our personal sexual fulfilment is not worthy of consideration when compared to a man's physical pleasure. We feel that attempting to bring ourselves to climax is simply taking away from the focus of pampering our husbands to their climax. And that's just selfish.
We also believe that when we are alone, and our husbands are not present, we should refrain from any self-gratification. Attending to our bodies, we believe, would just be taking away from the excitement when we are around our men. Abusing our bodies in the absence of our husbands is not only impure, but removes the man from the taking charge of the sexual act. Stepford women believe that this is selfish and self-absorbed. We have been taught by our parents that as women, and wives, we have no access to our bodies and no right to demand attention towards it. Only the men in our lives, meaing our husbands, have sole access and possession over our physical property. They are the only ones who are in the position to initiate the act.
We have mentioned it here before (further down this page): after we have accomplished physical gratification and sexual pleasure for our husbands and they have retired to bed, the extremely liberated and independent, modern wife may (if our husbands are dozing off)...excuse herself to the bathroom to take care of business, quietly. We have been raised this way by both our fathers and mothers. The phrase is "you are a female, you have no right to expect sexual pleasure."
And we believe this. No woman can hope to achieve more in life than to give her husband physical attention. For husbands, to receive feminine attention is natural birthright and male entitlement.
The Stepford secret to great sex is that we repeat this four-word mantra to ourselves, whenever and wherever our husbands decide to initiate their pleasure, whether it be in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the laundry room: "I Have No Right." No right to ask for pleasure, no right to refuse, and no right to say "no."
As long as you remember these four words, we sincerely believe you'll attain the highest level of accomplishment as a married woman. And to us, that can only mean one thing: spoiling our husbands sexually by giving them physical attention on demand..
A Wife Is Meant To be Seen, Not Heard. (A Stepford Wife Good Manners Exercise)
© 2010 Mrs. EdwinThomas Stepfordwives.org / stepfordwife.com
My husband is a firm believer in the edict "Do not speak unless you are spoken to," especially for a married woman when she's around her husband. I think for me, this is primarily because Edwin usually has the intelligent things to say, and as much as it makes me pout, he's always right. He also believes in the declaration that "women are meant to be seen, not heard." I guess that's why I spend so much time looking my very best for him. It's better to look nice and be appreciated than to have all the intelligence in the world. So I just zip it until he asks for my opinion, which is seldom. I have to confess there were times when I accidentally blurted out what I was thinking. Much to Edwin's chagrin, he firmly informed me that he'll ask when he wants my perspective. After all, he always said he put a window in my kitchen to give me a point of view.
I think this sort of fuss should be kept to a minimum. That's why Edwin and I (well, mostly Edwin) devised a fun exercise in Stepford manners to address this problem. When we are about to leave our home for the day, he would put a tablespoon of honey in my mouth. (You can use a variety of different fluids. Edwin happens to like honey on his pancakes, and the sweetness keeps a smile on my face.. The more personal the better. Let your imagination run wild! Whatever your husband chooses, just say "Yes!" with a smile and carry it in your mouth!) I then keep the honey in my mouth for however long Edwin decides. This way, I always remember to keep my mouth shut, and happily nod with a smile to whatever Edwin says. It keeps me focused on the first call of duty whenever a wife is in public with her husband - to be purely decorative. When he finally decides he wants to hear what I have to say, he'll snap his fingers and I'll swallow, allowing the ability to speak. This way, I won't have the urge or ability to talk until my husband decides he wants me to. Sometimes, Edwin doesn't snap his fingers until he has trouble falling asleep at night and needs some diversion.
This exercise also serves a double purpose: it trains us Stepford girls to respond to our husbands' snapping fingers. You'd be surprise how sensitive your hearing becomes when you have to hold his choice fluids in your mouth for half a day. It's almost as if you anticipate the sound of his snapping fingers! Try it! He'll be happy you did. And that's all that matters!
"The wife must fear her husband" (from John Dod and Robert Cleaver's A Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the Ten Commandements 1603)
This is another favorite essay among many of us girls here at the organization. It dates back to 1603! Authored by English clerygman "Decalogue Dod" John Dod and Robert Cleaver. The 17th century bestseller provides some fascinating pointers for what it means to be a GREAT Stepford wife. Here are some of the highlights.
- The wife must fear her husband, as is commanded in Eph. 5:33: Let the wife see that she fear her husband.
- She must carry an inward fear to her husband. For the husband is the wife's head, and this inward fear must be shewed by an outward meekness and lowliness in her speeches and carriage to her husband.
- She must be attired with a meek and quiet spirit.
- She must not be passionate and forward to him or any of the family, Specially in his sight, but she should have such a regard of his presence, as that she should govern her tongue and countenance so, that it may not be offensive or troublesome unto him.
- And for her speech, neither when they be kind and loving together, must she grow into such gross terms, nor if any jar or offence come, rush into tart and sour words, to ease herself upon her husband, whom she should fear.
- If she behaved herself rudely and unmannerly in her husband's sight, to grieve him and offend him, she failed in the first and main duty of a good wife, and so far shall surely come short of all the rest of the duties that God required of her. For if there be not fear and reverence in the inferior, there can be no sound nor constant honor yielded to the superior.
- The second duty of the wife is constant obedience and subjection.
- For in general, there is no woman almost so rude, but she will yield that she must obey her husband.
- She must resolve to obey him in all things.
- Have a greater regard to please him than to serve the desires of the flesh.
- The wife must obey her husband in all things cheerfully and willingly, without gainsaying.
- Yield a willing and free obedience to her husband in lawful things, and with a meek and lowly carriage of herself, proceeding from an holy fear and reverence
- Now follow the special duties of an husband, for he hath not all these privileges for nothing, and those consist in two major points, in governing her wisely
- A wife was to obey and submit herself to her husband in everything he commanded, even if it was against her will.
- "She may do nothing against God's will, but many things she must do against her own will if her husband require her." (3)
- A woman's place was very much within the home, her primary duty being to look after her husband and children, putting their needs and welfare before her own.
- Some historians believe that the 'conduct books' are a good indication of the relationship between husbands and wives, and the nature of the family in the early modern period.
- "Justices of the peace, and judges of the ecclesiastical court, expected women to be obedient to their husbands; to display due submission; to be chaste before and after marriage, and faithful during it."
- Certainly it can be seen from contemporary diaries and letters that there were marriages which fitted this mould. Isaac Archer said in 1668
- "I found my wife perfectly devoted to please me, and I blessed God for giving me one with a meek and quiet spirit, and well disposed, and apt to take in the best things. I found she was patient under her sickness, and willing to hear any instruction from me."
(unedited excerpt can be found at Grace Online Library)
Despite what people say about Stepford Wives being conformists to one accepted way of doing something, the girls in our organization do have our individual styles at our dinner table. Needless to say, the basic rules still apply: we never have dinner without our husbands present. But the similarity ends there.
Carolyn, my sister, always hovers over James while he eats. She continues serving his meal, freshening his drink and bussing the dishes back and forth until the courses are all served. After that, she sits down and listens to how his day went.
I’m a little different. I sit with an empty plate in front of me while Charles eats: I don’t get up until he needs something. Whatever Charles doesn’t finish, he forks his leftovers to my empty plate and after I get him his next course, I eat whatever he doesn’t want. That way, we have time to catch up.
Both Georgina and Jane dress themselves up nicely and sit quietly smiling across from their husbands while the husbands eat. They feel the man should come home at the end of the day to a nice home, a warm meal and a beautiful wife among their possessions. Georgina feels nourished enough if she gets an approving stroke on her head from Edwin. Most of the time though, Mr. Thomas just tells her to go sit in the other room while he eats.
Of course, Liz has her very own signature etiquette. After serving Matthew a nice juicy steak with all the trimmings, she often gets under the table and finishes Matthew’s menu off with a dessert treat while he smokes a cigar.
I’m the only one who actually eats anything at the dinner table, most of the girls settle for something light in the kitchen afterwards, because our men think being thin is more important than being fed.
Act as if you were born happy.
Be ladylike and courteous to everyone.
Never look at men BUT ALWAYS LOOK HAPPY.
Always look your best.
Eat healthy, exercise.
Dress feminine, and in bright colors.
Dress for other men, not other women. This means men don't care about labels.
Be a smart shopper not a runway spender.Always leave the house with makeup, even if it is to go jogging.
Don't be cynical, depressed, tell sarcastic jokes or long-winded stories of how you have been hurt, or laugh out loud knee slapping.
Be carefree. Always try to show contentment with him.
As you know, among our Stepford bibles is Helen B Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood. Her husband Aubrey also wrote a book for men, after Fascinating Womanhood became a bestseller (it sold over 1.6 million copies since 1963, when it was published!). Man of Velvet and Steel (ISBN-978-0911094237 ) was written in 1972, and though it is primarily a guide for men, we thought we'd share our highlighted passages here, since it's a guide for Stepford women too, in how to behave around our men. After all, the purpose of good manners is to help our husbands make a good impression on others, demonstrating what good decision-makers they are by picking such an obedient and loving wife. Here are some of the favorites among us Stepford girls.
"Women must return to their homes and serve their men. They are thinking too much of what they want to do rather than what they ought to do." pg 35
"(Man) has the physical, emotional, and temperamental make-up to lead. Consider his physical structure. Is he not superior in strength and capacity to those he leads? Although it is not likely he will have to force a family member, yet he has the capacity to do so and can overpower them when necessary. Her physique is a reminder or visual aid that he is the leader.
"(Weighty decisions and its) risks are frightening to most women. A woman is inclined to waver, and wants to postpone as long as possible. This often produces stress, and disturbs her tranquility, which means so much in a household." pg 47
"If she is more subtle, she offers endless suggestions , gives advice and counsel, telling him what to do and when to do it. In either case she is out of place. The man who allows his wife to hold the reins is also to blame and has failed in his leadership. He must, if he is a man, overpower her and regain his position as head of the household." pg 51
"A woman is in a very subordinate position to her husband. The man leads, the woman follows. He holds the right of decision, the final say in everything. She is dependent on him for all she has, for every freedom, every consideration, for everything she does and every place she goes.
He holds the reins in the family.
And yet she shares equally the responsibility of the family. She shares the same sacred responsibility for its success, is a partner in its problems and burdens. She has a desire to put his happiness and that of her family's before her own. Yet to accomplish her goals, she is dependent upon him - upon his decisions, his wisdom and judgment. She is at his mercy for justice, fair play, and understanding of her needs and desires. Hers is a case of responsibility without final authority. She does not have control over her life.... She is at the mercy of her husband. She is dependent on his understanding, his unselfishness, and consideration. She is dependent on his cooperation in reaching her objectives. He holds power over her, over everything she holds near and dear. Every desire of her heart is tied to him and his rule over her.
When a woman marries, she puts her faith and trust in her husband. She gives up her freedom and moves into his camp." pg 74-75
"A woman is not always honest in her dealings with her husband. She can't be. This is because of her subordinated position. Often she must say no when she means yes. She may concoct reasons for her action, untrue justification for her desires. A man, she may reason, will never understand. She has no power to meet her needs. A wise leader can change all this nonsense. If he will understand her subordinate position, he can end his problems and hers.
He certainly does not have to give in against his judgment, but he can be fair with her. When a man makes a mistake he changes things. Not so with a woman.
She must go through official channels. She is depends on her husband for changes." pg 76
"Women and children should not be permitted to go places alone at night or to enter questionable environments or be escorted by persons not entirely trustworthy. Girls should not be permitted to hitchhike. Women sometimes willfully go their way unprotected. They are likely in pursuit of the routine duties of life and do not know the risks they are taking. Others deliberately discourage the protection of a man.Many, however, appreciate male concern and smile with gratitude when they receive it. " pg 79-80
"A woman functioning in her natural sphere, surrounded by her feminine tasks, moving in her domestic world with her natural adaptability to her sphere is a delight to see. Here is heaven’s creature, born to be vastly different from man. She has a charm, probably unknown to herself. But this charm is lost, and what a lost it is, as she moves in (to) the man’s world." pg. 84
"Women and children need protection from certain difficulties. These include problems which require masculine fortitude, problems which otherwise would produce worry and strain beyond their capacity. They need to be protected, from situations with troublesome people where they may be insulted, imposed upon, pressured, taken unfair advantage of or misused in any way. Women, especially, are inclined to be subjected to such misuse unless protected by a man." pg. 90
"Often a woman will offer to work to ease her husband’s load. He may be under such financial difficulties that she fears for his health. She may prefer not to work but us willing as a sacrifice to ease his burdens. This is very noble and unselfish, but unless it is absolutely necessary, her husband should decline her offer by saying, No, I will not allow you to work. Women love such firm refusal. There is nothing a domestic, feminine woman delights in more than not being allowed to work." pg. 100
"The opposite of aggressiveness is lack of initiative in getting what you need or want. This quality is frequently found in the feminine woman who would rather go without than push too strongly for what she needs or deserves." pg. 142
"Feminine women are inclined to lack decisiveness. When they make a decision, it is never quite final. They often think they have decided for sure, but then change their minds. If an excuse can be found they will postpone a decision, sometimes indefinitely. In women this quality is part of their natures and may be attractive." pg. 143
"(Firmness) is important for women also, especially in their dealings with their children as they hold to ideals and principles. But truly feminine women are not so firm when it comes to activities away from home that do not involve moral issues." pg. 144
"Women have a special dependence upon men for their support. This is not degrading to them, but is attractive in a feminine woman." pg. 145
"As a woman observes masculine qualities, admiration is awakened….A woman can be quite unfeeling in the presence of ordinary men. But when a strongly masculine man comes into her life, she suddenly feels like a woman….
"Women in the working world are often subjected to this danger. In her working environment, she may find herself associating closely with a man who is strongly masculine. Without realizing it, she finds herself attracted to him for now she feels feminine. This is not a feeling she seeks, but may be one hard to disregard. She needs to be home where she can achieve the maximum femininity, hopefully in the presence of a masculine husband." pg 152
"Remember, it is the man who awakens a woman’s feminine charm. He is the one who makes her blossom and bloom, by the way he conducts himself and the way he treats her….Be a man. Protect her, provide for her and lead her with firmness." pg 225
First off, you should know that the Stepford Organization is in no way a power, role-play group (we don't even really know what that really means!) We do not believe in role-playing: we believe in living and promoting a conservative, traditional marriage where the man is the head of the household. I have been told the "bdsm" culture consists of many rules, which is not something we do around here. We can't stress it enough: we are just a group of wives discussing ideas and advice to make our traditional marriages a success. We look at religious guides and old fashioned advice books for inspiration. Once in a while we come up with a clever idea of our own. Here is our favorite:
My sister Carolyn once had a debate with someone over the way we conducted ourselves around our husbands. That person mentioned Carole Pateman's "Sexual Contract," a feminist analysis of the patriarchal implications of Rousseau's Social Contract. Pateman talks about the "male sex right" over women, meaning that in the patriarchal configuration, men had broad access to women because of the implicit dominance in the nature of the contract. Well, Carolyn went to school and majored in Women's Studies Douglass College, so she was able to hold her own. When she told us this story, we put our heads together and tried to come up with a deluxe version of the "male sex right." We thought, if we could serve and please our husbands by giving them unrestricted access to our bodies (which we already do), how do we "supersize" the male sex right? Voila! Blair and Connie almost said it together. "Let's give them unlimited access to our physical gratification!" And so our very own Stepford Male Climax Right.
Stepford Male Climax Right - The husband has full control over his wife's access to sexual climax during, before, or after sexual activities together or alone. The wife must ask her husband when she is ready to climax. The husband has the right to refuse, at which point, his wife will acquiesce, and continue the task of bringing him to his peak. This agreement puts the authority of doling out physical gratification solely in the husband's hands, permitting him to regulate her access to sexual pleasure. An additional benefit is that the wife will eventually develop a subconscious association between sexual pleasure and her husband's voice, responding - not unlike pets - only to their master's voice.
Now we have done this for years and our husbands seem to enjoy the high level of decision maker. We secretly think they just want all our attention focused on pleasing them when in bed. We also feel that expecting them to please us would be considered "work." And Stepford men simply do not work when they are being pleasured. To be fair, they say yes most of the time, even if it's in the form of "afterwards." That simply means after we bring them to climax, and clean them up (we find a warm clean towel, a big kiss and a hearty "thank you" is a favorite among the guys), and tuck them into bed, we'd retire to the bathroom and quickly (and quietly, so as not to disturb them) finish our part of the "contract."
If they want us to peak during the act, then whether we are able to or not, we'll still manage a spectacular climax just to reinforce their manhood and masculine pride (shhhh! ladies). Then if we need to, after cleaning him, we'll again head for the bathroom and make short work of it.
Of course, there have been times when a need arises when we're alone. According to the agreement, we would still call and ask them if it's ok that "their little girl gets to have candy." The more mischievous ones will deny the request for a few days, which often leads to intrepid bouts of begging from the wife until they relent.
I know some of the more worldly readers of our website have claimed this is a variation of female circumcision to limit female physical gratification. That's not true. The Stepford Organization does not support or believe in any physical or genital mutilation. We have our ears pierced (once only!) and tattoos of any sort are frowned upon. The Stepford Male Climax Right is a harmless way for us to entertain our men and remind them that they'll always be in the pilot's seat.
This entry is merely documentation of a particular mode of conduct within an organization's members. We do not promote our beliefs to non-members. We at the organization do not seek new members. Our purpose is to merely illustrate our philosophy at the organization and at www.stepfordwife.com / www.stepfordwives.org
The following entry is for readers over 18 only. By clicking on the "I AGREE TO THE AFOREMENTIONED TERMS" link below, you have agreed that you are over the age of eighteen, and understand that this web entry does not specifically set out to instruct individuals on how to behave in similar situations. You agree to not redistribute this information to anyone who might find these materials personally offensive.
This site was last updated on April 14, 2015 4:23 pm EST.
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Stepfordwives Organization is not a public organization. It does not seek to convert nor encourage how people should behave outside our community. We do NOT take donations, collect any information or funds. We are NOT an introductory service and we do NOT provide any matchmaking assistance . We are a group of women who document our way of life and try to share our information with like-minded people. The term "Stepford" is utlized at Stepfordwives.org / Stepfordwife.com as a trope and cultural idiom, and bares no relation to any fictional character(s) or fictional works. Any similarities in name are incidental and are not representative of individuals who are not associated with our organization.