Have you seen the 1938 Dating Tips making their way around and about the interwebs this week as we all gather to laugh at how archaic and sexist we used to be?
The now-viral 1938 Dating Tips posted to Retronaut cover a number of topics meant to guide single women toward finding a husband and getting out of the horror that is mate seeking.
MSN pegs the 1938 Dating Tips back to Parade Magazine, but the title was not actually established until 1941 — suggesting they originate from a different publication or may be “younger” than they are labeled.
However, the list of 1938 Dating Tips has piqued the web for seeming quaint — even if the advice very closely echoes how women to this day are instructed to behave lest no male prospects find them compliant and polite enough to marry.
The list of 1938 Dating Tips as circulated include:
“A man expects you to keep your dignity all evening. Drinking may make some girls seem clever, but most get silly.” (Nowadays this tends to present as safety oriented, but women are still expected to assume drinking is “risky.”)
“… don’t be sentimental or try to get him to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions. Men don’t like tears, especially in public places.” (The old “women are manipulative” trope, often coupled with “women are crazy.”)
“Men don’t like girls who borrow their handkerchief and smudge them with lipstick. Makeup in private, not where he sees you.” (Read: pretend you wake up with seven layers of lip gloss.)
“Do your dressing in your boudoir to keep your allure. Be ready to go when your date arrives. Don’t keep him waiting. Greet with a smile!” (Be as convenient as possible!)
“If you need a brassiere, wear one. Don’t tug at your girdle, and be careful your stockings are not wrinkled.” (Your body is there to be looked at, comfort second.)
“Please and flatter your date by talking about the things he wants to talk about.” (Your interests are boring!)
“Don’t be conspicuous talking to other men.” (Trollop!)
Do you think the 1938 Dating Tips are all that different from modern dating advice?