I recently moved with my husband from California to a town in the Midwest and joined the neighborhood book club as a way to meet new people.
Our club is for married women and meets once a week at our subdivision's community center and is a sort of "gals night out" with wine and cheese on the menu along with book discussion. While I normally don't approve of wives gallivanting in this manner unsupervised by their husbands, I decided the mental fortification from reading a stimulating book justified the risk of being in a situation where I might be tempted to partake of a libation or break my diet by eating cheese on a cracker.
At my first meeting, the club president asked me introduce myself and I advised that I'm 29 and married for three years to an important business executive with no children but that we hoped for a "bun in the oven" soon. In the meantime, I busy myself with cooking my husband's meals, cleaning our house and washing his clothes with trips to the gym and beauty parlor for fun. My husband's interests, I advised, include morning calisthenics, evening martinis, improving my culinary abilities via continual criticism and nightly sex.
As it was my first time, I hadn't read the book under discussion, "Men Are From Mars. Women Are From Venus." But I picked up from the conversation that the book is about the differences between men and women in communicating their feelings in a relationship and how best to bridge gaps in understanding.
The discussion was so lively that I couldn't help but throw my two cents in: the best way for women and men to avoid misunderstandings is for the gal to do everything her guy tells her to and to gracefully submit her bottom to spanking when she strays.
Well I must tell you that I was surprised by the response. Having moved from a state where the "1950s Lifestyle" isn't whole-heartedly appreciated, I was prepared for objections. But the other wives completely agreed with me. They were totally silent after I spoke and several looked at me in wide-eyed amazement. I'd obviously hit the nail on the head and there was simply nothing more to be said.
The meeting broke up shortly after that. As we were readying to leave, the club president asked for suggestions for next week's book. As I'd obviously won club members' respect with my forthright views, I confidently declared "The Scarlett Letter" the book to read.
I'd read the book ten times before. Nevertheless I found the eleventh time through as entertaining as the first, as I became thoroughly engrossed in this well-told tale of a wicked woman properly punished.
The book provoked much discussion at our next meeting, though I was disappointed that several wives were a bit dismissive of the benefits of societal shaming in promoting feminine virtue. And there was this one gal -- judging by her unkempt appearance her husband must keep her on a very tight budget as far as clothes and beauty products are concerned -- who seemed depressingly ignorant of her American history, as she kept referring to the people in the book as "patriarchs," not "Puritans."
Knowing that I shouldn't hog the limelight, I graciously kept quiet when the book club president asked for suggestions for next week's book. As I assumed she only came to consume more than her fair share of wine and cheese, I was taken aback when the woman with no money for a nice haircut suggested "The Feminine Mystique."
Not having heard of the book, as we exited the community center I asked the dowdy woman what it was about. She wrinkled up her unpowered nose and told me in a tone of voice a bit too haughty for my liking that it was written in the 1960s and inspired the feminist movement.
I recalled "feminist" as a slang expression from my college years for a gal not cute enough to bid the popular sororities, so I assumed that the book must be about the founders of the sororities on campus that homely girls join.
While I joined in teasing the "feminists" at college, from the perspective of a mature adult it is noble that people went out of their way to found fraternities and sororities for ungainly guys and chubby chicks to socialize because even people who aren't good-looking deserve a chance at happiness. I anticipated reading heart-warming stories of college romances between pimply guys and fat girls who fall in love and get married and live happily ever after raising pimply, fat children.
But instead the book turns out to be nothing more than an outrageous screed condemning the "1950s Lifestyle" and the well-founded notion that true happiness for a woman comes from a life of loving devotion to her husband as shown through enthusiastic performance of household chores.
I don't mind telling you that I plan to vociferously protest this so-called book at the next meeting of book club. I thought about pouring a glass of wine on it and lighting it afire, but we're supposed to drink no more than two glasses and, quite frankly, I need that much to get through a meeting because listening to some of these gals drone on and on in their nasal Midwestern accents drives me nuts. Plus I paid a dollar for the book at the used bookstore and I'd like to get some of that money returned by selling it back.
So I've decided to filibuster the meeting. Along those lines, I'll need material to read aloud for the two hours and I feel your columns on the benefits of housewifely subjugation would be especially beneficial for the group to hear.
For as much as you and I enjoy the life
Of loving submission practiced by a well-spanked wife
'Tis not all gals' cup of tea
And the freedom to be "you and me"
Makes this merry ol' world go round you see
And for more thoughts from my fellow "spank fiction" writers on the relationship between submission, including spanking, and feminism, visit the following link:
Spankingromance.com (Note: My apologies, dear readers, but you may need to "cut and paste" the link into your web browser. I'm using a tablet to make this post and can't figure out how to make a hyperlink.)