In my kitchen there is an interesting piece I found in an antique shop when I was in my 20s. Its rustic, wooden frame contains a page from a Home Economics book circa 1950. Its title is:

Tips to look after your Husband.

When my daughter was about six and really getting into reading, she stood in front of this and started to read. I was cooking dinner and giggling as she read lines such as:

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs…

….. and would then turn to me and say, “Have you done that?”

Or then there’s this snippet of wisdom:

Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner – count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day…

“Have you done that?”

It sounded ludicrous and that’s why it was so funny to hear, in this day and age.

BUT at the same time, it got me thinking about how women seem to have always been instructed on how to behave towards men – 1950s: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” 2012: …I wouldn’t even know what to write here – I imagine it would be very sexual.

As I have said many times over – I was your poster girl for teen-girl feelings, hopes and dreams – I wanted to find the perfect guy.

How was I going to do that? Get advice from Cleo and Cosmopolitan magazines, of course! Haha! Tragic.

These magazines, which I religiously read throughout my university years in the late 80s/early 90s, provided every young woman with everything they needed to know – chock full of advice on how to look, what to wear and most importantly – how to snag a guy…including ENDLESS sexual activity ideas – especially with his penis.

Ironically enough, Jezebel just published a list of Cosmopolitan’s Most Ridiculous Sex Tips article here. Gee, there are some CLASSIC suggestions in this list – and if anyone can remember, it was more of the same – issue after issue.

Instructions for women.

So I just have this question:

Question #62: Where are the instructions for young men about how to treat a woman, in their popular culture?

It’s concerning that girls are continually being groomed to satisfy men – only.

Again, ladies and gentlemen, there ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to satisfy your partner. It’s important to learn what makes them tick and want to please them.

But what are boys being taught about women? What are their magazines (for example) teaching them?

Well, all that seems to be out there for boys are specialty sports magazines and ones like Zoo Magazine – which is basically soft-porn/porn, with sections such as: ‘Booty Bank’ and ‘Strip Search’.

How are boys supposed to have a respectful attitude towards women, when they don’t get an ‘instruction manual’ like women seem to have?

Of course, I KNOW men would cry out collectively and say the manual would look something like this:

Well, it would be a start boys…it would be a start.

Deep Breath.