Relationships Have Changed

This old piece from Esquire magazine from 1949 shows how much has changed. This can go in several directions for conversation, but what this illustrates at least is that perceptions of the attractiveness etc change over time. One wonders what will happen to what we think is attractive today… the same… in a generation it may make us gasp. What is even more significant is that the rise of a greater equality turns all of this into a new kind of dual expectations.

What strikes you most about this list?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://www.sometimesalight.com Hannah Anderson

    To read this, it mostly makes me think about what HASN’T changed. I doubt that you’re a monthly reader of Cosmo or Elle, but the fundamental goal of “catching” the guy is still alive and kicking. Women are still being actively counseled to use their bodies and to be flirty and manipulative to snag a man.

  • Bob

    In 1949, Esquire would not have been a magazine any self-respecting Christian man would have been caught dead with: it was the American lads’ mag of its day. As such, it’s hard to place the advice anywhere but along the range from the courtesan to the meat market.

  • Dustin Kunz

    Despite my relatively progressive surroundings (from Austin, TX and graduated from Truett Sem just over a year ago), none of it. Well, maybe the liquor thing (#5).

    I echo the sentiment that it’s odd how little has changed, at least in my state.

  • phil_style

    The whole list seems entirely foreign and dated to me. I cannot imagine a woman taking seriously that kind of advice.

    Although the last one does rankle a bit. Be it a man, or a woman that I’m having dinner with, I get jumpy when the waiter is kept… well.. waiting….

  • http://www.dennisredwards.com Dennis

    Don’t tell my wife but #17 is still good advice! But seriously, this bears no witness to any “good old days.”

  • http://rwtyer.blogspot.com Rory Tyer

    I love #6 (comfortable chairs) and #16 (the idea of a boring man being conversation practice fodder for a woman). So great.

    And, on a serious note, #7 – about kissing being honest rather than manipulative – is great advice.

  • MatthewS

    The list overall seems of dubious quality but I like the conversation starter in #15. I think I might try that one in the near future to see what people say.

  • leslie

    What strikes me most is the usage of “men” and “girls.” I am a well educated, working mother, who is nearly forty, and most of the men in my facility refer to me as a girl. It is infuriating and disrespectful. Overall, I agree with Hannah. All the more reason for vigilance when protecting the minds of our children from worldly counsel. If it is possible. I have a three-year-old and I only have to protect him from commercials, which is fairly easy without TV.

  • http://thatsajennstory.com/ Jennwith2ns

    Kind of reminds me of Mad Men, only “tamer” (maybe), but overall, I’m not that shocked.

  • Barb

    Yes, I was thinking–if you want a picture of this watch “Mad Men” from season 1 on

  • Chris

    #2 – Good “Provided your taste is reliable” – this made me laugh.

  • http://elizabethchapin.wordpress.com Elizabeth Chapin (@ChapinChick)

    Leslie (#8), I agree with the problem of the usage of “men and girl” language. This woman let’s her boys order the whiskey for her (“what he said” is the fastest drink order ever) and most of the boys I go out for drinks with spend more than enough time figuring out which whiskey is best, so I don’t have to worry my already overfull grad student head about such details. I wonder how my men friends would feel if I really started talking like that?

  • Amanda B.

    Well, shoot. I guess I’d better start looking up local bridge clubs.

  • Amanda B.

    Well, shoot. I guess I’d better start looking up local bridge clubs.


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