I recently came upon one of those quizzes that sometime grace ladies’ magazines, this one from 1963. I include it here because, to be honest, it made me think of Debi.
Note first of all the entire premise of the quiz: Does your guy treat you wrong? Have you ever wondered if it’s your fault? As regular readers will know, this exact line of reasoning is shot through Debi Pearl’s Created To Be His Help Meet. Next note the scoring. This, for instance—“he’ll never treat you wrong, because you love and trust him.” In her book, Debi suggests over and over again that if you just respect and obey your husband no matter what, he’ll become a good husband. And then note this—“the way you distrust him would make any boy behave like a heel!” Similarly, Debi too suggests that husbands’ faults are the result of their wives’ failing to respect and obey them.
The problems with this thinking shouldn’t be hard to see. A woman’s love and trust does not guarantee that a man will treat her well, and blaming a woman for her boyfriend’s maltreatment is is truly toxic. I found this quiz an interesting illustration of the way some of Debi’s ideas can be found in mainstream pop culture—or at least, in mainstream pop culture in 1963, though I rather fear that this sort of logic remains more pervasive today than I would like.