Friday Challenge: Guess The Year

These sheets were handed out to an SFL reader while she was taking the course MI308: Ministry Mates, as course which is “designed to teach the young lady how to be an effective mate to a husband who is in full time ministry.”

The challenge today is simple: guess what year these handouts were given. The winner gets bragging rights and an honorary doctorate of Guessology.

Answer: By some strange coincidence the first answer was also the correct answer. This particular copy was handed out around 2003. However, it looks like some people report having seen it even more recently than that. Thanks for playing, everyone!

398 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Guess The Year”

    1. Yes! I totally did this course in seventh grade. Ahhh, memories. In fairness, there was some helpful information, but most of it was sexist and really, really judgmental.

  1. 1981. The SDAs had “Fascinating Womanhood” and “Fascinating Girlhood” from the 1970s. I am sure this was attempt to use what was perceived as good advice without getting it directly from those seen as heretics/cultists.

  2. I remember getting something similar as a teen in Sunday School class. But, I remember “chipped nail polish” / “nicely painted nails and toenails” being on there.

    1. When I taught at Christian school, we were told to keep a bottle of nail polish in our desk drawer in order to immediately fix a chip. You could get written up for having one.

  3. The brightness of the paper and the fact the ink is not faded at suggests a fairly recent vintage. However, how old the original is, is anybody’s guess. I would guess this handout was given in 2011, but the original created sometime around 1960.

  4. Knowing what I know about fundies, I’m betting that handout is still being used in a LOT of women’s bible classes. The late 70s with the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie were Hollywoods only successful attempt to influence christian women’s dress.

    1. Just because she matches the lesbian stereotype*, doesn’t mean she’s gay… πŸ˜†

      * Does anyone else think the picture was drawn to evoke that stereotype on purpose?

      1. Can’t fault a woman for trying! Besides, even if she isn’t into me, I want to know where she shops. I like her jacket.
        (Also, just because I ask for a woman’s number doesn’t mean I’m gay– I’m bisexual actually. Also, today is National Coming Out Day. So, I just killed two birds with one stone!)

        1. I’m so sorry! Of all people, I should know not to assume about these things. Here I was poking fun at people who abuse stereotypes, and there I go… 😳

          Anyhow, happy National Coming Out Day! For everyone else (well, except for the straight vegetarians), there’s National Sausage Pizza Day to celebrate. Then there are those who may or may not be celebrating both “holidays” at the same time. πŸ˜€

        2. Mary Sue,
          Congratulations on coming out, and God bless. I hope you find this a safe online community here at SFL. BJG

  5. God made women beautiful and curvy. Why do religious people always try to make them look like young boys? Newflash; if you believe in creation, then you believe that Jesus invented boobs and hips and vaginas. These are all things to thank him for during your prayer before dinner tonight.

    1. “Newflash; if you believe in creation, then you believe that Jesus invented boobs and hips and vaginas. These are all things to thank him for during your prayer before dinner tonight.”

      Well said, and I’m very, very thankful.

        1. To fully appreciate the proper “swish” in a ladylike stroll, watch Jayne Mansfield in the opening scene of “The Girl Can’t Help It”. Maybe Big Gary can post the clip? He’s my ‘go-to guy’ for the best music and video links…

        2. I was a teen in the 70s and had Catholic parents — I got to wear platform shoes, hip huggers, and swish until I fell off my platform shoes! 😎

        3. I just found out that Jayne Mansfield went to the same high school I did, although not at the same time. She was there only a year or two after my mother graduated, though.
          (Our school’s other famous graduate is John Hinckley, the guy who shot Reagan.)

          And Jim Morrison went to the same elementary school as my older brother– but, again, not at the same time.

  6. I thought I’d take the quiz for grins & giggles. (Please notice my careful avoidance of profanity in the preceding phrase. +1 for me!)

    Honestly, I’m both options for most of those, depending on circumstances. Even so, there were a few I couldn’t answer.

    “Tobacco odors [vs] A delicate fragrance” Umm, I talk to people who smoke, so there might be a hint of the tobacco odor, but I rarely wear perfume. So?

    “Unchastity [vs] Sexual purity” What is unchastity? The process by which Chastity Bono became Chaz? Is sexual purity intercourse only in the Fundy-approved orifice?

    I need some clarity before I am prepared to answer that one. 😯

    The only “wrong” answer I got was “Over-display in dress.” Conservative & I are no longer on speaking terms. Or at least the Fundy definition of conservative…

    Oh! Almost forgot! I think this was distributed in 2012.

  7. Actualy, that sitting advice is quite good.. πŸ˜‰ but not just for women.

    Our H&S department gives similar advice (as far as posture is concerned anyways) to us at work. It’s better for your back not to slouch…

  8. Dear SLF Reader:

    While not doubting recent use, I’d guess that the idea [if not the particular form] reaches back into the ‘girl’s refinement school.’ I’d guess anywhere from 1880 to 1940. But what do I know?

    Christian Socialist

  9. Made in the mid 1980s, I’m guessing. I’ll say 1985 just to hedge my bets.

    If I were a betting man, though, I’d bet my mortgage on them still being used.

    Please forward my doctorary honorate in guessology post haste. πŸ˜›

        1. I see what Shane did there.

          Am I that oblivious? This song is about Queenly posture?! First, ew. Second, if that’s the case, I’d think Freddie would sound a little happier about it–like We are the Champions.

  10. Ironically, Christ’s life was spent tearing down the walls between God and those people who God’s people left out and thought were not good enough. And fundamentalism tends to make sure everyone feel they aren’t good enough.

    This pamphlet is so not me and made me feel so inadequate.

  11. The more I look at this the madder I get. Because this makes so many people feel one of two things:

    (1) Unnecessarily bad about themselves.
    (2) Unnecessarily good about themselves.

    Neither outcome is helpful. I also notice how a several of the listed “negative” attributes are things that a women (or man) honestly cannot help, since many of them are due to genetic, economic, racial, etc., background and NOT due to bad moral character.

  12. a course which is β€œdesigned to teach the young lady how to be an effective mate to a husband who is in full time ministry.”

    I’d have less of a problem with this if there was also one “designed to teach the young man how to be an effective mate to a wife who is in full time ministry.” πŸ˜‰

  13. “Domineering attitudes” is contrasted with “Thoughtfulness of others”.

    You wimmens need to remember not to be domineering. That means “Don’t speak yur mind!” And “whatever yur husband sez is right.” “Stop yur arguing!” “Be seen and not heard.” But “Be seen skinny” because your highest calling is to be attractive to menfolk. Otherwise you have no use.

    Frankly, we men have to speak up and say that we respect and love our wives and daughters so much that we won’t tolerate their being belittled, minimized and objectivized any longer, whether in the workforce, society, or in church.

  14. OMG! New Bethany flashback. I remember these very pages from our “charm class” we were forced to participate in by none other than the infamous Clair Shipman. I know these came from a book published in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

    Hell, it was outdated when we got this “course” in 1982.

  15. Ladylike Reserve is the opposite of boisterous rowdiness on the list.
    I have never tried Ladylike Reserve but I can vouch for Jim Beam Reserve leading to boisterous rowdiness.

  16. It’s still a required class. From the “college” catalog:

    Ministry Mates is required for females as part of the General Electives.

    Of course, each major specifies whether it is intended for men or women.

        1. As a fundy, I either 1) avoided most entertainment altogether and was ignorant of nearly all popular culture or 2) knew about it but couldn’t mention it; had to assume a feigned ignorance.

          But I don’t think hiding from the world around us is wise. I want to be as wise as a serpent yet as harmless as a dove.

  17. I remember these from my Fundy high school back in the
    70s, it was pretty cheesy. Always liked one line on how not to walk: “Is your head shooting up and down like an erratic stock market report?” Still gives me a grin after nearly 40 years. πŸ˜€

  18. The first sheet asks, “Do my ‘feminine’ qualities outnumber my ‘unfeminine’ qualities?”

    So, I’m actually allowed to display some of the left-hand characteristics as long as there are fewer of them than right-hand characteristics.

    Can I pick the ones I want? Maybe “mannish attire” (if by that they mean wearing pants) and “reading smutty books.” Not that they’re necessarily smutty — just that fundies would probably classify them as such.

    That’s only two so I can probably pick a few more. Maybe an “ungainly walk.” I wonder if I need some friends to evaluate the gainliness of my walking.

    1. Also, what if I have lovely hair, soft hands, dainty dresses, a slim figure, a graceful walk, a pleasant smell, natural makeup, queen-like posture, abstention from tobacco and alcohol, self-confidence, and a ready smile YET display a quarrelsome spirit, malicious gossip, conceit and vanity? As long as there’s more feminine traits, can she get away with just a few of the nasty attitudes?

      I hate that physical attributes are listed here along with spiritual traits, as if they can be equated.

      1. Also, what if I have lovely hair, soft hands, dainty dresses, a slim figure, a graceful walk, a pleasant smell, natural makeup, queen-like posture, abstention from tobacco and alcohol, self-confidence, and a ready smile YET display a quarrelsome spirit, malicious gossip, conceit and vanity?

        … you may be a poster on SFL!

        :mrgreen:

  19. I think the girl to the left on the upper page is actually thinking,”Holy @#$%&*! That girls wearing Simplicity McCalls dress! I’ve never seen it outside of the catalog.”

  20. Oh dear Lord, I mentally guessed 1979.
    Wow.
    Wow.
    Wow.
    Though, I do remember the “lady” classes that occurred in my teeny Christian school in the early 2000s – making girls walk around with a book on their head, sit daintily, etc. It was an actual class, one day a week. Cripes.

  21. So, my clothes are supposed to be dainty and pretty yet also quiet and conservative? I think you can be demurely dainty, but quiet and conservative usually describe a more sedate, business-like attire in my mind than the girlish, youthful, prettiness that seems to evoke femininity in the mind of whoever wrote this.

  22. Notice that the unfeminine woman is wearing glasses but the feminine one isn’t.

    Pfffffft.

    God is the one who gave me near-sighted eyes. And I can’t afford contacts right now. So I’m wearing glasses. So I guess according to this I’m less of a lady?

    1. Dear pastor’s wife:

      You may not be able to help the nearsightedness, but you can control the pfffffflatulence. Unless yours smell like the rose petals, your remark indicates an implicit violation of the ‘delicate fragrance’ rule.

      Blessings!

      Christian Socialist

  23. There’s so much awful here, I hardly know where to start.

    First of all – the extremes. There’s no room for a middle ground, and that seems entirely too close to the psychological term “splitting”, a major feature of borderline personality disorder.

    And then there’s the catch-22s. First feminine item is a “trim disciplined body” – and then at least 6 of the remaining items deal with denying any hint of sexuality. You’re supposed to be sophisticated, but not too sophisticated – and guess who the judge of that gets to be? Naturalness is one goal, but you’re also supposed to speak quietly, be reserved, have a delicate fragrance, and change your God-given gravelly voice to something more pleasant. More manipulative, can’t-win scenarios – also often behavior exhibited by borderlines.

    Thus making this nonsense certifiably crazy.

    1. Dear Clara English:

      Please accept my sincere apologies for my last response to your most recent reply. Not only was I extremely defensive, but the writing itself was pompous and stilted. Lose-Lose. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an “Unsubmit” key.

      Feel free to point out any omissions:

      1.) The clarity or ease with which a text may be understood may vary from translation to translation.
      The difficulty in understanding the KJV may at times be increased because of changes in the English language over the centuries.

      2.) Sincere Christians may in soul liberty choose to study a variety of versions in order to increase their understanding of scripture.

      3.) Those who do so, and those English speakers who choose to use an English language version other than the KJV may understandably become angry when they are told they are studying “satanic perversions.”

      4.) This anger will probably be intensified among those who in the past were rebuked for doing just that by men who were loud, angry, and often overweight, and undereducated.

      Blessings

  24. OMG. I knew that looked familiar. Once someone published the link for the actual book, I realized we had that book at my house, and I probably had to sit through some Bible study about femininity. I always felt shame because I didn’t have all of those feminine qualities that good Christian girls have. Mostly, I was too loud.

  25. Heh, no. It’s about shooting things up. πŸ™‚

    I just fired off something quick without really trying to come up with a perfect lyric. (And one certainly could do better.)

    If you google the video though, you will find plenty of posturing, some of it quite graceful, but nothing that would pass with the pink mimeograph people above. πŸ˜€

  26. In the interests of equal opportunity, I feel I should mention this. Years ago, shortly after I had surrendered all to The Call (1985 or so), some kind soul gave me a copy of Dave Hyles scintillating and insightful book _Christian Manhood Manual_. I no longer have the book, (thank God for re-gifting!) but I remember a similar obsession with outward appearance, judgmentalism, pretty much the same We-Will-Mould-You-In-Our-Image approach seen in this handy brochure. Anyone else remember that book? Even in ’85, the photos of clothing styles etc. were so outdated that I laughed and laughed.

  27. Pretty sure I had this in my “Charm” book that my parents gave me in second grade, so my guess would have been 1982. Fully pathetic that it was handed out in 2003. Even as a child I got the impression it was slightly outdated but even so tried really REALLY hard to follow all the guidelines.

  28. I got a flier in the mail from a Baptist church in the 1990s that had something similar.

    (I think this flier was from a Southern Baptist church if I remember right, not IFB, but SBs and IFBs can be similar in some ways, on views concerning gender).

    On the flier, it had the usual stuff, but on the back was a 1950ish looking, clip art drawing of a woman.

    Next to that clip art image was tips on how a wife can please her husband.

    It had advice about how you (the wife) should strive to look pretty at all times (and for your man, not just to look nice for the sake of it, or for your own self esteem), have fresh lip stick on when the husband gets home from work, etc and so on.

    I was in my 20s at the time and single. (I still am single). I found their flier revolting and sexist.

    I’m tired of some types of Christians demanding that their view of “biblical womanhood” (which amounts to an emphasis on physical appearance and secular 1950s American gender roles) be accepted and lived out by everyone, and if you do not, or you don’t agree, you must hate the Bible, or you’re a militant feminist.

    Not a peep on that flier (or most Christian literature) telling men to jog regularly, brush their teeth, and do stomach crunches to look visually appealing.

    Women do notice and care about what men look like, but this is a point that is frequently ignored or denied by conservative Christianity.

  29. Here I sit on the couch, my back to the arm and legs stretched out, taking up most of said couch.

    I live with joint pain that does not allow me to walk, or sit, with grace.

    I suck as a woman.

      1. As I read that, one of my cats is stretched out in the doorway, with all four paws stuck up in the air and her tail straight out behind her. If not elegant, she at least looks very cute.

        1. Saint Bernards also sprawl anywhere they please. They are cute when they do that — in a weird, annoying kind of way.

  30. Regarding “snake hips” this is from a song back in the 20’s.

    Since making whoopee became all the rage
    It’s even got into the old birdcage
    My canary has circles under his eyes

    He used to whistle ‘The Prisoner’s Song’
    Now he does snake-hips the whole day long
    My canary has circles under his eyes

    (the details of a canary making snake hips aren’t described, but one can only imagine)

        1. Ah, slow me! Just got it.

          When I first read it and being a human of the male variety therefore invariably lifting a curious ear when M is discussed which discussion always seems to include (whether via “proof” or a dismissal of evidence) poor Onan’s hmmmm mistargeting, I certainly recognized the infamous character immediately.

          However, the connection with the bird… πŸ˜† Brilliant! I must needs now go buy me an bird now that I have the perfect name!

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