Out Of The Frying Pan.

By Alison February 6, 2006 8 Comments 2 Min Read


 Beth Grossman.

"Seven frying pans are hung from men’s belts. Text
from The Total Woman, written by Marabel Morgan in 1970 as a response
to the feminist movement, is sandblasted into round mirrors stuck in
the pan. As viewers read the text, they will see themselves in the
mirrors. I ask them to take a look at how much has changed and improved
as a result of feminism, and to consider how much remains the same
within the male/female relationship.

Text in frying pans:

“The days were sunny, the nights were star-studded.
Indeed married life was strawberries for breakfast and loving all the
— Marabel Morgan

“Many a husband rushes off to work, leaving his wife
slumped over a cup of coffee in her grubbie undies. His once sexy bride
is now wrapped in rollers and smells like bacon and eggs. All day long
he’s surrounded at the office by dazzling secretaries who emit clouds
of perfume.”
— Marabel Morgan

“The typical American housewife begins each day with
every good intention. As soon as her husband and kids are out the door,
she nobly faces the disaster areas.”
— Marabel Morgan

“She may whine, play the martyr, or escape with her box
of bonbons to her favorite soap opera. When the kids come home at three
o’clock, she screams at them because she’s mad at herself.”
— Marabel Morgan

“The woman who would never think of serving the same
frozen TV dinners every evening sometimes serves the same frozen sexual
response every night.”
— Dr. David Reuben

“Would he pick you for his mistress? A mistress seduces. A housefrau submits. We all know who gets the most goodies.”
— Lois Bird

“It’s only when a woman surrenders her life to her
husband, reveres and worships him and is willing to serve him, that she
becomes really beautiful to him. She becomes a priceless jewel, the
glory of femininity, his queen!”
— Marabel Morgan:

Sad, true, and  provocative: in this piece and the rest of her stunning exhibition, Beth Grossman contributes to a debate that looks set to rage on eternally.

Would it to be too awful to admit that I still don’t know where I stand?

That my views, political or otherwise, remain unformed? And that worse than that, I do not find my ignorance appalling, but simply hope that it will act as a sponge for all I am willing to try to comprehend.


  1. Kristy says:

    I believe that at the heart of feminism is the right for every woman to be who she choses to be.Also the realisation that we are responsible for being that chosen woman.Knowing where you want to be makes it so much easier to get to! Does that make sense?

  2. Alison says:

    Absolute sense: I'm kind of blindly feeling my way to where I want to be plagued by the idea that I may not be who or what I stand for. Does that make sense???

  3. Savannah says:

    Ah, The Total Woman… I owned it and its sequel, The Electric Woman. Plus I have a letter from Marabel herself. Alas, I have neither man I bought those books to keep. Hmmm… I do believe men love to be treated as she advised. I do believe that sort of thing pleases them to no end, IF it is done with joy and with love and with no artifice. Is Marabel still living? In her letter to me during the 80's I think, she had been fighting breast cancer. Where did you find these quotes, Alison? So intriguing.

  4. ms*robyn says:

    I have no idea who I am really. that sounds odd doesn't it? Each day for me it changes and some days I am lucky that it feels 'right' then life comes along and presents something and I realize I don't have a clue, so I muddle along. does that make sense?

  5. Kristy says:

    As long as we and those we love are happy when we muddle along then surely that's okay?If our muddles lead to chaos then that's where disaster strikes.I think that we sometimes focus so much on the small details of our being that we fail to see the whole picture.Where we are right now is only a small stitch in the fabric of our lives.

  6. Suzie says:

    I swing between wanting to be that loving, perfect woman looking after her man, and wanting to be wildly independant, and pleasing only myself. I just have to accept that is a part of who I am, and mostly I spend my days trying to satisfy both sides of myself. Sometimes it works and others I fail miserably. As long as I listen to myself, I am happy. And if I'm happy, so are my family. Have you noticed that? How being off balance and cranky makes those around you miserable too? Or is that just me?

  7. Savannah, the reason you lost the men despite trying to be a total woman is that the "Total Woman" message does not work.
    We have written a book that explains why Marabel and so many women who followed her plan ended up divorced.
    We assume that Marabel recanted most of her ideas when her marriage finally failed. However, like you, we have found that any updates on Marabel are not to be found.
    God did not design a marriage to be successful based on a wife being perfect. The successful marriage is completely opposite of the Total Woman message. It is one in which the husband carries the load first of being a great husband and treating his wife like a queen.. and then his wife responds easily and freely with a warm and responsive, friendly love.
    99% of women would love to have a man who buys this concept.. as it takes all of that pressure off of the wife to be miss perfect.
    As disolusioned "Total Woman" wives can testify to.. being the perfect woman does NOT make a man into a good husband over the long haul. After the newness wears off, the husbands become even worse than they were before.
    Check our book out: The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His! It can be found on Amazon or at http://www.joelandkathy.com

  8. Anita says:

    It seems to me that most of the comments have to do with balance, something that we agree is a good thing but quite often find difficult to achieve. I have not yet read 'The Total Woman', but I have a copy. I would recommend, 'Love and Respect', by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I think it explains quite well why just 'loving a man' doesn't always cut it, because most men crave respect over love from the women in their lives.

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