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    #1

    Question 'Stepford wife'

    Hello,

    I saw this comment by a reader under the
    news about an alleged affair of US presidential hopeful Cain.
    Gingrich is not any better. He cheated on his first and second wife. He left the first one as she lay dying of cancer to be with the 2nd wife, and the 3rd wife he is with now he cheated with her on the 2nd wife. The 3rd wife looks like a Stepford wife. It would seem racist to me that Gingrich can do it, but not Cain?

    I checked the meaning of 'Stepford wife' and it means that a wife who is submissive and docile.

    I have two questions on this:

    1. Is this (calling someone a 'Stepford wife') considered a derogatory usage?
    2. Do people in the UK understand the meaning of this expression or is it limited to the US?

    Thank you

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    It's far more than "submissive and docile." It's based on a movie where the wives were robots, I believe, but if not robots, than brainwashed. They looked perfect, they were perfect cooks, they keps perfect houses. They had no thoughts of their own.

    Yes, it would be rather derogatory -- you have no thoughts of your own, though you're pretty.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    We understand it in the UK.

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    #4

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    @Barb_D, @5jj, thank you.

    I wonder if 'having no thoughts of your own' and 'not being allowed to express them even if you have them' (as is the case in many Eastern countries) would both label a person as 'Stepford wife'. After all, a person labeling may not know the difference ....

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    #5

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post

    I wonder if 'having no thoughts of your own' and 'not being allowed to express them even if you have them' (as is the case in many Eastern countries) would both label a person as 'Stepford wife'. After all, a person labeling may not know the difference ....
    Not really the same thing - check imdb.com for more details on the original film and remake.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    No, it also needs to include the appearance of perfection in every aspect: looks, housekeeping, cooking, done automatically, as a robot would.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: 'Stepford wife'

    @Barb_D, @waflob, thank you.

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