I am very excited to be teaching a visual survey class this semester, mostly because it gives me justification for reading a whole lot of new books… ! Yesterday I was reading about an exhibit I wish I had seen, mistress of the house, mistress of heaven, women in ancient egypt. Of course I am always interested in the social and physical spaces of women, but what struck me most was a translation of some advice on dealing with one’s wife

When you prosper, then found your house. Love your wife according to her standard. Fill her belly, clothe her back. Ointment soothes her body. Gladden your heart as long as you live, for she is a field fertile for her lord. Do not contend with her in court; keep her from power, restrain her, her eye as she gazes is a stormwind. This is how to make her stay in your house, restrain her. A female who is in her own hands is like the rainwater; she is sought and she has flown away.

Ptahhotep (middle kingdom)

young ladies guideI just love that last sentence, a woman who is in her own hands is like the rainwater… oh and her eye as she gazes is a stormwind… I feel another advice book coming on, much like my young ladies guide… but how fun it would be to work with an egyptian theme! The first tongue in cheek guide can be seen above, taken from advice manuals for young ladies, and tweeked in it’s presentation just a little!