I found myself sitting next to a copy of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” recently. I’d forgotten how much raw clarity and passion ran through the movements (anti-war, civil right, black power, feminism) of that era. Curious that having lived in that time one would forget.

There is a very sweet, though deeply sexist, section of the book about how he came to marry his wife. It includes this paragraph:

Mr. Elijah Muhammad taught us that a tall man married to a too-short woman, or vice-versa, they looked odd, not matched. And he taught that a wife’s ideal age was half the man’s age, plus seven. he taught that women are physiologically ahead of men. Mr. Muhammad taught that no marriage could succeed where the woman did not look up with respect to the man. And that the man had to have something above and beyond the wife in order for her to be able to look to him for psychological security.

Which I took note of because I’m currently excessively fascinated by the personal rule sets that people accumulate.

Imagine my amusement to see one of those rules appear in today’s comic!. Times change.

1 thought on “Revolutionary

  1. Todd Larason

    I encountered the “ideal bride’s age = groom’s age/2 + 7 years” rule sometime in childhood, I’m thinking around age 14. It’s associated with the books “Little Women” and “Little House on the Prarie” in my mind, although I don’t think I’ve ever read either of those.

    One interesting difference in the xkcd usage was that it was used, or at least presented, as gender-neutral.

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