At the risk of giving unsolicited publicity to our rival newspaper, I can't help but weigh in on a story the Deseret News ran Tuesday titled "10 compliments your husband needs to hear."
It's a how-to guide for women to keep the hubby happy and, as an editor's note explained, it was reprinted with permission from "Family Share."
But I would argue that I was 14 years ahead of both the News and "Family Share" when I wrote a column in March 1999 suggesting to then-Democratic Utah Attorney General Jan Graham how she could get along better with Republican Gov. Mike Leavitt and the male- and GOP-dominated Legislature.
Leavitt and the lawmakers were trying to take away Graham's authority to file civil lawsuits because, as a woman Democrat, they didn't trust her.
So I referred to the 1965 book "Fascinating Womanhood," by Helen Andelin, described as "a guide for women who want to become more attractive to men."
Andelin's advice, which I passed on to Graham, included that women should not show strong opinions when talking to a man or fall asleep while he's talking. "Look for traits in his character which you can admire."
She counseled women not to be competitive, be a perfect follower and show a girlish trust in the man.
A woman, she wrote, should ask leading questions of her man to plant notions in his head so that, while it might be something she wants, it can appear to be his idea.
She advised women to wear frilly, feminine clothes with pastel colors and to coo and purr around their men.
Graham did not take all of that advice, especially the cooing and purring part.
Utah Republicans are even more dominant now than they were then. And while there are no statewide elected Democrats, female or otherwise, three of the five Democrats in the state Senate are women as are eight of the 14 Democrats in the House.
So here is the list of compliments offered by "Family Share" and reprinted last week in the Deseret News and my take on how these Democratic women in the Legislature could use them to make strides with their Republican male counterparts:
1. I'm so glad I married you (Are you married?).
2. I love how you provide for our family (You do budgeting so well).
3. I'm so proud of you (Here's where you bat your eyes and coo).
4. You're such a great daddy (The voters really look up to you, don't they?).
5. You're so hot (House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig should not say this to House Speaker Becky Lockhart).
6. Thanks for fixing the broken dryer (That work you did on the education budget must have been backbreaking).
7. Thanks for the help around the house (And thanks for helping around the Senate, too).
8. You can always make me laugh (Even when you're not trying to be funny).
9. You're so strong (This would have worked well on the five members of the old Patrick Henry Caucus who made a video of themselves demonstrating a serious Yul Brynner fetish. Four of the five are gone now, however).
10. I love spending time with you (Can I come to your caucus?).