She counsels women to be ever ready for sex with their husbands and to seduce them under the dining room table or in the hammock. “He may say, ‘But we don’t have a hammock,’ ” admits The Total Woman author, Marabel Morgan. “You reply, ‘Oh, darling, I forgot.’ If you are creative and imaginative, he’ll love you for it.”
Profiting from the antifeminist backlash (which defeated equal rights amendments at the polls in New York and New Jersey), the 38-year-old Florida mother of two scored impressively with her book and seminars preaching male dominance and stereotyped female roles. Not only was The Total Woman the No. 1 hard-cover nonfiction surprise in 1974 (selling 100,000 more copies than All the President’s Men), but Pocketbooks cheerfully paid $675,000 for paperback rights. Initial printing: a staggering 2,000,000 copies.
Morgan, a former beautician, is spreading her gospel—”Let your husband be your master”—like the campus Crusader for Christ she was when she met and married Charlie, a Miami law student two years her junior. In order to save what she considered her own lackluster marriage, Marabel started greeting her husband at the door in pink baby-doll pajamas and slipping sexy notes into his briefcase. Her philosophy succinctly put: accept, admire, adapt, appreciate.
It worked so well, she claimed, that Morgan started a series of Total Woman classes for a group of close friends. Today 100 teachers conduct the six-hour, $15 seminars in 40 states. Among the 30,000 graduates of the course are Mrs. Joe Frazier, Anita Bryant, Mrs. Jack Nicklaus and the wives of a dozen Miami Dolphin football players.
To charges that the TW approach merely teaches women how to manipulate their men, Morgan replies, “We give in with no thought to what we are going to get in return.” Nonetheless, smiles America’s new High Priestess of Kirche, Küche, Kinder: “Husbands treated the TW way fall all over themselves to grant our every wish.”