Fascinating Womanhood – The Bloggening

Hey there reader(s), a few words of warning: a.) I am writing this on a blue tooth keyboard and my phone. I’m going to not worry about typos. b.) Seattle weather seems to have migrated south and it is starting to drizzle. So maybe I’ll be blogging this from the car. A little about this book. It was published in 1963, written by a woman who had a degree in Home Economics from BYU. Look, there’s nothign wrong with a home ec degree – in fact, I think those with home ec degrees should have W2    /401k type jobs. It seems to be a reaction to the 60’s feminist movement, and boy is it reactionary. Further notes will be added to the comments section. please feel free to add your oen comments if the spirit moves you!


18 thoughts on “Fascinating Womanhood – The Bloggening

  1. nerdycellist says:

    OK, I’m still on the copyright page and already loling: “A WORD OF EXPLANATION BY THE AUTHOR – Many of the teachings of this book were inspired by a series of booklets published in the 1920’s entitles “The Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood”. These booklets have long been out of print and the authors unknown.” BITCH PLZ U CAN;T EVEN WRITE UR OWN MISOGYNIST SCREED?

  2. nerdycellist says:

    1ST para of the introduction “Never before in history has there been a generation of women so diillusioned, disappointed, and unhappy in marriage as in our times…” Really, Helen? Never? Even during the times where women were betrothed to men without their own consent, so as to benefit their fathers? Even in the Bible, when the just “punishment” for a rapist was to marry his victim? Never? Here’s a thought – if women are so miserable in marriage, maybe they should just not get married?

  3. nerdycellist says:

    Chapter 1 – Celestial Love. Andelin starts with the Taj Mahal and then goes on to say that a man telling his wofe that he loves her, remembers her birthday, takes her out to dinner, and is often generous and kind are not attributes of real love. I guess celestial love is completely thoughtless and neglectful. Sounds pretty Celestial to me!

  4. nerdycellist says:

    Oh, Celestial love “… at tmimes it is a feeling approaching worship for the woman. At other times, he is fascinated, enchanted and amused. It has been described by some men as a feeling almost like pain. It can cause a man to feel like biting his teeth together.” Gee, this love sounds pretty unpleasant.

  5. nerdycellist says:

    one of Andelin’s pieces of schtick is that she uses examples of Love from works of fiction. Fiction mostly written by men. I don’t think she could defend this in a dissertation.

  6. nerdycellist says:

    OOh, first explicit woman woman blaming on page 13 – “This woman whe arouses holy feelings brings a man fulfillment. The woman who fails robs him of one of his finer joys.”

  7. nerdycellist says:

    CHAPTER II The Ideal Woman from a Man’s Point of View
    Page 15 contains the first usage of the phrase “Domestic Goddess” in this book – in a quote from Thackeray. The first time I ever heard the phrase it was from Rosanne Barr. I believed she used it ironically. I may or may not have uses that phrase on a Career Counseling survey we had to take in High School.

  8. nerdycellist says:

    Now we’ve got the lady-figure diagram (see previous blog post – I can’t post a pic in a comment) that divides a woman in to “Angelic” and “Human” qualities. The word “Arouses” shows up on both sides; the Angelic “Arouses a feeling near worship”, and the Human “Arouses a desire to protect and shelter”. These are not the points of arousal I would have specified.

  9. nerdycellist says:

    Now she’s citing fictional women written by noted misogynist Charles Dickens. Yeah, defintely go for the dude who left his wife and mother of his children for a younger fangirl, and then spent the last few years of his (old, bald) life snarking on his ex-wife’s homeliness. Fuck you Dickens.

  10. nerdycellist says:

    CHAPTER III – accept a man at face value.

    OK, so the first couple of chapters gave us an idea of the amount of hoops the ladies would need to jump through, but now we are being admonished to accept a man at face value. Here Andelin doesn’t even write her own shitty advice, she cribs the shitty advice from huckster Normal Vincent Peale.

    “I have tried to make a good home, be a good mother, and a devoted wife, but things have not worked out very well. The troublw is that my husband has not put forth equal effort… he neglects his children, spends money foolishly, drinks, is cross and difficult to live with.”
    So we all know that my advice would be DTMFA, but Peale’s advice, which Andelin enthusiastically cosigns, is “Don’t you know you should always be willing to accept a man at face value and never try to change him.” (which I guess could be the precurser to DTMFA). Andelin further adds: “You must accept a man at face value, or you cannot win his celestial love.”

    You know what? I’m going to rant here. This was not an outre idea in the 60’s. The audition piece I sang that got me into AMDA was from The King And I, and was entirely about how much the man treated the lady like shit, but oh well, sometimes he’s nice and I will love him forever even though he’s abusive. The centrel theme of the musical Carousel is how angry men show their love by hitting women. (ask me how I feel about ROdgerHamerstein some day.) One of the things in Andelin’s list of stuff you should never try to change about your man is “Helping with Child Care”. Because I suppose it is just asking too much for a man to give a shit about his offspring. Fuck that noise. Why did any woman get married at this point?

  11. nerdycellist says:

    Among the possible consequences of trying to change your shitty man, Andelin lists “It can destroy love”. Your fault, ladies! (modern spinster: don’t marry the shitty man in the first place.) Now her fictional lady examples are from Tolstoy, an expert in completely functional human behavior.

  12. nerdycellist says:

    CHAPTER IV – Admiration
    What this chapter says is that men need constant admiration. Ladies, pet your man’s ego. Tell him he’s always great even when he would have to aspire to mediocrity. Evidently, men need participation trophies or they’ll wither away and die. This is part of the reon we have the government we do right now.

    Now we have a header “What If You Fail To Find Any Manly Qualities In Him?” Uh, I don’t know what to do with that. Do you still love him? Maybe you dig the less “manly” man. With the decription she has for men, maybe the less manly the better.

    Here’s another gem from “How To Express Admiration”
    “…try to word it so he cannot ‘pin you down to specifics.’ Say for example: ‘I am glad I married a strong, dominant man!’

  13. nerdycellist says:

    CHAPTER V – A Man’s Pride
    I thought we were done with ego petting. ADMIRE HIS MASCULINITY it says. I’ll post a picture of the list of possible things you can say to your man to make him feel manly. This shit would make an antebellum Southern Belle barf.

  14. nerdycellist says:

    TRIGGER WARNING Here’s a golden example of “Belittling” which is one of those things you must not, under any circumstances, do to your man… if you are of a sensitive nature you may wish to look away:

    “A woman gave me the following account” ‘My husband taught a Sunday School class, and he did it very well. One day I suggested that he ask our son to give part of the lesson in the form of visual aids.

    ‘My husband turned to me and said, with aggravated tone, “What’s the matter, don’t you like the way I do it?” I answered, “Well, you could do it better.”

    ‘He became extremely violent, told me that I had never appreciated him, but constantly belittled his efforts. He rushed out of the house, slammed the door, and didn’t come back for several hours.'”


  15. nerdycellist says:

    This book makes a cogent and compelling argument for lesbianism.

  16. nerdycellist says:

    CHAPTER VI – Sympathetic Understanding

    Even more about what men need. This one at least touches on the pressure put on men due to stifling gender norms. Although Andelin seems quite commited in reinforcing those norms. So the dude has to earn all teh money to support the family – don’t ask him to do any other work, emotional or physical. This is why I support married couples with SAH parents form an S-corp, and provide a salary and benefits to the spouse that keeps the home and children cared for.

  17. nerdycellist says:

    In reference to supporting your husband, this chapter also insists “Don’t attempt to solve his problems, lift his burdens, or remove obstacles directly and don’t give him advice unless he appears to want it. Then give it only in a feminine way.”

    Ah, Be passive aggressive. Got it.

  18. nerdycellist says:

    All right – almost halfway done and all the song cycle riders have returned and my battery’s running out. I will post the rest tonight. Feel free to comment!

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