Fascinating Womanhood or The Feminine Mystique?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by chloe, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. chloe
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    Which book & theory do you agree with more?

    In praise of Fascinating Womanhood

    Since reading Helen Andelin's book, Fascinating Womanhood, I feel like I was going through life blindfold, and now, suddenly, I can see. Suddenly, I get it. Suddenly, men don't seem so incomprehensible anymore. Now, it seems obvious to me why things I was doing weren't working, and most important, what does work! I could dance for joy! I used to secretly wish I'd been born a man, but now I absolutely love being a woman.

    Helen Andelin explains how to be what she calls The Ideal Woman From A Man's Point Of View. My understanding of this is that this is a woman who understands men, has inner and radiant happiness, is of good character and a domestic goddess, is radiantly healthy, feminine, and can be childlike to diffuse tension in difficult moments. Andelin divides these traits up in to two sides, which she calls the Angelic (the traits that make you a bit untouchable and put you up on a pedestal) and the Human (the warm, very endearing , attractive traits).

    In praise of Fascinating Womanhood



    Can the problem that has no name be somehow related to the domestic routine of the housewife? When a woman tries to put the problem into words, she often merely describes the daily life she leads. What is there in this recital of comfortable domestic detail that could possibly cause such a feeling of desperation? Is she trapped simply by the enormous demands of her role as modern housewife: wife, mistress, mother, nurse, consumer, cook, chauffeur, expert on interior decoration child care, appliance repair, furniture refinishing, nutrition, and education?

    Her day is fragmented as she rushes from dishwasher to washing machine to telephone to dryer to station wagon to supermarket, and delivers Johnny to the Little League field, takes Janey to dancing class, gets the lawnmower fixed and meets the 6:45. She can never spend more than 15 minutes on any one thing; she has no time to read books, only magazines; even if she had time, she has lost the power to concentrate. At the end of the day, she is so terribly tired that sometimes her husband has to take over and put the children to bed.

    The Feminine Mystique: Chapter 1
  2. Amanda
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    Amanda Calm as a Hindu cow

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    I've never read either one, I'll have to check to see if my library has them.

    Ok, I just checked... my library doesn't have the first 1 and I have read the Feminine Mystique a long time ago I think. I didn't agree with it so much IIRC.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Very few of the women I have known have been at home domestic servants.

    Most of them worked and worked full time.

    I think any women whose happiness depends entirely on their man is bound to be unhappy.

    FWIW, their men are bound to be unhappy, too, to have that amount of responsibility for the happiness of their mates thust upon them.
  4. sky dancer
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    I like your taste in books, chloe.

    Have you read Women Who Run with the Wolves? It's wonderful. A Jungian approach and promotes women's spirituality.

    I find this book, Dakin's Warm Breath, by Judith Simmer Brown to be an inspiring guide.
  5. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Gold Member

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    perhaps the man in your life finds the first part the idea woman...the man i have does not. he prefers a strong willed, voice and minded woman. of course that causes conflict but i am his partner not his child i am with him due to the wanting and loving not the needing..he likes being able to leave for weeks at a time and not be worried about me...not hear me whining how much i miss him and need him...if he wants a domestic goddess he can damn well hire one...i do believe they have services that provide that..we both come and go as we please with whom we please....we prefer to be equals than one taking the submissive role to please the other....men quickly bore of women who are the "idea woman" or as i call them the chamelons that change their colors depending on their mans mood...what is that...love...i think not...love allows one to grow and be....
  6. chloe
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    I don't have a man in my life, unless you count Jeffree (my gay pal). Sometimes he does seem like he swings both ways....last time we hung out he told me when he's drunk he likes to make out with girls and showed me something inappropriate....YIKES!
  7. chloe
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    Someone gave me that book Women who run with wolves but I never read it. Maybe I'll dig it up. I found the Fascinating WOmanhood book at a thrift shop called Deseret Industries, and it seemed to say just the opposite of the Feminine Mystique. They were written around the 60's & 70's. Things are a lot different now.
  8. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Gold Member

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    why worry about making men happy...worry about making yourself happy....the other stuff will fall into place...
  9. chloe
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    true:razz:
  10. Annie
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    Annie Senior Member

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    I read the, Feminine Mystique, way back when. I think geared more to my mom's generation than mine or younger. Published in early 60's.

    Haven't ever heard of, In Praise of Fascinating Womanhood, though it sounds comparable to, The Total Woman, which was published I think in the 70's. Polar opposites.

    Quite unbelievably, I found a review that mention both books, there are links at site:

    The Total Woman, by Marabel Morgan: a book review

  11. Angel Heart
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    Angel Heart Conservative Hippie

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    I have always wanted to be a mom and take great pride in caring for my family. As a young girl when asked what I wanted when I grew up I would say a mommy... I was told that's not a "real" job. I was pushed to choose between their choices of jobs that are "real". Who's to decide what is or isn't? What about those of use who are drawn to being providers?

    No I don't make money directly but do have benefits. I get paid by knowing my children better than anyone else. I see the difference in my children from the children raised in child care. Studies can say what ever they want. I know there's a difference between a child care raised child and one with a SAHM.

    I have never read either book and most likely will not. I'm currently making my way through Founding Mothers. I'm learning a lot more about myself by seeing how life was over 200 yrs ago and extremely hard. I realize how blessed my life really is.
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  12. chloe
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    When I was married I stayed home with my kids and I loved it, I was really active on the PTA and did alot of volunteer work. It was great. I didn't mind the domestic duties but my husband was never home and he started having affairs once his law practice took off. He would come home at 7 or 8am and say he was up all night working ona case. He missed alot of the kids school events and dance recitals. It was a lonely marriage really. Now I work and take care of our kids myself and I still have a lot of fun with my kids but we are poor so we sdon't go do things we just make our own fun at home.
  13. Annie
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    Annie Senior Member

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    Chloe, we'll talk, lots in common. I wouldn't trade having been home with my kids for the first years of their lives for anything. I could have. In spite of my hearing loss Northwestern and other law schools wanted me, but I CHOSE to get married. That marriage produced three wonderful kids, one girl, two boys. The youngest is now 22, and going to graduate this spring. The oldest is graduating 12/14. Shazaam. I CHOSE to have these children with this man. Granted I'd come to rue the choice of the man, but never the children.
  14. Caligirl
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    Caligirl Oh yes it is too!

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    I don't think either book appeals to me, though i do love being a mother it is too draining much of the time - the kids always expect you to be everything for them including the fault for whatever happened that day. Today my eleven year old yelled at me for parking the car where her friend was waiting to be picked up. (I had parked the car before the friend came to wait there.) Somehow it was my fault.....

    And that's motherhood but so is talking through it and explaining why it is not entirely rational to expect your mother to have a premonition about where she should park the car to make the daughter's life perfect....

    I do get mortally tired of making dinner day in and day out.

    I also am SO GLAD that I was able to be home with them until they went off to school. And I am still home with them - only work during school hours.

    My favorite notions of womanhood surround the idea of women coming into their own after having their kids - How we gain a sense of self that is independent of what our husbands may expect ... I do think in a healthy relationship it ends up working well, hubby seems to appreciate that I have a job I love and feel like my life is no longer limited to "just" motherhood (which is completely exhausting.)

    I am happy where we are, the kids are good, the husband is mostly good, and my work is good - everything is good. I don't think being a woman "for him" makes sense, but neither does the recognisable complaints about motherhood sum up my days either....

    Chloe, I am sorry to hear about your husband. (hug)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  15. chloe
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    Yeah I love my girls and sometimes its hard, but we are close we do have a lot of fun, sometimes when we are all very tired we get slap happy and we all say ridiculas things and laugh and laugh. We have our own jokes and ways of getting through things.
  16. chloe
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    Thanks Caligirl. Yeah sometimes it is hardwhen kids get all bossy & demanding and think we have to be mindreaders. We have our moments too when we disagree on things. But we have more moments laughing at lifes absurdities. Your sweet.
  17. Red Dawn
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    Red Dawn Senior Member

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    Amen sister.
  18. Annie
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    Annie Senior Member

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    Just a few minutes ago the middle child, oldest son walk in at nearly 10 pm and said, "how goes it on the message boards? Are we good or bad tonight?" I told him good. Along with the layered salad. LOL!
  19. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    I've never read any books like either of those. Is that normal for a guy? Actually, I've never read any books that attempt to define what it means to be a guy either.

    My wife likes horoscopes, dream analysis and anything that she feels allows her to better understand what goes on underneath a person's skin. Frequently, we'll be watching something on TV, we'll hear something about someone and my wife will murmur "Typical Gemini" or something like that.

    In the 25 years since I reached the age of 18 I have come to the realisation that I know only one thing about women: I don't understand them. When I tell my wife this, she typically responds "You're not supposed to, sweetie".

    On the other hand, she spent years trying to figure me out. About 4 years ago she had an epiphany, realizing there is not really much to figure. I am just as I seem. I think she finds this knowledge comforting, but sometimes misses the challenge of trying to figure out what I really mean.

    Having just re-read what I've typed, I'm not sure it will make any sense to anyone but me! And not just because of the mixture of English English and American English.

    I'm starting to talk gibberish. I'll stop now.
  20. Angel Heart
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    Angel Heart Conservative Hippie

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    I'm not worried about DH and straying. He works M-F 8-5, school 2 nights a week, and odd network repair work for friends companies. One thing about hourly paid DH's, you know when they have been working or when they are blowing smoke up your ass.

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