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Posted by: flybynight ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 03:31PM

The recent post on Mormon women and marriage that included the FW excerpt got my blood boiling, and I finally figured out why -- Andelin precisely encapsulates TSCC's bad teachings about women and marriage.

From excerpt of Helen B. Andelin's "Fascinating Womanhood" (found on Amazon), with my responses:

<If your husband doesn't love you, you are likely doing something to cool his affections, or have lost something which awakens his love...>

So it's the *woman's* fault if the man's affection cools? Andelin implies that if the husband doesn't love his wife, it's because SHE'S doing something wrong -- always.

It gets worse, though:
<when you correct your mistakes you bring about a loving response in him>

Again, it's all about the woman "making mistakes" and then fixing them so hubby loves and accepts her again. No admission that the man might have some problems that HE needs to fix.

<Does your husband ever speak to you harshly, criticize you unduly, treat you unfairly, neglect you, impose on you, or in any way mistreat you? The important thing is not what he does but how you react. Do you shrink back as if struck by a lash? Do you go into your shell? Do you pay him back with a cutting remark? Or, do you fly off the handle with an ugly temper? If you react in any of these ways you will cause yourself unnecessary grief and lessen your husband's love for you.

No man likes an ugly temper, nor does he want a woman he can walk on, or one who will retreat into her shell and feel sorry for herself. He wants a woman with some spunk--some hidden fire, a woman he can't push around. Some men even admire little spitfires, women who are adorably independent and saucy, whom they can't put down with even the most degrading remark.>

What woman in her right mind wants a man who treats her this way?

What man who really loves his wife puts her down with the most degrading remarks, pushes her around, neglects her, or treats her unfairly? This is emotional abuse, but Andelin not only refuses to recognize it or admit it's wrong, but blames the woman for not reacting to it in ways that will make hubby love her more! Unbelievable.

<In Fascinating Womanhood the method of handling wounded feelings is called childlike anger, spunk, or sauciness. It will teach you how to handle a man's rough nature without pain, without friction.>

Yes, acting like a spoiled six-year old is going to preserve a woman's self-respect and dignity, and make abusive hubby all better. Right...

< Unfortunately, you may have gone without these things for years because you didn't know how to motivate your husband to do these things for you.

As a consequence, his feelings for you have likely diminished. We love whom we serve. If your husband never does anything for you beyond the call of duty, he may lose his love for you.>

So, to keep him in love, we're supposed to get him to do stuff for us? Well, that would be nice, but I suspect any man who yells, criticizes, neglects, and abuses his wife isn't going to be too keen on doing things for her. But here's the worst part -- if he doesn't do things for her, it's -- wait for it -- HER FAULT again! And again, she is in danger of losing that most precious commodity, his love.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

< You can bring it about independent of any effort on the part of your husband. So, you hold the keys to your own happiness.>

This is, perhaps, the most insidious, damaging idea of all. Andelin absolves the husband of any responsibility to make any effort in the marriage. She teaches women that they alone are completely responsible for the marriage and for acting in certain ways in order to make their husbands love them and treat them well.

<In accomplishing this you lose none of your dignity, influence, or freedom, but gain them, and it is only then that you can play your vital part in this world.>

Oh, gag -- this is the same crap that TSCC says about women's role as wife and homemaker being so much more important than anything else they could possibly do. Andelin wants women to view the man as the prize, act like dumb, incompetent, immature children, shake their curls and pout when he yells or gets angry, and generally accept responsibility for their man's emotional withdrawal, neglect, or abuse.

This is exactly the kind of BS I'm trying so hard to get rid of -- and failing badly. Does anybody out there have a satisfying marriage or partnership based on mutuality and reciprocity? I could use a bit of hope right now that Andelin's twisted world is not what a normal, healthy relationship looks like.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 03:43PM

and reciprocity. Of course, I raised my son by myself and taught him to respect women and we were never Mormon to corrupt that basic teaching.

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Posted by: The other Sofia ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 04:10PM

I remember when that book was used as a manual for Relief Society.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 04:55PM

That book is a classic. It basically says that you have to put
on this front to your husband and never let your guard down and
let him see the real you. You always have to be "on" as this
"angela human" childlike domestic goddess with carefully learned

She gives one example of a woman who won her husbands affection
by purposely putting up a dixie-cup dispenser upside down. He
saw how helpless she was and it supposedly kindled his manly ego.

The whole book is about how to manipulate your husband's male
ego by putting on the right front. The one thing the book does
not advocate is being candid, open and honest with each other.
In fact it advocates the opposite.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2013 04:56PM by baura.

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Posted by: BadGirl ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 07:42PM

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Posted by: mia ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 05:18PM

I'm glad I never read that load of garbage.

I'm far from helpless, and my husband knows that. I don't think he would have any respect for me if I put on a big helpless act. If I need his help, i'll ask him. It's not a big deal. It doesn't degrade me, and i'm pretty sure he doesn't get a big ego boost out of it.

That whole game sounds so destructive. It keeps you in a child position in the marriage. It's sick. I know so many mormon women who live like that.

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Posted by: dk ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 05:31PM

This sounds like the church's relationship to its members. The church is never wrong and everything is the fault of the members. Absolute horse pucky.

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Posted by: utahstateagnostics ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 05:37PM

The only part I agree with is that it says that someone should be responsible for his/her own happiness.

I know too many people who put their happiness into another person and they are miserable. Case in point - one student I have spent most of the year opining over a girl he wanted to date, or another girl student who felt unloved and put her happiness into her unborn child because once he was born at least ONE person would love her.

Everything else this book/article says is rubbish.

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Posted by: Benvolio ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 07:29PM

Don't forget her husband's book: Man of Steel and Velvet

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Posted by: Carol Y. ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 12:10AM

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Posted by: BadGirl ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 07:41PM

Why are you even reading such trash?
Toss it out along with Mein Kampf.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 08:46PM

If Smeyers read Fascinating Womanhood then no wonder she thinks Twilight has something to do with romance.

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Posted by: Infinite Dreams ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 08:51PM

men of "steel & velvet" then, I take it? :D

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 10:52PM

You know, the part where he's all happy that Joseph forced Bella to kiss him -- because that's not rape-y or anything.

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Posted by: Infinite Dreams ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 10:58PM

That actor, Billy Burke, is always playing total creeps. He played a character on the 2nd season of "24", Gary Matheson, that was trying to rape Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert).

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 12:00AM

But I think it's great when an actor finds his niche. I bet in real life he's probably a pretty nice guy. :)

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Posted by: Mormon Observer ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 09:14PM

This is the one who told of a woman who added lace and feminine trim to the sweatshirts she wore when helping him in the orchard going up and down ladders. The author swore it helped their marriage!

I had a BP once who was remodeling his house, adding a bedroom for the kids above the garage. That was the month when he made the pronoucement that his wife needed to wear skirts or dresses all the time and no slacks! (year 1977)
When she started wearing nothing but dresses he found out that her response time when he yelled from the garage attic for a tool he needed was a lot longer.
He said "I get a lot more work out of you when you wear slacks."
So she went back to wearing slacks. This was in the middle of a cold Idaho winter when he'd decided she needed to be the obedient spouse and wear skirts/dresses instead of pants!

So much for femininty!

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Posted by: Infinite Dreams ( )
Date: May 26, 2013 10:12PM

Any man who thinks he has the right to tell his wife what to wear is a sexist, controlling jerk.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 04:11AM

has some issues too.

Unless you are in the military, NOBODY has the right to tell another adults what they can and cannot wear!!!

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Posted by: flybynight not logged in ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 08:53AM

Something I missed in the original post above: <The important thing is not what he does, but how you react.>

The man gets to behave abusively, but all that matters is how the woman responds.

Holy h#!!, I am living in that marriage right now. DH was raised TBM; I've tried to talk to some of his female family members about his yelling, blaming, accusing, and raging, but all they've done is tell me to prayerfully consider all the ways in which he might be right, and how I can make it better for him.

I don't believe in censorship, but if there was ever a book that should be burned, FW might just be it. I'm glad to know there are people out there who have happy marriages without the demeaning attitudes taught in FW.

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Posted by: blessed poetry ( )
Date: May 27, 2013 12:04PM

I found a copy of this at my library once (luckily, it looked like I was the first to check it out in an awfully long time) and decided to read it. The entire time, my face was like this: :O It was just like: What the frack is this shiz!

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