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.