Fascinating Womanhood?


For years I’ve been advocating a mass-market paperback called Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin, to all and sundry who would put up with it. But over the weekend I learned of an even older source – a charming little book published in the 1920s, from which Andelin gets most of her ideas, and, I’m very sorry to say, most of her content – unattributed.

Like Andelin’s book, it is called Fascinating Womanhood. The author is anonymous, which intrigues me a bit.

You have to make some allowances for the period in which this was written – the writing style itself is simplistic to the point of feeling patronizing – but there’s a lot of quality there, too. Human nature, after all, doesn’t change.

Do, please, check it out.

And a special thinks to Penelope for introducing me to this booklet.

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5 thoughts on “Fascinating Womanhood?

  1. Oy, Laura! When I was first married my mother-in-law gave me a copy of this book. She used the “techniques” on all the men in her life–including my husband. But, I found the book very disturbing–to do things like tell a guy he looks like some movie star–sounds like manipulative lying. The book seems so dis-honest, manipulating men with your feminity, I think it’s kinda not nice 😦 And I would hate a man manipulating me with his masculinity.

  2. Tara, I don’t remember manipulations of the nature you describe. To me, the great value of the book is that it taught basic psychology for understanding men – their need for acceptance, appreciation and admiration – and also affirmation – and for pointing out the distinctives between masculine and feminine, which we certainly have lost in this progressive feminist-dominated age.

  3. Hello Laura. I also have read and advocated this book for years. Mrs Andelin did in fact give credit to the 1920’s pamphlets in all of the editions of FW that I’ve read. In addition to the other commenter, nowhere in FW does it say anything about telling one’s husband they look like a movie star! There’s a lot of bogus information (rumors) being spread out there and attributing it to FW. It has nothing to do with manipulation, unless you think being a pleasant, helpful, encouraging human being means you’re being manipulative.

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