Fascinating Womanhood and me

Fascinating Womanhood and me

Well, I decided to take the advice of the charming lady who recently suggested that I should read Fascinating Womanhood, and I must say, having read it, that it exceeds all my expectations.

I knew that Mrs Andelin and I could never be soul-mates when I read Chapter 2 “The Ideal woman”. Mrs Andelin's idea of the ideal woman is a combination of Agnes Wickfield and Dora from David Copperfield. Great. The two women she wants me to emulate are the two women in all of English literature I despise the most. This was a discouraging start for me, and it gets no better as the book proceeds.

In the chapter “Accept Him at Face Value” she tells us we must put up with a man as he is and not try to change him. Very nice, except that she does not exchange the same courtesy to women. If you're a woman you've got to change, whether you like it or not. “Pressing a man to change can bring out a streak of rebellion in him” she says. And in women too, Mrs Andelin, in women too.

In the chapter “Admire Him” she suggests hanging on your husband's every word with rap attention. Unfortunately, if you have a husband like mine he will not be deceived by this. “You don't understand a bloody word I'm saying, do you?” he is apt to say to me severely when I am trying to show a bright interest in, say his latest piece of metalwork. Men are not all as easily fooled as Mrs Andelin seems to imagine.

In the chapter “The Leader” she tells us that the man must be leader in the family because the Bible says so. Mrs Andelin is strongly religious, and drags religion in to support her theories all the time. If you are not religious you may find this tiresome or irrelevant. In this chapter she says something that will be very familiar to Taken In Hand readers since it crops up on here quite often, “Any organisation to have smooth-running system, must have a leader. The family, a small group of people, must be organised to avoid chaos. It doesn't matter how large or small the family, there must be a leader to maintain order.” To which my reply is always “Why?” I do not believe that a family must be like a business organisation, or must have a leader. You may prefer it like that, but I simply don't believe it is how it has to be. A man should lead, Mrs Andelin tells us, because women tend to vacillate. I'm not surprised: anyone would vacillate if they were striving to be both Agnes Wickfield and Dora at the same time. It's a wonder a woman doesn't have a complete nervous breakdown, let alone vacillate, under those circumstances.

She continues in this chapter to discuss obedience. “When the wife sets an example of obedience to her husband, the children follow. It has not only immediate benefits, but far-reaching effects on their entire lives.” I'm sorry, Mrs Andelin, but that is not always the case. Why, I have been a model of wifely obedience for the past two and a half years, but our children are completely unaffected by this, they pay no attention whatsoever to anything that is said to them, either by my husband or myself.

Then in Chapter 9, “The Protector” Mrs Andelin tells us that the man must protect his wife from dangers, such as rape-, abduction, vicious dogs, snakes (snakes feature very prominently in this book), high precipices, deep canyons etc. She also tells us that a man must protect his wife from “unreal dangers” such as spiders, mice and dark shadows. Well, I'm here to tell you Mrs Andelin, that I won't get any protection from spiders from MY husband—he's terrified of them. If a spider needs removing from the bath he sends for me to do it—he won't touch them. Likewise any snakes that might be around, he abominates them even more than spiders. Snakes are fortunately in short supply in the UK, but if any snakes do appear in my house, my husband won't be the one dealing with them, and what do you have to say about THAT, Mrs Andelin?

Chivalry is dead, Mrs Andelin tells us, because women have become efficient, capable, and able to kill their own snakes. She doesn't have anything to say about those societies in the world (and there are a lot of them) where women are regarded pretty much as beasts of burden and expected to do most of the heavy work that she says is the province of men. In her world-view, lack of chivalry in men is all the fault of women, that there are large areas of the world where the concept of chivalry does not exist at all is not her concern.

In the chapter “A Worthy Character” Mrs Andelin tells us that a woman must be BETTER than a man, so that he can put her on a pedestal and worship her. This of course is a Victorian ideal, but one that has always appalled me. who wants to be worshipped, and why? I would must rather be treated as a human being, and allowed to have a few faults and failings, than be considered as an angel who can do no wrong, that's too much of a strain to live up to. It's a frightful prospect to be up on that pedestal.

The chapter “The Domestic Goddess” I will pass over. Everyone who has read anything I have written on this site knows that I am not one of those, and am never going to be, so I won't weary you with going over all that again.

When we get to the chapter on “Femininity”, Mrs Andelin gives it to us straight:

“Femininity is a gentle, tender quality found in a woman's appearance, manner, and nature. A feminine woman gives the impression of softness, and delicateness. She has a spirit of sweet submission, and a dependency upon men for their care and protection. Nothing about her appears masculine—no male aggressiveness, competence, efficiency, fearlessness, strength, or the ability to kill her own snakes.” (I told you there was a lot about snakes in this book).

Well, reading through that paragraph I felt a bit discouraged, because I couldn't actually see much in myself of either feminine or masculine qualities, I don't have the softness and delicateness, nor the competence and efficiency either. This is somewhat discouraging. And while I've never yet had to kill a snake, I don't even know if I could do that. Oh well, only time will tell.

Mrs Andelin admonishes women not to talk too much, and says that they should never be crude, vulgar, harsh or critical. “Avoid talking about people you dislike as you may be tempted to make an unkind remark” she says. Honestly, she doesn't want us to have ANY fun at all.

When she discusses characteristics of the feminine nature, she emphasises how fearful women are. women are afraid of thunder and lightning, strange noises, dark shadows, mice, and yes, of course, spiders. Men love to laugh at women's fears she says. But what if it's the man who is afraid? Does anyone on this site need to be told what would happen to me if I laughed at my husband's fear of spiders?

Another thing Mrs Andelin tells us a woman should do is to purr like a cat and coo like a pigeon, both at the same time apparently. Men find this fetching. So, in addition to everything else, you've got to be an animal impersonator as well.

Mrs Andelin is very much against women going out to work. She attributes most of society's ills to women working out side the home. A favourite passage from the Bible that she quotes often in the course of the book is Proverbs Chapter 31, the one about the good woman. However, curiously, Mrs Andelin does not appear to notice that the woman in Provers is a businesswoman as well as a housewife. “She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruits of her hand she planteth a vineyard. She maketh fine linen and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” it says. The woman is engaging in farming and trade, but curiously Mrs Andelin chooses to overlook that point.

When it comes to expressing anger, Mrs Andelin encourages women to be “childlike”, something else that men apparently find fetching. She suggests making the following comments if your husband has upset you: “Ill never speak to you again” “I won't do anything for you anymore“ ”I'll tell your mother on you” (I swear I'm not making this up), or if he insults you in public “Wait until I get you home alone” or “I'll get even with you” I can only imagine how my husband would react if I said any of those things to him.

The chapter on sex would be, from a Taken In Hand point of view, downright subversive. She tells s that men generally want sex more than women do, and encourages women to be accommodating of their husband's needs, up to a point. However, she says: YOU need not feel you owe it to your husband to give sex whenever he expects it, and never refuse. I doubt if there is any merit in this. There may even be harm. Women who do, I have noticed, are not the ones who are idolized by their husbands. They are more often taken for granted, neglected, and sometimes even treated with contempt. In fact, they are about the most poorly treated wives I have known.

No man appreciates sex which can be had so readily. It is simply too cheap. Although you owe your husband a generous amount of sex, he doesn't own your body. To give him sex every time he asks is to spoil him. He will respect us more if we don't give him every little thing his heart desires. That's fighting talk for this site, isn't it?

On the subject of The Oversexed Man she is even more forthright. She suggests that an oversexed man should avoid sexual stimuli, so you shouldn't undress in front of him for instance. You should fill his emotional needs, appreciate him, admire him, and help build his self-esteem. This will reduce his need for sex. Also he should get plenty of hard work and exercise. Vigorous physical exercise diverts interest away from sex. Are you paying attention to this, all you lascivious Taken In Hand men? Get out and take some exercise and get your minds off you-know-what, you lecherous brutes, you.

To sum up the philosophy of this book, admire your husband, praise him, obey him, be a Domestic Goddess, don't work outside the home, be childlike, put your husband first at all times, but don't let him have too much sex, it's not good for him, and, above all, Don't Kill Your Own Snakes.

This book is full of glowing testimonials from women who have used the practices advised in this book and have made their marriages happier as a result. Good for them. But, if you are a woman who cannot face the thought of spending your life trying to be both Agnes Wickfield and Dora, not to mention cooing like a pigeon and purring like a cat simultaneously, then possibly the book is not for you. I'd have a nervous breakdown in a week.

Louise C

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Comments

You go girl!!!

Louise, what can I say but you did it again. You go girl!!! I think your review of this book is right on. I couldn't agree more and I haven't even read it. Don't plan on it either.

You should write a book. A comical book on the life of a Taken In Hand woman. The memoirs of a spanked woman. There's your title. (LOL) Think about it.

Yes, Louise!

Oh my God, what a bunch of clichés! I'll definitely make sure never to waste money on THAT book, but I'd love to read Louise's memoirs should they ever get written indeed...

Reading the book

Well, if you ever feel you want a good laugh you could read it, there were parts that had me in hysterics, especially the bit about cooing like a pigeon and purring like a cat, I had to put the book down for a while to recover when i read that. And the section on chidlikeness is a chapter to treasure. Apart from the choice phrases I quoted above, it recommends stomping your foot and beating your fists on your husband's chest. Can you imagine what would happen to me if I tried that with Dave?

On the subject of irrational fears, of which Mrs Andelin seems to think women are the only sufferers, I found this passage in one of Robert Benchely's articles 'The Truth About Thunderstorms'. he writes about his fear of thunderstorms, and describes what it's like when there are women in the house when a storm occurs:

>Perhaps the worst part that a nervous man has to play during a thunderstorm is reasuring the ladies. If I am alone, I can give in and go down cellar, but when there are women around I have to be brave and joke and yell 'Bang!" every time there is a crash. To make matters worse, I find that there are a great many women who are not frightened, and who want to sit out on the porch and play bridge through the whole thing.<

Louise

Bought it and threw it out

After seeing it referenced on this site awhile back, I bought a used copy online. Upon arrival, I flipped through it and ended up tossing it in the trash unread. Even with this brief perusal, I noticed many of the points Louise mentioned and was quite annoyed. Here I am hoping for more sex and the book encouraged less. Talk about counterproductive!

As for the Biblical references, I'm actually quite religious but don't care for misapplied and/or twisted scripture which is what I felt I was reading. Without getting into a religious debate (Please no!), the section in Proverbs that Louise referenced is an excellent example of that.

Anyway, I got a lot more out of Laura Doyle's Surrendered Wife and Dr. Laura's Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Much more practical for us.

Lucy

How you should be vs. Who you are...

I have a card from an old friend with a Maya Angelou quote which reads "A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself". I have no idea who Agnes Wickfield or Dora are, but I too find books which tell me how I should be annoying. Although, I would agree with delegating disposal of creepy crawlies to the male domain, in fact I have been known to tell male co-workers that if he were a gentleman he would kill whatever it is that has just freaked me out. But I would become awfully confused and wind up cooing like a cat or purring like a pigeon at just the wrong time.

As an antidote for books such as Fascinating Womanhood (which I have not read, and will not be adding to my reading list anytime soon) which assume to tell us how we should be, I recommend "Strengths Finder 2.0" by Tom Rath, along with the online character theme assessment. Waste no more time on what you are not, find out what makes you you, and be more of it. And wait for the man who appreciates you for who you are and will give you whatever you want, not in a spoiled brat way, but in a manner of teaching you to assert your needs and wants. The best gift you can give a man is your true self.

The killing of snakes etc

Good review. Thanks. Made me laugh. Saw some bits in the quotes that some men do like. Even remember someone saying I was purring (goodness knows if I were or not)...

I've never dated a dominant man who has had any problem that I work and am competent although some of the things written are undoubtedly true for some men. The couple I met recently who are engaged (and I am sure not takeninhand or anything like that), they are together because she had a problem, did a silly female panic and he in effect rescued her which must have made him feel good.

"“Femininity is a gentle, tender quality found in a woman's appearance, manner, and nature. A feminine woman gives the impression of softness, and delicateness. She has a spirit of sweet submission, and a dependency upon men for their care and protection. Nothing about her appears masculine—no male aggressiveness, competence, efficiency, fearlessness, strength, or the ability to kill her own snakes.”"

I suspect the above is fairly popular with men however or some men in my experience. I do have a real live snake on a property that I need dealing with at some point. I should add it to my on line profile may be. "Woman needs snaker killer". Must be where I'm going wrong.

Great Review

LOL, Louise, thanks for your hilarious review of a very absurd book. Personally I have certain bug phobias but I can tell you, I have "rescued" my husband from a number of other much more serious situations than a waterbug in the bathtub.

The only slight area where I agree with her is that I think it's not a great idea to give a man sex every time he wants it, because yes, I think he'll take you for granted if you are always available.

On the other hand he'll probably love it if you occasionally seduce him.

But the rest of it is so incredibly nonsensical. I do think all these self help books are useful only for people who haven't a clue how to handle their own lives, and they mostly do nothing but enrich the authors.

In fact, after writing one successful book, self help authors follow them up with a bunch of other books, which if you read carefully, are basically warmed over versions of the first book all over again. It's a nice racket. I ought to get into it, I could use a few million bucks.

"Pat"

A matter of opinion

I think it`s again a matter of opinion. I`ve read just as many positive reviews about the book as I`ve read negative ones. Some women said that it saved their marriage and that they are totally happy since they`ve read the book and started to live by it. So if reading it changed them from frustrated women into happy ones, how can it be all that bad? Nobody says that you have to do everything exactly how it`s written in the book. Some of the things may work for some people and for others it may not work at all. I`m sure being obidient to your husband is not gonna make your kids obidient if your not a good example in any other way. There is a lot more to it than that. If you tell your kids to clean up their room but the rest of the house is a mess, they`re most likely not gonna listen to you. And all I ever read here about your kids Louise is that they get on your nerves and they don`t listen and you contradict yourself by saying you like to stay home with them, but the impression I get is that you like to stay home infront of the computer while your kids are not being taken care of. You say your a housewife but you hate housework but love to stay home instead of finding a job, that`s also contridicting yourself. And that`s why most likely people do give you the suggestion of reading something like "fascinating womanhood".
Autumn

To Autumn

Well, I do like staying at home with my children, and I spend a lot of time doing things with them. I do go on the computer occasionally, but the amount of time I spend on it is small compared to the amount of time I spend doing other things. And yes, my children get on my nerves occasionally. I don't know anyone whose children don't get on their nerves from time to time. If yours never irritated you then you're a lucky woman. I've no doubt that you are the perfect wife and mother, your house is always immaculate, your children perfectly behaved, and you never spend any time on the computer at all. and I'm sure you're an absolutely perfect blend of Agnes and Dora. Well, I am not like you unfortunately, I am not the perfect housewife, my children are frequently messy, destructive uncouth and rude,and never stop trying to kill each other. And I do go on the computer from time to time. And my children seem to be quite happy in spite of that. And I am incapable of being a combination of Agnes/Dora, but fortunately my husband doesn't seem to want me to be. We all get on each other's nerves from time to time, but that's life. And if I did find a job, anything I earned would most likely be spent on childcare, so that wouldn't do any of us much good. I think they're better off being looked after by me, imperfect though I may be, than by strangers. As for telling my children to clean up their rooms, you must be joking. They never clean ANYTHING, I'm the one who cleans their rooms up while they're at school, then they trash them when they're home again. However, both my children are mostly happy and cheerful, and they do well at school. No 2 son's teachers never stop telling me how bright he is and how well-informed, and how he obviously learns a lot at home from us taking an interest in him etc. So we must be doing something right. And, this being half-term week, I've been out with them somewhere every day this week, not staying glued to the computer in case you were wondering.

And I did point out in my review that the book is full of testimonials from women whose marriages have been made happier by adopting Mrs Andelin's philosophy. I simply said it wasn't for me. That is why I called my review 'Fascinating Womanhood and me' . It was a PERSONAL view of the book. There are a lot of things advocated in this book that would be disastrous for my own relationship. if I faked a fear of spiders for instance, there wouldn't be ANYONE to get them out of the bath, and what would we do then? And if I beat on my husband's chest with my fists I probably wouldn't sit down for a week. And if I started refusing to have sex with him because too much isn't good for him that would make BOTH of us unhappy. I wrote in this article how the book made me feel personally, if there are women to whose soul it speaks then that's great for them. I merely said that the book didn't do anything for me. I was advised to read it and I did. And I said what I thought of it. If you look on amazon.com you will find that there are a lot of reviews from people who loved it, and a lot from people who hated it. Both are entitled to speak their minds.

Louise

Matters of Opinion and Matters of Judgment

Gee, Autumn, you seem to know a lot about Louise's home life, maybe even more than she does. What have you got, a webcam set up there?

Obviously we all spend some time on the computer but you have no right to accuse Louise of not spending time with her kids. I get the feeling Louise is a lot better at things than she gives herself credit for, but also that she is a determined realist. She sees her life with its good side and with all its flaws as well.

I do not get the impression at all that Louise is a failure as a mother, wife or housewife. She just doesn't like "Fascinating Womanhood." Maybe it works for some people, but then, maybe ANY book they picked up from the self-help shelf would have been useful since their marriages were in such bad shape to begin with.

I'm the one who said that these self-help books mainly serve to enrich the author, and that once a self help writer comes up with his or her central thesis, the rest of the books this person publishes consist of a warmed-over version of what they said in the first place. They are devoured mainly by the dissatisfied. Period.

"Pat"

Maybe not, Pat

"Maybe" is a curious word. There are good books, there are bad books, on self help. People who seek these books out are often desperate for advice for they are trying to save something that is very dear to them. In the case of this book, the woman are likely trying to save their marriages. And if you've never been there, Pat, let me assure you it "ain't" so easy. In fact, sometimes it is downright impossible. But love is hard to let go of.

A good author should be paid their worth, just as any professional. I don't understand the skepticism there, Pat. Writing is hard work. Good writing that actually can help people is commendable to say the least.

L

Read Deeper In To The Words

Well, I must say, having read the book, I find Louise's comments to be humorous yet seem to be missing some key points.

First, I call to any man on this site to reply if they are ready and willing to change themselves for a woman. Most men I have ever known have no ready desire to change. So I think what Mrs. Andelin is realy saying is love your man as he is. Don't expect or insist him to change because it's what you want.

With regard to admiring a man, well if the love of his life doesn't admire him, who can he count on to? Who will feed his ego in this way? Many an affair has begun because a man has not felt he was getting the attention he wants. It's sad and misguided perhaps, yet bears truth.

Good men deserve admiration from their ladies.

Yes someone must lead, wear the pants, call it what you want. Two leaders can create chaos if they are of differing opinion often enough. Remember, Louise, it is sometimes not so much needing to be right as it is to be happy.

I do think Mrs. Andelin's point about obedience, though I am not fond of the word, really means creating harmony. If a lady always goes against the grain of her man, disrespect can run rampant. Children need structure, rules. If they do not learn examples of obedience within the family, where will they learn it?

I would certainly not want to judge a man by his fears, however, I would certainly want to know that a man will be there to protect me if that need for me arises. Jump in front of the bus, the train, etc. Oh my, didn't Hollywood movies of yore show us just that? Think Tarzan the studly ape man. Men like to protect their lady. It's inbred.

Don't fault Mrs. Andelin and expect her to have an answer for every culture around the world. Her fact is plain and simple to Western societies where her book was published. Chivalry is not dead, thankfully. Can I remove a spider, yes, with enough tissue in hand. My man will use his bare hands.

Fascinating Womanhood was penned in the '60's at a time when more women were homemakers. This was pre-women's lib in western society. Let's keep this in context. That her book has a following after so many years, is phenomenal. That she retained its original content so thoroughly is charming.

I am not sure what version of the book you have read, Louise, mine did not include a woman making idle threats of "wait until I get you home", etc. My version had the lady calling the man a brute. Not being angry or threatening. Men don't like threats. Men don't like being referred to like the bottom end of the human anatomy. But call a man a brute and he will likely be amused. Because a brute connotates a big strong man taking advantage of a lovely lady and what man would wnat to do that? Female charm, even in moments of anger, can serve to enhance the man/woman connection rather then drive the man away.

I think Mrs. Andelin was genuinely trying to address the concerns of a woman who may be up to her eyeballs in caring for everyone and perhaps a bit too strained or tired for the frequency of sex. This happens. To try to divert the man's attention is far healthier then bruising his ego and making him feel unwanted.

As for being a domestic goddess, I will excuse Louise for she has made her preferences clear, however, I have never met a man who did not appreciate walking in to a well kept, orderly home.

And yes, the fair lady should not speak crudely. Why, wasn't it Eliza Doolittle who learned this very lesson? Eloquence of speech and characters breeds respect.

Louise put great effort in to her review. My hope is that before she make fun of Mrs. Andelin's efforts, she give it a wee bit more thought as to what the words really mean to making life for your man happy and sweet.

L

Reading deeper

First, I do not believe that someone 'must' be the leader in a marriage. I believe that will only work if both people desire that kind of relationship.

And most men may not have a desire to change, but our relationship for instance would not have improved if my husband had not been willing to meet me halfway and make some changes to his own behaviour. Both of us make a greater effort now and it has improved things.

And my husband won't remove a spider from the bath with or without tissues, whereas I am happy to remove them with my bare hands, and put them out in the garden (I'd never dare kill one, my mother would come back to haunt me)

The section on 'childlike threats' which is on page 322 of my edition (revised in 1992), does include 'you wait till I get you home' and all the other expressions I quoted. I did not make it up. Mrs Andelin does not describe these as 'idle' threats, but as 'exaggerated childlike threats.' Apparently some men find that sort of thing cute. If I spoke to my husband like that I'd get a bloody good hiding.

And when she talks about not always having sex with a man, she is quite specific that having sex with a man every time he wants it is bad for him, like giving a little boy a cookie every time he asks for it (she uses that exact comparison, I'm not making that up either).

My husband likes a well-kept orderly home too,and I try harder with that now, but I have met who don't give a damn about that sort of thing. For instance, just afer Christmas we went round to see a couple who are old friends of ours. He is an ex-boyfriend of mine, she is an ex-girlfriend of my husband, so we all know each other pretty well. Their house was an absolute tip, piles of stuff everywhere, everything in chaos, every room in the house disorderly. Neither of them gives a damn about keeping their house orderly, it's something he in particular has never cared about. when we were young and going out together he used to drive ME mad with the amount of mess he made, that's how bad he was. I used to go round clearing up after him and muttering angrily to myself.

Whatever kind of accent they may speak with, I've never known a woman yet who didn't enjoy discussing people they dislike, nothing brings you closer together with another person that discussing a third person who neither of you can stand.

Sometimes the banality of Mrs Andelin's thinking leaves me gasping. For instance, in the section on 'simple pleasures' she suggests that listening to bird song is pefereable to listening to opera. I toyed with the idea of suggesting to my brother, a life-long opera fan, that he try listening to the birds next time he feels like going to the opera, but thought better of it. I suspsect, though, that Mrs Andelin wouldn't disapprove so much of my brother spending money on opera tickets, I think she only feels it is sinful if women spend money on their own pleasures.

I found this book immensely entertaining, there's a laugh on almost every page. I did, however, point out tha this is a PERSONAL view of the book, and that there are many women who have apparently benefited from reading it, the book is full of their glowing testimonials. I have no doubt that many women just love trying to be Agnes and Dora at one and the same time, it is simply beyond me.

Louise

Good and bad

I like reading non-fiction books written a long time ago. It shows you how people thought in those times. I haven't read this one but it probably has some nuggets of wisdom as I said above. Not trying to change a man is wise. I'm not sure I agree that refusing sex is right but that depends on the nature of your relationship. I haven't been in a relationship where I felt I wanted that power.

As for a tidy house some people don't mind mess. I like completely clear surfaces where possible and order and tidiness. My ex husband was the same. It's when people differ there are problems in that area.

I certainly agree if two very dominant people are together of whatever sex and both want to be in charge that doesn't easily work but I also know some couples are very happy with a strong woman in charge and a fairly submissive husband. People just differ.

Re: Reading deeper into the words

First of all I`d like to say that I really liked what you wrote L. I`ve seen it happen to many times that men start affairs because their wifes didn`t admire them and instead constantly complained that they should change. The constant nagging is frustrating for the man and also for the woman. A better idea would be to change the attitude they have toward their husband and start to aprecciate him more.

And yes most men like a nice clean home and if the man works all day and the woman is a houswife, she should do most of the cooking and cleaning.

I don`t believe anyone should make fun of Mrs. Andelin`s efforts. Not everything she wrote may work for everybody, but by living by some of the suggestions she made in the book it can certainly help to make a relationship more happy.

Autumn

Read Deeper!

You are referring to Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.

"George Bernard Shaw (born 26 July, 1856, Dublin, Ireland died November 2, 1950, Hertfordshire, England) was an Irish writer. Famed as a playwright, he wrote more than sixty plays. He was uniquely honoured by being awarded both a Nobel Prize (1925) for his contribution to literature and an Oscar (1938) for Pygmalion). He was a strong advocate for socialism and women's rights, a vegetarian and teetotaller, and a vocal enemy of formal education"

You are obviously confused because Pygmalion was meant to be a strong political statement and it did not applaud the good doctor for his speech lessons, quite the contrary in fact! Shaw's play was in complete condradiction with your hypothesis, so it is best to refrain from using him as proof of your concept.

Also, any author that attempts to use religion to enforce a wildly theoretical and specious point of view is diabolical. Mein Kampf had some very viable suggestions, however.... it was monstrous!!!

This book cannot even claim a Machiavellian purpose. Manipulation of religious institutions or religious doctrine for personal gain has been responsible for death, pain and destruction.

I am a religious person and I abhor such manipulation all the more because it has cause many people to turn against religion.

I do not believe in legislating censorship of such things because it is better for individuals to eschew such novels and send a distinct message that such garbage will not be tolerated. Humans living in what should be a time of great enlightenment should not be so easily inveigled, no matter how desperate their marital situation.

I stand corrected

My husband occasionally surprises me by indicating to me that he has read something on this site. Such an incident occured this afternoon when he told me he'd read this article. "I am NOT afraid of spiders." he informed me severely. I was suprised, but on reflection realised that i had been confusing him in my mind with my sons, all three of whom are terrified of them. He admits, however, to being terrified of snakes, so any snakes that appeared in this house would indeed have to be dealt with by me.

Thinking over what he had said about spiders, he added that he would only be afraid of them if they were "six inches across and poisonous". I think in those circumstances I would probably be afraid of them too.

Louise

Learned femininity and masculinity

Louise C., I just think you're absolutely brilliant and I love to read your posts and comments. I really do enjoy them and delight when I see you've written something.

I haven't read this book but I found the link to the snippets on feminine nature and mannerisms, etc. written by this author. I think for some women who already embody these qualities, this is grand and will make them feel supported, secure and confident in the qualities they have that are traditionally considered feminine and in this day and age kind of get squelched and disrespected.

But for some of us... of course it doesn't quite fit. Why does she think we need to be taught how to be feminine? For me, femininity arises from a sensual feeling deep inside and everything I express on the outside flows from that. For me, submissiveness is natural. Cowing and pretending are not. "Studying a man and doing the opposite" is not. If I were to follow Mrs. Andelin's advice, I wouldn't be following my personal, deeply feminine flow. I would be inauthentic. That's not feminine.

Anyway, why would a woman have to make an effort to be more feminine so her man could be more masculine? Why doesn't he just own his masculinity already?

To each their own, I guess.

Feminine

I have never really understood what 'feminine' means, though after reading Mrs Andelin's book I have the impression that 'feminine' means 'idiot'.

[For the rest of this comment, see Forget femininity!.—Editor]