I recently came upon a reference to a book called Fascinating Womanhood that was supposed to change your marriage and make your life so much better. All that good self-help stuff.
But I looked into it a bit, and, well, it’s pretty fundie and weird. Sooooo what better to do than to make fun of it, right?
The story of Fascinating Womanhood begins with a woman named Angela, who’s going through a rough time with her husband, Ted. They fight all the time, to the point where Ted has moved out and left Angela all alone with their two school aged kids, David and Tiphony.
So Angela meets an old friend at church and —
Wait a minute. TIPHONY? What the what?!
Anyhow, this old friend ropes Angela into going to this Fascinating Womanhood class at her church, where the women will learn “10 SECRATS” to the perfect marriage. That all takes up most of the introductory chapters.
In chapter 4, we begin learning the ~secrets. But first, we’re treated to wonderful descriptions of clothing that sound right out of a Baby-Sitters Club book circa 1990. “Harmony, the Fascinating Womanhood teacher looked even more striking than last week as she welcomed Angela warmly at the door. She wore a shiny turquoise blue, ankle length dress that contrasted vividly with her silver hair, swirled elegantly on top of her head and held in place with a large turquoise blue butterfly hair clip.”
That sounds exactly like something Claudia would have worn if she wanted to look adult and professional yet ~artistic.~
Of course, Angela isn’t the only one in the ~fascinating womanhood~ class. We’re treated to lots of disparaging comments about women — they’re frumpy, businesslike, overweight (not just overweight, “large and obese” was used as a descriptor), and plump. Someone is described as “Mediterranean descent.” Lolol.
In between the descriptions of women, there’s a sidebar: “If you could look through a man’s eyes you would find his view of a woman is very different from your own. Men DO NOT see and think as women do.”
Are you saying men are like cats?
Just substitute the cat for a man, I guess!
So men NEEEEED different things than women do! Like, maybe women can survive on air and water and food, and men can survive on beer and SportsCenter reruns?
And suddenly, oh boy, here’s secret number one: Accept him as he is. Look to his good side.
That’s great and all, but Angela’s husband was revealed to be a domestic abuser. Literally, he punched her during an argument. So he’s totally a guy worth accepting. Yyyyyyep.
Basically, TEH MENZ are sensative, especially the alcoholic men. And stubborn. And dumb. Kinda like an old dog, or an old mule.
~Fascinating woman~ Harmony says that if your husband has a problem with drinking and spends his money on gambling, or wastes all his time in front of the TV or computer, you totally can’t say anything about it if you also like to watch TV or if you eat too much chocolate or something.
Can you imagine if that was our legal system?
“Officer, this man ran through a stop light and hit me as I was crossing through the crosswalk, and I broke both my legs!”
“Well, you once let your dog crap in your neighbor’s yard and didn’t pick it up … so therefore we’re both not entirely innocent!”
“Yes, I agree with this man, just hug it out guys!”
The word “niggly” is used at one point.
If your husband cheats on you, it’s probably your fault somehow. Please make sure to think on your wrongs and the reason you got cheated on.
Some crazy ass crap is said about your pets, like “you love your pets more because they are free spirits! So you too must also be a free spirit!”
Hey … have you ever had a cat? Cats are totally free spirits. In fact, sometimes I go up to my cat and pet him when he doesn’t want to be petted and he swats at me or bites my hand. Or he just walks away. But something tells me when this book gets to the inevitable section about sexy times, if you’re not in the mood, the option will NOT be to walk away “because I’m a free spirit, bitch.”
“Making a list of masculine virtues” is also mentioned as a homework assignment. What in fresh hell are masculine virtues? Is sensitivity masculine? How about being able to cook well, or being organized? Hard worker is probably a masculine virtue, but if you’re a woman who works hard, is that masculine and therefore not OK? Damn, this gender essentialism is some straight-up BS.
Oh look, here’s a convenient list of “masculine virtues.” And wouldn’t you know it, I think pretty much every good point of a person’s personality, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, is listed. Even the ones they mention as being “fascinatingly womanly” like cheerful, lively, and supportive. And yes, sensitive.