Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Fascinating Womanhood a Bent Book?

Recently, the book Fascinating Womanhood has come to my attention. I read the companion book, Fascinating Girl, over 20 years ago, before I went to BYU, got my degree, got married, or had children. I have read parts of Fascinating Womanhood. Keri Tibbetts, the author of an ebook about how to give your child a classical education, "Headgates" (see lists this book in her appendix.

One of my homeschooling/georgic friends read Headgates and said she doesn't agree with all of it. She also says that Fascinating Womanhood is a bent book. Wow. I don't know if I would go so far as to say that it is bent. Another homeschooling friend of mine who is well-known in the TJED world says that is one of the "stupidest books" ever. Double wow. If you go to and read the reviews you will find a fun mix of strong feelings about this book, including a review by a granddaughter of Helen Andelin, the author.

What are your opinions, dear sisters? Anybody itching to say something about this book that was written in the 60s or so to swing back the pendulum of the sexual revolution?
Please go to, sign up, and then go to the discussion group on wifing. I would like to hear what you all think!


  1. well....I think you already know how I feel about it :) I have been blessed by a greater spirit of harmony and compassion in my home by reading this book and applying the principles it teaches. Am I following it to the letter? No, but I don't follow headgates to the letter either. I use the principles that I am ready to apply right now. I have found that Fascinating Womanhood is very counter-intuitive. Doing the dishes and taking care of the laundry is going to make me happy? Yes! I think that when we take back our feminine God-given roles that we find the happiness that we were looking for all along. It is kind of like leadership and self deception. When we stop colluding with others then we can see how we were creating the very thing we said we didn't want to have happen. It is the same with our roles. When we stop resisting being a wife first, a mother second, and a homemaker third....the end. Then we stop colluding ourselves about what we really want and how we will get it. I have found that my husband becomes the man I always hoped he would be and I am happier and more content...what I've always wanted. Life is still life, ups and downs, good days and bad but the ride has been much smoother for me since I read the book. Just my 2 cents.

  2. What amazes me is that I read FW 30 years ago. At that time, I felt conflicted because the secular world and my school classes were all saying get that diploma to feel accomplished in the world. I was told that the only way for a woman to really amount to anything was to have a career. Family was not important. Deep in my heart I found the principles taught in FW were what I wanted to aspire to. Yet I found little to no inspiring mentors in my life to help me achieve that, instead I got caught up in a career and a full time job. Even marrying was something that came for me later than I had hoped for...because I was living a conflicted life.

    In retrospect, if I had focused on the principles which were taught in FW, I'd probably saved myself 20 years of pains and agonies associated with being married and raising children!

    I agree with you that FW is a whole book, it teaches principles that help to fulfill mission of family and motherhood. It came out in an era of equal rights, masqueraded as a truth which has broken down the family and bent understanding of what core values are necessary for an abundant family life, and a fulfilled womanly life. There are many days where I wish I could start back time to 20 years ago. As I see it, now I have so much on my to do list for learning, living and fulfilling my mission that got sidetracked which I'm trying to make up for lots of lost time.

  3. I read it and it brought a spirit into my home, that has made my home a happier place to be.

    I don't follow everything in it, but I do find the basic ideas helped my family and me, and improved my marriage more than I can express.

  4. I think that FW is a great book! The principles that are taught in it go hand in hand with the LDS church's Proclamation to the Family.

    Reading and applying the principles in FW certainly helped my family life and my level of happiness. It still does 10 years later. I've found that those who have a real struggle with it are usually living life out of sync with what they truly need and want. There is guilt involved. Guilt leads to resenting and disliking the things that cause it. This is too bad as guilt is supposed to help us figure out where we are going wrong so we can fix our lives.

    Anyway, I love Fascinating Womanhood and strongly disagree with it being labeled as a bent book. Just my opinion.