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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What An Amazing Book
Fascinating Womanhood has proven itself to be the Bible for frustrated and abused women. The author, Helen Andelin, is the patron saint for these women and the domestic goddess for batterers and abusers around the world. Her methods call for women to sacrifice their very souls upon the alters of male privilege and male insecurity, two characteristics which, when mixed...
Published on Feb. 17 2000 by Brett E. Wilcox

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I followed this book thoroughly for two years
This book attracts you if you are having marriage difficulties because it promises you all you would wish for-- to be loved, valued and cherished. I read this book during a time in my life when I was desperate to be noticed and loved again by my husband. I followed it exactly, rereading a chapter every night for two years. I believed what it promised. I consider those...
Published on Feb. 8 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bizarre, perverse, and profoundly unChristian book, Nov. 23 2001
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
I first met this book decades ago, when the leader of my church youth organization handed it to me. The ideas in it weren't new to me: dress girly, act girly, always let the boys win, pretend you think they're brilliant, and clean up after them -- and they and God will love you, and you'll be happy.
That was pretty much business as usual. But what was new about the book was that it explicitly spelled out all that nonsense in one place. I could see the whole system more clearly than I'd ever seen it before, and it was revolting.
Helen Andelin preaches constant lying as a way of life. In essence she's saying that you and your husband can never love or respect each other for who you are -- not now, and not in the future. Nothing you can make of yourself will ever earn his honest, unmanipulated love and respect. Moreover, your husband will never mature into someone who can cope with the horrible realization that he's married to an adult human being of the same species as himself. That being the case, Andelin believes, your only option is to lie like a rug -- to spend your life engaging in manipulative, seductive, and servile behavior, in hopes that your husband will continue to be fond of you and treat you well.
Can you be happy married to a man you don't respect? Could you respect a man who is reliably moved, year after year after year, by the sight of a grown woman dressed like a little girl, stamping her foot and tossing her curls in "adorably angry" Shirley Temple fashion? My beloved husband of twenty-two years is a tolerant man, but he'd overdose on that routine in ninety seconds max, and he'd never stand for that kind of playacting in a serious discussion.
FASCINATING WOMANHOOD has nothing to do with Christianity. It's a rule-of-thumb set of manipulative behaviors subservient women have historically used on men, and the numerous non-Christian versions of it we have available to us aren't all that different from the advice Helen Andelin gives in her book. I see no trace here of the religion that once astonished the ancient world by announcing: "You have been baptized into Christ: you have clothed yourselves in him. No longer is there Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female. You have become one in Christ Jesus."  And I'd like to know just where in the Bible it says "God loves a liar," because I've surely missed that bit in all my previous readings.
If there's any use to this book that I can see, it's that it reminds us to be kind and forbearing and considerate, and to PAY ATTENTION to our loved ones. That, at least, is good advice. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of saving our good manners and charm for mere acquaintances, and behave carelessly toward those we're closest to. This is such a simple thing that it can be hard to remember it from day to day. We do well to remind ourselves of it. But surely, surely, that's something an adult can do, and a human being can honestly express.
(And a last, brief note on the economics of her scheme: Helen Andelin's advice to stay home full-time and make do with what your husband earns is a lot easier to follow if your husband happens to be a dentist; and if you yourself happen to have written a bestseller that's been in print since the early 1960s, it works even better.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What An Amazing Book, Feb. 17 2000
By 
Brett E. Wilcox (Sitka, AK United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
Fascinating Womanhood has proven itself to be the Bible for frustrated and abused women. The author, Helen Andelin, is the patron saint for these women and the domestic goddess for batterers and abusers around the world. Her methods call for women to sacrifice their very souls upon the alters of male privilege and male insecurity, two characteristics which, when mixed together in sufficient quantities, combust to create domestic violence or smoulder into the more subtle, but ultimately soul murdering, unrighteous dominion.
Thirty years ago my mother, when asked her opinion of the book, replied, "It's fine if you're married to a 12 year old brat." One in three women will be assaulted in her lifetime. This statistic and the book's continued popularity demonstrate that a large number of women are indeed married to spoiled 12 year old brats.
Rather than help men be accountable for their abusive behaviors, Helen joins her "girlish voice" with millions of batterers and abusers who blame their abuse on their wives. ("If man does not love with heart and soul, it is entirely the woman's fault.") She encourages her disciples to become domestic goddesses like herself. It is regrettable that Helen gave up her adult life in exchange for perpetual childhood to appease her "manly, superior" husband. And it is a tragedy that the Batterers' Bible, Fascinating Womanhood, continues to destroy women by dumbing them down into domesticated animals.
Fascinating Womanhood earns 5 stars because, as a domestic violence therapist, no single volume so powerfully demonstrates the absurd thinking which perpetuates violence against women and then turns around and blames women for the violence.
The natural man is an enemy to God. But Helen Andelin is the natural man's friend and servant. Recently she suggested that a man punish his wife by withholding privileges such as money or the car. Helen is truly every batterers' fantasy "girl" and every abused woman's worst nightmare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Speechless, Humbled, In awe.....,, Dec 5 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
What a thrill to be allowed to comment prettily on this book. In fact what a thrill it is to live in a time when so many domestic conveniences at our disposal give us the extra time that is needed to read great literature like this - of course, after we've completed our chores and accommodated our sweetheart's every whim and appetite. I, for one, am so pleased to be allowed occasional and appropriately limited access to a modern computer after my Husband and his children have gone to bed - it's 4 AM as I write this! - so that I can share my thoughts about this book. [Would it be appropriate for me to suggest that American women take a moment every day to thank Men for permitting us - no, even encouraging us - to learn to read in the first place? Again, how fortunate we are to live in a modern society where (even though we haven't the capacity to make intellectual contribution, and thus must realize that reading and writing by women is frivolous recreational activity with no actual value to society) women are allowed books, and writing instruments!] Ah, but I've strayed from the topic. (Silly little me! how this would amuse my Man, who lies sated in a nearby room!) My purpose here is twofold: One, I wish to recommend this book with 2 girlish thumbs up and suggest that every girl in America read Fascinating Womanhood and respond appropriately to its Teachings. Two, and only because matters of female physical attractiveness and appearance of youth and childishness - manufactured, if necessary - are of such fundamental importance, I humbly request information from a reader, publisher, or perhaps, the author, herself. Can someone correct my imperfect reasoning --- what woman can perform even the simplest math, after all! -- and explain why dates of birth and college entry in an author's bio suggest that Mrs. Andelin is soon to be 80 years old, when her publicity photos (book cover, The Fascinating Girl, and Author's home page, Andelin-2000.com) depict a woman of 18 or 19? You are truly a goddess, Ms. Andelin! Thank you so much, everyone, for listening to my insignificant and superficial female thoughts on a subject of such great importance - how we might better prepare ourselves to achieve our highest calling - that of ornament, domestic, and sex slave to the good - or bad! - men who would take us as their wives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I followed this book thoroughly for two years, Feb. 8 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
This book attracts you if you are having marriage difficulties because it promises you all you would wish for-- to be loved, valued and cherished. I read this book during a time in my life when I was desperate to be noticed and loved again by my husband. I followed it exactly, rereading a chapter every night for two years. I believed what it promised. I consider those two years to be the years in my life where I made the worst choices I've ever made. This book ruined many areas of my life and did not help my marriage in the long run. It brought peace at first since my husband was happy not having to grow and to have me become more and more "fascinating" while he stayed just as unfascinating as ever. The problem with this book is that it's foundations are false. People are responsible for their own behavior and if your husband is irresponsible and isn't loving you it is a problem with him, not with you. He needs to be confronted and change. It doesn't matter how "fascinating" you become. This book could only work if you had a really great husband and it was you that had all the problems, but even then if you followed this book he'd lose respect for you. Please, if you have marriage problems, go and see a marriage counselor, a trained psychologist, so you can base your decisions on accurate foundations. Don't give up your career or stop developing yourself. Don't believe the problem is all with you, that you just aren't "fascinating" enough. Don't dress like an old-fashioned weirdo and be overly self-concious about feminizing all your gestures. This book really will make you confused and waste precious time in your life! The only reason I gave it three stars was because the author is very insightful about what women really desire- it's a pity she doesn't know how they can get it. Read "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend or if you're single, read "Safe People" by the same authors. Hope I've been able to save someone from "Fascinating Womanhood". Then I'll feel what I've been through is worth it. By the way, the author is not a christian, she's mormon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tried it for 20 years and lost, Oct. 3 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
I got this book before I was even married and for more than 20 years consistently, honestly and thoroughly followed it. It was right there next to my Bible, till it became part of who I was. I found that my husband,"ate it up". He continued to take and take and I continued to give and give. Now I have NOTHING left to give. Yes, I'm still married, but I have no hope and no desire that it will ever be more than it is now. I staked my life on this book. "If you follow these principles, he can't help but to love you." It just didn't work for me.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, no, Amazing, yes, June 6 2004
By 
Kerry Smythe (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read this book several times over, for other reasons, and have determined that it's teachings mainly facilitate abuse in male-female relationships (especially marriage) and does not empower anyone to adequately address problem issues with any degree of maturity, responsibility, liberty, rationality, etc. Upon reviewing the book, I am marveled by how wonderfully people, who claim to be of character depth and intellectual maturity, can stuff themselves in short sighted ideologies, as suggested in our very own "Fascinating Womanhood". Although Andelin claims that women ought not reduce themselves to the level of doormat or "Severe" abuse, she does not empower them with the necessary tools to avoid such happenings. Indeed, the broadly educated or uneducated, careerless woman with no "masculine skill" is encouraged to escape the confines of "Severe" mental and physical abuse by removing herself and the children. The suggestions in this well respected reading are, at best, surface and pacifying. They are insulting to men and women. I have read all of the reviews and noted a peculiar pattern of thinking among those in support and those in opposition. Clearly, there is intellectual and character disparity in favor of the cons. Has anyone noticed?
If we are to simulate, as many believe, the role of the man in the home to the love that Christ has for the church, then his role, as head, is a service oriented and sacrificial one. He is there to take a leadership and initiating role of service and sacrifice. A role such as this requires utmost care, detail, emotional intelligence, spiritual vigor, maturity, sensitivity, etc, all of which most men are not properly reared to exhibit. If men were being reared with these engrained qualities, they would not be overly dependent on women to placate serious inward character deficiencies as adults. The woman is the man's helpmeet, his equal, not his "fascinating...childlike" helper. It is time people are rightly measured against the bible teachings we claim to support.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Fascinated, no, Amazed, yes., June 6 2004
By 
Kerry Smythe (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read this book several times over, for other reasons, and have determined that it's teachings mainly facilitate abuse in male-female relationships (especially marriage) and does not empower anyone to adequately address problem issues with any degree of maturity, responsibility, liberty, rationality, etc. Upon reviewing the book, I am marveled by how wonderfully people, who claim to be of character depth and intellectual maturity, can stuff themselves in short sighted ideologies, as suggested in our very own "Fascinating Womanhood". Although Andelin claims that women ought not reduce themselves to the level of doormat or "Severe" abuse, she does not empower them with the necessary tools to avoid such happenings. Indeed, the broadly educated or uneducated, careerless woman with no "masculine skill" is encouraged to escape the confines of "Severe" mental and physical abuse by removing herself and the children. The suggestions in this well respected reading are, at best, surface and pacifying. They are insulting to men and women. I have read all of the reviews and noted a peculiar pattern of thinking among those in support and those in opposition. Clearly, there is intellectual and character disparity in favor of the cons. Has anyone noticed?
If we are to simulate, as many believe, the role of the man in the home to the love that Christ has for the church, then his role, as head, is a service oriented and sacrificial one. He is there to take a leadership and initiating role of service and sacrifice. A role such as this requires utmost care, detail, emotional intelligence, spiritual vigor, maturity, sensitivity, etc, all of which most men are not properly reared to exhibit. If men were being reared with these qualities engrained, they would not be overly dependent on women to train them as adults. The woman is the man's helpmeet, his equal, not is "fascinating" trainer or parent. It is time people are rightly measured against the bible teachings we claim to support.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Putting the ball back in our court!, April 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of the best marriage books I have read. I looked at it as a marriage help book even if that was not how it was intended. With the kind of man I married, and the kind of relationship I was having, this book told me directly how I can cause change more clearly than any other marriage book I have read. The problem with the other books is that in order for the plan to work effectively the man has to do something, but in this book all the responsibility for making the marriage better falls on the woman. Some people hate the fact, but honestly it is more realistic. I must have easily read 15 help books, and it was this practical guide for bringing about my husbands strengths and sense of responsibility that has done the most to improve our marriage.
It talks about selfless service, humility, and the power of a womans charm! I recommend this book for anyone who is yearning for a more traditional relationship but isn't quite sure how to make it happen, and even for those who are little rough around the edges and would like to be a little more feminine. It turns out my man really does lke a girly girl, even though he met me in the army! go fig. :)
Some people feel this book requires they be fake. If you interpret it like that then your not reading it right. You can be yourself, just a softer, cuddlier, more lovable version. Don't delete the old version, just upgrade!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book that rewards a sophisticated reading, Feb. 6 2004
By 
Mary Beth Foster (West Lafayette, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is fascinating (pun intended). Reviews of it -- including those on this web page -- are mixed and often passionate for good reason. The ideas are as explosive today as they were when the book was first published.
Like any text, your reaction to this book will depend upon how you read it. It can be a joyful revelation, or a goad that drives you to fury, or a hilarious view into an antiquated perspective on gender relationships. Does this book suggest that a wife should put a bow in her hair and lisp praises for her husband's awesome strength and capability? Yes. Does it claim that doing so will improve her marriage? Yes. Can such techniques work in the long run? The jury still seems to be out on that.
Manipulation in any relationship is deadly. But sincerely doing things that encourage others to be the best they can be is good from both a secular and a Christian perspective. It builds good mental health. Assuming that our gender makes us prefer certain kinds of behavior both in ourselves and in our mates, and that our ability to meet our own ideals of our gender affects our general happiness and self-esteem, it seems that giving and receiving gender-oriented encouragement is not a bad idea.
I have never found a book that so clearly explained how I can cause my husband to feel good about himself as a man. I appreciate that. I look at this book not as a prescription for living -- which is how the author intended it, without question --- but as a sort of cook-book, full of good things to try. Or perhaps as a tool-kit to draw from to smooth over some rough times and make the good times more fun. Taken that way, I think _Fascinating Womanhood_ is a work of genius. It is jam-packed with things to try. At the very least you will learn a great deal about yourself and about your husband as you experiment with behavior and responses.
If a long, interesting and ever-growing marriage is your goal, then read this book. It is bound to give you ideas to work with for many years to come.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Just be yourself instead, Jan. 11 2004
By 
Robin Orlowski "political activist" (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fascinating Womanhood (Mass Market Paperback)
Since most of the Christians I know (various denominations) endorse honesty and responsibility as key to a healthy marriage, I was shocked to see this infamous title was still in print and enjoying favorable reviews. I previously heard about it from friends who are members of the reformed Mormon church, believing they and their female family members were entitled to human dignity. In otherwords, this title no longer speaks authoritatively even for the original core audience it was supposed to connect with.
Apparently this very title was THE in-thing in the 1950's and 1960's for training women to become 'good' members of the general church. If nothing else, it makes an excellent case study how litterature can effectively program and control people's minds. Andelin instructs women to become docile big children and let the husband have the self-esteem and encouragement instead of dispersing it equally throughout the whole family unit.
Blissfuly unaware of the realities of marriage (then and now) Andelin promotes a profoundly backwards approach to relationships. According to this mindset, people will not like you unless you can successfuly transform yourself into a fairy tale and expend your valuable energy keeping that same act up. Frankly, books like these make me very ashamed to be a member of the human race because they go well beyond other right-wing sociopolitical works (including Schafly)in subordinating women.
Sure the cover says the work is updated for the most current printing, but seriously who wants a life partner (if possible) who talks baby talk and is unable to think for themselves. It seems to me that this same enviroment invites the potential for extramarital affairs, the 'good' men become bored with the 'helpmate' and search for a woman who they can have a conversation with.
If nothing else, economic reality of the current basic cost-of-living requires women to participate in the public sector. People embracing this book as 'proper' will have a very hard time when they are required to excersize survival skills in this intentionally not sugar-coated world.
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Fascinating Womanhood
Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 1 1992)
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