Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I just read that Helen Andelin died. She was the author of the anti-feminist guidebook "Fascinating Womanhood". She wrote the book in 1963 as a reaction to the burgeoning women's liberation movement. The book teaches that women should embrace their roles as mothers and domestic caretakers in order to fortify their marriages.
I was actually given this book to read by my well-meaning mother when I was 19. That was 30 years ago and it has taken me 10 years of therapy and 2 failed marriages to recover from the indoctrination of that book!
Books of this nature are a big seller at my shop, along with handmade aprons and other vintage kitchen gadgets from a bygone era. The twenty-somethings buy them because they find them amusing and kitchy. Little do they realize that these items were standard issue for the women of my generation. They represented our duties as young women to husbands, children, parents (and God). My, how times have changed.
I'm so glad that my daughters have not been burdened with these responsibilies at such a tender age. I hope that one day they will become wives and mothers and experience the joys of a happy family but not at 19! And not at the expense of discovering who they truly are.
So, here's to all you Fascinating Women and Men out there; you've come a long way, baby!