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Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Posted by wendyn on 8/28/02 at 22:20 (093834)

This is especially for JohnH, Necee, and CaroleC.

John, I've found THE book for Mary. My husband is thrilled that I've finally found a written guide to help correct my wayward habits, and put me back in my place.

These quotes are taken from the book 'Fascinating Womanhood' by Helen b. Andelin copyright 1963. This book is aimed at teaching women how to be good wives.

For those of you who wish to pursue further enlightenment - there's is even a website.

http://www.fascinatingwomanhood.net

I've selected a few little nuggets to share….

'...an obnoxious man is often a true sign of a high caliber man that is not appreciated, not accepted, not given his freedom, or in some way mistreated by his wife'.

'We must realize that man has mountains to climb, and rivers to cross, and wants to take his place in the world of men. He seldom really neglects you or his children. He is only trying to conquer the world and bring it back to you.

'...ultimately the right to dictate is his. His word should be law. This is neither harsh nor unfair. It is entirely a matter of law and order. The right to establish rules of conduct, use of the family car, expenditure of family funds, where the family spends vacation....are ultimately his to say.'

'When a woman rules, it robs her of presence of mind to do her homemaking tasks as well. Generally speaking it is trying on a woman's emotions to assume the leadership role. But if she develops capabilities which make these masculine duties easy for her - she tends to lose some of her essential feminine charm.'

When a man makes a decision 'He knows that when a particular decision of his does not make sense, he will not have to explain it to his wife.'

'There are also unreal dangers which a truly feminine woman has and which, although they amuse man, will arouse his sense of chivalry. There are such things as lightning, thunder and strange noises.'

***This one is for you CaroleC:

'Because of her delicate physical structure woman needs protection from strenuous work. Mowing the lawn (Carole), painting the house (NECEE), lifting heavy objects, moving furniture, and spading the flower beds all require more strength than the normal woman has without injury to her health and feminine charm.'

'It isn't up to you to perform these masculine tasks with the skill that men do. If you must paint, repair the furnace, fix the car, the roof, or handle the family finances, do not try so hard to do it with masculine efficiency. Just be yourself – your true feminine self, and your husband will soon realize that you need masculine assistance'

(Excuse me while I barf)

'When a man has failed in any part of his role as a man, you do not have a right to express disapproval. Anything in his department is his own affair and is to neglect if he chooses.'

Then there is the just blatantly sad.

'Some very fine men have violent tempers. But if you could understand why he suffers and why, you would be more sympathetic. He doesn't become angry with you without reason.'

'Often men's ugly and cruel actions are the woman's fault and are due to her lack of sympathetic understanding, her failure to appreciate and admire him, her inability to accept him at face value, to place him No. 1, or other things. When woman tramples on her husband's rights or his spirit, she can bring his ugly side to the surface'.

(Now I'm beyond barfing')

With references to gifs..

'What if he doesn't give you anything?…It may be your own fault.'

Comments?

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Necee on 8/28/02 at 23:25 (093842)

Who said I was 'proper' or 'normal'.

On a more serious note, this is some very interesting stuff Wendy, but.....a womans delicate physical structure needs protection from strenous work? I would certainly think that giving birth is more strenous than mowing the lawn or painting walls. But I do admit that lifting heavy objects time after time does take its tole on a feminine body. I was raised on a ranch here in Texas, and ever since I was a young gal I've helped with the chores, lifing bales of hay, cleaning out stalls, carrying large burlap sacks of seed, etc. So I guess doing a mans work comes rather normal to me. On the other hand, I think that I can 'clean up' pretty good, and be as feminine looking as Ms America when I need to be. The down side is....when we gals do things that are normally left up for a man to do, we tend to spoil them, they get use to 'wonder woman' handling everything so they just expect it.
This is a very interesting topic, and I thank you for sharing it with us. I'm anxious to see what others comments are.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: And another thing........

Necee on 8/29/02 at 00:29 (093845)

The part where she mentions a mans ugly and cruel actions being a womans fault.......well, as we say here in Texas, 'thats hogwash'. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. It's hightime we all took full and complete responsibility for what we say and do in our own lives. Just because someone was mean or hateful doesn't give us the right to be mean and hateful back. It's all about individual integrity, and how we handle negative events and turn them into something good and positive.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

nancy s. on 8/29/02 at 01:06 (093847)

whew. thank god i finally went to college in the sixties and missed this wonderful drivel! i was reading 'the second sex' and acting mysterious instead!

i do feel cheated, though. my husband has never yet let me get out of doing stuff because of my delicate physical structure. he's never even mentioned my delicate physical structure! he must be living in the dark dark dark ages. i shall point this out to him tomorrow.

as for feminine charm, i'm not sure that even makes his list. his three main criteria, he said as we got involved, are brains, humor, and a basic, realized goodness.

i don't know that i live up to these things! but . . . now i'm thinking . . . he must have married me IN SPITE OF my delicate physical structure, since the day we got married i was in the middle of a root canal and had pneumonia to boot. people thought i was the blushing bride, but no, i had a raging fever.

it was still the happiest day of our lives, down by the lake, surrounded by family and close friends.

i just located your sense of humor, wendy, so stop worrying. and i'm barfing along with ya. who was the lady who wrote a book that included the suggestion that you greet your man at the door covered only in saran wrap? i always meant to try that, because we don't have enough to do around here, and we can't get each other's attention any other way.

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Julie on 8/29/02 at 02:28 (093851)

Thanks, Wendy and Nancy, for starting my day with the best bellylaugh I've had for ages.

What's astonishing is that these profound musings appeared in 1963. They sound more like 1953. Even 1943. Or 1843.

No worries about your mislaid sense of humour, Wendy.

And Nancy, I'd say Phil definitely found his right wife, the one who lives up to those three great criteria.

Re: And another thing........

Suzanne D on 8/29/02 at 05:22 (093852)

Amen, Necee!

It WAS funny, Wendy, but = as you said - quite sad in the part about man's cruel and ugly actions being a woman's fault. The reason that is not funny is because many, many women have fallen into the trap of believing that. As hard to imagine as that might be, it happens. It's one of those things that if you haven't experienced it, you don't understand it. And it is cruel and unfair.

I guess when we think we haven't made a lot of progress in the social area, we can look to this book and see that we have! :-) And thank goodness for that. Thanks, Wendy, for reminding us of that!

Have a good day, everyone!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Valerie S on 8/29/02 at 06:28 (093854)

It will be interesting to see if any men respond to these ideas. Now ladies, if you could please just sit here and look pretty. I don't think he has spoken to you or asked your opinion yet.

How will we ever return to Pleasantville, if you keep acting in such a manner?

:^)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 07:10 (093855)

I once came across a book called something like 'How to Keep Him Now that You've Got Him.' It was a cookbook. I was so tempted to buy it, except that I was genuinely repulsed by it, too. But I was afraid nobody would believe it was for real if I didn't buy it! (I never did buy it, though it's probably still on the shelf at the used bookstore, all these years later!)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Carole C on 8/29/02 at 08:18 (093865)

I just so totally agree about women 'needing protection from strenuous work', but I've never been able to persuade a man that this is the case! ROFL

Let's see... I'm 54 years old, suffering from severe osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, plantar fasciitis and associated tendonitis's, morbid obesity, and half a dozen other problems, yet I've been able to mow my lawn during a move (after moving half my stuff myself).

SURE, WOMEN NEED PROTECTION FROM STRENOUS WORK! (giggle) Any takers?

Actually, a lot of the rest of what was said is the way that many women were brought up when I was young. I'm on the cusp of the newer generation of women... brought up one way, but having to flip-flop once we got old enough to encounter the real world.

During my packing, I came across an essay that I was required to write in sixth grade for school, in 1959. The subject of the essay was 'What I Want To Be When Grown'. In it, I said that I wanted to marry and raise children, and to be a secretary or nurse to 'help get money for the family'. That was pretty avant garde for those days in the area where I lived, where women were expected to stay home and keep house unless they were (oh horrors!) not married.

Things have sure improved for women in many ways since then.

Carole C

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

john h on 8/29/02 at 11:18 (093872)

Wendy: I am speeckless! All I seem to remember about the sixties is music,war, VW busses and flower children. The fiftes were Ward and June Cleaver and Ozzie and Harriet. In my life I do not think I ever thought of women as inferior in any way. just that there were good ones and bad ones just like men, Women out live men by almost 7 years I think. Not sure what that means. I am still a product of my age and upbringing in that I open doors for ladies, walk next to the street when walking with a lady, pull out chairs, give up my seat on public transportation,etc. Some take offense to this but so be it. That is what I am. Since the beging of time man was stronger, faster, and could jump higher and so he became the hunter and the one who went out into the woods (go to work) and bring back food and do the heavy lifting. We evolved from that beging until today when strength,heavy lifting, and speed are not that important as they once more. Women's role in life and the family contiunes to evolve as does man. I wonder what the family will look like 100 years from now? Long live Zena the Princess Warrior aka Wendy.

Re: John

Carole C on 8/29/02 at 11:45 (093877)

John, one of the many reasons why I love living in New Orleans is that there are men here who DO open the door for me, and pull out my chair, and so on. Bobbie does these things always, and insists on it. He is offended if I do not wait for him to open the door, and he is really the one that taught me to expect it. Frank does these things most of the time, but if I open my own car door he doesn't seem to care. Maybe that's because of his years on the east coast.

It's not that I can't open my own door. It's just that I feel very special and like the man is acknowledging my femininity somehow. It'a token but it's a token that I truly appreciate.

Carole C

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Necee on 8/29/02 at 11:58 (093879)

Collecting dust!!! We hope!!

Happy trails..

Necee

Re: To John H.

Necee on 8/29/02 at 12:11 (093882)

Will you please come live near me!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

nancy s. on 8/29/02 at 13:31 (093890)

bless your heart, julie! i think i'll have phil read this, just to double-check, just to be SURE.

Re: John

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 18:42 (093912)

You know, maybe I am showing my age (or lack thereof) but I am never entirely comfortable when someone insists on opening doors for me, etc. Maybe this is because I'm used to being out on my own, where I either fend for myself, or never get into a building! Or I suppose it could just be discomfort with that much attention--I'm really not sure. All I know is that I visited a friend a few weeks ago who kept opening doors for me and it got to where it was all I could do not to race to the next door to try to get there before he did! I think maybe it's because if someone does something nice for me, I want to do something in return, and when it comes to this door-opening business (and the like), I'm generally not afforded an opportunity to give something back. It feels selfish to me to let someone continue to do things for me, without returning the favor. I suppose that flies in the face of Chivalry, and all that, but what's a modern girl to do??

Re: John

Pauline on 8/29/02 at 19:00 (093916)

Nancy,
Dear Abby would tell you to accept the acts of kindness now and worry about the pay back in your will. You can always do unto others and that covers it to. :)

Re: John

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 19:17 (093917)

Pauline--

Have you tried to open a door for one of these old-school guys lately? It really messes them up!! They stand there like the deer caught in the headlights and try to insist that you go first anyway. It ends up being more trouble than it's worth. So much for doing unto others! (And men think we're confusing!!!)

Re: John

Pauline on 8/29/02 at 21:31 (093926)

Nancy,
Make it easy on yourself. Give up the door control. Who ever reaches it first, opens it and walks through. Far better than confusion.
I find it's far more important to get through the door than to worry about who is suppose to open it. Remember do unto others doesn't always mean do unto men. Lot's of moms with strollers out there that just love having a door opened for them.

Re: On doors and to John

wendyn on 8/29/02 at 22:26 (093928)

I have taught my sons to hold doors open for other people (doesn't matter if they're men or women).

If I am walking with a man, I am happy to let him get the door - but if I get there first I will open it and hold it for him.

It's just a common courtesy, and a sign of respect for the other person.

John - are you really speckless? I thought you wore glasses?

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:11 (093959)

Thank the good lord for the 'abnormalities' of the modern woman....right fellas? :)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:15 (093961)

Well Nancy, from my experience, I'd say you easily lived up to the three criteria and even added a few of your own terrific qualities!
Hope you'll let us know if you ever figure out how that saran-wrap thing works......

Re: John

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:25 (093963)

I wonder, Carole, if the truly great thing about being a 'modern' woman is that we do get to retain our femininity (which allows men to retain their masculinity?) while at the same time participating in activities- (un ones, I might add :) - heretofore left only to men. I think it takes a lot of heat off of men, too now that we can be less caught up in role playing and more involved with just plain partnering.

Re: John

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:32 (093966)

You're right Nen - it's probably just that you've taken such good care of yourself for such a long time - you may be the epitome of what those who came before you were trying to accomoplish. I suspect, too, that those who came before you are now experiencing the swing of the pendulum to middle - that is that we've come to understand that there can be a very pleasant mix of strength and femininity and we don't have to beat on the poor male population anymore to achieve it. It's sort of an evolution of the so-called women's movement, I guess! Relax girl and enjoy it!

Re: The Surrendered Wife

Valerie S on 8/30/02 at 09:59 (093976)

http://www.surrenderedwife.com/

You can take a course and everything! This is NOT just an old-fashioned idea, but the wave of the future!

;)

Re: John

john h on 8/30/02 at 10:36 (093979)

Nancy: I think it is very much the generation gap?

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

john h on 8/30/02 at 10:45 (093980)

Judy & Nancy: As I remember it was old John that helped disabled Barb in and out of cars and in to the bar in New Jersey while you guys sprinted to the bar.at full speed. Long live chivilary.

Re: make that 'fun' ones........eom

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 12:22 (093984)

:)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 12:24 (093985)

Nen - is John suffering from 'revisionist' history?

Re: John

john h on 8/30/02 at 14:44 (093995)

When I am around Judy and Nen I find it best to walk softly and do not even carry a stick. Forget what Teddy Roosevelt said. Actually I sort of enjoyed not having to dosome things like drive as Nen was the pilot and I just sat in the back seat and provided comfort to the distressed Barb while Judy and Nen argued over how to get where we were going (Dr. Z' party'. I indeed knew my place in this adventure.

Re: On doors and to John

Rick R on 8/30/02 at 16:15 (094002)

I gave up my seat for a woman on a bus last month and in the process shamed three others to do the same. Her response was 'do I look that old?' I assured her my actions had everything to do with a gender distinction and a traditional upbringing. Can't win.

After reading the bits from this fine lieseray masterpiece, I'm emboldened enough to confront my wife and insist that she give me my allowance that she decided I didn't need while I was out of town. Ah the good old days!!

Rick

Re: On doors and to John

john h on 8/30/02 at 18:32 (094011)

Rick R your are 'the man'!

Re: On doors and to John

Julie on 8/31/02 at 02:49 (094050)

I think you did win, Rick, and it was a nice thing to do. Don't be discouraged.

Offering a seat, holding open a door, doing something considerate and kind and maybe protective for another person, is something anyone of any age or either gender can do for anyone of any age or either gender.

But my husband (who was 80 last week and always holds doors open for me) gets upset if anyone offers him a seat. He thinks it means he looks as old as he is. Well, he does look about 65.

Re: John

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:05 (094245)

I couldn't agree more, Judy. I am an electrical engineer and physical oceanographer, both of which fields were nearly closes to feminine women in the 1950's when I was growing up. At that time, the only women in such fields seemed terribly unfeminine to me.

Maybe that is why I truly enjoy the implicit acknowledgement of my femininity that is part of the experience of having a man open the door for me. Obviously someone who has done the things that I have done, can physically open the door for herself plus a lot more. That makes it all the more appealing to me, even poignant, when a man opens the door for me.

By opening the door for me, a man is not saying 'you are a wimply little incapable creature that couldn't even open a door for herself'. He is saying 'You are a woman, and as a man I acknowledge and respect that part of you that is different from me'.

So what does he get back? Well ALL southern belles know the answer to that. He gets a flash of a big flirtacious smile, and enough radiance to light up the room (no matter how tired I might actually be), and a lot more grace as I enter the room than otherwise. By that, I am saying 'You are a man, and as a woman I acknowledge and respect that too'.

I just love it if a man decides to open the door for me. Vive la difference! :)

Carole C

Re: oops

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:06 (094247)

closed, not closes..... (sigh)

Re: And another thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:23 (094253)

You bring up such a wise and important point, Suzanne. Many of us (including me) were brought up to believe a lot of one-sided untruths. I know that even though I consider myself to be an intelligent, modern woman, when my ex became abusive I just let it go and kept trying to 'save the marriage'. I never even met anyone who was divorced until I was in my late teens and when I married, I married for life. When my marriage started falling apart, I felt secretly guilty and thought that although OTHER women shouldn't feel guilty for their failing marriages, that somehow it was all my fault.

I know that that is wrong, that it was NOT all my fault, and I try not to think that way any more. It takes two to tango. I know that I put all that I had into my marriage, and although it wasn't enough I couldn't do any more than that.

I don't necessarily think that my ex was an ogre, either, even though there were some cruel and ugly things that took place. Some marriages just aren't meant to be.

Life goes on and I am very happily divorced now.

Carole C

Re: And yet another thing........

wendyn on 9/02/02 at 16:16 (094266)

Carole, the sad thing is - this book says over and over and over again...

If you are unhappy in your marriage, if your husband is mean, if he doesn't love you, IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT. It is NEVER his fault.

Never never never never.

If he drinks or gambles or hits you - it's because YOU have failed as a wife.

I know that you're older than I am, and it's horrible to think that this was once widely considered to be a fundamentally normal way of thinking. No wonder women stayed in horrible marriages, and no wonder so many still do now. It's a slow process to change that basic idea that the success of the entire marriage revolves around the woman's obedience and service to her husband.

The really amazing thing is that this is still alive and well in some groups (and relgions) even today. That website has an active email support group, and there are enough followers to keep it going. It would be one thing to think 'Well that was a long time ago' - but it persists even now.

Thankfully, women are a lot better informed and educated than they used to be, and our culture is slowly shifting away from that type of pure patriarchal unequality.

The book has been passed around the office for a while. It's interesting to see how it's perceived by different age groups of women. One of my coworkers is a college educated 26 year old, and she almost lost her mind when she was reading excerpts out of the book. Guess that's a good sign!

Re: John

john h on 9/02/02 at 17:04 (094277)

Carole: You are the Woman!

Re: Vive la Difference! :) (nm)

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 17:37 (094281)

.

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Necee on 8/28/02 at 23:25 (093842)

Who said I was 'proper' or 'normal'.

On a more serious note, this is some very interesting stuff Wendy, but.....a womans delicate physical structure needs protection from strenous work? I would certainly think that giving birth is more strenous than mowing the lawn or painting walls. But I do admit that lifting heavy objects time after time does take its tole on a feminine body. I was raised on a ranch here in Texas, and ever since I was a young gal I've helped with the chores, lifing bales of hay, cleaning out stalls, carrying large burlap sacks of seed, etc. So I guess doing a mans work comes rather normal to me. On the other hand, I think that I can 'clean up' pretty good, and be as feminine looking as Ms America when I need to be. The down side is....when we gals do things that are normally left up for a man to do, we tend to spoil them, they get use to 'wonder woman' handling everything so they just expect it.
This is a very interesting topic, and I thank you for sharing it with us. I'm anxious to see what others comments are.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: And another thing........

Necee on 8/29/02 at 00:29 (093845)

The part where she mentions a mans ugly and cruel actions being a womans fault.......well, as we say here in Texas, 'thats hogwash'. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. It's hightime we all took full and complete responsibility for what we say and do in our own lives. Just because someone was mean or hateful doesn't give us the right to be mean and hateful back. It's all about individual integrity, and how we handle negative events and turn them into something good and positive.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

nancy s. on 8/29/02 at 01:06 (093847)

whew. thank god i finally went to college in the sixties and missed this wonderful drivel! i was reading 'the second sex' and acting mysterious instead!

i do feel cheated, though. my husband has never yet let me get out of doing stuff because of my delicate physical structure. he's never even mentioned my delicate physical structure! he must be living in the dark dark dark ages. i shall point this out to him tomorrow.

as for feminine charm, i'm not sure that even makes his list. his three main criteria, he said as we got involved, are brains, humor, and a basic, realized goodness.

i don't know that i live up to these things! but . . . now i'm thinking . . . he must have married me IN SPITE OF my delicate physical structure, since the day we got married i was in the middle of a root canal and had pneumonia to boot. people thought i was the blushing bride, but no, i had a raging fever.

it was still the happiest day of our lives, down by the lake, surrounded by family and close friends.

i just located your sense of humor, wendy, so stop worrying. and i'm barfing along with ya. who was the lady who wrote a book that included the suggestion that you greet your man at the door covered only in saran wrap? i always meant to try that, because we don't have enough to do around here, and we can't get each other's attention any other way.

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Julie on 8/29/02 at 02:28 (093851)

Thanks, Wendy and Nancy, for starting my day with the best bellylaugh I've had for ages.

What's astonishing is that these profound musings appeared in 1963. They sound more like 1953. Even 1943. Or 1843.

No worries about your mislaid sense of humour, Wendy.

And Nancy, I'd say Phil definitely found his right wife, the one who lives up to those three great criteria.

Re: And another thing........

Suzanne D on 8/29/02 at 05:22 (093852)

Amen, Necee!

It WAS funny, Wendy, but = as you said - quite sad in the part about man's cruel and ugly actions being a woman's fault. The reason that is not funny is because many, many women have fallen into the trap of believing that. As hard to imagine as that might be, it happens. It's one of those things that if you haven't experienced it, you don't understand it. And it is cruel and unfair.

I guess when we think we haven't made a lot of progress in the social area, we can look to this book and see that we have! :-) And thank goodness for that. Thanks, Wendy, for reminding us of that!

Have a good day, everyone!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Valerie S on 8/29/02 at 06:28 (093854)

It will be interesting to see if any men respond to these ideas. Now ladies, if you could please just sit here and look pretty. I don't think he has spoken to you or asked your opinion yet.

How will we ever return to Pleasantville, if you keep acting in such a manner?

:^)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 07:10 (093855)

I once came across a book called something like 'How to Keep Him Now that You've Got Him.' It was a cookbook. I was so tempted to buy it, except that I was genuinely repulsed by it, too. But I was afraid nobody would believe it was for real if I didn't buy it! (I never did buy it, though it's probably still on the shelf at the used bookstore, all these years later!)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Carole C on 8/29/02 at 08:18 (093865)

I just so totally agree about women 'needing protection from strenuous work', but I've never been able to persuade a man that this is the case! ROFL

Let's see... I'm 54 years old, suffering from severe osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, plantar fasciitis and associated tendonitis's, morbid obesity, and half a dozen other problems, yet I've been able to mow my lawn during a move (after moving half my stuff myself).

SURE, WOMEN NEED PROTECTION FROM STRENOUS WORK! (giggle) Any takers?

Actually, a lot of the rest of what was said is the way that many women were brought up when I was young. I'm on the cusp of the newer generation of women... brought up one way, but having to flip-flop once we got old enough to encounter the real world.

During my packing, I came across an essay that I was required to write in sixth grade for school, in 1959. The subject of the essay was 'What I Want To Be When Grown'. In it, I said that I wanted to marry and raise children, and to be a secretary or nurse to 'help get money for the family'. That was pretty avant garde for those days in the area where I lived, where women were expected to stay home and keep house unless they were (oh horrors!) not married.

Things have sure improved for women in many ways since then.

Carole C

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

john h on 8/29/02 at 11:18 (093872)

Wendy: I am speeckless! All I seem to remember about the sixties is music,war, VW busses and flower children. The fiftes were Ward and June Cleaver and Ozzie and Harriet. In my life I do not think I ever thought of women as inferior in any way. just that there were good ones and bad ones just like men, Women out live men by almost 7 years I think. Not sure what that means. I am still a product of my age and upbringing in that I open doors for ladies, walk next to the street when walking with a lady, pull out chairs, give up my seat on public transportation,etc. Some take offense to this but so be it. That is what I am. Since the beging of time man was stronger, faster, and could jump higher and so he became the hunter and the one who went out into the woods (go to work) and bring back food and do the heavy lifting. We evolved from that beging until today when strength,heavy lifting, and speed are not that important as they once more. Women's role in life and the family contiunes to evolve as does man. I wonder what the family will look like 100 years from now? Long live Zena the Princess Warrior aka Wendy.

Re: John

Carole C on 8/29/02 at 11:45 (093877)

John, one of the many reasons why I love living in New Orleans is that there are men here who DO open the door for me, and pull out my chair, and so on. Bobbie does these things always, and insists on it. He is offended if I do not wait for him to open the door, and he is really the one that taught me to expect it. Frank does these things most of the time, but if I open my own car door he doesn't seem to care. Maybe that's because of his years on the east coast.

It's not that I can't open my own door. It's just that I feel very special and like the man is acknowledging my femininity somehow. It'a token but it's a token that I truly appreciate.

Carole C

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

Necee on 8/29/02 at 11:58 (093879)

Collecting dust!!! We hope!!

Happy trails..

Necee

Re: To John H.

Necee on 8/29/02 at 12:11 (093882)

Will you please come live near me!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

nancy s. on 8/29/02 at 13:31 (093890)

bless your heart, julie! i think i'll have phil read this, just to double-check, just to be SURE.

Re: John

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 18:42 (093912)

You know, maybe I am showing my age (or lack thereof) but I am never entirely comfortable when someone insists on opening doors for me, etc. Maybe this is because I'm used to being out on my own, where I either fend for myself, or never get into a building! Or I suppose it could just be discomfort with that much attention--I'm really not sure. All I know is that I visited a friend a few weeks ago who kept opening doors for me and it got to where it was all I could do not to race to the next door to try to get there before he did! I think maybe it's because if someone does something nice for me, I want to do something in return, and when it comes to this door-opening business (and the like), I'm generally not afforded an opportunity to give something back. It feels selfish to me to let someone continue to do things for me, without returning the favor. I suppose that flies in the face of Chivalry, and all that, but what's a modern girl to do??

Re: John

Pauline on 8/29/02 at 19:00 (093916)

Nancy,
Dear Abby would tell you to accept the acts of kindness now and worry about the pay back in your will. You can always do unto others and that covers it to. :)

Re: John

Nancy N on 8/29/02 at 19:17 (093917)

Pauline--

Have you tried to open a door for one of these old-school guys lately? It really messes them up!! They stand there like the deer caught in the headlights and try to insist that you go first anyway. It ends up being more trouble than it's worth. So much for doing unto others! (And men think we're confusing!!!)

Re: John

Pauline on 8/29/02 at 21:31 (093926)

Nancy,
Make it easy on yourself. Give up the door control. Who ever reaches it first, opens it and walks through. Far better than confusion.
I find it's far more important to get through the door than to worry about who is suppose to open it. Remember do unto others doesn't always mean do unto men. Lot's of moms with strollers out there that just love having a door opened for them.

Re: On doors and to John

wendyn on 8/29/02 at 22:26 (093928)

I have taught my sons to hold doors open for other people (doesn't matter if they're men or women).

If I am walking with a man, I am happy to let him get the door - but if I get there first I will open it and hold it for him.

It's just a common courtesy, and a sign of respect for the other person.

John - are you really speckless? I thought you wore glasses?

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:11 (093959)

Thank the good lord for the 'abnormalities' of the modern woman....right fellas? :)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:15 (093961)

Well Nancy, from my experience, I'd say you easily lived up to the three criteria and even added a few of your own terrific qualities!
Hope you'll let us know if you ever figure out how that saran-wrap thing works......

Re: John

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:25 (093963)

I wonder, Carole, if the truly great thing about being a 'modern' woman is that we do get to retain our femininity (which allows men to retain their masculinity?) while at the same time participating in activities- (un ones, I might add :) - heretofore left only to men. I think it takes a lot of heat off of men, too now that we can be less caught up in role playing and more involved with just plain partnering.

Re: John

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 09:32 (093966)

You're right Nen - it's probably just that you've taken such good care of yourself for such a long time - you may be the epitome of what those who came before you were trying to accomoplish. I suspect, too, that those who came before you are now experiencing the swing of the pendulum to middle - that is that we've come to understand that there can be a very pleasant mix of strength and femininity and we don't have to beat on the poor male population anymore to achieve it. It's sort of an evolution of the so-called women's movement, I guess! Relax girl and enjoy it!

Re: The Surrendered Wife

Valerie S on 8/30/02 at 09:59 (093976)

http://www.surrenderedwife.com/

You can take a course and everything! This is NOT just an old-fashioned idea, but the wave of the future!

;)

Re: John

john h on 8/30/02 at 10:36 (093979)

Nancy: I think it is very much the generation gap?

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

john h on 8/30/02 at 10:45 (093980)

Judy & Nancy: As I remember it was old John that helped disabled Barb in and out of cars and in to the bar in New Jersey while you guys sprinted to the bar.at full speed. Long live chivilary.

Re: make that 'fun' ones........eom

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 12:22 (093984)

:)

Re: Finally learing how to be a proper woman..bout time

JudyS on 8/30/02 at 12:24 (093985)

Nen - is John suffering from 'revisionist' history?

Re: John

john h on 8/30/02 at 14:44 (093995)

When I am around Judy and Nen I find it best to walk softly and do not even carry a stick. Forget what Teddy Roosevelt said. Actually I sort of enjoyed not having to dosome things like drive as Nen was the pilot and I just sat in the back seat and provided comfort to the distressed Barb while Judy and Nen argued over how to get where we were going (Dr. Z' party'. I indeed knew my place in this adventure.

Re: On doors and to John

Rick R on 8/30/02 at 16:15 (094002)

I gave up my seat for a woman on a bus last month and in the process shamed three others to do the same. Her response was 'do I look that old?' I assured her my actions had everything to do with a gender distinction and a traditional upbringing. Can't win.

After reading the bits from this fine lieseray masterpiece, I'm emboldened enough to confront my wife and insist that she give me my allowance that she decided I didn't need while I was out of town. Ah the good old days!!

Rick

Re: On doors and to John

john h on 8/30/02 at 18:32 (094011)

Rick R your are 'the man'!

Re: On doors and to John

Julie on 8/31/02 at 02:49 (094050)

I think you did win, Rick, and it was a nice thing to do. Don't be discouraged.

Offering a seat, holding open a door, doing something considerate and kind and maybe protective for another person, is something anyone of any age or either gender can do for anyone of any age or either gender.

But my husband (who was 80 last week and always holds doors open for me) gets upset if anyone offers him a seat. He thinks it means he looks as old as he is. Well, he does look about 65.

Re: John

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:05 (094245)

I couldn't agree more, Judy. I am an electrical engineer and physical oceanographer, both of which fields were nearly closes to feminine women in the 1950's when I was growing up. At that time, the only women in such fields seemed terribly unfeminine to me.

Maybe that is why I truly enjoy the implicit acknowledgement of my femininity that is part of the experience of having a man open the door for me. Obviously someone who has done the things that I have done, can physically open the door for herself plus a lot more. That makes it all the more appealing to me, even poignant, when a man opens the door for me.

By opening the door for me, a man is not saying 'you are a wimply little incapable creature that couldn't even open a door for herself'. He is saying 'You are a woman, and as a man I acknowledge and respect that part of you that is different from me'.

So what does he get back? Well ALL southern belles know the answer to that. He gets a flash of a big flirtacious smile, and enough radiance to light up the room (no matter how tired I might actually be), and a lot more grace as I enter the room than otherwise. By that, I am saying 'You are a man, and as a woman I acknowledge and respect that too'.

I just love it if a man decides to open the door for me. Vive la difference! :)

Carole C

Re: oops

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:06 (094247)

closed, not closes..... (sigh)

Re: And another thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 14:23 (094253)

You bring up such a wise and important point, Suzanne. Many of us (including me) were brought up to believe a lot of one-sided untruths. I know that even though I consider myself to be an intelligent, modern woman, when my ex became abusive I just let it go and kept trying to 'save the marriage'. I never even met anyone who was divorced until I was in my late teens and when I married, I married for life. When my marriage started falling apart, I felt secretly guilty and thought that although OTHER women shouldn't feel guilty for their failing marriages, that somehow it was all my fault.

I know that that is wrong, that it was NOT all my fault, and I try not to think that way any more. It takes two to tango. I know that I put all that I had into my marriage, and although it wasn't enough I couldn't do any more than that.

I don't necessarily think that my ex was an ogre, either, even though there were some cruel and ugly things that took place. Some marriages just aren't meant to be.

Life goes on and I am very happily divorced now.

Carole C

Re: And yet another thing........

wendyn on 9/02/02 at 16:16 (094266)

Carole, the sad thing is - this book says over and over and over again...

If you are unhappy in your marriage, if your husband is mean, if he doesn't love you, IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT. It is NEVER his fault.

Never never never never.

If he drinks or gambles or hits you - it's because YOU have failed as a wife.

I know that you're older than I am, and it's horrible to think that this was once widely considered to be a fundamentally normal way of thinking. No wonder women stayed in horrible marriages, and no wonder so many still do now. It's a slow process to change that basic idea that the success of the entire marriage revolves around the woman's obedience and service to her husband.

The really amazing thing is that this is still alive and well in some groups (and relgions) even today. That website has an active email support group, and there are enough followers to keep it going. It would be one thing to think 'Well that was a long time ago' - but it persists even now.

Thankfully, women are a lot better informed and educated than they used to be, and our culture is slowly shifting away from that type of pure patriarchal unequality.

The book has been passed around the office for a while. It's interesting to see how it's perceived by different age groups of women. One of my coworkers is a college educated 26 year old, and she almost lost her mind when she was reading excerpts out of the book. Guess that's a good sign!

Re: John

john h on 9/02/02 at 17:04 (094277)

Carole: You are the Woman!

Re: Vive la Difference! :) (nm)

Carole C in NOLA on 9/02/02 at 17:37 (094281)

.