Saturday, June 30, 2012

Helen's Thoughts on Masculinity

Taken from the 2007 edition of Fascinating Womanhood.

"The feminine nature awakens a man's chivalry for a woman, his impulse to protect her and provide for her. One of the most pleasant sensations a real man can experience is his consciousness of his power to give his manly power and protection. Rob him of this sensation of superior strength and ability and you rob him of his manliness. A man delights in protecting and sheltering a feminine, dependent woman. The bigger, manlier, and more sensible a man is, the more he seems to be attracted to this quality."

Stephanie Coontz Profile

Dr. Stephanie Coontz is a professor and author, most recently of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960’s (2011), and frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her research focuses on American society's changing values and ideals about men, women, and family.

In Fascinating Womanhood the Documentary she supplies historical context that leads up to the Second Wave of Feminism to help contextualize Helen's book.

View her recent appearance on The Colbert Report here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Helen's Thoughts on Ideal Women

Below an excerpt from an essay on her website

"The teachings of Fascinating Womanhood center around a study of The Ideal Woman, From Man's Point of View. I say "A man's point of view" because men and women view things differently. A man judges with a different set of values. This ideal woman is partly angelic and partly human. What I want to emphasize in this issue of the Internet is that a man never really loves a woman unless she is a good person, a person with angelic qualities worthy of respect and adoration. He may be attracted to her and even fascinated with her but his feelings will not include the deeper feelings of love. True love is a holy feeling, and a man simply cannot feel it unless aroused by a woman of character."

Joanna Brooks in Fascinating Womanhood Documentary

This begins a series of profiles on the various interview subjects in Fascinating Womanhood the Documentary.

Dr. Joanna Brooks is Department Chair of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State
University and a writer and blogger at Ask Mormon Girl (hosted by Feminist Mormon Housewives). She is the author of the forthcoming Book of Mormon Girl: Memoir of an American Faith, which discusses Mormonism's place in American society and her own evolving place within Mormonism.

Dr. Brooks grew up in Orange County, CA, and reports that her mother and her mother's friends owned copies of Fascinating Womanhood. So, while Brooks offers a historical framework to understand the success and reception of Andelin's book, she also speaks from personal experience about how she saw the ideas in the book shape women's perceptions about themselves and the changing social forces around them.

Dr. Brooks is also senior contributor at the online magazine You can read her most recent article here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Helen's Thoughts on Divorce

Below is an excerpt from her advice column at

"Regardless of which course one takes, or how right or wrong that course may be, my belief is that when marriages reach the stage of being unbearable, and those who feel locked into such a marriage feel suicidal, divorce will run rampant. This will be especially true when they compare themselves to those who are happily married and realize what they are missing, especially those who are enjoying the fruits of Fascinating Womanhood. As FW flourishes world wide, my prediction is that the world will come to a rude awakening. Men, especially will no longer put up with a self-interested slovenly homemaker who neglects his masculine need, tramples on his pride and makes his life a living hell. Things will get worse before they get better, until the rude awakening takes place and women either improve or become deserted."

Fascinating Womanhood in Japan

Hello, Erin here. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Kiyoko Oka in Osaka about two weeks ago. Mrs. Oka translated Fascinating Womanhood into Japanese. She found FW while she was living in Denmark and inquired about a Japanese version and Helen B. Andelin asked her to translate the book.  She and her business associate Yucchi were hosting a seminar in Osaka on June 1-2 to counsel women about marriage. They use Fascinating Womanhood in the counselling discussion. I was able to film an interview with Kiyoko and Yucchi and film a discussion group. I am very pleased with the filming and looking forward to including it in the film!

Friday, June 22, 2012

How it all started...

This film project started long ago when Emily Fox was making art at BYU and formed a Rock band with Brian Andelin. Emily and Brian were talking about Brian's grandmother Helen B. Andelin and Erin butted into the conversation and said, "that would make a great film!" The first filming took place in Fall of 2010 in Utah. Emily and Erin subsequently flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma, rented a car and drove to the Andelin homestead near Monett, Missouri. We filmed at "Farmville" for 4 days and even stayed in the home where Mrs. Andelin lived before her passing in 2009. We heard first-hand accounts about the Fascinating Womanhood movement and Helen's difficult task of balancing work and home life. She was meticulous and organized and we saw it in her record keeping and tidy home.

Hunting for Clues

Since we started making the film in 2010, we have been looking for TV clips of Helen B. Andelin. We have an amazing intern named Jessica Rose Cooper, an amazing BYU film student. Jessica has been looking for exact dates of when Helen was on TV shows so we can locate a recording of the Show for the film. We're still looking but we're getting closer! Jessica found a bunch of hints:

Fascinating Womanhood film Post-production is Underway

Handkerchief Films is thrilled to be making a feature-length documentary about the classic book about femininity called *Fascinating Womanhood* by Helen B. Andelin. This book is very interesting to us for several reasons: historically, it was published in 1963 at the start of the 2nd wave of Feminism and the author, an LDS mother from the suburbs, was on talk shows and panels with the spokeswomen for the Women's liberation movement. Many of the techniques in the book really work for women and we want to explore why they work from a psychological standpoint. We want the film to generate a lot of discussion! We're running a Kickstarter project now until July 19, 2012 and would love to have your support to finish the film!