Coo and purr your way into a man’s heart

Fascinating WomanhoodFascinating Womanhood
[1991], 1974

Submitter: I had heard of it but never thought I’d actually see a copy until I started a new job with a collection that needed extensive weeding and there it was. I understand it’s a Christian guidebook to a “happy marriage” but the booklets it is based on were written in the 1920s and even the 1991 edition we have is horrible in its advice to women.

Holly: Oh good lord.  The pictures are a little light, but check out this list from the back cover of all the goodness you will learn from this book (my personal favorite is “How to Bring out the Best in Your Husband”):


This passage is truly horrifying.  I admit it: I threw my head back, slapped my thighs, roared, cackled, and said a few coarse and vulgar words.

Cooing and purring?  Ummm…no.  My womanhood isn’t so fascinating, I guess.


  1. Hmm. I always thought that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. So I don’t need to do all that cooking, after all, eh? I can just coo and purr and he’ll love me. Eeewww.

  2. “Hmm. I always thought that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach.”

    A bit lower down works too…

  3. “…murmurings of unspeakable delight…”

    So, just to clarify, that’s different than belching, right?

  4. Considering how vulgar a lot of women are today I would say this book is a good idea. Even as a female I don’t care to hear a woman using the f-word every other word. Nor am I too fond of the patron who tells me things like how many men had kissed her on her birthday.

  5. Yeah, our cat coos and purrs, so we consider that funnily feline rather than fetchingly feminine behavior. If I started to coo and purr, I think my husband would have me committed – with the cat.

  6. It’s shallow of me, but the name Deruchette is bugging me. At first I thought they were citing someone’s reasearch. Deruchette’s studies have found that cooing in women is far more prevalent when they’ve read “The Rules”…

  7. Besides purring, cooing and not laughing, the passage also apparently wants me (the aspiring ideal woman) to read to myself with marbles in my mouth. Wow, men sure are a finicky bunch.

  8. I’m always amazed at these types of books that essentially try to teach you to be anything but yourself and put on a good show. Something like this implies that you’ll need to keep up this “act” for the rest of your life! It’s something of a simplification, but as long as you’re the best person you can be and take pride in yourself, the rest will follow. Of course that would make more for a pamphlet than a best selling book…

  9. God help me, but I regularly watch the reality show 19 Kids and Counting, which is about an uber-religious Arkansas family with–wait for it–19 kids. This book gets name-checked at least once a season on the show, so somebody out there is totally still reading it.

  10. Wife: Coo!

    Husband: Wha-

    Wife: Coo! Coo!

    Husband: uh- did you say something?

    Wife: Coo! COOOOOO! Puuuurrrr!

    Husband- Yeah, you know- I think there’s some work I have to do out in the garage.

  11. Jami, if all the book was selling was good manners, that would be fine. But she’s actually selling that women need to playact and pretend to be simple, helpless, and uninformed; and never dealing with money, politics, heavy work or anything “manly” (even the 1991 edition), and that marriage can never be an equal partnership because men are far superior. But that women can still manipulate their husbands by these helpless routines into getting what they want.

  12. Haha, I read this book and “Fascinating Girlhood,” the book about how to catch your man, and was absolutely fascinated by them as a girl! Nothing wrong with learning how to be more feminine but these were definitely over the top.

  13. I’m guessing Jami never got kisses on her birthday.

    (Jami is a well-known troll I’ve seen on other websites who likes to stir up trouble. I would ignore everything she says.)

  14. I got a book similar to this from well meaning hard core christian parents when I got married.

    The one I had, was in two sections. Men and Women. The Men’s section, told guys that it was his job to let the little lady know that her hoo hoo stank like a day old tuna. Seriously. It was like a hygeine sex manual.

    It had that thing in it too about making your voice pleasing and being alluring to your hubby.

  15. sorry….I re read my post and it is kinda vulgar. Didn’t want to offend anyone. But this book I had was waaaay out there.

    I love the duggars though…they do have these types of books on there! Like when Josh and Anna got married…they had these tapes about learning how to kiss and intercourse.

  16. Presumably no librarian is going to weed a book because of personal objections to the content. This title is outdated, but perhaps should be replaced by a newer title on a similar theme. If we have feminist books on our shelves, and hopefully we do, we can’t unilaterally withhold access to anti-feminist books.

  17. Bad…taste…in…mouth.
    Yet at the same time I am laughing. So sad. Etiquette books, good. Books for reforming ever minute of your life so it–supposedly–will please a man? Gag. Put away the wet towel. You have a fine voice. Although I agree with Deb…bring out an updated book on the same theme.

  18. A friend who was raised in the 60’s like me used to call the wiglets that were in style at the time “fascinating womanhood hats.”
    It’s always funny to read dating and marriage advice books. They sound completely nuts no matter what approach they take.
    As far as I know though no one has advised women to fart, belch and use the f-bomb as seduction devices. Cooing and purring at least sound vaguely girlish. But as you can tell I’m way old and maybe the newer generations prefer unvarnished reality to what I think is just good manners.

  19. “we can’t unilaterally withhold access to anti-feminist books.”

    We can do whatever the f*** we want, she cackled as she slapped her thigh.

  20. I just picked this book up. Oh. My. God. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…I tried to keep it in context of the time. I know the working women are leading us all to hell now, and that I am a sinner if I mow the lawn.

  21. Some of what’s in this book is outrageously insane.

    Some is great advice on communication and beings functional in a crass society without being crass.

    I know, because I read it. Well, 194 pages of it, before I stopped.

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