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Always Ask a Man: The Key to Femininity
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Always Ask a Man: The Key to Femininity

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Published 1965 by Prentice Hall, Inc.
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This book is Amazing! It's simultaneously hilarious and horrifying. Any book that calculates you ideal weight based on your bone size and your height (in two-inch heels) is bound to be worth a laugh. It is hard for me to believe that a woman writing in 1965 could write something like this: "This is the most frequent male criticism of American women. We are accused of competing with men instead of charming them, of forgetting our essential female appeal in our concentration on our careers and equ ...more
"One must distinguish between naïve and deliberate Camp. Pure Camp is always naive. Camp which knows itself to be Camp ("camping") is usually less satisfying... The pure examples of Camp are unintentional; they are dead serious." -Sontag, 1964.
Brooke Nelson
How do you rate a book that you don't agree with, but had a lot of fun reading? You go right down the middle.

I am sure, when published, this book was quite popular and followed, but the ideas presented are so dated! Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Shampoo your hair when your husband isn't around--and plan to stay in the house and out of public eye until your hair has been set and brushed out. Hair should be set in private to look pretty in public."

(Um, I would be a liar if I
Reading this book completely exhausted me. While I'm sure not every woman followed Arlene Dahl's plan for maximum femininity to the letter, I can't believe how complicated all-American womanhood was in 1965. I don't like it when people basically wear their pajamas in public, or slouch around in grubby flip flops, but seeing just how high-maintenance things used to be for women makes me understand why we as a nation have embraced the wearing of sweatpants in public. My love-hate relationship with ...more
Beth Melillo
Hilarious! The whole thing was great - from the opening line through to the quizzes about whether you are operating with the right hair color. (Maybe you'd be true to yourself as a brownette?). I shudder to think what Arlene Dahl thinks of current exercise trends (like crossfit), and if in 1965 she could write "This the era of instant coffee, instant soup, and instant sex" so much more so now.

I only wish I had run across this book in college so that I could have organized a night to read aloud
Saw this book at a goodwill-type store several years ago and HAD TO HAVE IT! How could I pass up a book written by the handsome Lorenzo Lamas' mother?!! Love the 1960s advice! For all my friends who want to borrow it, sorry, but I took it off my bookshelf when my old house went up for sale and now it must be in storage. :(
Mary Lou
Great points about being a woman. Be a good listener, have a style of your own, be interested in other people, cultivate common sense, have a sense of humor. Variety is the spice of life.
marissa sanders
this is a pretty amusing read as long as you dont take it seriously. although realizing suddenly while youre reading it that someone, somewhere, at some time has taken it seriously is a real bummer.
Allie Rocheleau
I love it in the same way I love the show Mad Men. I can't endorse it, but it's fascinating to think of a time when women and men both bought into these ideas.
Dec 04, 2012 Mimcy added it
What I love about these books is I don't feel it puts down women but worse it shows that with a few tricks men can be manipulated or doopped into falling in love.
This book was hilarious (although I doubt that is what Ms. Dahl intended).
arlene dahl has the best, most outdated advice
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