The simple answer is, no. You can most definitely live the principles of F.W. and still maintain a career.
When my mother wrote Fascinating Womanhood in the early 60’s, she had 8 children, none of whom were grown. The oldest was 18 and the youngest was a year old. Her perspective of a woman and a career was heavily influenced by her situation. She wasn’t talking about women who either don’t have children, whose children are all in school or women whose children are grown. There are relatively only a few years where a mother has small children who need her constant daily care, especially today where few have large families.
The other part is that she was also thinking of her natural protection of women having to do it all. Around that time there were ads on T.V. that advertised the feminist slogan “We can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan”. It loudly proclaimed that women can do everything well no matter the load. It said nothing about any side effects. At that time, if my mother had to have a full time career with all her other duties, it would have been really hard on her. As it was, she made all her own bread and squeezed us orange juice every morning. When F.W. got bigger and she had to travel and do a lot of publicity, most of us were grown and gone and none were really small.
Many women work full time and raise their families simultaneously. Both jobs are difficult. Lots of women must work for various reasons. When they do, they almost always just work harder and as a result, often suffer from lack of sleep as well as stress. If you have a sick child, for example, and are up all night, too bad. You can’t take a nap and must just power through your day on will power. You might lose all your vacation days just taking care of young ones who are ill. We can do it, but there might be a price. It’s hard to do two difficult jobs well but raising children is not only complicated, its 24/7. We are the ones who give birth to and raise the people of earth.
In some ways, the subject of whether a fascinating woman can successfully handle a career has more to do with raising children than having a deeply romantic marriage. It’s just that when we do too many things that are not only tough, but cause stress, it could have an impact on our marriage if not understood and handled carefully.
The principles of F.W. are valuable and can have a huge impact whether you have a career or not. It is not only about being feminine but specifically is about your relationship with your husband. It helps you develop a lifelong love affair with the man you love. You can do this if you are a mother, if you aren’t, or if you are older, your children are grown, and you now use a cane or walker. You can always be a charming feminine woman.
Certainly, when a woman doesn’t have to work and she has small children, it’s a great blessing to be able to stay at home. But there are SO many circumstances people have. If you stick to the basic timeless principles of F.W. you won’t go wrong. You can be a fascinating woman and also have a career.