I'm starting to believe that these Woman Alive books weren't written for women at all, but for aliens who want to familiarize themselves with the human race. Seriously, it's like "People 101." The latest volume we're looking at is Family in Trouble, which features a lot of staged photos of people looking uncomfortable, and lots and lots of info about drug and alcohol abuse. So unbutton your high-wasted bell bottoms, because you're about to be stuffed with some '70s dramz.

See what I mean? Totally a book for aliens.

One of the chapters in the book is called "When Your Husband Loses His Job." Here's an excerpt:

A man's sense of identity is closely bound up with his job. His confidence stems in large measure from being able to do his work well, to hold his own with other men, and to provide adequately for his family. The loss of his job is a threat to his masculinity, a blow to his ego so powerful that it may have a physical as well as a mental effect on him.

The chapter offers advice on how women really need to be emotionally supportive, while not draining their finances on their "usual scotch and sirloin steaks, and having her weekly appointment at the beauty salon." And while there aren't any blatant tips of "Hey lady why don't you go get a job?" there is one sentence in caption that says, "Today, women, too, are taking direct action to secure better pay and working conditions." The next chapter is called "Sons and Daughters" and this is the page of images that's used to open it:


I stared at it for a while and was like, "Whuuuuuuuuuut?" It kinda looks like that "one of these things is not like the other" thing from Sesame Street. It turns out that it's supposed to be examples of teenage rebellion, which makes it even more hilarious because that guy on the bottom right is already experiencing signs of male-pattern baldness, so it would seem that his parents fucked up raising him way long ago. Also, maybe this is a generational thing, but I don't remember doing any of those things as a way of acting out (certainly don't remember breastfeeding an infant in a room of naked hippies). My rebellion was limited to dying my hair pink, shoplifting from Claire's, using a lunchbox as a purse, and taking my parents' car for a joyride without asking (or having a license). Oh, and I guess I also dated a 27-year-old guy, so maybe that picture on the bottom right-hand corner makes a bit of sense now. The rebellious acts of children that this chapter covers range from "trashing" (which apparently is '70s speak for "vandalism") and living in sin, like this couple:


Did men just age horribly back then or something? I totally thought it was her dad, but it turns out it's the guy she's shacking up with. Another problem that arises with pain-in-the-ass kids?

Rallying in favor of abortion-now legalized but still a subject of controversy.

If this chick were my daughter, the only beef I'd have with her would be jealousy over how supremely awesome she is at making posters. She's protesting with a poster of a protester protesting with a poster!


This passage is for Sarah Palin:

If your daughter is pregnant, there is one thing that you and your husband must consider above all else: how your daughter feels, and what she wants to do. This is not as easy as it sounds. Your daughter is bound to be undergoing a great many conflicting emotions. She may be too distressed and confused to know what she wants, or her decision may not coincide with yours. If the boy says he wants to marry her, for example, you may breathe a sigh of relief. But is your daughter sure she wants this? Is she being pressured? Is he doing the "right" thing because it is expected of him? A hasty wedding may save everyone's face temporarily, but the chances are that a marriage made under pressure will not be successful.


Naturally, the chapter "Drugs and Your Child" has the coolest looking people. Sienna, is that you?

This quiz is from the chapter "The Drinking Problem," which evidently, we all have, since you're an alcoholic if you answer "yes" to 2 or more of these questions.


So what have I learned from this book? All the hairy bullshit stress in life stems from your husband or your ungrateful children. God, did my mom write this? Earlier: Woman Alive: Food For Life, Love, And Looks Woman Alive: Discover A Lovelier You