I'm running into a similar problem.
I believe that by default Fedora "wraps" network devices in Network Manager, which takes away some of the individual control (e.g., being able to activate and deactivate devices through the Network Device Manager GUI)
Check in /var/log/messages.
grep wlan0 /var/log/messages
You should see your device being found, checked, activating . . . and then Network Manager taking over.
What to do about it?
I DON'T KNOW. I just wanted you to know that I'm in the same boat. I can't figure out how to de-muck-up my wlan0 connection, because NetworkManager is making it difficult.