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Beyond Gender: The New Politics of Work and Family
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0943875846, Hardcover)In 1963, The Feminine Mystique blew the cap off the frustration many American women felt over their role in a society that espoused democracy but smugly discriminated against the female half of its populace. More than 30 years later, in Beyond Gender, Betty Friedan acknowledges that she was never quite comfortable with the rage uncorked by loosing the genie of sexual politics, and wonders aloud if pitting women against men, "the oppressed against oppressors," serves to open up most women's lives. Gathering a group of scholars, policy experts, media mavens, and business and labor leaders, Friedan explores a meandering collection of ideas intended to replace the zero-sum game in which women gain only as men lose. This "paradigm shift," she hopes, could bring people together around life-enhancing work, family, and community issues. For example, the vast job cuts of corporate downsizing could be realigned to allow people to stay employed if they agreed to work--and be paid for--fewer hours. Supporters argue that one benefit of such a policy to families would be more parental supervision. Critics side with Joyce Miller of the U.S. Labor Department, who notes vehemently that "Part-time work and work sharing are fine for those people who can afford it, but you don't share going to a grocery and buying a loaf of bread." Although Beyond Gender offers its share of naive or overly familiar solutions to major social problems, it's refreshing to see Friedan back in the fray tossing out good and bad ideas like so many pitches for the rest of us to take a whack at. --Francesca Coltrera
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:46 -0400)
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