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Born Female by Caroline Bird

Born Female (1968)

by Caroline Bird

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Although somewhat dated, this book paints a pretty good picture of what it was like to become a career woman in the middle of the 20th century. The obstacles women faced, progress that was made, and barriers that were yet to be toppled.

40 years later, I'm glad that these women fought as hard as they did for equality, as I would be living a dramatically different life if not for equal opportunity for women.

One of the few things that struck me as not having changed at all in 40 years are the fact that women continue to face the difficult challenge of motherhood vs. career (it's difficult to take time off to tend to children if you don't have money coming in from another source, yet child care is prohibitively expensive for many women), and the fact that child support is still not publicly subsidized, and employers on the whole have little support for women who decide to start families.

Also, I find it striking that, 40 years later, engineering is still one of the fields where women are drastically underrepresented. It makes me proud to be one of the few, and I certainly hope that more will follow in time, but it makes me wonder exactly what's keeping women back. But I guess that's another story for another book. ( )
  lemontwist | Dec 28, 2009 |
"For those who are in favor of the movement, Born Female is a progress report; for those who are uncertain of its implications, Born Female offers a glance at the consequences of sex equality and the 'androgynous' life; and for those who are against women's liberation, Born Female presents evidence of inequities in our laws and in employment practices which make it difficult for even the most complacent to deny or to justify the facts of discrimination against women."
"...a sophisticated and restrained survey of the fight for women's rights."
added by Jayfeather55 | editTime
"The kind of book that stirs opinion and changes ideas."
added by Jayfeather55 | editPublishers Weekly
"This book is a must for all the readers of the Journal... It is full of interesting information that academic types are likely to overlook, especially from the world of work... She offers us interesting new categories to think in, such as new and old masculinism, to complement new and old feminism, the invisible bar, loophole women, the androgynous life."

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bird, CarolineAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briller, Sara WellesAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On the day the U.S. House of Representatives was supposed to vote on the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, 81-year-old Howard W. Smith of Virginia, proposed an amendment that sounded like a joke even while the clerk was reading it aloud.
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When you're "born female," what does it mean for the rest of your life?
Watch your blood pressure rise as Ms. Bird reveals all the ugly penalties for being "born female." Despite the feminist movement and some headline-making advances, women today suffer great injustice and exploitation.

Born Female, more than any other feminist book, shatteringly explores the ongoing female oppression. It is an honest, thought-provoking survey of the high price America is paying to keep women down--in jobs, education, and at home. And, in the last chapters, Born Female shows how we can cast aside sexual stigmas and relate to each other as "us" rather than "he" and "she."
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