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Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women by Nora…

Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women (1975)

by Nora Ephron

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289560,474 (3.64)13
A glimpse into the absurdities and realities of female existence in the early 1970s discusses the media, politics, the first female umpire, and beauty products.

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Showing 5 of 5
This is journalism. The style is definitely more magazine article than essay, and so tied to the times they were written (1970s), which was its strength back then but failing now. I appreciate the efforts of feminist forerunners, but as a spoiled child of more liberal (but still far from ideal) times, and a non-American, I could not relate to 90% of the pieces.

Love her personal essays though. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Twenty-five pieces written from 1972 to 1974 and published in Esquire, New York Magazine, and Rolling Stone. Ephron discusses her problem with being a journalist and a feminist. If she writes about an aspect of the women’s movement—consciousness-raising is an example—and finds it humorous, it seems as if she’s letting down the side. But she finds humor in almost everything. And if she criticizes a book whose premise she heartily agrees with—the example here is Phyllis Chesler’s Women and Madness—her pointing out that it is badly written and researched as well as self-indulgent “will hurt the book politically.”
The first three pieces, including “A Few Words About Breasts,” establish her as someone who, as tomboy, late bloomer, very intelligent youngster and very humorous observer, already was at odds with the stereotypes of glamor girl or domestic goddess long before she encountered the women’s movement. She casts a withering eye on subjects such as feminine deodorant spray, the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and Julie Nixon as apologist for her father. She covers a feud between Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem at the 1972 Democratic Convention and George McGovern’s betrayal of his supporters in the women’s movement in what must be the most futile political sellout ever. Although in profound sympathy with the goals of the women’s movement, she is horrified at some of its more bizarre manifestations such as do-it-yourself abortion (as is Ellen Frankfort, whose book Vaginal Politics Ephron reviews) and she is amused at others. She reviews The Girls in the Office, transcripts of tape recordings of fifteen single women working in a New York office: “life imitating trash.” She writes with a seemingly straight face about Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat notoriety, political wives, and the Bobby Riggs-Margaret Court tennis match. In the last piece she slams Jan Morris’s book Conundrum, about her sex change, calling the book mawkish. On James Morris’s always wanting to be a girl, she says “I always wanted to be a girl, too.” The trouble is that Jan Morris has become, not a woman, but a girl. ( )
  michaelm42071 | Mar 21, 2015 |
Somehow 1972 seems so long ago. Nora Ephron's essays are funny and sharp, but so many of them seem to somehow read as oddly-ancient history, particularly the daily practicalities and impracticalities of being a feminist (or Women's Lib-er, really) in New York. ( )
1 vote hikatie | Feb 9, 2012 |
I was inspired to read this by Ariel Levy's recent New Yorker profile on Ephron. These pieces have much more substance than her movies, or even her most recent book. Most of these essays were written just after I was born, so it's a useful historical perspective. A lot actually has improved. My copy is full of little post-it flags for things I will have to look up, or ask my mother about. On the other hand, probably none of the book's original readers knew why a Pillsbury Bake-Off contestant's speedy Hawaiian bread was called Wiki Coffee Cake... ( )
  kristenn | Jan 10, 2010 |
Very good collection of articles. ( )
  BinnieBee | Jan 20, 2007 |
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It's certain that fine women eat a crazy salad with their meat. William Butler Yeats.
It's certain that fine women eat

A crazy salad with their meat

whereby the horn of plenty is undone

-- William Butler Yeats.

(Epigraph in the Modern Libraries edition, published 2000)
For my sisters: Delia, Hallie, and Amy
First words
I have to begin with a few words about androgyny.
The truth, of course, is that Jan Morris does not know it is nonsense.  She thinks this is what it is about.  And I wonder about all this, wonder how anyone in this day and age can think that this is what being a woman is about.  And as I wonder, I find myself thinking a harsh feminist thought.  It would be a man, I think.  Well, it would, wouldn't it?

At its best, that [options] is exactly what the movement is about. But it just doesn't work out that way. Because the hardest thing for us to accept is the right to those options. I hear myself saying those words: What this [Feminist] movement is about is options. I say it to friends who are frustrated, or housebound, or guilty, or child-laden, and what I am really thinking is, If you really got it together, the option you would choose is mine.

"On Never Having Been a Prom Queen"
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A book of essays on women and feminism. Contents: A few words about breasts.--Fantasies.--On never having been a prom queen.--The girls in the office.--Reunion.--Miami.--Vaginal politics.--Bernice Gera, first lady umpire.--Deep throat.--On consciousness-raising.--Dealing with the, uh, problem.--The hurled ashtray.--Truth and consequences.--Baking off.--The pig.--Crazy ladies: I.--Dorothy Parker.--A star is born.--Women in Israel: the myth of liberation.--The littlest Nixon.--Divorce, Maryland style.--Rose Mary Woods: the lady or the tiger?--No, but I read the book--Crazy ladies: II.--Conundrum.
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