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Backlash: The Undeclared War Against…

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991)

by Susan Faludi

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2,390193,965 (3.94)35
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    The Mismeasure of Woman by Carol Tavris (tafergus70)
    tafergus70: The author provides a balanced, academic background that helps readers understand Faludi’s voluminous book.

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I read the updated, international version. It took me several months to plough through this tome, if only because it annoyed me so much. I could only take it in small doses without becoming utterly dismayed at the society which it so accurately describes. Unfortunately it still seems as relevant today as when it was first published in the 80s.

I was tempted to skip the epilogue after reading about the factory workers whose choice was to either get themselves sterilised or lose their jobs, but I'm glad I picked the book up again a few minutes later -- for completion's sake, mainly -- because Faludi does try to end on a positive note. And the epilogue contains on of the most important reminders: that (British) women weren't just given the vote in recognition of their heroic wartime efforts -- they still had to fight for it. Women will always need to fight for it, whatever it is. ( )
  LynleyS | Feb 8, 2014 |
What I loved most about this book was the characters. Lily is smart, sassy and courageous in the face of danger and Chase is a gorgeous, dedicated cop with a scarred past and a tortured soul. He also happens to be the one ex-lover Lily never really got over. Can they overcome their past and admit their love?

Action-packed throughout with a compelling, addictive love story – I couldn't put it down until I turned the final page.
( )
  Joanne.Brothwell | Oct 20, 2013 |
i read this in my first women's studies course and was super passionate about it at the time. interesting... though i've come to feel that some of her arguments are a tad exaggerated. ( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
Only had to read the first section to be convinced that, holy crap, the eighties really were even more awful than I'd dreamed! While many of the absurd myths and trends that this book catalogues have long since passed, we still don't have important rights and benefits like paid parental leave, and people are *still* prefacing sentences with, "I'm not a feminist."

Oh, and the level of research and analysis that obviously went into this is incredibly impressive. That's why it's 460 pages long. ( )
  raschneid | Mar 31, 2013 |
First 98 pages read, interesting stuff so far, it just seems so annoying that this is still an issue, griping about stuff that I thought was done, over. Heartwarming to see proof that some of the crap I thought was crap is indeed crap. I'm giving up for now, which is why it's wishlisted because a borrower wants it and the previous reader was a smoker and my allergies are kicking in, I'll get back to it again another time and finish reading it (possible after a spell in some baking soda or cat litter or whatever to remove the smell)
You look at this book, my edition was published in 1992 and you kinda ask what relevance there is to this book, I mean it's over 20 years old, yeah, and we've learned nothing. We're revisiting the same old tired shite again and again, being told that feminism is over, that people are tired of hearing about it that we have equality, why are we still fighting?

Because 20 years later we still:

Have inequity in wages
Have poor representation in TV and film and if we speak out less than men in debates we're perceived as trying to dominate the conversation.
Have people try to tell us that domestic chores are innate, that we should prefer them to working out of the home
Have people say that pink is the colour we should choose
Even though, and this kinda shocked me, research in the 1970s (by John T Molloy, see pages 209-211) show that women get more respect and time in a business environment. That "dressing to succeed in business and dressing to be sexually attractive are almost mutually exclusive" and that maybe this needs updating but maybe also more choice in women's business clothing might be a good thing, that maybe dressing in the same suit for a year (with different shirts/blouses) might be accepted? That it shouldn't be a choice between 3" and 4" heels for court shoes and that "women in comfortable shoes" wouldn't be a veiled insult?
Have women giggle about how they're not good at maths because they're women.
Have girls out perform boys in STEM subjects in school but be actively discouraged from a career in these disciplines
Have a majority of doctors female but still imagery for young girls is that they're nurses, and rejection of male nursing.
The over-sexualisation of Halloween costumes for both adults and young girls (hey if you want to wear it, fine, can I have a choice too?)
Radio stations announcing that they are cutting down on female voices because people don't like them, not that they schedule them against popular choices.
Tell women that being pregnant takes their rights away (we'll delay your appeal until the baby is viable and then carve it out of you by caesarean, don't eat this food, or this one, or..); punish them if they decide to stay home for a few years to bring the baby up; blame them if they don't stay home; deny promotions because they might get pregnant and not hire them because you could "waste" money training them and then they leave to have babies.
Insist on using out dated modes of address for women in their own right, I'm not the only one who objects to being Mrs HisFirstName HisLastName on my birthday cards.

This book looks at some of the backlashes and shines a torch on them and asks why we put up with it. It induced a lot of red mist with me and made me more trenchantly feminist. I believe in equal rights. But I also believe that what we need is for everyone to have a high degree of rights rather than everyone being reduced to minimums.

So tell me, why do we?
  wyvernfriend | Sep 20, 2012 |
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To my mother Marilyn Lanning Faludi
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385425074, Paperback)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Faludi lays out a two-fold thesis in this aggressive work: First, despite the opinions of pop-psychologists and the mainstream media, career-minded women are generally not husband-starved loners on the verge of nervous breakdowns. Secondly, such beliefs are nothing more than anti-feminist propaganda pumped out by conservative research organizations with clear-cut ulterior motives. This backlash against the women's movement, she writes, "stands the truth boldly on its head and proclaims that the very steps that have elevated women's positions have actually led to their downfall." Meticulously researched, Faludi's contribution to this tumultuous debate is monumental and it earned the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:53 -0400)

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Includes material on George Gilder, Allan Bloom, Michael Levin, Margarita Levin, Warren Farrell, Robert Bly, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Betty Friedan, and Carol Gilligan.

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