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Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Futureby Barbara J. Berg
Synopses & Reviews
The news in 2008 was that women had taken huge strides forward. Feminists decades-long struggle finally seemed to be paying off, not only in boardrooms, classrooms, and kitchens but also at the very top—in presidential politics. But what is the truth behind the headlines?
In Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future, renowned feminist author Barbara J. Berg debunks the many myths about how far women have come and the pervasive belief that ours is a postfeminist society. Combining authoritative research and compelling storytelling, Berg traces the assault on womens status from the 1950s—when Newsweek declared for the American girl, books and babies dont mix”—to the present, exploring the deception about womens progress and contextualizing our current situation. All women are hurt by a society lauding their attributes in speeches while scorning them in public policy and popular culture, and the legacy of the womens movement is being short-circuited in every aspect of their lives.
Passionate, extensively documented, humorous, and persuasive, Sexism in America is simultaneously enlightening, frightening, and revitalizing. Berg, an ardent optimist, helps women understand where they are and why and how they can move beyond the marginalizing strategies. It is exactly the right book at exactly the right time.
"Sexism hasn't gone away, argues journalist/activist Berg, it has simply adapted to our changing culture. Berg offers a refresher course on the 20th-century women's rights movement and its unexpected devolution in recent years, drawing on aspects of culture like advertising and reality TV, scientific research and an online survey of 300 not-so-randomly selected women and interviews with 200 more. Contemporary women, Berg says, are encouraged to imitate vapid media darlings instead of breaking glass ceilings (or breaking even) in academia, business and government. Containing the requisite — and accurate — feminist media criticism and movement history, updates to the 2008 presidential election and Obama's first few months, this is an excellent, easily decipherable text for history, sociology and women's studies students — and even older feminists looking for an update. Berg uses short chapters for flowing discussions on work, reproductive rights, health and activism. She focuses on working women's issues, and more discussion on women who choose to be full-time homemakers and their particular concerns would have added balance. But Berg still offers a wakeup call for young women entering the cultural and career trenches on what went wrong and how to fix it. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Barbara J. Berg, PhD, is the author of The Crisis of the Working Mother, Nothing to Cry About, and The Remembered Gate: Origins of American Feminism. She has written for the Baltimore Sun, Ladies Home Journal, Ms., the New York Times Magazine, Parents, the Washington Post, and Working Woman.
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