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Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Womenby Susan Faludi
Synopses & Reviews
Skillfully Probing the Attack on Women’s Rights
“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new baby fever”—the trend stories of 2006 leave no doubt that American women are still being barraged by the same backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly exposed in her 1991 bestselling book of revelations. Now, the book that reignited the feminist movement is back in a fifteenth anniversary edition, with a new preface by the author that brings backlash consciousness up to date.
When it was first published, Backlash made headlines for puncturing such favorite media myths as the “infertility epidemic” and the “man shortage,” myths that defied statistical realities. These willfully fictitious media campaigns added up to an antifeminist backlash. Whatever progress feminism has recently made, Faludi’s words today seem prophetic. The media still love stories about stay-at-home moms and the “dangers” of women’s career ambitions; the glass ceiling is still low; women are still punished for wanting to succeed; basic reproductive rights are still hanging by a thread. The backlash clearly exists.
With passion and precision, Faludi shows in her new preface how the creators of commercial culture distort feminist concepts to sell products while selling women downstream, how the feminist ethic of economic independence is twisted into the consumer ethic of buying power, and how the feminist quest for self-determination is warped into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a classic of feminism, an alarm bell for women of every generation, reminding us of the dangers that we still face.
Featuring a new introduction that examines new attacks on women's rights, a new edition of the classic study of anti-feminism in America reveals the biases against women in film, television, fashion, science, law, and politics, explaining how women have lost ground in their quest for equal rights. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle award. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Skillfully Probing the Attack on Women's Rights
Opting-out, security moms, desperate housewives, the new baby fever the trend stories of 2006 leave no doubt that American women are still being barraged by the same backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly exposed in her 1991 bestselling book of revelations. Now, the book that reignited the feminist movement is back in a fifteenth anniversary edition, with a new preface by the
About the Author
A former Wall Street Journal reporter, Susan Faludi won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for explanatory journalism and the National Book Critics’ Circle award for Backlash. She is the author of Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, which was published in 1999, and has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, The Nation, Newsweek, and the New York Times.
Table of Contents
Introduction — Myths and flashbacks — Man shortages and barren wombs: the myths of the backlash — Backlashes then and now — The backlash in popular culture — The "trends" of antifeminism: the media and the backlash — Fatal and fetal visions: the backlash in the movies — Teen angels and unwed witches: the backlash on TV — Dressing the dolls: the fashion backlash — Beauty and the backlash — Origins of a reaction: backlash movers, shakers, and thinkers — The politics of resentment: the new right's war on women — Ms. Smith leaves Washington: the backlash in national politics — The backlash brain trust: from neocons to neofems — George Gilder: "America's number-one antifeminist" — Allan Bloom: a refugee from the feminist occupation — Michael and Margarita Levin: boys don't cook and girls don't do long division — Warren Farrell: the liberated man recants — Robert Bly: turning "yogurt eaters" into "wild men" — Sylvia Ann Hewlett: the neofeminist's lesser work — Betty Friedan: revisionism as a marketing tool — Carol Gilligan: different voices or Victorian echoes? — Backlashings: the effects on women's minds, jobs, and bodies — It's all in your mind: popular psychology joins the backlash — The wages of the backlash: the toll on working women — Reproductive rights under the backlash: the invasion of women's bodies — Epilogue — Notes.
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