Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women / Edition 15by Susan Faludi
Pub. Date: 08/15/2006
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… See more details below
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.
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Before deciding whether to spend your time reading this book, check out Christina Hoffman Sommers' book: Who stole feminism? She mentions this book throughout her book, which is good, by the way.
My Professor assigned this book as a textbook. I began reading it because I HAD to. I kept reading it because I WANTED to! It is a fair critique of how Feminism set off a barrage of anti-woman reactions from different and (sometimes surprising)groups. As a child of the 1980's, it was fascinating to re-examine the schizophrenic messages pop culture transmitted during the ear. As a youngster, you are oblivious to the anti-feminist backlash. Reading this book, you cannot help but look back and say, "Holy Crap"! You know a book is good when the introduction makes you audibly say "YES".
Very insightful - I originally read 20 years ago but updated version continued to give pertainment information and perceptions.
This is my favorite book ever. It is an important resource for people born in the eighties and nineties, to get a handle on what happened after the civil rights and women's movements, and how the political parties shifted to the right, etc. It really puts the current 'backlash' or resistance to feminism in a historical perspective. The words feminist and feminism first were used around 1900 (before women had the right to vote) and the meaning has never changed. A feminist is a person who believes that women should have political, social and economic equality with men. There have been other backlashes (such as in the 1920s after women got the right to vote)--and this one, too, shall pass. As Faludi makes clear in this book, society was first declared 'post-feminist' in the 1920s--not the 1980s. American history, from the founding of this country, demonstrates the continuing need for feminism and how the simpliest most obvious demands women have made (like that for 'voluntary motherhood,' universal health care, equal pay for equal work and for individual men to shoulder half the household duties) have for the most part went unanswered for almost 250 years now. . . .
I found this book interesting and well written, but maybe a bit over the top. Listening to Ms. Faludi's recent interview on bn.com, she's an intelligent and likeable person. She's also not afraid to tell you what she thinks...for a good 500 pages. This is an apparently well researched book, but not being a scholar of feminism, I can't place it in its proper historical context. She seems to be trying to get a reaction out of people, however, with a bit of shock value, and I thought a journalist wasn't supposed to do that? It's fun to draw a comparison between Ms. Faludi and Elizabeth Wurtzel, who's the author of Prozac Nation and other controversial books. The two women: are similar in age, are Harvard graduates trained in journalism, are dare I say attractive, do not censor their speech (or at least their writings), seem to enjoy getting a reaction out of people, probably have plenty of detractors (Wurtzel certainly does), are feminists (slightly more overtly in the case of Ms. Faludi), had hugely successful books at a young age. Maybe the two are friends!