Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future [NOOK Book]

Overview

Debunking the many myths about how far women have come and the pervasive belief that American society is postfeminist, this account traces women's status and the assault on their rights from the 1950s—when Newsweek declared, "for the American girl, books and babies don't mix"—to the present, exploring the deception behind women's progress and contextualizing the current situation. The legacy of the women’s movement is being short-circuited in every aspect of life, as evidenced by statistics such as...

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Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future

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Overview

Debunking the many myths about how far women have come and the pervasive belief that American society is postfeminist, this account traces women's status and the assault on their rights from the 1950s—when Newsweek declared, "for the American girl, books and babies don't mix"—to the present, exploring the deception behind women's progress and contextualizing the current situation. The legacy of the women’s movement is being short-circuited in every aspect of life, as evidenced by statistics such as the growing wage gap between men and women that begins right after college, the U.S. ranking of 31st in world gender equity—behind Latvia and the Philippines—as well as trends ranging from rising medical insurance costs to shortening life expectancy for women. This passionate, extensively documented, humorous, and persuasive argument is simultaneously enlightening, frightening, and revitalizing and helps women understand where they are and why and how they can move beyond marginalizing strategies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
This book is Berg's extremely persuasive dismissal of the claim that the United States is a "post-feminist, post-racial" society. Using testimonies from her survey of hundreds of American women, as well as extensively documented research, this self-admitted second-wave feminist gives a rapid-fire account of the advancement of women's rights and the continuing backlash on feminist progress from the 1950s to the present. Berg's feminist critique of seemingly gender-neutral events are a revelation. The attacks of 9/11, the war in Iraq, the current economic crisis, and the continuing health-care debate are examined with a keen eye toward their impact on women. Equally insightful is Berg's analysis of the setbacks facing the third wave of feminists in the United States. Limitations on contraception and abortion, the sexual harassment of women in the military, the fight for gay and lesbian equality, and the never-ending pay gap are but a few of the "new" issues tackled by Berg. VERDICT Each chapter of this book offers an impassioned plea: feminism is not dead, but there is still a great need for feminist women and men to fight for the rights of women in America. As Berg aptly states in her conclusion, "Everyone who believes in gender equality...must join together to push for progressive policies that will enhance all of our lives." Highly recommended.—Veronica Arellano, Univ. of Houston Libs., TX
From the Publisher
"Berg . . . offers a wakeup call for young women entering the cultural and career trenches on what went wrong and how to fix it."  —Publishers Weekly

"Each chapter of this book offers an impassioned plea: feminism is not dead, but there is still a great need for feminist women and men to fight for the rights of women in America . . . Highly recommended."  —Library Journal

"In no-nonsense fashion, Berg lays out the case for a renewed feminist movement that can be at the center of progressive politics. Her passion and humor demonstrate why feminism is not a threat to us men but a gift."  —Robert Jensen, University of Texas–Austin, author, Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity

"The time has come for a new wave of feminism and Sexism in America is just what we need to help bring it on."  —Diane E. Levin, PhD, professor of education, Wheelock College; coauthor, So Sexy So Soon

"Reminding us that the 'personal is political,' this book will provide women with an unambiguous understanding of a broader pattern of gender inequality."  —Miriam Forman-Brunell, professor of history, University of Missouri–Kansas City; author, Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia

"Sweeping vision, sharp wit, and in-depth research . . . a road map to how the Far Right and conservative religious forces succeeded in pushing women's rights back from victories in the 1970s into an era in which women must begin again."  —Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief, Women's eNews

"Sexism in America is vital reading for everyone to ensure that the quality of life for women continues to transform to ultimately create complete gender equality."  —Dr. Jane Greer, author, How Could You Do This To Me? Learning To Trust After Betrayal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569763322
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 431,178
  • File size: 567 KB

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Introduction Inequality - the New Normal

1 The Awakening of American Women 1

2 Feminism Takes Flight 17

3 Gender Roles Under Fire 31

4 Do Not Bend, Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate 41

5 Reagan and the Great Reality Check 53

6 Welfare Queens, Herculean Women, and Sex-Starved Stalkers 63

7 The Mixed Bag of Bill Clinton 79

8 Bushwinked to Bushwhacked 91

9 9/11 and Women 101

10 9/11 and Men 113

11 Military Madness 119

12 Starve the Beast, Sink the Nation 129

13 Bodily Harm 137

14 Birth-Control Activists, Please Phone Home 151

15 Trouble@edu 171

16 The Campaign Against Working Women 189

17 Mothers Matter(s) 213

18 Unpopular Culture 233

19 Missing at the Multiplex 245

20 The Disappearing Girl 265

21 Toxic Males and Tarty Females 281

22 Desperately Seeking Self 303

23 More Than a Few Good Women 311

Conclusion: The Change We Need 323

Resources 335

Notes 344

Bibliography 399

Index 406

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    SEXISM AS BADGE OF HONOR IS DIFFICULT TO OVERCOME!

    Barbara Berg's characterization of sexism as a badge of honor for many males strikes a loud chord. If males need defenseless women in order to feel powerful and macho, there is something drastically wrong with the world. As she writes, weak women and macho men not only embody but encourage domination, aggression and violence---all the motivating factors in wars. Even more disconcerting is the increase in domestic violence cases in the current economy. These are the males who see women getting jobs (granted, they are lower paid jobs). These are the males who are relegated to being the nanny at home. These are the males who feel emasculated thanks to the corporate downsizing plus their takeover of American government. Berg hits loud notes in this review of what is happening in America and the sexism she describes is a warning about our future. Thank you for a revealing portrait of American culture Barbara Berg! www.juliahughesjones.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2009

    Sexism in America Tells It Like IT Is

    Barbara Berg's new book exposes the myth that we are living in a post-feminist society. Based on hundred of interviews and indepth research, Berg provides a crash course in the recent history of the women's movement, and shows how many of its gains have been eroded by decades of pervasive, often subtle, sometimes causal, but always effective discrimination against women. Written with passion and humor, intellect and fine story-telling, Sexism in America should be on everyone's fall reading list, everyone that is who cares about the direction this country is heading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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