Feminism, for the majority of American women, has become a bad word, and this is one of the most nagging concerns of the contemporary feminist movement, maintains Henry. Particularly perplexing is the fact that many of those who say they reject feminism actually support most of its goals, indicating that the movement's image causes large numbers of women to misperceive its purposes. Henry, a former radio interviewer and congressional candidate in New York who ran unsuccessfully on a feminist platform, here offers a how-to manual for feminist spin doctors who seek to make their platform more attractive to American women. The book is based on a study in which Henry and her colleagues attempted to tap into the ``mainstream'' female psyche through both phone surveys and in-depth interviews with a disparate collection of focus groups made up of self-professed nonfeminists. The study showed that while feminists and nonfeminists may have different notions about ideal gender roles, they tend to share common ground on certain ``women's issues,'' such as child care, equal pay and sexual harassment. Henry asserts that the most productive way to address these issues is to elect more women to office. She urges female politicos to make both their image and their message palatable to nonfeminist women, whose beliefs and interests she charts through a barrage of sometimes overwhelming and often confusing statistics. More informative and engaging are the quotes from the women interviewed for the study. Henry listens attentively, and her advice on how to reach nonfeminist women is smart and timely, while her ``womanpower'' rhetoric is inspiring. (June)
After an unsuccessful campaign for state senate in which she and other female candidates were not supported by women voters, Henry decided to find out why. A sample of women were chosen and asked their opinions on feminism and what their own needs and priorities were. Henry found hostility and dissatisfaction with the feminist movement; most ``mainstream'' women interviewed did not want to be identified as feminists. Henry concludes that the leaders of the movement need to reevaluate some of their priorities and tactics. This book provides a basis for discussing the feminist agenda by calling into question some of the movement's basic assumptions. Recommended for all women's studies, high school, and undergraduate collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/94.]-Sharon Firestone, Ross-Blakley Law Lib., Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Henry thinks American women do not understand equality. A broadcast joumalist for many years, she conceived this book after running for the state legislature on a strong women's rights platform and losing. Wanting to know why more women didn't support her, she devised a study and conducted a series of nationwide focus groups to answer her questions. She found a huge chasm between what women say they want and what they have--a gap that crosses racial, economic, and age lines. She believes the only way to close this gap is for women to develop political agendas that address their needs, vote for female candidates, and make the personal political. Based on research into culture, belief systems, and the nature of power as well as on her study, her book is a call to arms for average American women. Presenting solid suggestions for women to organize politically to get what they want, she wakes women up to the true nature of equality.