By Susan Faludi
Skillfully Probing the assault on Women’s Rights
“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new child fever”—the development tales of 2006 depart doubtless that American girls are nonetheless being barraged through a similar backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling ebook of revelations. Now, the booklet that reignited the feminist stream is again in a 15th anniversary variation, with a brand new preface by way of the writer that brings backlash recognition brand new.
When it was once first released, Backlash made headlines for puncturing such favourite media myths because the “infertility epidemic” and the “man shortage,” myths that confounded statistical realities. those willfully fictitious media campaigns extra as much as an antifeminist backlash. no matter what growth feminism has lately made, Faludi’s phrases this present day appear prophetic. The media nonetheless love tales approximately stay-at-home mothers and the “dangers” of women’s occupation targets; the glass ceiling remains to be low; girls are nonetheless punished for desirous to be successful; simple reproductive rights are nonetheless striking through a thread. The backlash truly exists.
With ardour and precision, Faludi indicates in her new preface how the creators of industrial tradition distort feminist recommendations to promote items whereas promoting girls downstream, how the feminist ethic of financial independence is twisted into the shopper ethic of shopping for energy, and the way the feminist quest for self-determination is warped right into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a vintage of feminism, an alarm bell for ladies of each new release, reminding us of the risks that we nonetheless face.
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Additional resources for Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
She's such a committed person to her job," Fowles says, sighing. " T H E NO-FAULT D I S A S T E B : A T A L E OF TWO DIVOBCE BEPOBTS In the 1970s, many states passed new "no-fault" divorce laws that made the process easier: they eliminated the moralistic grounds required to obtain a divorce and divided up a marriage's assets based on needs and resources without reference to which party was held responsible for the marriage's failure. " Perhaps no one person did more to fuel the attack on divorce-law re form in the backlash decade than sociologist Lenore Weitzman, whose 1985 book, The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Eco nomic Consequences for Women and Children in America, supplied the numbers quoted by everyone assailing the new laws.
H e wrote that he and his partner, University of Michigan social scientist Greg Duncan, were a little be wildered by her now famous 7 3 percent statistic. They had been track ing the effect of divorce on income for two decades—through the landmark " 5 , 0 0 0 Families" study—and they had found the changes fol lowing divorce to be nowhere near as dramatic as she described. They found a much smaller 3 0 percent decline in women's living standards in the first year after divorce and a much smaller 1 0 to 1 5 percent im provement for men.
A college-educated woman with a doctoral degree in marital demography, Moorman was herself an example of how individual lives defy demo graphic pigeonholes: she had married at thirty-two, to a man nearly four years younger. 4 million households, instead of the 1982 survey that Bennett used, which includes only 6 0 , 0 0 0 households. T h e results: At thirty, never-married college-educated women have a 58 to 66 percent chance at marriage—three times the Harvard-Yale study's predictions. At thirty-five, the odds were 32 to 41 percent, seven times higher than the Harvard-Yale figure.