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 go away without doubt that American girls are nonetheless being barraged via an analogous backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling booklet of revelations. Now, the ebook that reignited the feminist stream is again in a 15th anniversary variation, with a brand new preface via the writer that brings backlash recognition modern.

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 rejected statistical realities. those willfully fictitious media campaigns further as much as an antifeminist backlash. no matter what development feminism has lately made, Faludi’s phrases at the present time 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 eager to be successful; easy reproductive rights are nonetheless putting by means of a thread. The backlash truly exists.

With ardour and precision, Faludi exhibits in her new preface how the creators of business tradition distort feminist suggestions to promote items whereas promoting ladies downstream, how the feminist ethic of financial independence is twisted into the patron 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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Extra resources for Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women

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Second, women are now often forced to sell the family house. Yet Weitzman fails to make the case on either count. National data collected by the U . S . Census Bureau show that the percentage of women awarded alimony or maintenance payments (all told, a mere 14 percent) is not significantly different from what it was in the 1920s. Weitzman argues that, even so, one group o f women— long-married traditional housewives—have been hurt by the new laws, caught in the middle when the rules changed. Yet her own data show that older housewives and long-married women are the only groups of divorced women who actually are being awarded alimony in greater numbers under the new laws than the old.

The impact of the divorce revolution is a clear example of how an equal-rights orientation has failed women," Mary Ann Mason writes in The Equality Trap. " Actually, feminists had almost nothing to do with divorce-law re- 36 Susan Faludi form—as Weitzman herself points out. T h e 1 9 7 0 California no-fault law, considered the most radical for its equal-division rule, was drafted by a largely male advisory board. T h e American Bar Association, not the National Organization for Women, instigated the national "divorce revolution"—which wasn't even much of a revolution.

But six months later, they still weren't there. Again, Hoffman appealed to N S F officials. Finally, in late 1990, the library began receiving Weitz­ man's data. As of early 1 9 9 1 , the archives' researchers were still sorting through the files and they weren't yet in shape to be reviewed. In the meantime, Duncan and Hoffman tried repeating her calcula­ tions using her numbers in the book. But they still came up with a 33 percent, not a 73 percent, decline in women's standard of living. T h e two demographers published this finding in Demography.

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