By Susan Faludi
Skillfully Probing the assault on Women’s Rights
“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new child fever”—the pattern 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 booklet that reignited the feminist move is again in a 15th anniversary variation, with a brand new preface by means of the writer that brings backlash awareness 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 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 day appear prophetic. The media nonetheless love tales approximately stay-at-home mothers and the “dangers” of women’s occupation pursuits; the glass ceiling remains to be low; ladies are nonetheless punished for desirous to be triumphant; easy reproductive rights are nonetheless striking via a thread. The backlash sincerely exists.
With ardour and precision, Faludi exhibits in her new preface how the creators of industrial tradition distort feminist recommendations to promote items whereas promoting ladies downstream, how the feminist ethic of financial independence is twisted into the patron ethic of shopping for strength, 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 girls of each iteration, reminding us of the risks that we nonetheless face.
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Extra resources for Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
T h e report's main finding: Most women are distressed and despairing over the continued resistance from the men in their lives to treat them as equals. Four-fifths of them said they still had to fight for rights and respect at home, and only 20 percent felt they had achieved equal status in their men's eyes. Their quest for more indepen dence, they reported, had triggered mounting rancor from their mates. This was not, however, the aspect of the book that the press chose to highlight. T h e media were too busy attacking Hite personally.
But the judge refused. He gave me three months to move. . [M]y husband's attorney threatened me with contempt if I wasn't out on time. 40 Susan Faludi T h e real source of divorced women's woes can be found not in the fine print of divorce legislation but in the behavior of ex-husbands and judges. Between 1978 and 1985, the average amount of child support that divorced men paid fell nearly 25 percent. Divorced men are now more likely to meet their car payments than their child support obliga tions—even though, as one study in the early '80s found, for twothirds of them, the amount owed their children is less than their monthly auto loan bill.
Memory, particularly in the emotion-charged realm of divorce, is hardly a reliable source of statistics; one wishes that Weitzman had been a little less "amazed" by the subjects' instant recall and a little more dogged about referring to the actual records. To be fair, the 73 percent statistic is only one number in Weitzman's work. And a 30 percent decline in women's living standard is hardly ideal, either. " This is an impor tant question because it gets to the heart of the backlash argument: women are better off "protected" than equal.
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi