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 doubtless that American ladies are nonetheless being barraged by means of an identical backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling booklet of revelations. Now, the ebook that reignited the feminist move is again in a 15th anniversary version, with a brand new preface by way 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 development 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 profession objectives; the glass ceiling continues to be low; ladies are nonetheless punished for eager to be successful; easy reproductive rights are nonetheless placing through a thread. The backlash sincerely exists.
With ardour and precision, Faludi exhibits in her new preface how the creators of business tradition distort feminist recommendations to promote items whereas promoting ladies downstream, how the feminist ethic of monetary independence is twisted into the shopper 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 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
In the spring of 1987, the demographers flew to Chicago for the PAA conference. T h e day before the session, Moorman recalls, she got a call from Bloom. H e and Bennett were going to try to withdraw their marriage study anyway, he told her—and substitute a paper on fertility instead. But the conference chairman refused to allow the eleventhhour switch. When it was time to present the notorious marriage study before their colleagues, Bloom told the assembly that their findings were "preliminary," gave a few brief remarks and quickly yielded the floor.
Conventional press wisdom held that single women of the '80s were BACKLASH 31 desperate for marriage—a desperation that mounted with every passing unwed year. But surveys of real-life women told a different story. A massive study of women's attitudes by Battelle Memorial Institute in 1986, which examined fifteen years of national surveys of ten thousand women, found that marriage was no longer the centerpiece of women's lives and that women in their thirties were not only delaying but actu ally dodging the wedding bands.
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. "Weitzman's highly publicized findings are almost certainly in error," they wrote. " The press response? T h e Wall Street Journal acknowl edged Duncan and Hoffman's article in a brief item in the newspaper's demography column. N o one else picked it up.
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