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1. Gender Basics: Feminist Perspectives
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2. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of
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3. A Room of One's Own
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4. In a Different Voice: Psychological
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5. The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided
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6. The Beauty Myth : How Images of
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7. The Feminine Mystique
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8. Gender Trouble (Tenth Anniversary
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9. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist,
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10. Grassroots : A Field Guide for
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11. Why So Slow? The Advancement of
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12. Goddess Within : A Guide to the
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13. The New Thought Police: Inside
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14. Women, Politics, and American
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15. Heroine's Journey
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16. Women Who Run with the Wolves
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17. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess:
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18. Women's Activism and Globalization:
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19. The Second Sex
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20. Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism

1. Gender Basics: Feminist Perspectives on Women and Men
by Anne Minas
list price: $81.95
our price: $81.95
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Asin: 0534528392
Catlog: Book (2000-02-07)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 239733
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Book Description

This highly accessible combination of articles with readable and teachable supporting introductions and text enables students to understand assigned readings well enough to be able to come to class ready to ask intelligent questions and engage in critical discussion. ... Read more


2. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman
by JOAN ANDERSON
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0767905938
Catlog: Book (2000-08-15)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 5771
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now available in paperback, the entrancing story of how one woman's journey of self-discovery gave her the courage to persevere in re-creating her life.

Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod.
At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take plea-sure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn't realize she had. Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered that her life as an "unfinished woman" was full of possibilities. Out of that magical, difficult, transformative year came A Year by the Sea, a record of her experiences and a treasury of wisdom for readers.
This year of self-discovery brought about extraordinary changes in the author's life. The steps that Joan took to revitalize herself and rediscover her potential have helped thousands of woman reveal and release untapped resources within themselves.
... Read more

Reviews (84)

3-0 out of 5 stars Thoughts of an Unfinished Man
A female friend suggested I read a new book by Joan Anderson if I wanted to get a notion of the female psyche going through a sort of mid-life crisis. Admittedly, there may be a general con- sensus that only males, and then only some of us, experience this life phenomenon, that women some- how don't or, worse, shouldn't. They, in fact, have their own rite of passage...menopause. So, without a lot of enthusiasm, I got my hands on a copy of this autobiographical book and began reading. A Year by the Sea is another in the long line of twentienth century self-help books which present themselves with modern answers to modern dilemmas. The problem with Anderson's book, like so many of its type, is that it presupposes a problem, in fact, creates a problem so that it has something to solve. Anderson makes no sound case in describing a married life that demanded rescuing. She alludes to one or two instances of insensitivity on her husband's part, but even these are not of a magnitude to justify in most people's minds the compelling need to abandon the nest and strike out on one's own. If anything, her marriage may have become stale, or predictable, at least as she briefly describes it. It would seem then that her motivation was questionable, even if her intentions were sincere. The conclusion in the twelve month chronicle comes quickly and is more than a bit unsatisfying. Whether the newly reborn couple will live happily ever after we will never know, at least not based on the 195th page. Anderson's solution to her marital dissatisfaction is to escape to the sea...a primal drive to return to one's roots. What she fails to acknowledge, however, is that in seeking to uncover herself, she cannot bury her past.

5-0 out of 5 stars A YEAR BY THE SEA
This book spoke to my very being! It touched my soul and heart, and made me realize the importance of getting in touch with who I really am and always have been. Joan Anderson had the courage to find her true self, and the graciousness to share that journey with her readers. She has moments of self doubt,but carries on despite the circumstances. It appears she dug deep within her soul and unlocked resources that had been trapped within for years. There is something about the sea - its ever changing forms - its constant ebb and flow, and its ability to soothe. Ms. Anderson seems to seek answers about life while by the sea. In her writing, the inhabitants of that seaside area - both human and animal - are so well characterized and developed, the reader actually comes away with a feeling of "being there". Her well described relationship with seals,for example, presents the reader with a sense of fulfillment and spiritual awakening. I shall read the book a second time(and perhaps more). I am already sharing it with friends. Joan Anderson, through this book, has made me realize how very important it is to "get away" - take time for yourself - so you can share with others the "REAL YOU". It also confirms my belief in the healing qualities the sea holds for the human race. It soothes the soul, and truly gets us in touch with ourselves and nature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Proud to be an "unfinished woman"
This is the best book I've read in a long time. I was feeling a little lost the week that I happened to find this book and it totally changed my attitude. So many pages had at least one sentence if not more, that echoed exactly how I felt. I no longer feel alone in my thoughts and I am now proud to be an "unfinished woman." Thank you to the author for sharing her experiences!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
How many of us have wished for a year of solitude with Nature in order to reflect, learn and grow. By reading this little book, we can at least share Anderson's experiences. So many of her thoughts and emotions reflect what many of us feel, especially at that age and point in life. Kids are grown and have become independent, our traditional role in life is over and we're not quite sure where we belong anymore. Excellent read!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book For All Women to Enjoy and Relish Each Chapter!
I loved this book. It is so "real". I wish I could go away for a year to "find myself". Swimming with sea lions, working in a fish market to earn $ to fix her hot water heater, I could only dream about this adventure!

After reading this book - I rushed out in search of her second book - An Unfinished Marriage. I cannot wait to read all 3 of her books! I own all of them and will begin the second book as soon as I have some free time. I wish we could have a book discussion at *Bucks on these books! ... Read more


3. A Room of One's Own
by Virginia Woolf
list price: $10.00
our price: $7.50
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Asin: 0156787334
Catlog: Book (1989-12-27)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 10127
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Surprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational--and completely entertaining--walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Witty and Intelligent Argument on Behalf of Female Writers
Virginia Woolf is a writer of intelligence and grace. A Room of One's Own is a skinny little treasure of a book with words and wisdom that will stay with the reader long after it is read. The essay contained in the book is the result of two papers that Ms. Woolf read to the Arts Society at newnham and Odtaa at Girton (England) in October of 1928. She was asked to speak about the topic of "Women and Fiction", and after doing so, she expanded her papers and later published them as this book.

Woolf begins the essay by writing, "I soon saw that [the subject of women and fiction] had one fatal drawback. I should never be able to come to a conclusion. I should never be able to fulfil what is, I understand, the first duty of a lecturer- to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on the mantelpiece for ever. All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point- a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction... At any rate, when a subject is highly controversial- and any question about sex is that- one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opionion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conslusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker."

It is in this straightforward and honest manner that Woolf writes about women and fiction. Although the speech was given and the book was published in 1929, all of its points are still important for women- and especially women writers and artists- today. In A Room of One's Own Woolf examines classic literary works of the past and wonders why most, until the 19th Century, were written by men, and why most of the works published by women in the 19th Century were fiction. She comes to the logical conclusion that women in the past had little to no time to write because of their childbearing and raising responsibilities. There is also the fact that they were not educated and were forbidden or discouraged from writing. When they did begin to write, they only had the common sitting rooms of Elizabethan homes to do so in, which did not provide much solitude or peace of mind, as it was open to any interruption and distraction that came along.

Woolf argues passionately that true independence comes with economic well-being. This is true for countries, governments, individuals, and writers, especially female writers. Without financial security it is impossible for any writer to have the luxury of writing for writing's sake. It is also a very inspiring book for any aspiring write to read. I end this review with Virginia Woolf's own hopes for women in the future:

"... I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream."

(If you liked this review, please read my other book reviews under my Amazon profile...)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful but Out of Date
When I read this book the first time I was enthralled. We really take for granted the position our mothers and grandmothers worked so hard to ensure for us. I forget how close in time we are to when women couldn't vote or attend male universities.

Virginia Woolf was provided a room of her own to be able to create the work that has become so influential in twentieth century writing. In an ideal world everyone would be allowed to artistically express themselves without having to be in the "real world." I know that since I graduated from college and have been working 40-50 hour work weeks, I am less inclined to read or write. I don't feel like I can let that be my excuse, though, just because it would be easier to write if I could spend all my time doing it. The request that women have money and a room seems very upper-middle-class and out of touch with the way life was even in Woolf's time.

In spite of those criticisms, I am so glad I read this book. It made me feel empowered as a woman and a writer. This is a must read for anyone trying to understand the history of feminism.

1-0 out of 5 stars Room better left unvisited
Although this critique might be viewed by my professors as academic suicide, I shall plunge headfirst and hope that the branches of tolerance break my fall. I do not like A Room of Ones Own. I understand the concept of stylized writing, but the content of the book does nothing to draw in the reader. Certainly, Woolf's mastery in writing should be applauded on its merit; however, I am not progressed far enough in my education to fully appreciate Woolf's subtleties. There is nothing in A Room of One's Own that remains once the book is closed, although the pages are full of wonderful ideas. The presentation of these ideas; however, are uninteresting and handled in a very preachy manner. It is my opinion that such revolutionary ideas should have been shot forth from a canon rather than whispered in a library

4-0 out of 5 stars Virginia Woolf: an advocate and speaker for women
A Room of One¡¦s Own is an essay, which is ¡§based upon two papers read to the Arts Society at Newnham and the Odtaa at Girton¡¨ in 1928.Virginia Woolf, an advocate and speaker for women, gives a really good and important lesson to females. She challenges the norm and tradition of the patriarchal society. By questioning the phenomenon of the society, Woolf clearly points out the insufficient opportunities for women and the deprivation of talented women in different ways, especially in education and work. For the essay, Woolf invents Shakespeare¡¦s sister, Judith, and tells us the life of Judith. She shows us that society overlooks the talent of women; thus, a lot of intelligent women are not recognized in the world. She urge people to open their eyes, take a serious look at women and praise them for their talents.
The other important message that Woolf brings to women is about freedom and the ways to strive for it. Adequate income and a room of one¡¦s own are the two essential factors for a woman to earn freedom. These basics can free women from getting nothing but children. Women can have more choices besides staying at home and doing housework; life will be different if one has her own space. I think Woolf¡¦s Essay is indeed a timeless lecture for every woman. As a woman, I think we should use our knowledge to strike for freedom and opportunities for ourselves and our next generations, just like Virginia Woolf challenges the norm and system of the society.

4-0 out of 5 stars Every writer must read this...and create your own room.
This is a testament to writers everywhere. Write, write, and write is what you must do to become published, but you must have your own space to do so. Virginia Woolf's testament to that resounds just by the fact that her writing has survived various generations to still be read today. ... Read more


4. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development
by Carol Gilligan
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
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Asin: 0674445449
Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 13632
Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound, but limited samples
Most of this book struck me as profound, even wise. Gilligan's thesis that men develop their independence before women and that women are more attune to their relationships (and hence develop a sense of self much later than men) makes a lot of sense to me. It rings true for many of the women and men I know. One very big critique though. Many have hailed this as a modern masterpiece, which in most respects it is. But I was struck by the tiny samples on which Gilligan builds her theories. In most cases she only sampled a couple dozen people, a paltry number by any standard for a book that professes to inform readers about the differences between men and women. Other than that though, I loved this book and I highly recommend it. I also recommend Howard Gardner's Extraordinary Minds.

4-0 out of 5 stars Both Ground-Breaking AND Interesting!!
Gilligan's "In a Different Voice" attempts to dispute the often misogynistic psychological assertions made by her male predecessors. Gilligan is primarily concerned with differentiating between male and female moral and identity development. Her thesis is ultimately to prove that male psychologists tended to sample from a group of males,while later outrageously drawing conclusions based upon the data derived from the entirely male experimental group and applying the information to males and females alike. Gilligan is essentially groundbreaking, in her sense of finding fault with the psychological research which does not include a variety of sampling and interviewing. She also asserts that not only have psychologists derived false and misleading conclusions regarding female adolescent development, but psychologists have also unfairly generalized female and male moral and identity development. Gilligan has conducted research to come to the conclusion that adolescent females develop in a fashion very dissimilar from that of males, which she shares in this eloquent and engaging book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good starting point for learning about women's psychology
Originally published in 1982, this book was in its 33rd printing when it was reissued in 1993. It describes the developmental differences between men and women and what that means. Harvard professor Carol Gilligan explains that male development has typically focused on separation, individuation, logic, and hierarchy. Female development, on the other hand, has emphasized attachment, relationship, connection, and communication. I had several "ahas!" while reading this book for the first time in 2003. While I've always discounted some of Sigmund Freud's work, it had never occurred to me that much of traditional psychological theory, including the work of Jean Piaget, Erik Erickson, and Lawrence Kohlberg, has also been based on observations of men, then applied to women. As a result of comparisons to male norms that don't fit their own experience, women have often felt discounted and inferior, rather than simply different. It made sense to me that these comparisons and significant developmental differences often result in women feeling selfish and guilty when focusing on their own needs, rather than those of others. It also fit my experience that men and women tend to respond differently to attachment and separation issues. According to Gilligan, men see danger more often in intimacy than in achievement, while women sense more danger in impersonal and competitive situations. Gilligan's observations have generated quite a bit of controversy over the years (as indicated by some of the previous reviews on this list!), but ring true for many women (including me), and have been used as a stepping stone for the work of many later authors.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ideologies and book reviews
Here's a supposition: Amazon[.com] asks "did you find this review helpful?" I suspect that "helpful" to most readers means "This review supports my bias." For example, if the review is positive, and you liked the book (or you think you will [or should] like the book), you'll be likely to say "this review is helpful." And so on.

Now to the book in question. Her evidence is weak, her thesis is vaguely put, her argument is disjointed, and you think this is a helpful review, right?

5-0 out of 5 stars For those who've read Freud, from a researcher
I was given every Freud text printed by WW Norton in college to read throughout my studies. Sitting in class I was alternately amazed by Freud's insights and thoroughly irritated by the defects of his analysis of female development. His theories seemed inconsistent, even containing contradictions, especially regarding the growth of girls into womanhood. It was extremely difficult to refute parts of his theory without denying the truth of how he spoke to boy's development, since his system of theory is all-encompassing and hermetic, and "It's rational precisely because its based on irrational subconscious thought" etc etc etc.

Suprisingly, Carol Gilligan, adds to the main body of psychological theory, counterposing slightly but mainly filling in grey areas, rather than directly opposing it. I was suprised by this because I had avoided Gilligan due to Hoff Sommers criticism, among others, which had led me to believe Gilligan's work was more ideological than scientific. Gilligan has suprising insights into the the critical age of adolesence for girls, and the postulation of a parallel understanding of morality is still as relevant now as it was when first written.
The form of morality she outlines fleshes out women's development as a fully realized system that understands the human condition full of falliabilities, rather than shrill repressive/mothering feminism I feared. As a bonus to readers wary of ranting, Gilligan is fairly focused on female development as opposed to social critique. Be aware, though, that her style does emulate Freud in that the writing is focused on specific examples to show broad conclusions, as opposed to vast statistical analysis.

Highly recommended. ... Read more


5. The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
by Christina Hoff Sommers
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0684849577
Catlog: Book (2001-06-12)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 41510
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Despite popular belief, American boys tag behind girls in reading and writing ability, and they are less likely to go to college. Our young men are greatly at risk, yet the best-known studies and experts insist that it's girls who are in need of our attention. The highly publicized "girl crisis" has led to many changes in American schools, politics, and parenting...but at what cost?

In this provocative book, Christina Hoff Sommers argues that our society has continued to overemphasize the troubles of girls while our boys suffer from the same self-esteem and academic problems. Boys need help, but not the sort of help they've been getting. ... Read more

Reviews (102)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just Sit Right Back and You'll Hear a Tale
Are young girls at risk in American schools? Are girls getting short-changed and left out in the field of academia? Do teachers favor boys and view them as more intelligent than they do the opposite sex?

Author Christina Hoff- Sommers wrote this book, "The War Against Boys" as a warning to all Americans about the plight of boys at the hands of unruly feminists. Feminist leaders are constantly trying to convince the world that girls get the short end of the stick when it comes to academic opportunities and that the educational system in the U.S. is biased in favor of men. They also feel that violence is inherent in all men and that the only solution is to get men in touch with their feminine side, to expel the threat of violence.

Sommers, and most other professionals, know that these claims and solutions are complete hogwash. As she points out in her book, it is actually boys, not girls, who fare more poorly in school. It is boys, not girls, who are in need of additional guidance. You would never know this by listening to the outcries from feminist leaders who still want you to believe that girls are not getting a fair deal in the world of education.

Sommers did a pretty good job in writing this book, but I wish she had made an extra effort to propose possible solutions to the problem. Political leaders usually avoid the issue of boys and the possibility of spending public funds to help them because they fear being attacked by feminists and labeled as being sexist. So, without the help of political leaders, who can we count on to find a remedy to the problem that boys face in America's schools? Feminists try to say that the solution is to make boys more like girls by encouraging them to play with dolls, wear girl's clothing, etc. We all know this is crazy and so does Sommers. But she doesn't offer any concrete solutions to the problem in her book.

Sommers spends a lot of time countering the absurd views of feminist Carol Gilligan, a woman with a distinct political and social agenda. Gilligan wants to eliminate the desire among boys to be competitive, and part of her reasons for this include a political belief that we should abandon capitalism as our economic system in the United States and embrace a more socialistic/Marxist system. Her reason for targeting young boys is simple: get them while their young, when they are the most impressionable and the easiest to influence.

I don't feel that this threat from feminists is as strong as the author does. But it's nice that she took the time to write this book, exposing some of the wild and wacky proposals from feminists to re-engineer young boys and make them more like girls. Sommers has a lot of courage, and she has undoubtedly added some more names to her professional enemies list by writing this book. She does a good service to everyone in exposing these outrageous feminist agendas.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lie Revealed; Reality is ... Boys need our attention!
As a social worker that works with at-risk teens (98% of them are boys), I have found Sommers reporting to be accurate and concurs with issues I find each day I come into contact with a male teen. It is egregious to think that a well-respected feminist such as Carol Gilligan has used her status to write unfounded, unsubstantiated facts about the lives of boys and girls. According to Sommers, Gilligan has failed to use empirical data in her writing; has refused to publish her findings; and, continues to write more and more about what and who boys are and need without a shred of evidence from well documented studies. The facts revealed in this book will undoubtedly anger many people who have put their trust in Gilligan. More to the point, Sommers has revealed the reality that boys do need our attention. Many teachers, from my perspective, fail to recognize the power they have in their role as teachers and the influence they have on the lives of boys, in general. Sommers is correct to state we need to begin to have REAL equality in education (which has been sorely missing) and begin to teach and treat boys and girls as people who have individual and collective goals, who express and experience life sometimes the same, but often in different ways. We need to appreciate the special natures of both boys and girls, and allow them to develop in a way that is true to themselves. Some will refute Sommers for her lack of self-studies on the issue, but she has certainly given substantial food for thought from those who have done studies that support her thesis while failing to support the purported findings of Gilligan and others. It does seem a simple solution that Sommers would suggest that boys just need moral guidance and discipline to help them navigate their lives; it's nothing new, but it does speak to the fact that we've thrown out the baby with the bath water when it comes to certain things that have worked in the lives of boys. I was disappointed, however, to note that Sommers didn't come to realize that boys need to learn interpesonal and intrapersonal nurturing skills, as well. Sommers would do well to do an expose of the reality that the lack of good father role models in the lives of boys has had a greater degree of damaging impact on their son's (and daughter's)lives. Revolving substitute boy friends as fathers in the lives of so many boys hasn't been working; men (fathers) need to work on their interpersonal and intrapersonal nurturing, communication, and problem solving skills that they might "stay" in the lives of their children where the greater "fatherly love" can affect the lives of their sons (and daughters). Thank Christian Hoff Sommers for a great book, it speaks with a thunderous roar!

1-0 out of 5 stars Sommers perpetuates inequalities in her trumped-up "war"
Sommers might feel a tad differently if by chance she was 'socially constructed' as a non-caucasian non-well-to-do little lady. She has every reason to attempt to reconstitute past inequalities, as her well-being depends upon perpetuating inequalities.

Her research has been easily disproven (and thus dismissed) by leading feminists and sociologists--those who do good work of attempting to redress inequalities, rather than attempting through numbers-jockeying to perpetuate them. Sommers is a backlash babe; she's paranoid that contemporary feminists' work might take away the priviledge she and her kind (waspy fems and the men and boys they love) enjoy daily.

Let's worry about our young men going to war--at least the young men of color as well as hired (at discounted cost) mercenaries from poor countries...while little white boys are protected and coddled and princed-up, are prepared to inherit the throne of capital.

Given current data which shows the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever, even accelerated, due to the out-of-control spending habits of the carte-blanche granted to--you guessed it (!) white men in control (who once were white boys), high capitalism is speeding into its demise. Meanwhile, earning disparities between men and women are quite unchanged. And we think worrying about lil' boys is worth our while?

Little miss conservative boy-o-phile Sommers works not for equality, but actively conspires against it so as to protect her lilly-ness, as well as high-capitalism which overfeeds her already bloated bank account, and ensure the have-nots will not only continue to have-not, but have-not while feeling guilty for taking so very much from whitey.

In my alternate universe, Sommers spends a year as a humanitarian worker in the South Bronx to actually begin to understand disparity. Her work is cruel, as it perpetuates grotesque myths of disparity. Poor white boys!

Time well spent? Read Barbara Ehrenreich, read bell hooks, read Jonathan Kozol.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is not making these things up
This book is not making these things up. Major educator textbooks are teaching teachers that they should make boys more feminine and that too much masculinity is not only a bad thing but dangerous! "Of special concern are adolescent boys who adopt a strong masculine role," Educational Psychology, Santrock (isbn 0072855878) They literally advocate androgyny as the most desireable state of being. This is just one book, and should not be singled out, it is simply representative of the problem. I refer to that book to show that the professional reviewers who say this work is just alarmist are sticking their head in the sand.

Sommers is reporting the actual state of the art in education. If you have school age children, are a teacher rebelling against the system, or are just concerned about the future, you should carry this book as a source of information to fight the ivory towers. Because they will cite a tautological litany of researchers with straw men criticism. The Sommers book can be an intellectual shield against this form of what I find to be child abuse.

5-0 out of 5 stars compelling,disturbing and frightening
Its sad how boys and young men have been shortchanged because of feminist hate.These misandrists have continued to perpetuate the misconception that boys have been favored over girls in the educational system,when in fact its the reverse.Boys are also frequently labeled "disturbed" or "unteachable" and they are often removed from class or segregated and given a modified curriculum befitting their "inferior" learning capability.I didnt want to believe this was happening,but I`ve witnessed it first hand.My colleague and I installed hidden video cameras in several local and private schools and later reviewed them.We were dismayed to say the least.It is appalling that in this day and age we cant achieve equity for all instead of "punishing" the entire male gender.This "war" against boys is not only immoral and unethical,it is in many cases illegal and its also just downright stupid. ... Read more


6. The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
by Naomi Wolf
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060512180
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 10793
Average Customer Review: 3.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The bestselling classic that redefined our view od the relationship between beauty and female identity.

In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."

... Read more

Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
Naomi Wolf has written a passionate, involved book, that analyses the 'Beauty Myth' from a perspective that is first a woman's, and second a sociologist. While parts of this book are a bit extreme and political, on the whole it provides a new framework for thought, and many fascinating angles to consider in any discussion of beauty, culture or women's media.

It is ironic that some of the criticism this book has received in these reviews ('Let her be ugly, or even average before she writes a book' , 'the way she throws her beautiful hair around') only goes to prove much of what Ms Wolf says - that her views as an author and a human being must be so inseperable from her looks, and that there is some quality of 'ugliness' that is absolute and which women should constantly strive to get out of.

Feeling attractive is certainly every woman's right, but it is a feeling, not an absolute state. Anyone who has travelled out of America, and experienced diverse cultures, will testify to this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
This book altered my whole perception of beauty as it is presented culturally and socially. I just wish I had read it when I was an impressionable teenager. Furthermore, I wish that everyone who claims that feminists have nothing left to fight for would read this book. Wolf's well written and thought provoking take on Western society's obsession with beauty clearly proves that we unfortunately have a long way to go until men and women are truly equal.

Warning! This book may cause a great deal of rage and a sense of hopelessness. Don't be discouraged by all the depressing statistics that Ms Wolf presents - make a wow to yourself and all the other women out there to refuse to silently accept to be objectified and lessened. That, and not the latest miracle cream from L'Oreal, is what we are truly worth.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sentence by sentence, the stupidest book I've ever read
Naomi Wolf was a lovely young slip of a girl when she wrote this remarkably brainless book. The only reason people paid attention to this idiotic book was because Naomi was young and hot-looking. It drove Camille Paglia insane that Naomi was being treated like she knew anything about life. Naomi has done a lot of growing up since then, and I imagine she must be pretty humiliated that people are still reading this deeply awful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new perspective
It is an eye-opener.

Why is that, really, that commercials, even aimed at women, have sexual connotations? After I read this book, I flipped through the resent Cosmo: the only ads that DO NOT have sexual connotations are the ones for tampons and pads.

What's wrong with getting old? Why is every new wrinkle becomes such a tragedy for women? Why do women STILL, ten years after this book was first published, say, in numerous surveys, that they'd rather loose 20 pouns than achieved a personal/career goal?

This book does make me angry. But it also makes me think, and look from a different perspective on the world.

Definite must-read for all women.

4-0 out of 5 stars Above average
Some statistics are exaggerated and the author makes a few logical blunders by making incorrect conclusions drawn out of tenuous premises. However this book is more than the sum of its flaws and successes. It underlines a point most of us have seen but failed to recognize; probably because we stand too close to see that which is in plain sight. The concept of beauty has been used as a powerful instrument to control women. The beauty myth is now more than ever the most important tool in the enslavement of women. Especially since women have earned suffrage rights and a whole host of other emancipatory changes have occured since the Dark Ages the beauty myth makes the woman lose target of the big picture preventing the vast majority from realising their true potential. Men use the beauty myth to ensure women are just what they want them to be pretty objects a beautiful but empty vase.

As for the reviewer named Christopher: do u actually think men are superior because they created the telephone, computer and the electric bulb? Superiority cannot be judged mereley by who invented what. You should realise this is inherently an unfair game. Women have been suppressed throughout history. They have been confined in the walls of their homes (prisons) for most of recorded history. They were not given the chance to discover electricity, or deduce the laws of gravitation. It was their job to produce babies, clean the houses and be sexual slaves to their masters (husbands). ... Read more


7. The Feminine Mystique
by Betty Friedan
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0393322572
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 15875
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The book that changed the consciousness of a country—and the world. Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely describe the earthshaking and long-lasting effects of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This is the book that defined "the problem that has no name," that launched the Second Wave of the feminist movement, and has been awakening women and men with its insights into social relations, which still remain fresh, ever since. A national bestseller, with over 1 million copies sold. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of all time
This book makes you feel like you're right there with Friedan in the 1950's and early 60's, interviewing housewives who feel a vague but desperate emptiness in their lives. This fascinating book shows exactly how post-WWII society subtly discouraged women from ever growing up. While boys received encouragement to grow and seek out their place in the world, girls were taught to get married and live through their husbands and children, never able to forge an identity for themselves and leaving a nagging hollow spot in their psyches. The focus of the book is on how society justified and perpetuated this system (which was still going full-steam-ahead at the time the book was written), often by merely playing upon people's unquestioned assumptions.

I read this book for the first time a year ago, and I was absolutely enthralled. I had never liked history before because it never seemed real, but The Feminine Mystique opened up the past for me like no book or class ever has. The examples she gives from her interviews are very disturbing, especially considering that they were taken less than fifty years ago. She interviews students at Smith College (which was and is women-only) who unabashedly say that they would rather give up their dreams of being microbiologists or physicists because the men don't like "brainy" women. Unengaged students search frantically for men, and those who still enjoy applying themselves to their studies admit it to her in hushed tones, as if confessing a dark secret. There's not a boring page in the entirety of this thought-provoking, fascinating book.

In 1963, Betty Friedan was the first to publicly stand up for the right of women to acheive. Reading her book made me appreciate how incredibly far we've come, and how much we owe it to people like Friedan who fought for our right to become full human beings. She has earned my lifelong respect and gratitude.

5-0 out of 5 stars profound, penetrating, rational and humane
It's common wisdom to think of the Feminine Mystique as a classical feminist text. This is perhaps the case, but I would like to argue that it is so much more than that. The book examines what society tells women about their lives -- education, career, family, sexuality, goals, values, and anything else. The book discusses what society tells women, who exactly promotes these views about femininity, out of what possible motives, and what toll do these views have on women, their family and their children. The basic thesis of the book is that femininity has been mystified, manipulated, and taught back to women, in their homes and schools and churches, in the novels and magazines they read, etc -- that this mystification of femininity is a monsterous distortion of a person's life, resulting in emotional problems, marital and family tension, stifled careers, and general unhappiness... That we -- society -- have been living in denial of the condition women have been manipulated into, and therefore have been ineffectual in our help. That there are good reasons why things are the way they are -- it's embarassing to discover just how economically profitable this distortion is.

The Feminine Mystique is profound and penetrating in that it questions a state of affairs so many of us take (or have taken) for granted. The book appeals to reason. You won't find any "masculine logic" vs. "feminine logic" stuff here; Just logic: The book is a systematic expose of the problem, its toll on women, and its toll on the rest of the family -- men and children. The book is humane and compassionate in dealing with human suffering: It doesn't place men and women on opposite sides of some battle of the sexes, but rather places all of us on the same side -- the side of the victims -- of some really bad ideas that have been dominant in society for a long time.

The book is frightening, because having read it, the magnitude and scope of women's suffering takes on a new meaning. The book is liberating, because having read it, you realise the mistakes you've made in your own life -- how you may have contributed to the problem, and you have a pretty good idea as to how to go about changing things -- your own life, and the way you deal with others. This is a great book.

2-0 out of 5 stars ONE SIDED
This book drags on and on until your just to the point will it ever end. One page she is talking about the housewife as having to much time on her hands and the other page she is so exausted at the end of the day because of all the work she does.It seems to mainly be directed to the rich or middle class stay at home mom if you donot fit that category then don't bother to read the book. Betty would like for us all to believe that the "american housewife" is or was every woman in america, and that simply is not so I know numerous women who only dream of staying at home for their husband and children not because they want the "good life" but because they want to be there for them. No matter how femininst put it being a wife and a mother is the first responsiblity of a woman career will always be second, if you don't believe that just look at all of the children now who stay in trouble or grow to live in trouble what is the one thing they blame it on, their childhood the way they were raised they say their moms or dads were never there for them. Mrs. Friedman puts women out that stay home with their families as the ignorant woman while the woman that chased her dream and forsake her family as the hero...hmm and we wonder what's wrong with America well read this book and you will see.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as everyday acts of rebellion
I was very disappointed. I am first the title everyone knows that only women possess true mystique, second there is no reference to rebellion. Otherwise very excellent.

3-0 out of 5 stars worth reading; worth judging
I have to appreciate Friedan the same way I have to appreciate Freud or The Beatles: because, at the time, her ideas were, some might say, revolutionary.

Although Friedan makes many acute observations, from them she tends to draw irrational conclusions. As other reviewers have stated, her work could have easily been reduced to 3 or 4 chapters.

In the first half of her book, she whines that women (as mothers) have been unfairly blamed for the various psychological woes of mankind, referencing, among others, Mr. Freud. Subsequently, however, she uses these same references to conclude that indeed mothers ARE to blame for the conditions of society--even going so far as to cite her nemesis Freud in a disturbing passage about the evils of homosexuality.

While Friedan cites many studies (of her own, and of others) featuring America's downtrodden women, these studies feature exclusively MIDDLE and UPPER-CLASS women. As she is so diligently trying to prove that college-bound/educated women are being persuaded to accept the role of housewife in liu of a richer life, she completely overlooks the many women who do not have the option of going to college (or to a Freudian-biased psychologist, or to the suburbs...).

Because of the importance of this work IN ITS TIME, I must give it 3 stars and not 2. There is--hidden amongst the whinning, ranting, and contradicting--some good material here. It is worth reading, if only because it is worth judging. ... Read more


8. Gender Trouble (Tenth Anniversary Edition)
by Judith Butler
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415924995
Catlog: Book (1999-09)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 18436
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars an outstanding theoretical text...
after reviewing what other customers thought of gender trouble, i decided that it was time someone spoke in pain english.

butler's feminist text is a brilliant critical examination of gender, a must for any reader interested in feminist or queer theory. the language is difficult, yet richly rewarding...go slow, let your mind explore the many avenues butler leads her reader down. after reading gender trouble, you may like the text, you may dislike it, but there is NO way that you won't learn a great deal and be introduced to a variety of original and provocative thoughts on feminism and gender studies.

there is a reason why butler's gender trouble is widely considered one the revolutionary texts on feminist theory...so i encourage you to endure the "difficult" writing and broaden your horizons.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sokal didn't get it all right
To the previous reviewers who criticize Butler's work as evidence of postmodernism's failure to communicate to those not of the academy, or to those poor girls who have not yet learned to read, I would submit that you are profoundly missing the point. The strength of Butler's text should not be judged on its ability to "help" people; she is an academic whose work was one of the, if not the, seminal text in the area of postmodern feminist theory. Stop using the Sokal debacle as proof of the inapplicability of Butler's work to people's "real" lives. The drag queens certainly wouldn't appreciate it. Rather, Butler is writing in and responding to, highly complicated texts that have preceded her and that demand a vocabulary which challenges its readers. Either meet the challenge or stop blaming it all on postmodern nomenclature which, though difficult, has offered an important and necessary body of literature to academia. Sokal's article (while indeed funny) made its point that postmodernism can sometimes get carried away with itself. But it also demonstrated the refusal of reactionaries to take seriously the essentialism and shortcomings of structuralist theory. When those poor girls learn how to read (and for all you know Butler could have spent twenty years as a literacy volunteer), I'll be sure to hand them a copy of Gender Trouble before sending them off on their merry way to subvert the dominant paradigm.

5-0 out of 5 stars essential reading
Although many ideas in Gender Trouble are not entirely new or anything (please do read the first 30 pages of Teresa de Lauretis 'Technologies of Gender', which contains in more accessible prose many of the arguments put forward in Gender Trouble), this book seems to have appeared at just the right time; over the last 10 years it has had a major influence on thinking about gender in a wide variety of scholarship, and for this reason alone it is worth reading. Don't be disencouraged by all the stuff on Freud and Lacan in the second chapter, just read on: it's worth the effort. Butler's reading of Kristeva, however, seems somewhat unfair, one-sided if you will; don't be fooled in thinking Kristeva is not worth reading. But in all, Gender Trouble
is a must read for anyone interested in gender/queer theory, feminism, or politics in general!

4-0 out of 5 stars difficult, but important
Though I agree with what others have written of Butler's prose, I think her approach to the ubiquitous "nature versus nurture" question of gender is an important one (politically, socially, culturally, psychologically...) At times her rhetoric is questionable & her ideas somewhat biased (to the point of bordering on... well, less than practical). However, that should not, by any means, dissuade anyone from reading her work. Despite the difficulties it might present, "Gender Trouble" is challenging, thoughtful and thought-provoking-- an enlightening experience for anyone willing to put forth some effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort
While Butler's prose can be described as convoluted (and frequently is!), it is difficult because of its precision. In the murky world of "sex", "gender", "man/woman", "male/female", "masculine/feminine", "sexuality" and "sexual orientation", Butler navigates with cat-like agility. Butler's theories represent a leap forward in gender/sexuality theory and readingunderstanding them is well worth the effort. ... Read more


9. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
by Bell Hooks
list price: $15.00
our price: $15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0896083527
Catlog: Book (1989-01-01)
Publisher: South End Press
Sales Rank: 170456
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A gift
Required reading not only for feminists - both men and women -but for writers and other artists. Valuable for all humans who have been silenced at some point in their lives. Since that includes most children, this book has much to offer all of us.

Her observations are wise. Her grasp of history is absolute. Her ideas stimulate intelligent and loving thought, conversation, and action. Read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A New Way of Knowing
i'm one of those individuals who believes that frued was a fraud. and i might be indulging in some essentialist solopsism when i assert that there was never anything he said that would or could be of any value to this black man. but to the extent that i can function well in the world without any deference to freud's notions of mental health and self-regard, i might be onto something. i can say without a doubt that hooks and west were powerfully instrumental in helping me deal with my existential demons by contextualizing my struggle to be recognized as a thinking man who is black in american society. as the old gospel song says 'the burdens of my heart rolled away'.

there are many ways that i changed myself by changing my thinking. i was able to do so without discarding my background, which our society so often demands of african americans. this is something bell hooks was able to uniquely communicate to me in 'talking back: thinking feminist, thinking black'.

once upon a time in america, black children were not supposed to look at white adults eye to eye. we knew it was wrong, but we didn't know why and so we didn't say anything. hooks comes from all those places, and understands what's wrong with that and uses her considerable intellect to set our souls and our minds in balance. minds that were once shut down while our souls cried out can now work with the tools hooks crafts and put us sensibly back - clear eyed and straight up. ... Read more


10. Grassroots : A Field Guide for Feminist Activism
by Jennifer Baumgardner, Amy Richards
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374528659
Catlog: Book (2005-01-12)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 147596
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the authors of Manifesta, an activism handbook that illustrates how to truly make the personal political.

Grassroots is an activism handbook for social justice. Aimed at everyone from students to professionals, stay-at-home moms to artists, Grassroots answers the perennial question: What can I do? Whether you are concerned about the environment, human rights violations in Tibet, campus sexual assault policies, sweatshop labor, gay marriage, or the ongoing repercussions from 9-11, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards believe that we all have something to offer in the fight against injustice. Based on the authors' own experiences, and the stories of both the large number of activists they work with as well as the countless everyday people they have encountered over the years, Grassroots encourages people to move beyond the "generic three" (check writing, calling congresspeople, and volunteering) and make a difference with clear guidelines and models for activism. The authors draw heavily on individual stories as examples, inspiring readers to recognize the tools right in front of them--be it the office copier or the family living room--in order to make change. Activism is accessible to all, and Grassroots shows how anyone, no matter how much or little time they have to offer, can create a world that more clearly reflects their values.
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Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading and trite.Grassroots feminist activism it ain't
i felt that the publisher should recall all of these books, and re-release them under the name: "Grassroots: Some suggestions to feel-good, girl-power efforts for the slightly guilty trust fund sect who have resources and backing and networks in place to support their own passionate pursuits and random proclivities, and who are not impeded by or concerned with the little people who do not." As a subtitle, they can have: Hey there, Muffy! Don't give up your SUV; Make true change and get an IUD! ('cause birth control = grassroots feminist activism! lol!)

4-0 out of 5 stars inspirational yet practical advice and ideas
Grassroots succeeds in making activism accessible to everyone.Acknowledging that the "professionalization" of activism makes many of us feel it's hard to do anything as an individual to make change, the authors show how any individual can make a difference. The book is a pleasure to read and offers many moments of real connection to those in many stages of life looking to make the world a better place. It's a much needed how to manual for feminist and progressive action in all shapes and sizes. ... Read more


11. Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women
by Virginia Valian
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262720310
Catlog: Book (1999-02-05)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Sales Rank: 151843
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Why So Slow? is a breakthrough in the discourse on gender and has great potential to move the women's movement to a new, more productive phase." -- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige? Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women. According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences--gender schemas--that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women. Those small imbalances accumulate to advantage men and disadvantage women. The most important consequence of gender schemas for professional life is that men tend to be overrated and women underrated.

Valian's goal is to make the invisible factors that retard women's progress visible, so that fair treatment of men and women will be possible. The book makes its case with experimental and observational data from laboratory and field studies of children and adults, and with statistical documentation on men and women in the professions. The many anecdotal examples throughout provide a lively counterpoint. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and Informed Analysis
Virginia Valian is an outstanding researcher in the area of women's status in prestigious professions. Her analyses are concise and accurate. She has the gift of asking important questions and not biasing her answers with any specific opinions of her own. Her documentation is thorough and includes current thought when it is relevant. If you are interested in issues of women in academia and the work place, you need to read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Have we come a long way, baby?
I discovered this book browsing through the bibliography of Woman, An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier. Some of the statistics Angier used truly frightened me, and this excellent book turned out to be the source. This book paints a fascinatingly disturbing picture of the status of women in modern society, and Valian relies on statistics, data and research to back up her theory that we haven't progressed quite as far as we might think. Because Why So Slow? focuses on research rather than anecdotal evidence or experiences, it does come across as 'somewhat dry,' as one reviewer noted, but I still couldn't put it down as I completely engrossed in and upset by what I was reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone at all interested in the position of women in current society. It certainly opened my eyes and has helped me notice things that otherwise wouldn't have caught my attention - examples of gender bias are so pervasive, and Valian does not sugar coat the story. Again, Why So Slow is invaluable for people - men and women alike - who are concerned about women's place in the modern world - I cannot recommend it highly enough. Be prepared to be annoyed and disturbed but don't miss it!

5-0 out of 5 stars the data you need
Spells out clearly and carefully how it is that, despite the good intentions of many, women are still paid less and are in fewer positions of power within the academy. Especially helpful in explaining how subtly gender bias can exert its effect. Should be on the Must Read list for any dean or provost who is serious about addressing gender equity in hiring, promotion, retention, or pay.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valian's social science research-review rocks!
Virginia Valian offers scholars and general readers a book of extraordinary excellence. Why So Slow? brings together decades of social science research on the role of gender in society.

In the schools, in the home, in the work place, men and women have taken on different roles and therefore have lived different experiences. Gender is socially constructed. But it affects who gets listened to, who gets promoted, and even whose goals get cheered in those coed soccer games! Understanding the construction isn't easy. Valian's book lights the path.

Valian's claim is that small differences can become, over time, significant differences. If disadvantage accumulates, the little molehills become mountains. If women (or any group) suffers a slight disadvantage in evaluation, hiring, promotion, consideration, or attention, over time the disadvantage can be great--and Valian gathers the numbers and data to support her view. Her title question, Why So Slow?, asks why women still represent only 8% of all the managing directors on Wall Street, still lag behid in publication, pay, and promotion. It is surprising to discover that the causes are broadly societal and not just "men as the enemy."

The book is beautifully structured, carefully written, complete (even a first rate index she must have created herself!), richly annotated, and a pleasure to read. Valian's tone is that of the scientist and scholar who has looked long and carefully at the world and has a few interesting thoughts to share. The final chapter should be required reading for anyone with a job, a child, or a future

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive, essential and inspiring.
Hallelujah! Valian has not only done her homework; she's done ALL of our homework. Anybody who doubts the power of subtle discrimination to shape, and warp, women's professional lives should read this book. But all is not glum: Valian goes beyond merely cataloguing problems to offer thoughtful and creative solutions as well. ... Read more


12. Goddess Within : A Guide to the Eternal Myths that Shape Women's Lives
by ROGER J. WOOLGER, JENNIFER BARKER WOOLGER
list price: $23.00
our price: $23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449902870
Catlog: Book (1989-10-07)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 243855
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Gestalt and Jungian psychologists Jennifer and Roger Woolger have written a fascinating guide to the goddess qualities that live within us all. Learn how to navigate the turning points in your life by understanding which goddess type is coming to the fore. Wonderfully affirming, profound in its implications, THE GODDESS WITHIN helps restore the feminine to its rightful place in the modern consciousness and offers every woman the unique opportunity to learn more about her own power to transform herself.
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach
This was a new spin on looking inside for me. It uses the Greek goddess architypes to look at our preferences/tendencies - recognizing that we're probably a mix of the different goddess atributes. There's a chapter each on the following godesses: Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hera, Persephone, Demeter - lots of legends, stories, some poetry. Then there is a quiz you can take to see what mix of godesses you are then it goes into discussing the various mixes that you fall into. Its interesting - not a quick read by any means - but quite interesting. Hadn't seen another book quite like it. Did come across the quiz on the internet before reading the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book really gave me new insights
A wonderfully well-written, amazingly informative book on women's psyches. I recommend it to everyone - man and woman. You will be glad you read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrically written, perceptive & worthwhile read
I think this book contains a wonderful mix of legends and folklore, along with articles, poetry and of course, a Jungian analysis that is multi-dimensional. If you're interested in mythology and analyzing the characteristics or relationships of the Roman/Greek goddesses, this is the book to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to the Aspects of The Goddess
This book was recommended by my niece, a psychologist, about eight years ago. I devoured it and re-read many sections. It was a learning experience and a growing experience for me. It assisted in opening my heart and my mind to the strengths present in myself. I have begun the wonderful journey of paganism within the last year. Because of this book, I was familiar with many secular concepts of the mythology of the Goddess and quite accepting of the Divine within my heart. It cleared up many misconception that have been erroneously perpetuated throughout history regarding the journey of the pagan. Yet it also is relevent to ALL women of all faiths. It brings our strengths to the surface and makes us proud of who and what we are.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to goddess archetypes
This book is a fine guide to studying the goddesses from a psychological angle. The authors include a test that the reader can take in order to have some idea of which goddesses have the most influence and which ones are more in the background. I found it to be most intriguing and informative. It made me think about why I value certain things, like intellectual pursuits, and scorn other things, like wearing makeup. ... Read more


13. The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds
by TAMMY BRUCE
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761534040
Catlog: Book (2001-10)
Publisher: Prima Lifestyles
Sales Rank: 254908
Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (158)

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Life Populism and Honesty
You've got to read this book. I live in Chicago and first heard about Tammy Bruce during the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles. I'm not a feminist but I really appreciated her zeal about making sure domestic violence wasn't overshadowed by Simpson's "dream team" talk of racism. With this book I have found out why I liked her in the first place--she cuts through all the nonsense about social issues put out by the left, like multiculturalism and hate crimes. And, as a Dr. Laura fan, I was thrilled to see a chapter devoted to the true story behind the gay groups attacks on her. I've been waiting for someone to stand up for Dr. Laura. Bruce does a great job exposing the gay groups real agenda.
In general, that's what makes this book so good--Bruce comes from the inside and has some pretty surprising stories about what the Left "establishment" as she terms it, is really like. But be prepared--this book is not just a political attack--I reads more like a manifesto about true progressive politics and radical individualism, their importance and how we can improve our lives by trusting ourselves and our intentions as Americans. At the same time, it was fun, had great humor, real life stories and all the while educated me politically. What a dream.
I also particularly liked her chapter about what it was really like in NOW, and their double-standards. Probably the most surprising thing she reveals is that NOW took money from the Clinton administration during the Jones and Lewinsky scandals (which finally made clear to me why they were so hypocritical about sexual harassment when it came to Bubba).
You might not agree with everything she writes, but after reading this book I'm looking at everything just a little bit differently, even with more personal confidence and optimism.
This is a great read, I learned stuff, enjoyed it and rediscovered someone who is sorely needed in the political world. This book should put Tammy Bruce back on the political map. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute "MUST READ" book!!
Wow. Rarely have I read a book that so thoroughly destroys a facade like this book does. What adds to its potency is the undeniable fact that the author self professes in the beginning of the book to be a gay, liberal, pro-choice, former President of NOW. This she claims gives her "insider" status on what she writes about. While I may disagree with some of her views, I respect and admire the honesty with which she systematically exposes the hypocritical and destructive tactics of the "activists" on the Left. Tammy Bruce is an excellent author, and an expert on the subject.

The chapter describing the attacks on Dr. Laura by GLAAD are detailed and exposed for what they were, as she contends they were cowardly and shameful acts of hypocrisy. Despite her insider status, she was treated as an outcast within her own organization for even questioning such tactics. In looking at such supposedly benign issues such as hate-crimes legislation and those on the Left who support it, she demonstrates the logical absurdity of this legislation. By simply looking at the legislation we realize that it by definition implies that blacks, Jews, and gays must be much more neurotic and weak than others because we are led to believe that crime affects them much more than it does everyone else. Do the parents of a murdered straight child grieve less that those of a gay child? Is the pain or damage any less? (See page 40 for this discussion). She outlines the damage caused by "groupthink" and how much like cults some of these Left organizations have become. The irony of trying to silence people who disagree with the liberal left worldview for being intolerant isn't lost on her as it is with most everyone else on the Left.

The disturbing trend of mind control being practiced on our college campuses these days prompts her to say that when a woman giving a speech about individual empowerment has to flee for her safety there is something twisted going on. She also indicates in the chapter that the power the Thought Police wield at universities and schools is indeed disturbing. However, the good thing is that at least it gives us a clear view of what exactly the Left wants. In an environment under their ideological control, the Thought Police have free reign to silence opinions, squelch debate, and punish dissent (see page 222 for the exact quotes).

The exposure of minority leaders such as Jesse Jackson and others that actually deliberately attempt to perpetuate victimhood and create racial tension for their own benefit, where none actually exists, prompts her to describe them as "Misery Merchants". In devoting a chapter to these sad phenomena she implies that what started as a struggle for equal rights and a color-blind society has turned into a major profit industry - the victim industry. The details and evidence for this is truly disturbing in how disingenuous it all really is.

This is a powerful book. The arguments are so airtight, and due to her status as an "insider" to this movement, the result is a chilling look at just how far this group will go to create a "Stalin-like" state where any viewpoints except their own are severely punished. I experience this Thought Police approach in Corporate America and in the local media. This book will likely stir emotions on both sides of the fence. It states in the most compelling and undeniable way yet the dangers of the Thought Police and the agenda of the liberal left. Agree or disagree with her personal views, the evidence is beyond dispute.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the sad state of America
Tammy Bruce's book is a wonderful comentary on the damage being done by politically correct thought. Bruce, who is a liberal, exposes what she sees as inherent contradictions in the liberal ideology, as well as takes vehement opposition with the tactics employed by liberal politically correct scholars. Bruce argues that the liberal agenda is rooted in censorship of alternative points of view, with the systematic destruction of anyone who opposes the liberal voice.

If the book had been written by a conservative, it would easily be billed as propaganda. The fact that it was written by a liberal (former President of the LA chapter of NOW), gives the book formidable credentials and a unique voice. Bravo to Tammy Bruce for this insightful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent discussion of issues from a new perspective
I highly recommend this book. Just read the first line and see if you can put it down. This is a woman who was the head of Los Angeles' NOW chapter. Just her discussion of the total takeover of the NOW agenda is worth the price.

If you are interested in current issues, please try this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars One Brave Woman
Tammy Bruce, an openly gay, liberal feminist, and former president of NOW LA Chapter, has written one of the bravest books I've read in a long, long time. In The New Thought Police, Tammy Bruce reveals the hidden agenda of the extreme left, which she says isn't equality and understanding, but rather control of the very THOUGHTS of everyone in our nation.

Topics covered are: the ridiculousness of hate-crimes legislation, the unfair treatment of Dr. Laura (known for disagreeing with homosexuality, but also for demanding they be treated with dignity and respect), the exploitation by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson of African-Americans and how they are destroying the progress made by the civil rights movement, the selling-out of NOW and the feminist establishment by refusing to come out against OJ Simpson as a wife batterer, how multicultural apologists have actually made things worse for immigrants, the danger to the career of Hollywood stars if they should 'come-out' as having right-wing or pro-life tendancies, and perhaps worst of all, the mind-control of the academic establishment on America's college campuses.

Bruce sounds a wake-up call for all women, gays, minorities, and true liberals that trying to police what people think and say not only doesn't make the world a better place, but pushes dissenting opinions underground where they tend to fester and breed resentment, giving fuel to the truly dangerous types, like the KKK. Rather than trying to silence all opinions that we disagree with, Bruce suggests, we need to work to balanced viewpoints in media, and true dialogue. When the vitriole is turned off, she says, we actually find the the left and the right agree more than disagree, and can at least work together on issues that are common to all people (as she demonstrated happened when conservatives wrote donation checks to NOW in support of a project to help the plight of battered women). On the other hand, Bruce shows, if we don't stop the thought police, we will soon be living in the society of George Orwell's 1984, and we will no longer even be able to pretend that we live in a society where we can have the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. ... Read more


14. Women, Politics, and American Society (4th Edition)
by Nancy E. McGlen, Karen O'Connor, Laura Van Assendelft, Wendy Gunther-Canada
list price: $54.00
our price: $54.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321202317
Catlog: Book (2004-05-17)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 429197
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A must-read for anyone wishing to understand the history and present-day political reality of women, this fascinating book explores the efforts, achievements, as well as the setbacks involved in the movements toward equality for American women.Women's Movements in America; The Struggle for Political Rights; Women's Political Participation; The Struggle for Employment and Educational Rights; Women's Economic and Educational Status; The Struggle for Familial and Reproductive Rights; Women's Place in the Family; The Future of the Movement. Anyone interested in women and politics. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Updated Survey of the Women's Movement
This just-updated history of the women's movement is an excellent introduction to the field.The book surveys the 150-year history of the movement and provides lots of good-looking graphs and tables of the current situation.

I use this book in my 2000-level course on race, gender and politics and find it very readable for my mostly 1st- and 2nd-year students.The students like the book as well.

If you want a well-organized, readable, and current survey of the movement and the current status of women in America, I wholly recommend this book. ... Read more


15. Heroine's Journey
by MAUREEN MURDOCK
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0877734852
Catlog: Book (1990-06-23)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 86250
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A 9 stage process that entails at first rejecting feminine values, making it in the man's world, experiencing spiritual death, and finally turning inward to reclaim the power and spirit of the feminine. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars At last a model of the journey that makes sense
I have just finished The Heroine's Journey. I have read Jung,Joseph Campbell, Carol Pearson, Vogler etc. All of them are fascinating but a little off, just a tiny bit away from my core experience as a woman. Murdock captures the truth of my 50 years on this planet better than anyone. Her book is a must read for anyone who is trying to make sense of the feminine experience. Thank you, Maureen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for All Women
The Heroine's Journey is an absolutely essential book that should be required reading for every woman! Maureen Murdock has blessed us with a way to look at our lives that helps us begin to make sense of them. In a time when so many of the boundaries of our souls have been blurred by the myriad contradictory images of what it is to be a woman, she gives us a map that illuminates many of the darker aspects of our collective and personal journeys. We always hear about the Hero's Journey, especially after the success of the PBS special done on Joseph Campbell, and the author has done the heroic work of reconsidering this classical mythological tale through a feminine lens. It will help you understand that baffling relationship with your mother and that distant relationship with your father and in the end will fill you with a renewed sense of compassion for your parents, and most importantly for yourself. ~ Juana Olga Barrios

5-0 out of 5 stars an enlightening guide
Back in the 80's one of my favorite books on the inner journey was Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. The problem with it, though, was that it was written from a male perspective. With The Heroine's Journey I am now at the end of my search for a book on the hero archetype from a feminine perspective. Although this book is not exactly Jungian in its approach, the author clearly seems to have been influenced by Jung's legacy of searching for mythic themes in our individual psyches. Thus, she writes of the archetype of the Journey, and all its symbolism, as it applies to the feminine psyche. But she goes beyond that and explores some of the modern social issues that have been quite troubling for many women. For instance, in the chapter "The Illusory Boon of Success," she touches upon how many of us, in striving to fulfill our dream of making an impact on the world, often end up buying into aspects of the male-dominated business culture that don't really benefit us as women. She then describes the process of building into our work and personal lives values that do benefit us, as well as others. Her chapter on "Initiation and Descent to the Goddess" is very helpful in showing how we can use loss and grief to become more strong and whole. There are so many issues and themes explored in this book that it really demands at least a couple of readings. This book has given me so much to think about, and has helped me clarify my thoughts on many different issues pertaining to myself as a woman and as a spiritual being--I am very grateful to Maureen Murdock for writing it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do you want to trip?
While reading this book, I was happy to have many experiences which were synchronisticly tied with what I was reading. I.e. reading on Grandmother spider and having 2 such wonderful creatures greet me in the strangest of places. (One lived in a limo, (whom I spied as I was driven home) which I would not allow the driver to kill. Coming to terms with the anger I felt with my mother by finally piecing together some of my grandmother's behavior and her treatment of my own mother and what made her "react" to me in the way she did when I was a child. I think that there is a bit of magic here for all women bounded and gagged to their mothers who are struggling to finally grow up from under the apron and the cross. While it was similar to "Meeting the Madwoman" by Linda Leonard Schierse for it did stressed a process by which to come to peace within yourself, it did not have a lot of the psychologial jargon that Linda Schierse's books generally have. So that I would consider this book easier reading for those women who want the facts without too much sauce. ... Read more


16. Women Who Run with the Wolves
by CLARISSA PINKOLA PHD ESTES
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
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Asin: 0345377443
Catlog: Book (2003-02-04)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 30128
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES isn't just another book. It is a gift of profound insight, wisdom, and love. An oracle from one who knows."
Alice Walker
Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women's vitality can be restored through what she calls "psychic archeological digs" into the ruins of the female unconsious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.
Dr. Estes has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.
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Reviews (61)

4-0 out of 5 stars "If a story is a seed, then we are its soil."--CPE
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a gifted storyteller--one who does not just love stories, but also recognizes their ability to stir the soul. She sees each story she shares as a cure for a spiritual deprivation, and so retells each one in her rich, soulful style, adding Latino ethnic twists to increase the illumination. Then, sounding like a village wise woman, she explains the effects of each type of deprivation in the souls and bodies of women. For instance, she interprets "The Little Match Girl" as a story about the necessity of putting one's creativity (represented by the matches) to good use: the failure to do so makes one freeze to death.

Certainly, women need the sort of healing that stories can give them--but so does everyone in the world, male or female. Men just didn't happen to be part of Estes' "target audience" when she wrote "Women Who Run with the Wolves", I suppose. Yet it is precisely this book that encouraged me to read "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "The Selfish Giant" to my little brothers.

The wondrous thing about this book is that it is only one person's opinion about the power of certain myths. Anyone is free to agree or disagree with Estes . . . to take or reject her advice . . . to give her chosen stories different meanings . . . to apply her meanings to different stories. For example, Estes used "The Ugly Duckling" to lament how a rigid, uncompromising society can oppress mothers into abandoning "unconventional" children. To that I add that if the ducklings had had a father duck around, then the ugly duckling would have had proper protection from the pond bullies and a lot more backbone.

It is also delightful to recognize the archetypes playing hide-and-seek in the fairytales and myths of many cultures. Russia's "Vasalisa" is uncannily like "Snow White", except that the cottage in the woods houses a witch (Baba Yaga), rather than seven dwarves. Also, the colors white, red and ebony/black are not found in the features of the story's heroine, but are sewn into the dress of her doll. Then there are the striking similarities between "Bluebeard" and the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche. (Of course, the difference is that one ends happily and the other does not.)

Finally, I love the way almost every sentence here rings with the kind of beauty and passion I have come to expect only in poetry, never in prose. For this reason, I can sit with this book and just dip into the paragraphs to be refreshed.

The most potentially disturbing element in "Women Who Run with the Wolves" is Estes' firm faith in the Life/Death/Life cycle--something very pagan. If readers miss the point early in the book, all the references to long-gone goddess-based religions of the ancient world will certainly drive home the fact. Personally, I thought it less bothersome than all the psychological concepts she used--half of which I don't buy at all. I've found that it helps to remind oneself all throughout the story that even though Estes writes of something true and deep, it doesn't follow that all women must identify with wolves (I happen to relate to mice), or feel like wild women, in order to be healthy in spirit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting, touching, inspirational women's myths and stories

Clarissa Pinkola Estes opened my mind...
I thought the book was going to be either too scholarly
or too depressing. My preset ideas were completely shattered
once I read the first chapter.

Ms. Estes opened up a fanciful world of fairy-tale
and folk-tale creature/archetypes and explained them
in a way that gave them life, fleshed out the "skeleton woman"
and inspired me to make my leap into the creative with her
technique of creating a "scapecoat" to introduce a healing ritual
into any woman's life.

My creative life was enriched. My dream life was enriched.
"Wolves" inspired me to keep searching deep within my unconscious
for those archetypes that would nurture me into FULL conscious
living.

"Wolves" will no doubt bring answers from the depths of many, both
male and female, who delve into the mysterious world of the
fairy/folk/archetypal myth. Readers who open to her images
will come out with a richer feel for life and living in the now.

1-0 out of 5 stars Women, Run Away!
I read this book hoping for a little insight and perspective from an educated women and found myself abysmally disappointed. This book failed to capture not only my interest but the interest of every person I lent it to. Pinhola makes exceedingly long reaches to arrive at primitive conclusions (no pun intended), and fails to integrate the slightest hint of logic into her tales that supposedly incorporate a new feminist theory. If this is an "I am woman, hear me roar" chant, it is sure to back fire, serving only to show those of us who already know we're worth something that there are some women who keep our gender from advancing and being taken seriously! I strongly recommend that any reader who needs some encouragement and empowerment to find another book with factual, interesting psychology that may be legitimately and appropriately applied to her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comforting to those questioning themselves and their motives
I read this book several years ago during a two year period of going through a divorce. This book empowered me to get in touch with my inner female voice, listen to my instincts and trust them again (because they were always sending me warning signals I was told to ignore by my overbearing, controlling spouse at the time). This is a wonderful collection of tales from many cultures that remind us women that we are born with an instinctual knowledge of things to come. We, unfortunately, allow others (i.e. the men in our lives) to tell us we are too sensitive, overreacting, imagining things, jealous, distrusting, etc., only to discover that those instincts were right on the mark the entire time! This should be on every woman's bookshelf!

4-0 out of 5 stars Necessary Background Work
If you are researching Latino/a storytelling, this is the book for you. It is a wonderful outline of women figures in storytelling in general, and the outlook the author lends to Latino/a issues is invaluable.

Estes describes some of the spirituality that goes hand in hand with mythology. This is a strongly feminist text. Much of the work has a Goddess sort of touch to it - it explores the maiden, mother, and crone. ... Read more


17. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image
by Leonard Shlain
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140196013
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 25413
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Is it sheer coincidence that the European witch hunts quickly followed the invention of the printing press? In his groundbreaking work The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain proposes that the invention of writing, particularly alphabetic writing, rewired the human brain, causing profound cultural changes in history, religion, and gender relations. While the advent of literacy brought innumerable benefits to society, the switch to left-brain thinking upset the balance between men and women. The rise of male dominance led to a corresponding decline in goddess veneration and the status of women. Ending on a positive note, Shlain notes that the return of an image-oriented culture - through the media of photography, film, television, and the Internet - has brought about a sharp rise in the feminine values denigrated during the 5,000-year reign of patriarchy and literacy. ... Read more

Reviews (132)

3-0 out of 5 stars Alphabet 1, Goddess 0
This book is impossible to take seriously as science but is a marvelously entertaining read. The thesis of the book is that the act of reading text that represents words phonetically alters the structure of the brain adversely.

Leonard Schlain, a vascular surgeon striving to be the Camille Paglia of cultural anthropology, has built a very detailed polemic from a series of post hoc fallacies. That is, he asks us to believe over and over again that an event happening after an earlier event was *caused by* the earlier event. In this case, he associates the rise of alphabetic literacy with not only with the rise of patriarchal monotheism but with violence and a decline in culture. Now, as much as I might like to believe Woman Good, Man Bad, this book just doesn't offer the empirical support to this position that it would like to.

Aside from the post hoc fallacies, the author makes false generalizations that I could discern in areas of history in which I am competent. For example, the statements that "Prior to the nineteenth century, there had never been a purely religious war fought on Russian soil" and that "[t]hose that involved religioun were more about territoral conquest than ideology" could only be made by one who has not looked deeply enough at what happened to the Old Believers.

Finally, it irked me that Shlain bases his views on assumptions about the right and left brain functions that even he acknowledges may not be true for left-handed people, or women, and even less so (I extrapolate) for left-handed women. As a left-handed woman, therefore, who loves alphabetic literacy, does that make me a gender traitor? An anomaly that does not fit into his elegant theory? In any event, what his theory cannot accomodate, it simply ignores. Ten percent of the population, however, is a pretty big chunk to ignore.

Shlain writes entertainingly and obviously has done research in many areas. In the final analysis, however, he has written a highbrow beach book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience (Redux) in reply to Dr. Cohen
I am the "galling...anonymous fellow ophthalmologist" who has provoked Dr. Cohen's review. I believe his comments warrant replies:
1)"Rods and cones. How the facts are wrong is not stated (take my word for it is the tone) and how these facts detract from the thesis is not stated."
The human retina consists of an outer cell layer of rods and cones that communicate with the ganglion cells by way of the inner cell layer of interconnected horizontal, bipolar and amacrine neural cells. The ganglion cell layer forms the optic nerves of each eye, which, after intermixing at the optic chiasm, communicate with the occipital cortex of both right and left cerebral hemispheres. Dr. Shlain's contention that rod and cone information can be divided into right and left brain information is factually inaccurate . These cells communicate with each other through (at the very least) the amacrine cells in the retina itself. That is, discreet rod and cone signals are not sent out to the brain, but rather the information is already integrated before it leaves the eyes. And this information is further mixed at the chiasm.
2)" Allowing for poetic license and metaphor I do not find any gross errors in this regard to his thesis."
After reading Chapter 3 again and discussing it with several colleagues, I can find no other ophthalmologist that agrees with Dr. Cohen that there are no "errors in this ...thesis."
3)" Because the facts in chapter three regarding these retinal receptors (referring to all of three pages) are all wrong the whole book is suspect."
In science, once a hypothesis is stated, experiments are designed to disprove it. Any one experiment that disproves the hypothesis renders it invalid. Alternately, in nonscientific debates (such as a legal arguments), multiple positive examples of support are sought to bolster the hypothesis. It is the quest for the negative that is the hallmark of true scientific study.
4)" This book was stimulated by a puzzle that occurred to an inquiring mind; "Where have all the G-ddesses gone?" Asking the experts didn't bring any satisfactory answers."
This book represents itself as nonfiction and is located in the Women's Study section of many booksellers. The question it brings up is important and has stimulated many scholars such as Reanne Eisler ("The Chalice and the Blade'') to look for historical and scientific evidence on why the Ishtars and the Ises and the Artemisis of early history have been supplanted by male dominated theology. An understanding of this change in society may help us understand the origins of wife beating, satee, female infanticide and female genital mutilation. For those of us interested in this subject, we resent the inclusion of fiction in this category. Dr. Shlain is a talented writer, but one whose works belong in the fiction section.
Finally, I should address why all this matters to me. I am not a prolific reader, nor have I written other reviews. But being the father of an adult daughter who sees the misogyny of present day society, and believing that a physician's teachings must be of the highest standards, I find Dr. Shlain's anti intellectual book offensive. Whether my opinion is of any interest or even belongs on such a public forum as the Amazon Review pages is not for me, but for others to decide.
Stephen Prepas MD

5-0 out of 5 stars Regarding Expert Opinions
I don't normally write critiques of previous reviews; after all opinions are personal. But there have been a number of recent postings for this book that are disconcerting. The tone is "I am an expert in this field and Dr. Shlain has distorted the facts, therefore the book is worthless."

One that is really galling was written by an anonymous fellow ophthalmologist who is an expert on rods and cones. Because the facts in chapter three regarding these retinal receptors (referring to all of three pages) are all wrong the whole book is suspect. How the facts are wrong is not stated (take my word for it is the tone) and how these facts detract from the thesis is not stated. Allowing for poetic license and metaphor I do not find any gross errors in this regard to his thesis.

One must understand that although Dr. Shlain is broadly read and many of his sources are well documented this is not a TEXTBOOK and doesn't pretend to be. Dr. Shlain doesn't claim to be a linguist or an anthropologist; he is quite open in presenting his background as a vascular surgeon.

This book was stimulated by a puzzle that occurred to an inquiring mind; "Where have all the G-ddesses gone?" Asking the experts didn't bring any satisfactory answers. And so the idea for a thesis, which became this book was born.

Its purpose was to stimulate ideas and promote controversy. And by the majority of reviews it has done this well. It is by no means a dry textbook. And it may just stimulate someone to write another book challenging his thesis - which I'm sure Dr. Shain would love. He only asks that his book be read with an open mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seeking Balance
This book was written by someone who questions: asking and ansering a question for himself, and sharing that answer with others. Schlain's basic question was: what causes cultures and religious movements to go so out of balance that half their population becomes oppressed, degraded, and subjugated by the other. He notes that opposing lobes of the brain are stimlated by either images or alphabet, resulting in oppositional value systems whcih fuel actions. When the stimulation is sudden, it can cause an overreaction, upsetting the balance it might otherwise provide. In that case, one value is held in greater esteem, the opposing value becomes repressed, burdened with negative projections, resulting in the demise of balance.

As a right brained, introverted intuitive woman, my explorations into left brain areas have been a journey towards fullness. Along the way, I've always found lots of time for and interest in the things that foster my right brain preference. I continue to seek the inner balance that Dr. Shlain predicts for worldwide equilibrium. I understand from reading this book, the positive as well as negative contribution each individual as well as societies, and religious movemements make, and the tragedy that may await if not enough choose the path of balance.

This book is a great read. It will be understood best by those who like to question, to intuit, to see patterns; to look at the big picture. It reads like a novel. You won't want to put it down.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience
Very disappointing. Expecting a book like Pinker's, discussing the relationship of language to thought, I found nothing of the sort. As an ophthalmologist, I found the discussion of rods and cones in Chapter 3 to be completely inaccurate. The author is a physician, but apparently ophthalmology was not in his curriculum. Once I found such blatant errors in a subject I do know, I lost faith in the accuracy of any claims. ... Read more


18. Women's Activism and Globalization: Linking Local Struggles and Transnational Politics
list price: $26.95
our price: $26.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415931452
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 273553
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Book Description

Women's Activism and Globalization is a broad and comprehensive collection that shows how women activists across the globe are responding to the forces of the "new world order" in their communities. The first person accounts and regional case studies provide a truly global view of women working in their communities for change. The essays examine women in urban, rural, and suburban locations around the world to provide a rich understanding of the common themes as well as significant divergences among women activists in different parts of the world. ... Read more


19. The Second Sex
by SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
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Asin: 0679724516
Catlog: Book (1989-12-17)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 7601
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The classic manifesto of the liberated woman, this book explores every facet of a woman's life. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish more women had this intelligence and sensitivity
This book is a real masterpiece by a great writer who manages to create a lucid,
systematic, clear portrait of women's history and situation. It touches both the practical
side of women's condition and the more subtle sociological and psychological issues that
explain the whys and hows of their condition. It is not an "agry" book againts males, but a
very balanced analysis that puts the blame for discrimination both on the arrogance and hypocrisy
of the dominating male gender and on the passive acceptance that women often offer in exchange
for indulgence and "adoration". I wish I could say that this book is now old and outdated, but having lived
both isn the US and Italy, I must say that its content is very much actual and relevant today in
both countries. Don't think this book is hard to read. It will be hard only if you are one of those
persons wwo have lost the ability and habit of thinking (too much TV maybe?) This book WILL make
you think. Remember that this is no boring essay but some arid sociologist but the work
of a great artist and as such will touch on philosophy, and on a deep view of human character,
desires and aspirations. Another very strong point of this book is the beautiful writing style
of Simone, so if you have even a basic grasp of French try by all means to read in its original language.

2-0 out of 5 stars Seriously outdated.
This book is a very important book, historically. If you're looking to study the history of feminism, it's essential. Further, for someone who simply wishes to get a feel for just how far we've come in the last fifty years, it can be very informative to read this book, and see just what constituted "radical" feminist thought around 1950.

But if what you're interested in is cutting-edge, interesting, thought-provoking feminist theory, I'm afraid that this book no longer has what it takes. It was all of these things when it was written, and most of them as recently as the 1970s, but for a modern reader, most of de Beauvoir's concepts and arguments fall into one of three categories:

The first is the "Well, DUH!" category, in which she makes a large production out of an argument that has long since become generally accepted; only the most neanderthal sexist would still argue against the basic right of women to be treated on an equal basis with men in employment, or to be treated as, legally, an equal partner with their spouse in a marriage, for two of the most obvious examples. People may argue still about what exactly constitutes equal treatment, but almost no one would dispute the basic concept.

The second category, and even more unfortunate, is the category of arguments which have long since been discarded as themselves sexist; for all of her attempts to be radical, she was still a product of her time, and rather a lot of ideas got past her internal screen. The most obvious example of this category is her blind acceptance of the claim, then popular among most gynecologists (which of course, at the time, meant "most male gynecologists", since there were very few of any other kind) that almost all menstrual or pre-menstrual difficulties experienced by their patients had no physical cause, but were in fact caused by a psychological problem with accepting their femininity. De Beauvoir, of course, puts a more tolerant spin on this outdated claim, suggesting that it is only REASONABLE that women would have difficulties accepting the demands put upon them by society's reaction to their gender, but that doesn't change the fact that she accepts the basic premise itself, a premise that has long since been recognised (at least by feminists) as patent hooey. There are a great many physical causes of menstrual difficulties, and if there are occasional instances of neurotic triggers, that doesn't make the statement "I can't find a physical reason for your problem, therefore there isn't one," an acceptable diagnosis.

The third category of argument in this book, at least for the reader unschooled in existentialist psychobabble and/or marxist dialectic, is the "WHAT did she just say?" argument. In spite of claims to the contrary in the introduction, this book is rather heavy going for the reader not familiar with the catch-phrases and pet terms of those disciplines. Terms like "immanence", "transcendance", and such are liberally sprinkled throughout the text, and it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the usage. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does make the book rather inaccessible to the average reader.

I do NOT recommend this book to the general public; for committed historians, particularly historians of the feminist movement, there is much to be learned from it. But for the general reader, it has long since lost the relevance that made it worth the effort to parse the 814 pages of impenetrable language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Should have earned De Beauvoir the Nobel Prize
Although I haven't read the flawed English translation by a hostile male, I have read Madame de Beauvoir and the complete uncensoured version of this brilliant piece of work in the original French language. (It's striking that some intellectually challenged reviewers refer to Simone de Beauvoir - one of the most prominent philosophers of the 20 century - as "Simone". In comparison, I can't imagine her lifepartner being addressed as "Jean-Paul", but, of course, referring to prominent women by their first name is a common means of belittling them and their achievements. Read more about it in "The Second Sex".)

Anyone who dismisses the endlessly acute relevance of this masterpiece on human rights as "outdated" - particularly Americans who in 2004 still suffer rampantly archaic sexist issues with women owning the right to their own bodies or the idea of switching the governmental gender balance from a cluster of regressive males to progressive women - only airs their own fundamental ignorance regarding existential conditions for women in a world run by the women-hating male gender.

"The Second Sex" makes for a painful read the intellectual content of which will not be outdated until the day we live in a post-patriarchal society - and that day wont arrive until we have reformed and modernised the male gender. The current destructive relic has long passed its expiry date.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most original work I've read.
Reading feminism books that were written after The Second Sex, it's clear that 95% of them get their basis from Simone. Originally she was going to write a book on defining herself, but when she looked into the mirror, the first thing she said is "I am a woman" she spent over two years researching the history of womyn, and her undeniable wit and intellegence is extremely present in this book. She knew what she was talking about and was not afraid

If you want to know why any individual is a feminist, read this book, it pertains to both sexes and it will present you with ideas that you never even thought about or even recognized. It moves beyond the surface of "radical feminism" and digs deep and helps you understand.

The only problem I found is that she didnt come up with an answer, but that was not her purpose, she was only explaining the problem and what she saw, she also repeats herself a lot, but I think she does that on purpose. Tt's outdated and I sincerely wish Simone' were still alive to expand her ideas and see what she thought of womyn today, I'd be the first to buy her "updated views."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Translation Ruins the Book
The Second Sex is an excellent philosophical work on woman; the English translation is not. Terms are translated poorly, such as "l'experience vecue" (the lived experience similar to Husserl's life-world) being translated as "Woman's Life Today" (a slam), "en-soi" and "pour-soi" being translated interchangeably as in-itself and for-itself (they cannot be used interchangeably-they are not synonyms), etc. In fact, while the original work was published in two volumes, the English translation fits into one...because the translator cut some three-hundred pages that he felt were "boring." The original French is lucid, direct, and quite beautiful. The reason that the book sounds so "dated" in English is because the man who translated it was. (He was a zoology emeritus with no background in philosophy). Thus, a lot is lost in the translation, and, since the publisher will not commence with a new translation for the sake of accuracy while the poor one sells so well (think dollar-signs), one could probably learn French and read the original writings first. "The Second Sex" (or rather "Le Deuxieme Sexe") is a good opening forum into what it is to be the Other, and the philosophical ramifications are just as relevant today as when the book was written. ... Read more


20. Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-75 (American Culture Series)
by Alice Echols
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816617872
Catlog: Book (1990-01-01)
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Sales Rank: 152195
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not accurate account from someone who was there
This book, the foundation of other writings about radical feminism of that time, is based upon the personal biases of a few elite women. Such book needs to be more respectful of women's history. It needs to be based upon solid research of radical feminist documents and a quantitative research survey of the hundreds of women who participated in radical feminist activities at that time.
Also, for the record, New York Radical Feminists ceased functioning in its intended role, consciousness-raising, in 1989, not 1975. That year we stopped sending out the manifesto and consciousness-raising group guidelines. Most of my friends have remained politically active feminists writers and organizers.
I spent at least two full evenings a week on radical feminist activities from mid-1970 to 1982. I also have almost every New York Radical Feminist document. I was not considered "daring to be bad" or an "outlaw woman" by my family or co-workers in my career jobs. They looked upon my activities as social justice work. ... Read more


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