By Susan Faludi
Skillfully Probing the assault on Women’s Rights
“Opting-out,” “security moms,” “desperate housewives,” “the new child fever”—the pattern tales of 2006 go away doubtless that American ladies are nonetheless being barraged via an identical backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling e-book of revelations. Now, the publication that reignited the feminist flow is again in a 15th anniversary version, with a brand new preface by way of the writer that brings backlash realization brand new.
When it used to be first released, Backlash made headlines for puncturing such favourite media myths because the “infertility epidemic” and the “man shortage,” myths that confounded statistical realities. those willfully fictitious media campaigns additional as much as an antifeminist backlash. no matter what development feminism has lately made, Faludi’s phrases this day appear prophetic. The media nonetheless love tales approximately stay-at-home mothers and the “dangers” of women’s profession objectives; the glass ceiling continues to be low; ladies are nonetheless punished for desirous to be successful; simple reproductive rights are nonetheless putting through a thread. The backlash sincerely exists.
With ardour and precision, Faludi exhibits in her new preface how the creators of business tradition distort feminist thoughts to promote items whereas promoting girls downstream, how the feminist ethic of financial independence is twisted into the patron ethic of shopping for energy, and the way the feminist quest for self-determination is warped right into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a vintage of feminism, an alarm bell for girls of each iteration, reminding us of the hazards that we nonetheless face.
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Additional resources for Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
But when feminism itself becomes the tide, the opposition doesn't simply go along with the reversal: it digs in its heels, brandishes its fists, builds walls and dams. And its resistance creates countercurrents and treacherous undertows. T h e force and furor o f the backlash churn beneath the surface, largely invisible to the public eye. O n occasion in the last decade, they have burst into view. " Other signs of the backlash's wrath, by their sheer brutality, can push their way into public consciousness for a time—the sharp in crease in rape, for example, or the rise in pornography that depicts ex treme violence against women.
So Moorman decided to repeat her study using the Harvard-Yale men's own parametric model. She took the data down the hall to Robert Fay, a statistician whose specialty is mathematical models. Fay looked over BACKLASH 29 Bennett and Blooms computations and immediately spotted a major error. They had forgotten to factor in the different patterns in collegeand high school-educated women's marital histories. (High schooleducated women tend to marry in a tight cluster right after graduation, making for a steep and narrow bell curve skewed to the left.
34 Susan Faludi T h e year after the marriage report, news surfaced that women's age at first marriage had dropped slightly and, reversing a twenty-year trend, the number of family households had grown faster between 1986 and 1987 than the number of nonfamily households. ) These small changes were immediately hailed as a sign of the comeback of tra ditional marriage. "A new traditionalism, centered on family life, is in the offing," Jib Fowles, University of Houston professor of human sci ences, cheered in a 1988 opinion piece in the New York Times.