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Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women | Susan Faludi
Skillfully Probing the Attack on Womens Rights Opting-out, security moms, desperate housewives, the new baby feverthe trend stories of 2006 leave no doubt that American women are still being barraged by the same backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly exposed in her 1991 bestselling book of revelations. Now, the book that reignited the feminist movement is back in a fifteenth anniversary edition, with a new preface by the author that brings backlash consciousness up to date. When it was first published, Backlash made headlines for puncturing such favorite media myths as the infertility epidemic and the man shortage, myths that defied statistical realities. These willfully fictitious media campaigns added up to an antifeminist backlash. Whatever progress feminism has recently made, Faludis words today seem prophetic. The media still love stories about stay-at-home moms and the dangers of womens career ambitions; the glass ceiling is still low; women are still punished for wanting to succeed; basic reproductive rights are still hanging by a thread. The backlash clearly exists. With passion and precision, Faludi shows in her new preface how the creators of commercial culture distort feminist concepts to sell products while selling women downstream, how the feminist ethic of economic independence is twisted into the consumer ethic of buying power, and how the feminist quest for self-determination is warped into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a classic of feminism, an alarm bell for women of every generation, reminding us of the dangers that we still face. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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In the beginning of this book, I wasn't sure how relevant it would be. The first chapter is dense with stats and I just wasn't sure if those numbers were at all applicable in 2022. But when I hit the second chapter, I realized that very little has changed for women in America. The section on abortion rights was particularly bizarre to read, realizing that American women in 1991 had MORE reproductive rights than we currently do. It's so depressing.

Readergrrl In high school in the 80s, I remember learning about the Women‘s Rights Movement and the attempted passing of the ERA. I felt so lucky to be alive in a time when it seemed that women had moved so far ahead and hopeful that the future would see even more progress. Now, my daughter is in HS and I cannot say the same anymore. Seems bizarre that the dystopian reads of that decade don‘t seem so farfetched anymore. 3mo
Brooke_H @Readergrrl I know. It‘s so wild. 3mo
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Glad a reread this but was like a bad trip down a bad memory lane. Wish women could have made more progress since the 70s. I graduated college in 1989 so remember some of the intellectual apologists for keeping women down. And remember the women who carried the anti-feminism flag while being privileged enough to have full careers and childcare. #SheSaid @Riveted_Reader_Melissa

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thanks so much for joining us! I have loved all of our discussions this month! And I agree, great read and sadly still a topical read! 2y
SamAnne @Riveted_Reader_Melissa and yeah notice the shot glass next to the book. Took a double shot of tequila to get through the last 50 pages. 😔 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @SamAnne I understand that... the epilogue was meant to be uplifting at the end, but considering how much hasn‘t changed it, and the length of time since it was written, it was depressing to read. 2y
KVanRead Ha! I don‘t blame you. Those last 50 pages were rough! Great review. 2y
WomanistBibliophile This was one of the first feminist books I read—16 years ago!—Women‘s status & rights have gotten worse since then 😔 2y
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Confession: When I saw how old book this was, I thought it would be outdated and that I would read about how things was. So I got equally both mad and sad when I realized that wasn‘t the case. I was mad to read about women‘s situation in the 80s and the prejudice they met and the choices they mad. I terribly sad when I realized that not that much has changed since then.

And when we got to the New Right and their family first policies

AnneCecilie and the anti-abortion movement, I felt like I was reading about the beginning of the movements that still seem to play a huge role in the present USA. At least I got an understanding of how they came to be. 2y
AnneCecilie And all the hypocrisy. The men in the forefront telling women to return to kitchen most often had working wives themselves. Talking down on daycare centers, but still having sent your own kids to one. And all the women telling other women to return to the kitchen, being out there working. 2y
AnneCecilie I‘m so glad I read this with #SheSaid @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great review! And I‘m both glad you found it useful and sad that it wasn‘t more outdated. 2y
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Another fascinating group read with #shesaid. So glad I finally read this. Wish more of it was ancient history instead of current events, but I guess that‘s kind of the point. We‘ll never move past the backlash and make lasting headway until we identify and confront it.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great review! Thanks for reading with us! 2y
KathyWheeler I read this book when it first came out; I‘d love to see it updated. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thanks for your fantastic hosting, as always!! 2y
KVanRead @KathyWheeler The most recent edition has a new forward that reflects on what‘s happened since, but a more complete update would be great. 2y
KathyWheeler @KVanRead it really would. Just the last 5 years alone would be really interesting. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I found the knowledge of the backlash moves very good for me, so I can recognize them as reoccurring tactics of misinformation and controlling the language. It helps me to call them out as I see them, at least to myself so I don‘t fall for that rhetoric. I also found one of the last sections about abortion protestors, bombers, etc as an early extension of some of the toxic masculinity we see now from internet trolls to mass shooters to incel ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ manifestos. Plus I just saw a show about how many anti-abortion laws that have been passed in multiple states in the last few months...with the express point of pushing the issue to the Supreme Court, now that they believe they have the majority to overturn Roe v Wade. I did find it refreshing that they could take about the law (itself) without all the careful language we use now to discuss it (a sign of how much the language war of ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ controlling the words has worked. And I found the epilogue, which was meant to be uplifting, depressing in retrospect...it was meant to be a boost after the book, but since it‘s been years/decades..I found that upbeat ending depressing. Sadly.... 2y
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tenar Wow, yes, this finished with a punch to the gut. Heartbreaking, infuriating. Informative - I had not heard about all these ways fetal protection law can be used against mothers. I‘m so glad I read this, thank you @Riveted_Reader_Melissa for facilitating it, and thank y‘all for all these discussions. My thoughts are all over the place, but in a good way! I felt like I was connecting some dots. This week I watched Crip Camp, a doc film on Netflix, 2y
tenar and at one point I was struck by how disabled and non-disabled women in the 80s were fighting similar fights, with a common enemy: Reagan & his administration, cutting funding and practicing unequal enforcement of the law. Though this book wasn‘t particularly intersectional, looking at anti-feminism in a specific time period through so many angles - culture, marriage, health, work - helped me see through-lines to other struggles. Fights against 2y
tenar any marginalization have reverberations, yet they‘re incomplete without justice for all, right? (I also thought about today‘s progressive push for the first US Amazon union, and then that awful, sexist union vote from the testers at AT&T! That got my goat.) I guess, learning more, I‘m fiinally starting to absorb the real meaning of “no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” And I think our next book will only continue to expand that. 👏🏻 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, I continued to be blown over by how relevant the backlash playbook is, even though the historical repetition was a key point of the book! This really shook me out of my mistaken belief that mis/disinformation is a problem of today.... it‘s just taking different forms. I feel a bit more ready to critically evaluate both media overall and political ideas about women, but so angry that we‘re still fighting these fights. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Yes! To all of that!! It‘s definitely made me more aware, and made me spot things I might not have before. And yes, the more I read, the more intersectionality becomes key.... whether it‘s stay at home mothers verses working moms, divide and conquer (and have them fight each other instead of the powers that be) is always a tactic. And I‘ve been heartened to see in the wake of the shooting of Asian Women, other groups come out in support⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...of labeling it a hate crime. And then I was disheartened when the story changed after the most recent shooting. But I definitely feel like the more I know about different struggles the more the tactics are the same and like a union, we all have support each other to get fairness for all. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And the part about Clarence Thomas infuriated me... I had just read Anita Hill‘s book last year, and to see what a toe-the-liner he was, and how he‘s been rewarded for that is still sickening to me. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa That reminds me... this book was mentioned in this book briefly.... it was also mentioned in another book I read, and I picked up a used copy then...I really need to pull this out and read about this case. 2y
MallenNC When we started reading this I said I expected it would make me mad, and it did. I‘m mad that these things were happening to women in the 1980s and they still are. I guess the one consultation is that I do thin women are more aware of these manipulations, in the media, workplace, etc., but it is sad how little has truly changed. (edited) 2y
AnneCecilie If I wasn‘t mad before, this last section really had me 🤬🤬🤬 The women who went into blue collar jobs and the choices they were left with. The New Right movement. And don‘t even get me started on the anti-abortion laws and the protection of the embryo. I couldn‘t believe what I reading. But I felt like I was reading about the beginning of a movement. I always wondered how that fanaticism got started. And this book answered that. (edited) 2y
AnneCecilie If my views offense anyone, I‘m sorry. 2y
Julsmarshall Unfortunately I didn‘t get to this one this month but I will definitely go back and read it! I‘ve enjoyed hearing everyone‘s thoughtful comments and they inspire me even more to read it. I suspect it will make me made too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie I agree! It made me more mad about that and all the new laws that are getting passed right now trying to overturn Roe v Wade. It seemed very timely to read it now as the push to overturn that law is getting very hot again. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Not that it ever really stopped.... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie but yes, that particular story where even the doctors are like we shouldn‘t do this “medically” and the lawyers and judges overruled them. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I agree! I need to read the newest Kate Manne, the first one of hers I read was Down Girl and it was a sort of like a newer version of this basic topic, with lots of data to back it up. 2y
AnneCecilie @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC The tagged book sounds interesting and sure to make me mad again. Reading about injustice always do 2y
AnneCecilie We haven‘t had quit the same development regarding abortion in Norway as in the USA. Several years ago one of the American male anti abortionist where to visit Norway and preach his view and he got a lot of attention before he arrived, but I can‘t remember hearing anything afterwards. I don‘t think he got the welcome he was hoping for. Continue below (edited) 2y
vlwelser I think this was definitely an important read. It's dated at times but should be way more dated than it is. And I feel like we're going backwards currently. Or have been. Hopefully someone with some common sense will slow the downward trend. 2y
AnneCecilie We got our abortion law in the 70s and since then not much has changed, until a few years ago. In order to get a government with a majority our prime minister went in dialogue with a 4th party, the Christian Party. And they demanded changes to the abortion law, and agreed upon prohibiting twin abortion. In Norway a woman who is expecting more than one child has been allowed to an abortion on one of the embryos, and go to full term with one. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I know what you mean, I feel that backward slide too... 2y
AnneCecilie App 5 women have taken this opportunity each year. This did not go down well, to say the least. We have an election this autumn and the parties on the left have reacted. Several parties seem to want to extend the right for a woman to get an abortion from 12 weeks to 16 or 18 weeks. This could nullify the changes if we get a new gov.t 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie We have so many rules here, and for years they‘ve passed side rules, not directly against abortions, but for instance the places that could preform them. Like the doctor must have admitting privileges at a hospital, the hallways must be so wide to accommodate two passing stretchers, all of which doesn‘t take into account that so many hospitals won‘t perform them or hire doctors that do because of the controversy and so much can be... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...done with medications now, that you don‘t need hospital grade hallways. But they‘ve passed obscure rules like that purposefully because they sound good on paper and they then can use those to shut down clinics, in practice limiting providers. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie Here they also push for early EARLY abortions only... mostly you‘d have to know you were pregnant immediately to get through the process before it was illegal (6 - 8 weeks), so by the time you miss an cycle, find out, you‘d almost have to have immediate access to get an abortion before it became illegal... basically again making it very hard to get one at all. Here‘s some of the new stuff they are passing, trying to get a case to⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ to the Supreme Court, since they now feel they have enough judges to overturn the current law. //www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2019-06-27/a-guide-to-abortion-laws-by-state 2y
AnneCecilie We only hear about the states that are denying women the right to abortion. I was happy to see that it actually is legal in some states too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie Yea, I liked that that particular article discussed new things being passed both ways. 2y
AnneCecilie I never heard that we have a ban on abortion in Norway but after 12 weeks the woman has to meet before a board and plead her case. Since hardly anyone is denied abortion, several parties want to extend the weeks a woman can choose for herself. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar @MallenNC @vlwelser @AnneCecilie Great discussed all. I‘m glad I finally read this. So much enraged me but understanding and being able to really see the backlash cycle was really a revelation for me, if an incredibly frustrating one. At least now I think I‘ll be better able to call it out. Another thing that really stood out for me is the fact that patriarchal need to control and dominate women is what is really⤵️ 2y
KVanRead ... the root of the anti-abortion movement. Otherwise why oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion? That‘s something that‘s always made me crazy. I‘ve often felt it had to do with capitalism perpetuating the cycle of poverty, but it is also patriarchy controlling women and keeping them barefoot and pregnant. And there they are again, hand in glove. The part about Randall Terry‘s wife made me crazy too! And sorry if I offend anyone but⤵️ 2y
KVanRead the role of the Catholic Church in all of it makes my blood boil especially with what has since been revealed about all of the child sex abuse they just let happen.🤬🤬🤬 As she says at one point many in this movement don‘t seem to care much for these fetuses once they become children outside the womb. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes... I thought if the abuse scandal too, many hospitals are Catholic hospitals and then use their religious beliefs to deny some services....but they are also the only hospital nearby for many. So yes, knowing what they knew about abusers that they covered up and then just moved them on to a new church with new unsuspecting victims always makes me infuriated, how dare they have any opinion or cast any stones against anyone, woman/gay/ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...trans/anyone! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes Terry‘s wife, let me mow for you and make your dinner after your hard day of denying women‘s rights....even though I‘m not allowed to come protest any more. 🤯 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead and yes, the contradiction between denying sex education, and contraceptives, and then abortion has always blown my mind. If you really care about lowering abortions, wouldn‘t you want to beef up education and contraception use! 🤦‍♀️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead So much to be infuriated about! 2y
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Not bailing because it's bad or not worth the read. Quite the contrary, I think this is a very important book, and I really like the way Faludi approaches the topic. But I was in college in the mid-90s, taking women's studies courses and marching in Take Back the Night rallies, and this book gets me grouchy about how slow progress is. I don't feel like being grouchy, but maybe it's a good one to show my teenager.

SamAnne I hear you. Will finish today, but yes feeling like I lived it already. And it‘s a bummer it is still so relevant. 2y
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Some of this is dated, but sadly not nearly enough of it. For the 80‘s, way too much is still very relevant. Even the specifics of certain writers of the time that maybe I didn‘t know or recognize I could read their arguments from then and see the bases that has bloomed into incel manifestos today, or Planned Parenthood protesters, some who became violent, morphing into the toxic masculinity that has created mass shooters today. Worth the read ⤵️

Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ even if tough at times. To see where we‘ve been, remind us what we are striving for, how far we‘ve come, and perhaps more importantly in this day and age to remember that we aren‘t alone, together we are stronger. And for me personally, to be able to recognize some of the strategies of the backlash movements in history to see them more clearly, and be able to call them out for myself when they appear (because they are sadly recycled). #SheSaid (edited) 2y
Amiable I read this back in the early ‘90s— I should reread it again now. 2y
KVanRead Great review! Understanding the whole backlash cycle has been really revelatory for me. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes! So much is dated, and yet so much is reflected in the debates today. The same arguments and put downs, for me seeing that and being able to recognize it as a tactic of control and pushback, was (I agree) revelatory. 2y
AnneCecilie Great review. I‘m almost finished and totally agree with you 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I know you said you read this when it came out.... here‘s my review today @BarbaraTheBibliophage 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa There was a lot in this section & so much felt tied to that time (especially the criticism of some authors of that time in the last chapter), but even as I thought, I don‘t know these authors and don‘t need a deconstruction of their arguments...I‘d read one that sounded just like the mass shooter‘s manifesto in Isla Vista, CA, or current incel language, or run across names like Geraldo Rivera or Dinesh D'Souza who are still big voices in politics. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And then as I‘d read the takedowns of the ERA there was current news about trying to extend the deadline to pass it again. 2y
vlwelser It is amazing how relevant this still is. On another topic, I thought it was interesting that a lot of the authors she talked about lived lives that so vastly contrasted with the garbage they were writing. 2y
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MallenNC I skimmed some of the last chapter because as you say, some of those authors seemed of the time that the book was originally published but a lot of their anger and ideas are still echoing now. 2y
MallenNC The first chapter of this section was fascinating as it focused on women who made careers of telling other women how dangerous working women were. That was infuriating. I come from a family in which women always worked, including my grandmother who would be 100 if she were living today. They had no choice but to work & help support us, but my mother still struggled with guilt for not being home because of these “thought leaders.” 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser That‘s what made me so mad. Those women were living the lives they wanted to keep other women from having. They felt they were exceptional and not like other women when they absolutely were. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @vlwelser Yes! That was so annoying. Some of the male authors on that last section who were espousing the same thing also had working wives and were helping with child care and cooking...it‘s like they said it just for the money and notoriety. Such a bizarre section, that the same people who were bashing it had the money and help to live in the new world, but made everyone else, especially those too poor to make that choice. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Again it reminded me today of those who bash “illegal” immigrants but have in home domestic workers that are paid under the table. Their public stance is completely different from their real life....but yet they make everyone else feel bad or hate that specific group. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa On a side note here, I‘m also reading The Queens of Animation with #NonfictionNerds this month, it‘s about the women who animated for Disney. The amount of crossover is making both harder to read... now it‘s set in the 30‘s onward,but still the way the women were rebuffed, given no onscreen credit, and the way the men treated them as threats to their designs and jobs, just makes me think about this book more as these men in the 80‘s were also ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...basically espousing the same ideas but in writing and selling them. It‘s very interesting to see the dynamic reflected in two very different books, in two time periods. One the 80‘s, the other the beginning of women needing to work and the big backlash after the war when the men came home. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @vlwelser yes! So much hypocrisy and opportunism! I found it infuriating but also sad for some of the women that this seemed the only way they could break out of home-making within their conservative culture and relationships. Especially the one wound up back at home quite reluctantly—felt sad for her kids. But this is patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism 101 - give one group or portion of a group a small ⤵️ 2y
KVanRead ...leg up in order to keep everyone else down. Divide and conquer. And use exceptionalism to make them feel okay about it but also to point to and say there is no problem. The exceptionalism made me think of Margaret Thatcher as portrayed in The Crown. She really seemed to hate women and not think of herself as one at all. 2y
KVanRead That book sounds great @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I used to work in the animation industry back in the 2000‘s (as a writer/producer not animator) and the animators and director were mostly male at that time. Last year I visited a friend‘s company and there were lots of women artists and the studio boss was a woman so hopefully that‘s changing. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes... the divide and conquer! It‘s worked for so long. I was happy to see some intersectionality coming out after the recent shooting of Asian woman, with woman of other backgrounds speaking up and pushing for it to be considered a hate crime. If we can support each other, we tend to get further. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead It‘s a very interesting read. So much done and left with Disney when they were fired/let go that later became films. One lady was working on a treatment for The Little Mermaid in the 30‘s-40‘s, and it didn‘t become a film until decades later. Also it‘s mixed in with much of the history of animation (new inventions), and the history of the time (WWII), and it‘s interesting how many Disney movies were flops at the time and lost money. 2y
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I think this is a really important read. It will make you understand what happened in the 80s in the US to make the world we live in what it is. At times it seems outdated and at others it really isn't, even though maybe it should be. That's my high level summary.

#SheSaid with @Riveted_Reader_Melissa
I got ahead because I had a library book. But also maybe a little because I just wanted it to be over.

#BookSpinBingo square 4

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I understand that! It‘s so good, and sadly still relevant, and you can see where a lot of the rules and tropes of today were born, and yet it‘s a lot and a bit depressing that not much has changed, so you also are ready for it to be over (and to get past it in real life too). 2y
KVanRead Great review! I‘m finding it to be an emotionally complicated read for me but thoroughly engrossing. 2y
vlwelser @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead It's like a car crash. You're horrified but you can't look away. But turning away and pretending it didn't happen is also a mistake. 2y
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A side story related to our current read #SheSaid

We are still trying to get the Equal Rights Act passed.

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This book is so much denser than our last read. How is everyone doing with it so far? I grew up in the 80‘s so I‘m relating a lot, and can easily reference most of the movies and TV shows, etc., I‘m not sure how that‘s translating for everyone else though. I picked this quote from early in our section this week to jumpstart today‘s conversation... it seems to set the tone for most of the chapters and I thought it related well to today as well.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa For me that is still a complaint I have about much of our news today, although I didn‘t call it this. I‘ve always called it Fluff Pieces, the Good Morning America type shows are rife with it, and news channels fluff a lot out to cover 24 hours a day, but I‘ve noticed it more and more in the evening news of late. They have a 1/2 hr for world news, but plug the upcoming stories for a lot of that time and a bunch is still fluff pieces. So long ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Story here (sorry for rambling a bit there), I still found this section interesting in the sense of buyer beware and just because all the “news” media is saying something is, doesn‘t mean it really is.... and sadly I think our trend media had grown into our news media in the last 4 years especially as even our politicians believe the trendy stories not the facts. Plus I thought this section was great for pointing out thinks to be conscious of ⤵️ (edited) 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa when being a consumer and/or not taking things to heart. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I remember having those conversations about all the CSI, NCIS‘s, Criminal Minds, SVU‘s, etc, etc there for awhile. They were on every channel, all had spin-offs, and all were a crime an episode, usually with a female victim. My mom loved those shows, she‘s a true crime junkie and loved their ripped from the headlines fictional variety... but I remember being tired of them quick, I was good for a season or 2 in the beginning, but then it just got 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...repetitive to me. Now I can see how decisions at the top might have little to do with market diversity or attention span, but more with what sells well to executives and marketers. 2y
vlwelser I thought this part was super interesting. It's like they were all pushing their own agenda rather than listening to actual consumers. And I don't think it really ended well for them, especially retailers. But it also seems like some of this still happens. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I read this book back when it was published, and I just don‘t think I can do a reread. I remember it being quite dense, as you said. But seeing the quotes is an interesting reminder of how much and how little change over the decades. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser Yes! I felt the same way. Even today in fashion for instance, we ask for comfortable pants with pockets....we get leggings, jeggings, yoga pants, jeans with lower and lower waistbands...almost all less comfortable and still no pockets! Because pockets would ruin the look🙄 I found so much of it telling, and still applicable today. They are more interested in telling us what we should buy, rather than listening to what customers want. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I also found myself thinking of the exercise industry that came out of this time period as she was talking about the shift from healthy athletes to models...and how since they just co-opted the “healthy look” with fitness models who you see plugging everything from exercise bikes to sneakers, but strangely don‘t use real athletes like Serena Williams, because they are too muscular to fit the ideals. And when Serena had to do her own ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️bodysuit to get the support and performance she needed, she was penalized by the sport for not wearing the prescribed outfit (essentially a miniskirt). (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser So yes, I found it very interesting and found myself making other connections. I just wasn‘t sure how it might translate to those who were born after the 80‘s....those in their 20‘s or 30‘s now. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage This section about marketing really reminded my of The Beauty Myth that we read together. And yes, I‘m finding a lot still applies today, just the examples have shifted a little. 2y
vlwelser She could probably do an entire extra chapter on the exercise phenomenon in the 80's. Jane Fonda and Jazzercise are 2 that come to mind. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I was thinking if that and Richard Simmon‘s Sweating to the Oldies 2y
vlwelser OMG. They used to make us do that in gym class. I guess I thought that was from the 90s. It was awful. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser Maybe it was... it blends together some. 😂 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser @BarbaraTheBibliophage I still have about 20 pages to read in this section, basically the beauty industry chapter. It is denser than our previous reads and I can only handle a bit a time because let‘s face it it‘s pretty demoralizing, especially considering as you mentioned the parallels to today. I‘m finding it an emotional read and I‘m also finding myself arguing with her a bit as sometimes I find her ... 2y
KVanRead argument a little too unequivocal - while there‘s no denying her overarching argument—no question the backlash was/is real, some films/shows she mentions I thought were really trying to be progressive back then and spoke to some of the realities. But then reading all the quotes from the male talent and executives, UGH. I feel so hoodwinked by them. Still, maybe because I feel defensive I find myself nitpicking: it IS hard to be a working mom ... 2y
MallenNC The most interesting sections for me were the movie and TV ones. What stood out to me was how much what we can see as viewers shapes our perceptions and most of the examples she discusses were created by people (usually men) with ulterior motives or agendas. It is sad how little has changed. 2y
MallenNC Also what I noticed is even when women showed (through ratings or by not buying what fashion designers were selling) what women actually wanted, producers refused to see it. 2y
KVanRead ...BECAUSE of the patriarchy and many women (like me) did/do make the decision to stay home because it was more viable financially and emotionally. I agree it shouldn‘t have to be that way but in this section she kind of makes those women sound either fictional or brainwashed by the patriarchy. The real moms she interviews are all working in film and television and have the wealth to pay for the help (typically other women) to support their... 2y
AnneCecilie I‘m in my 30s almost 40s and I got so mad reading this. A lot of men at the top in every industry telling women how to behave and what to wear because they feel threatened by women‘s liberation and what their doll back. I actually was a little happy when I read about the company that got bankrupt because they didn‘t listen. And also happy about the company that asked women what the wanted, delivered that and made huge money. 2y
AnneCecilie I got a little sad and mad when I read about the men cheering during the ending scene of Fatal Attraction because suddenly all the violence against women got its explanation in a way. And also I love the Die Hard franchise and Full House and now I will forever see those in a new light 2y
KVanRead ...working. I wish she‘d addressed that and given real examples of mothers who couldn‘t make careers work to support what she said in the introduction about patriarchy making it hard to do both. I feel she falls into the very us and them trap she mentioned earlier of allowing men to divide women who work from those who don‘t. Just one of the places where the lack of intersectionalism in the feminism of this time is really apparent. These are 2y
KVanRead Affluent cis white women‘s problems by and large. But that was the state of things at the time. And yes much of it is terrible and sadly still relevant. I googled Paul Marciano and he‘s been #metoo‘d along with Michael Douglas of course. It seems like almost all the men she spoke to could be on that list 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa your point about pockets is so true!! Drives me crazy! Cleary, the still male dominated fashion industry isn‘t getting better at listening! Interesting though I just got a Victoria‘s Secret Pink (their youth line) swim wear circular in the mail and instead of skinny white models it was representing multiple skin and body types and suit styles that are cute and offer more comfort/coverage...so a little bit of progress! 2y
KVanRead Also my daughter and her friends buy most of their clothes by thrifting and make their own styles as we did back in the 90s too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie yep...it made me want to try Jockey for Her 😂. And yes, I loved Moonlighting and Die Hard, still do, but I never felt the same way about Willis after I heard some of the behind the scenes at Moonlighting stuff, which I didn‘t hear until much much later. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie And yes Full House and a Three Men and a Baby too (and how they felt the need to alter it from the French version). And audiences during Fatal Attraction and The Accused! 🤯 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes, some things like that felt dated a bit, and I think we‘re talking more now about equity there with the things like maternity and/or paternity leave, but we still can‘t get it federally mandated for all. And I have a feeling that after COVID more people might want to have those discussions because the number of women who have left the work force during the pandemic to be the full time teacher, etc has really emphasized the split ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ there between unpaid work (usually expected by women) and the inaccessibility of cost effective child care making the decision for 1 parent to stay home more necessary, and the gender pay gap making that usually the female of the pair. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I read that part about Victoria‘s Secret and thought about how they‘ve been loosing money and trying to change their image from the angels/fantasy type catwalk megashows. (edited) 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa yes as with many aspects of society, Covid is revealing how much work we still have to do there. And your point on how the pay gap influences those decisions is excellent. It really perpétuâtes the whole thing. 2y
GingerAntics That sounds like the tenures of a disgraced, former president or two. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Side note here... has anyone seen The United States vs Billie Holiday yet? It made me think of this book too, how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. Like the gender pay gap discussion @KVanRead , then she had to have a boyfriend/husband/male manager to control her estate (women couldn‘t make deals or have bank accounts on their own, let alone a black woman, no matter how famous) so lots changed...and yet, we still can‘t pass ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ an anti-lynching bill in 2020 (decades later 🙄) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I know, I found that crazy...even when their profits plunged, they still refused to give up their idea of what women wanted/needed! 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I haven‘t seen that yet but I really want to. I was thinking about the book while watching Amy Poehler‘s Netflix movie Moxie last night where a teenager is inspired by her mom‘s 90s feminist past to fight modern day sexism and racism in her high school - another example of so much and so little having changed. 2y
KVanRead Also during I Care A Lot which I found disturbingly misogynistic in Fatal Attraction kind of way. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Another one I want to watch, but keep putting off because I haven‘t read the book yet. 2y
KVanRead I didn‘t know Moxie was a book! I loved the movie. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead yes! I know, you just need more on your to-read list. 2y
tenar Thanks again everyone! You always give me more to think about. And I appreciate hearing about experiences of that time.

@KVanRead I wasn‘t even there, and I found myself arguing with her. You raised great points about the realities and intersections. I think unchecked capitalism is an unexplored misery-generating factor. The hours expected of many jobs seem to require a homemaker. Not sure if capitalism is a wing of the patriarchy or vice versa.
(edited) 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa The passage you selected was one of my biggest highlights, too. Those red flags are going to stick in my head! I feel the same way about the unchecked nature of fluff pieces. I think I‘m learning as much about the workings of the press & media as feminism, and that‘s super valuable. It only seems to get more valuable as time goes on. 2y
tenar Her bit about the trends of feminism and backlash made apparent in Hollywood seems true. I love classic film, and it made me reflect on the major eras. It had a narrow lens limited to white, straight, able-bodied cis-women, but the 40s is one of my fav film decades because I‘ve found a richer depth of genuinely women-centered pictures there than in many later decades. That‘s so wild and definitely flies in the face of any idea of linear progress. 2y
tenar I‘m going to check out Moxie! My extra reading: if any of y‘all are interested in the 1920s-30s, film, actresses, or the Hays Production Code that clamped its puritanical grip on them, I delighted in this unapologetic love letter to leading ladies: 2y
KVanRead @tenar Thanks. I was also thinking a lot about patriarchy‘s codependent relationship with capitalism. And that book looks fab. I‘m a huge old movie fan and love that era too. I found that bit about Mae West super interesting and was thinking I‘d like to read more about her. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I‘m definitely stacking that book! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead @tenar Yes, capitalism is always an important intersection to everything. Without controlling women, and everyone else for that matter, it doesn‘t work. For capitalism to work the best for the people on top, it needs all the free and unpaid labor it can get at the bottom, anyone unpaid or underpaid there means bigger profits at the top. And whether that is women (unpaid labor and underpaid labor) or minorities (slavery, exploitation 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...paid under the table etc) it‘s all to keep the profits high at the top. That‘s why a lot of the us vs them arguments start, like we saw in this book they start manufactured and then become real with repetition because people who unite have more power. And whether it homemakers vs working women, or poor whites against blacks or immigrants it‘s infighting that keeps people from uniting for more rights. Because at the top there is always the.. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...equivalent of let them eat cake mentality. I can see it now with the fight for the new stimulus package with the same people who had no problem 4 years ago passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy, and the last bailout with companies too big to fail, but it‘s ok if homeowners with the mortgages go backrupt. Sadly capitalism only works for all with lots of rules and regulations, but they make more money without them. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I think that‘s also why this time around there‘s been more push for intersectionality ... seeing how different struggles overlap and interconnect....to try and avoid some of those failures of the past. Although it‘s often been a flash point in the past (uniting groups) since I know everyone‘s to read lists are huge... I‘ll add some movies. Free State of Jones and the new Judas and the Black Messiah both tried to unite different groups and were 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...destroyed as a result. I also think that‘s a huge reason for all those Right to Work laws that basically do away with unions have become popular in the last decade, unions allowed anyone to join for a collective voice and that collective worker voice gave us everything from 40hr work weeks, to minimum wage, to child labor laws, to safety standards... but they cost company profits. Although without them you get the Texas unregulated power grid 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ... just like the mining disasters of the past, or the triangle shirt factory fire that led to some of those first laws being passed. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Sorry for the ramble. I really need to move up White Trash on my to read list, it‘s more about the class fight...I bet our next book Caste deals with it some too. 2y
KVanRead Well said @Riveted_Reader_Melissa ! Agree with all of the above and yes it is all such interconnected lattice work upholding capitalism. Thanks for the movie and book suggestions. I‘ve been wanting to watch Judas and the Black Messiah too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I watched it yesterday... it took me a little while to get into the story, because it jumps around a bit between different players in the beginning, but it was very good. It tied in a bit with The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is mentioned briefly in this movie and the main character in this one is mentioned briefly in that one, but both take place in Chicago and had to deal with the same local gov‘t/police forces. I‘m finding them ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ..very topical at the moment because not only do I have to thank the current BLM movement for pushing some of these historical projects to the screen, but also I can see the push to label BLM a terrorist group reflected historically as a common way to police and control groups fighting for justice. Or some in gov‘t today insisting the people who stormed the Capitol were BLM or antifa and not who they really were, people carrying right wing flags (edited) 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I enjoyed your ramble! I didn‘t have the energy to type out my thoughts on the necessity and exploitation of unpaid labor in our economy, and you put them so well and then connected them with a greater web of issues. (Have you been following the Amazon union vote in Bessemer? I read a short article on it this morning: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/03/amazon-union-drive-bessemer-alabama) Thank you for the movie recs! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar You are so welcome for the movie recs, and I‘m glad the ramble made sense there so much you want to say, but so hard to type it all out in 451 character sections and have it make sense...so I completely understand why you have to be in the mood and have the time. Thanks for the article too! I haven‘t been following it. I‘m a bit behind, I just found out today that Nomadland had been made into a movie & I still haven‘t read that book yet. 2y
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Depending on the copy of this book you got, you may or may not have had this preface in the beginning. So I thought I‘d start with a quote from that, because I definitely felt that reading this book. So much felt dated, and yet so much felt like I could be reading about today. There are times I half forgot she was talking about the Reagan years, because she could have just as easily been referring to the Trump years. #SheSaid

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ll be honest, I was in middle school/high school during the Reagan/Bush years....so some of the specifics weren‘t as know to me. But no matter how young you are, and old some of this felt....remember a lot of Senators are in their 70‘s and 80‘s they lived through this and internalized so many of these arguments well. It sadly isn‘t in the past of those making the laws of today. One reason why so many haven‘t changed, I‘d guess. (edited) 2y
vlwelser I thought this preface was really powerful. Even the first sentence is amazing. That being said, I'm only halfway through the reading because I just got this from the library. So I'm reading part 1 now and I will hopefully catch up with you shortly. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser No problem. It‘s definitely a chunkier read than our last book. So take your time with it and jump in whenever you‘re ready. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Anyone else read all the, but it was really men suffering from women being independent, because they were no longer the provider....and feel like we were seeing the origin of where the toxic masculinity of today started? All those disaffected men...today are rioting, want to Make American Great Again (go back to the 50‘s), are incels, etc.... (edited) 2y
kspenmoll I am skipping this month but will be back in April. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @kspenmoll Opps, sorry, I forgot to take you out of the tag list this month. I‘ll try to remember next week. 2y
AnneCecilie The quote isn‘t in my edition. I‘m reading a Norwegian translation from 1993, but both it and your thoughts sums up my thoughts. The data that is referenced is so old, but the results feel so current. It made me a little sad actually that not more has changed. This might be the cynic in me, but I get the feeling that marriage and kids are something men push on women because it benefits them. (continue) 2y
AnneCecilie (Continue) There‘s nothing on the data that shows that marriage and kids benefit women. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie I agree with you, but yet they never really analyze that data. I wish they would...spin that in the media the way they have other things. Men need marriage, and to keep it they need to help out their helpmates more. I think it‘s so depressing for women because marriage is still very 1 sided in most cases. Men get married and some of their burdens are lifted, women get married and some of their burdens get doubled with the unpaid ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ and still often unrecognized chore if women‘s work. Whether it‘s cooking, cleaning, child rearing... most of that still falls on women, and not even is it unpaid, it‘s often unappreciated because that‘s what they are supposed to do. So women get married, usually have less money, less independence, and less downtime...no wonder they get depressed. Men on the other hand usually end up with less duties, and more downtime. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And although in some ways it gets better, some men help with some things now...in some ways I think it‘s worse. The women should do her things and not really complain, because then she‘s a bad wife or mother, but she should also be a good worker now too, and always be sexy and reflect well on him, etc. It often feels like we gained in some areas (work life), but lost no responsibility in those old areas (home life), so the work load is doubled. (edited) 2y
AnneCecilie I know. And when we do some small step forward, men see them as something way bigger and a threat to them. So I think your analysis of that this might be the beginning of Make America Great Again might be right (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Here‘s an example... I‘m in my upper 40‘s now, when I was last dating (in my younger 40‘s) I dated a man also in his 40‘s who was miffed I didn‘t offer to come over and clean his house after we were dating for awhile. My response, I‘m not a maid, I don‘t live there, do you come to my house and cut my grass.... nope, so why would you expect me to come over and clean your house. But he did...we broke up not long after that discussion. They still⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...expect free labor as a relationship perk. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie I couldn‘t help think of some of the mass shooters lately, with claims about how women rebuff them, etc, etc and they‘ll show them. Or the Internet trolling, that especially women seem to get threatening physical violence. So much of what we now call toxic masculinity I could see on these backlash stories....and in how the blame is often put there be politicians, etc because it‘s easier to blame women for taking jobs then create jobs 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie Part of that old us vs them thing. If they get mad at women, and now often immigrants are the scapegoat, they won‘t look too closely at how we haven‘t increased the minimum wage in years or shipped production overseas, etc, etc. if they are blaming anyone but us, they won‘t question the policies that are actually removing the good paying (provider) jobs. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I can see that now in the fight of the minimum wage here in the US, or trickle down economics, or the break down of unionizing, etc etc... some policy changes could make working people more money, and they‘d feel like providers again, but that isn‘t the direction those who have the power really want to go....scapegoating is better. 2y
Jgotham I also feel like some of this is just the religious right‘s thinking. Most of those religions flat out say women shouldn‘t be out of the home working. They should be home taking care of children and “uplifting” men. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Jgotham Very true. I never realized how much the evangelical movement was involved with Reagan before, maybe I was too young then....I did notice it much more with Trump though. 2y
AnneCecilie Norway is a little different in some ways. As far as I know, we have not had any school shootings. The unions position is strong, and even though we don‘t have minimum wages (there‘s some exceptions here were employees aren‘t unionized), we have the tariff and that get increased every year after negotiations. We have daycare centers and a fixed prize for those and an expectation that women shall work even after becoming mothers. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Jgotham But even if all the women went back into the home, stopped working tomorrow, and all the immigrants left (the newest scapegoats), men wouldn‘t be able to be the sole breadwinner/provider anyway. Without union jobs, and pay pacing inflation, and a bunch of other economic factors, men couldn‘t support a household on one paycheck anymore....let alone a “tradition” religious household with a bunch of kids. 2y
MallenNC I‘m a little behind on this week‘s section, but I have read enough that I‘m pretty sure I‘ll be mad the whole time. It is sad how little things have changed since the book was originally published. The pandemic has brought so many of these issues to the forefront again. So many of my friends are feeling the weight of childcare and school while trying to work from home without near enough help. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie We‘d love to have all those things. America has gone through a period since the 80‘s of cutting down unions, called ironically Right to Work laws (basically the right to work without a union), and a bunch of other things that have really hurt working people (men & women). Our capitalism has been on the employers side for awhile now, we need some of that balance back. We still don‘t have universal health care or maternity leave. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes, I was just thinking about that and an article o read about women trying to work from home during the pandemic. While he‘s locked in his home office, she was making calls in the closet and trying to teach the kids at the same time. 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Two of my friends left their jobs when it became clear that schooling wasn‘t going to be in person. And others have struggled and been extremely stressed. And I would say they have partners who are more helpful than average, but the weight of the responsibility sits on the mothers differently. 2y
Jgotham When they say women are burnt out at work or unhappy there, coming from some of my own experiences, that comes from doing more and getting less. Less pay, few or no promotions over less qualified men, sexual harassment, or even at meetings having “duties” assigned to women like making the coffee or grabbing the donuts, etc 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Jgotham I completely agree there. Male colleagues who are sleeping at their desks or get to leave early because they have to pick up their kids, but they are salaried so it‘s ok, meanwhile you work overtime and can‘t even get promoted to salaried. Yea. Unfortunately the inequalities are often replicated at work...burning out women at home and at work. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Jgotham I‘m sure that‘s were a bunch of those stories came from, real women getting the pressure on both sides. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie @MallenNC @Jgotham Just got started last night so still trying to catch up but loving it so far and also pretty sure I‘ll be feeling angry reading all of it. By coincidence I found the 91 edition in a little free library but now I‘d really like to read that new preface. I‘ll have to see if I can get it on Libby. So far this is feeling so personal for me and bringing back so much from that time. That ... 2y
KVanRead ...supposedly post feminist time, ha! I was 24 in 1991 and had watched my mom and 4 older sisters struggling with so much of this in 80s. I think I internalized so much of the media bullshit she talks about. I remember that women over 30 marriage statistic so well and the biological clock one and the fear they struck in my heart. It was such a confusing time to be a young woman. I definitely thought of myself as a feminist and had strong... 2y
KVanRead ...career aspirations but was raised to value marriage and motherhood above everything. Also to believe you could have both now, but that felt like as kind of lip service, no one ever talked about how hard that was. The media definitely made it seem like getting a husband was challenging and men were doing us a favor by allowing themselves to be tied down (still does, I think!) When I did marry it was for love (still is 22 years later) and to... 2y
KVanRead a very feminist man but being totally honest I also felt a huge sense of relief. I was 32 and had beaten the odds, lol! I really believed I was running out of time and I‘m embarrassed to admit though I would never have said it out loud also believed I had achieved a major life goal. I imagine I wasn‘t the only woman thinking that way given what we were reading in magazines and seeing on tv at the time. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2y
KVanRead So while I agree we‘ve made very little progress in many ways, in terms of young women‘s attitudes I think we have. Judging from my daughters and their friends this generation their generation thinks very differently than mine about marriage and children. Would be interested to look at current data on this, but seems like marriage is pretty uncool to them. Could be my San Francisco bubble too, but they have very non binary attitudes on gender... 2y
KVanRead ...sexual orientation, relationships, etc and many don‘t want children because of climate change and threat of global collapse! 2y
KVanRead But I also agree Trump & Co represent the latest in a cycle of backlash. And this time not just seeing the backlash against gains made by women but by minorities in the post-Obama “post-racial” America. 2y
KVanRead Really interesting to see the parallel in the ‘you made it‘ argument directed at women then and at black Americans after Obama. 2y
KVanRead Last comment, promise 😂 but was also thinking about how it was during this backlash, late 80‘s that Handmaid‘s Tale was written in large part in response to the religious right and how the when the recent television series came out during the current backlash ( also driven by the religious right) I kept thinking how incredibly relevant it still is too. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I graduated high school in 1991, so I was 18! And yes!!! I remember that well, and then there for awhile when all the female celebs were asked if they feminists & they were all saying no, we don‘t need it anymore. The post-sexist years, which I have to laugh about now like being post-racist after Obama. If was such a big deal when people like Emma Watson or Beyoncé started using that word again, taking it back from the Rush Limbaugh (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...types who had made it a dirty word. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Do you remember the statistic that women were more likely to be killed by a terrorist then get married after such and such age? That was a big one for awhile too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead yes, I think Trump was a big Backlash to Hillary running and being the presumed winner. And I can see how this book talks about how unhappy men were directed to put their blame in certain areas, and are again now.... we had a bit of a counter-backlash this time though....with the huge women‘s March, #metoo, Winstein/Cosby convictions...things I couldn‘t have predicted. And yet I can see the pushback with things like Kavanaugh‘s appt. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...if nothing else, reading these things now gives you some tools to keep your eyes open when it comes, and do some research and not believe every media story bandied about as they”it” study, etc. 2y
KVanRead Yes, so true and ironically the Trump crowd has contributed to making us all more skeptical of media and thinking about who‘s paying for it and what their agenda is. And yes, I do remember that terrorist one!! And I never thought to question those numbers back then. 2y
KVanRead The pendulum has definitely swung with #metoo, Women‘s March, recent elections and appointments of more women, but we know we can expect more backlash too. I like to think demographics are working in our favor though as the thinking of a significant number of younger men does seem to have shifted. Hoping some of the misogyny will die with the old misogynists like Limbaugh. (edited) 2y
KVanRead Thinking of the Dr King‘s arc of moral universe quote right now. Things don‘t happen in a straight line and progress is too slow but there has been progress. Hilary‘s run was historic and pretty inconceivable back in 91 when she was a ‘first wife‘ in Arkansas. And while Vice President isn‘t enough Kamala‘s victory is also huge. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead Yes! And I remember the heat she got then, when he was running for office....because she worked (gasp!!), and had coke-bottom glasses (gasp!!!) and didn‘t sit home and bake cookies (double gasp!)! That‘s when I started liking her, and when the right started their decades long campaign against her. But I‘m older now and can see she could never win with them, when she “stood by her man” after his very public affair, she was vilified... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...for that too. What scares me, is I can see them playing that long game with other women now. AOC is a good example, one of the youngest vocal democrats...and they immediately started attacking her looks, a dance video of her in college, her early career as a bartender, on and on and on....just building up that “never AOC” group with all the negatives they can come up with so in the distant future should she ever decide to run for national ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ office there will be a whole population with a “never her” feeling. 2y
KVanRead Ugh, yes, sadly, you are too right. Totally see that. Managed to get new edition on Libby and reading the preface now. So good! And depressing. But a lot to ponder while reading this. 2y
KVanRead Like how the right seeks to divide and conquer and how we all too often play right into that. As now with AOC v Pelosi, etc. 2y
KVanRead Also though thinking about Carol Anderson and voter suppression when she talks about the dip in the black vote although that doesn‘t explain why 47 percent of white women voted for the Grabber in Chief🤦🏻‍♀️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I‘ve been thinking about that one a lot lately. There are a bunch new voter suppression laws in various states working on being passed right now. You know, to combat “election fraud”. It‘s almost exactly out of that book. 2y
KVanRead Yes! I‘ve been thinking that too. 2y
tenar I‘m not well enough today to contribute all I want to (wow do I have so many thoughts!), but I wanted to say thanks all for the excellent discussion! It gave me even more to think about. I, too, thought about Carol Anderson‘s work.

I‘m also quite liberal, but I anecdotally agree that intensity of social pressure for marriage and children has really dissolved for many Gen Z/Millennials like myself. And the US‘s politics haven‘t caught up.
tenar I was frustrated the core issue in Ch. 2 seems worse today - misleading information blowing up on the news (now social media) and leading to cultural mythmaking. “...the statistics the popular culture chooses to promote most heavily are the very statistics we should view with the most caution. They may well be in wide circulation not because they are true but because they support widely held media preconceptions.” And, I think, they serve a power. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Yes! I noticed that too. So much seems relevant today (sadly), some more relevant now with social media, but for me it helped knowing that it‘s a system they‘ve been working on and fine tuning for decades. Which means it‘s something we can be aware of and dismantle. Some of the Fairness Doctrine needs to come back to news too (another thing Reagan got rid of) & social media needs to be more accountable especially since other countries⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ seem to be getting so involved with the same misinformation campaigns. And I agree, I don‘t see men my age wanting to marry anymore, they are divorced and enjoying playing the field, no strings attached....and I don‘t see the young kids even acting like that‘s a goal. Feel better soon @tenar ! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa A scarier thing to keep your eyes on....from CNN https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/03/02/tom-cruise-tiktok-deepfake-orig.c... the faking of famous people giving video messages that look totally real. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thank you for the well wishes! 🧡 And oh wow. That is scary technology; I didn‘t realize it was so advanced. We as a species are going to have to grapple with misinformation sooner rather than later. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead @GingerAntics @vlwelser And to everyone who read One Person, No Vote, I just found this short book at my library and thought you may all find it interesting, too. A conversation between Carol Anderson, Stacey Abrams, and more. I‘ll post about it if I get a chance to read it soon.

KVanRead @tenar Thanks for sharing! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Thank you! That looks very good! 2y
SamAnne @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I can't believe I guy expected you to clean his apartment. Good grief. Your stories, @KVanRead 's and others here also resonate with me. I graduated college in 1989. So this stuff was all around me too. At least for me, I always knew I did not want to have kids so I avoided some of that whole stress inducing swirling vortex of societal pressures--except for the pressure society puts on women to have kids. Continued... 2y
SamAnne I do see a backlash happening, fueled by the Religious Right, resentful/scared men. And the reductions in reproductive freedoms and access to reproductive care makes menopause a damn relief honestly. As others have pointed out, it is a bit dated. I appreciate that today feminist politics includes more intersectional inclusion and are more cognizant of economic class and race. Not that it doesn't still have a long ways to go in that department. 2y
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😂you‘re depressed because your wife doesn‘t sit home and is gaining equality ? 😂 grow up lol #shesaid

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Right...so much of this made me harumph and then I remembered we have incels today and mass shooters who trace their disdain to those darn independent women who just won‘t cater to them. Made me think of the toxic masculinity we see today from the Capitol riot to the internet trolls. 2y
Jgotham @Riveted_Reader_Melissa exactly! The amount of hate and resentment just for us wanting equal treatment. Not even taking anything away from them, just equal footing. 2y
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🤮🤮 his documentation for the trend? Casual comments from students who were “anxious” about having children and complaining by people who wanted grandchildren. Oh and dialogue from “Three Men and a Baby.” TFOH #shesaid #feminist

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🤯huh?? How does this even correlate? #shesaid

KVanRead Good gawd!🙄 I need to start this! 2y
SamAnne Just started this last night. I‘m in my early 50s. This book feels like a trip down memory lane I could do without! Seriously, will be an interesting read for sure. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And here I always though slasher movies were a way to metaphorically slash and punish women. Same when I watched all the CSI‘s and SVU‘s...the amount of graphic murder and abuse strangely skewed more toward graphic displays of female victims. 2y
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🙄this piece should‘ve stayed in the drafts 🤦🏾‍♀️ #shesaid

KVanRead Ah yes, “You‘ve come a long way, baby” This is the world I grew up in and what a world 😕 2y
SamAnne Mona Charon was a long time conservative columnist. I‘d forgotten about her. Do not miss her. 2y
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Just a reminder of the books coming up for #SheSaid reading group. Feel free to join us for any you might be interested in.

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa And if you‘ve asked already and I‘ve forgotten, please remind me! 2y
SamAnne Looking forward to this one. 2y
kspenmoll I want to stay on your list but am skipping this month- 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @kspenmoll No problem, just ignore the next few tags. 2y
AnneCecilie I would like to be tagged. I‘m hoping to join in this month and the next couple of months 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie Great to have you join us! I‘ll add you into the list! 2y
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Disillusionment is just a start. Being disappointed is not same as being defeated.

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Here goes nothing... #feministlit

Lcsmcat I read this when it first came out (during the Regan administration) and it made me angry then! 4y
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Today I took a day trip to Concord, the most literary of New England towns, and then stopped by Harvard Book Store where I snagged this for $3. Fourth of July win! 🙌

DocBrown A classic. 5y
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Feminist text

Penny_LiteraryHoarders I used this book sooooo much way back when in my undergrad papers!! 😁😁 6y
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Is anyone else having flashbacks to Bush v Gore and Nader? I feel old tonight, and stressed 😩

Please don't let this go on and drag out for days... Please...

And yes @lemonlime799 #overthis!

BarbaraTheBibliophage I think we will have recounts in at least 3-4 states. #neverending 6y
BookishFeminist I am too. 6y
becausetrains @BarbaraTheBibliophage I actually hope we do, as bad as it sounds. 6y
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JSW I just referenced this to a younger friend. 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @becausetrains If HRC is really the fighter she claims to be, she should pursue it. Despite how much I hate the idea that this won't be over. 6y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage I actually am beginning to think all his calls that the election is Rigged was a red herring. She said she'd accept the results, and right now that has set her up to have to accept the results..... maybe it was rigged all along, but in his favor. (Yes, first conspiracy theory of the night is born) 6y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @JSW I've been referencing this a lot the past few weeks, especially to my friends voting 3rd party this year. 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @JSW @Riveted_Reader_Melissa We have some family that voted third party. In every state I see it super close, those votes could have taken her over the line. They refused to listen! 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Maybe it is a big conspiracy. But unless she fights, or we rise up in revolution it feels so lost. 6y
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“All of women‘s aspirations – whether for education, work or any form of self-determination – ultimately rest on their ability to decide whether and when to bear children.”

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The "feminine" woman is forever static and childlike. She is like the ballerina in an old-fashioned music box, her unchanging features tiny and girlish, her voice tinkly, her body stuck on a pin, rotating in a spiral that will never grow


The "feminine" woman is forever static and childlike. She is like the ballerina in an old-fashioned music box, her unchanging features tiny and girlish, her voice tinkly, her body stuck on a pin, rotating in a spiral that will never grow