The long-time hostess of a popular WOR Radio interview show examines why so many women disavow feminism and proposes ways to forestall that trend.
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This book's know-it-all attitude cancels out an interesting issue: the ``self-destructive chasm'' between what American women say they want and their actions. Henry (Alone Together, 1982) is troubled by the question of why we don't have equality when so many women say they want it. To seek the answer, she commissioned a marketing firm to arrange focus groups of women from different geographical areas and question them regarding their feelings about equality at work and in the home. Each group is identified by only one characteristic: The group tagged ``Young Chicago Professionals'' includes only white women; Latina and African-American women have their own groups; and there is a control group of self-proclaimed feminists. The focus group results become a leaping off point for Henry to enter into an unwieldy discussion of various feminist issues. She cites all the correct feminist sources, including Susan Faludi, yet there is a tinge of backlash to the entire project, which rarely gives credence to the idea that women can be held back by forces out of their control. When Henry suggests that feminists need to tone down their rhetoric--not their message--and present a more mainstream front, she reinforces the very representation that she claims has impeded feminism's influence: ``Feminist leaders should re-tool their image from radical embattled 60s demonstrators into contemporary, determined supporters of justice who work within the system whenever possible to accomplish their goals.'' Furthermore, when mainstream women in her focus groups make general comments about the lack of femininity among feminists, Henry interprets it as fear of lesbianism, and she notes rather questionably that ``lesbians have, in fact, spearheaded the movement for years.'' A self-defeating project that bulldozes instead of informing. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Feminism, for the majority of American women, has become a bad word, and this is one of the most nagging concerns of the contemporary feminist movement, maintains Henry. Particularly perplexing is the fact that many of those who say they reject feminism actually support most of its goals, indicating that the movement's image causes large numbers of women to misperceive its purposes. Henry, a former radio interviewer and congressional candidate in New York who ran unsuccessfully on a feminist platform, here offers a how-to manual for feminist spin doctors who seek to make their platform more attractive to American women. The book is based on a study in which Henry and her colleagues attempted to tap into the "mainstream" female psyche through both phone surveys and in-depth interviews with a disparate collection of focus groups made up of self-professed nonfeminists. The study showed that while feminists and nonfeminists may have different notions about ideal gender roles, they tend to share common ground on certain "women's issues," such as child care, equal pay and sexual harassment. Henry asserts that the most productive way to address these issues is to elect more women to office. She urges female politicos to make both their image and their message palatable to nonfeminist women, whose beliefs and interests she charts through a barrage of sometimes overwhelming and often confusing statistics. More informative and engaging are the quotes from the women interviewed for the study. Henry listens attentively, and her advice on how to reach nonfeminist women is smart and timely, while her "womanpower" rhetoric is inspiring.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110025510150
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0025510150
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0025510150
Book Description Scribner 1994-06-20, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0025510150 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0025510150