From the author of the internationally bestselling Kosher Sex. A wake-up call about the growing trend of misogyny in our culture-as evidenced by the flood of reality TV shows, ads, and lyrics that portray women as brainless bimbos, or worse
Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt for women. Turn on the television: Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor, For Love or Money, and Average Joe boost their ratings by showing attractive women in competition for one man, one man's money, or both. On a "quest for true love," these women quickly devolve into a pit of vipers-and millions of Americans tune in each week for more. During commercial breaks, women are objectified to sell beer, cars, and every other product under the sun. Flip on the radio: Women are bitches, hos, and gold diggers, at least if you listen to the rap lyrics pumping out into our mass consciousness. And female pop stars like Britney and Madonna, says Boteach, have pushed the envelope past provocative and into the downright pornographic. 'Tween girls across the country follow their lead, and standards for how women should be treated plummet.
Perhaps one of the most troubling aspects of this trend, he says, is women's complicity in their own degradation. Either they've become resigned to base stereotypes, or worse, they've bought into these mass market values (hence the deluge of shows like The Swan and Extreme Makeover, on which female contestants insist they need a new nose, teeth, or boobs to feel a positive sense of self-esteem). "There are strong consequences," writes Boteach, "in a world where men have no respect for women and women have no respect for themselves."
Greedy gold diggers, brainless bimbos, publicity prostitutes, and backstabbing bitches-are these the stereotypes we want our sons and daughters bombarded by as they grow up? Hating Women offers a vision of how we can correct this downward spiral-along with a strong argument for why we absolutely must.
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Shmuley Boteach is host of the daily national radio program The Rabbi Shmuley Show on Oprah & Friends and Sirius XM Satellite Radio and host of the award-winning national television show Shalom in the Home on TLC. He is also the international bestselling author of twenty books, including the New York Times bestselling Kosher Sex and Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children. In 2007, Boteach was labeled "a cultural phenomenon" and "the most famous rabbi in America" by Newsweek, and was also named one of the ten most influential rabbis in America. He has been profiled in many of the world's leading publications, including Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, London Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post. Shmuley and his wife, Debbie, have nine children.From Publishers Weekly:
Bestselling relationship rabbi Boteach, author of Kosher Sex, pillories our lewd, misogynistic, unladylike age in this vigorous jeremiad. From the Internet to reality TV to Girls Gone Wild videos, Boteach observes, popular culture portrays women as "Greedy Gold Diggers," "Publicity-seeking Prostitutes," "Brainless Bimbos" or "Back-stabbing Bitches" epitomized by the likes of Paris Hilton and the "vulgar and crass degenerates, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera." Boteach blames feminism-not for demanding equal rights, but for toppling femininity from its position of dignity, refinement and presumed superiority over masculinity and for proclaiming a "farcical notion of equivalence" that pushes women to be as gross and callous as men while depriving them of the moral authority to admonish and correct male loutishness. Because "in a world without ladies there cannot be gentlemen," the result is a "crisis in manhood," as men feel licensed to exploit women and, numbed by pornography, become unable to cherish real women in committed relationships. The author calls for boycotts to punish lewd and degrading depictions of women as well as female celebrities who pose or appear nude, and for a sexual counter-revolution in which women collectively refuse all premarital sex and confiscate their husbands' porn stashes. Readers may find Boteach's Kabbalistic gender mysticism to be essentialist piffle, his tribute to the chivalry of the past naïve, and his idealized conception of women as "seraphs of heaven" for whom "being holy and spiritual... came naturally" confining. Still, his critique of the coarseness and oversexualization of images of women-and, especially, of the misogynistic cast of the contemporary male mindset-should stimulate a needed debate over the tenor of popular culture.
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