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Back Off: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers Paperback – July 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; No Edition Stated edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671788566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671788568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I read this book many years ago and I'm so glad it's back in print!
hazmatdance
Many good men out there are also tired of witnessing sexist mistreatments of women around them, and are more than willing to back us up on this!
C Clancy
This book has given me great insight on how to deal with different situations that we, as women, face every day.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C Clancy on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Just excellent! This book provides a critical missing link in the education of women of all ages. It teaches us how to stand up to and STOP the sexual harassment that is so pervasive in our lives.
It teaches you how to eliminate the rewards ( like ego boosts, power trips ) and at the same time introduce negative consequences to men who sexually harass women ( public humiliation, embarassment, loss of job, etc.)
It is written candidly, with humor and insightful real-life examples of harassment situations, and empowering stories how women - and male allies - stopped harassment with dignified, principled confontations.
Sexual harassment motives are clearly explained. Time-tested methods of effective confrontation are clearly outlined, with plenty of examples that any woman could use the next time she is harassed.
Every girl and woman should have these priceless verbal skills - as well as good self-defense training - in this day and age.
Our whole society suffers from the ripple effects of sexual harassment. Harassers, on a larger scale cause distrust and other negative reprecussions from women towards all men in general. Everyone, men and women suffer the consequences.
This book now shows our male allies how they can help. Many good men out there are also tired of witnessing sexist mistreatments of women around them, and are more than willing to back us up on this!
Men learn how to withdraw male approval and hold other men accountable for sexist behavior, effectively removing any peer approval or male bonding type rewards.
This book shows how we can all turn the tables on harassers and finally stop the inexcusable, hostile behavior that is sexual harassment .
I highly recommend this book - and get a copy for all the women and girls in your life you care about too!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! I had the privilege of meeting and attending one of the author's self defense classes in DC. Martha gives great advice for these seemingly hopeless and degrading situations. She stresses keeping control and using words in a productive way to fight back. And it is reflected in this book.

She is a small woman, about 5'2" and appears not at all aggressive, so she can relate to just about all of us. And she knows what she's talking about!

Yes, it's confrontational, but because that is how you deal with sexual harrassment. You cannot be vague in your request to a harrasser to stop. You must be clear, in control and direct when you confront, or you will not be taken seriously. And that is what I got from her book and her class.

This book has given me great insight on how to deal with different situations that we, as women, face every day. And from each story, you see how effective the power of your words are. I was actually quite shocked to see how effective it really was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hazmatdance on May 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book many years ago and I'm so glad it's back in print! The book gives very useful and effective strategies for dealing with both soft-core and hard-core harassment, with lots of anecdotal success stories. It's so inspiring to read how other women dealt with it successfully, since all you usually hear is so discouraging: scare stories or endless tales of victimhood. But just reading about how someone stood up for herself was enough to get me to try it, I sweated bullets, but it was so amazing when the harasser backed down. It was super empowering.

Lots of helpful advice for social incursions, workplace harassment, racial aspects of sexual harassment, different scenarios. I'd taken the self-defense course known variously as Impact! or Model Mugging and that's all about life-threatening physical assault. But, even after I learned to knock out an attacker, I still had no tools to deal with softer intrusions, such as being stalked at a party where I was reluctant to make a scene among friends. This book will help you recognize when harassment is occurring and give you fresh ways to deal with it, ways you won't find on TV or most news sites.

Another aspect I liked about the book was her advice: label the behavior, not the person. Don't make it overly personal. Saying to someone, "You told a lie" is very, very different from saying, "You're a liar!" or even "You lied to me!". Keeping it factual forces people to take responsibility for their actions without becoming so identified with them that they can't change.

A successful confrontation with a harasser, IMO, is one where the harasser admits wrongdoing, quits doing it, and thus re-enters the world of human decency. Just punishing harassers doesn't really fix anything long-term.
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