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Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World Paperback – April 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 2nd Printing edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616141697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616141691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Consultant and developmental psychologist Regine (coauthor, The Soul at Work) compiles wisdom drawn from several years of original interviews with 60 successful women around the world, including CEOs and businesswomen, U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Johnson, former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, and others whose "achievements demonstrate how feminine power is changing our businesses, our organizations and our world into better places to work and live." In flowing, occasionally dense prose, this intellectual and dynamic treatise on women in the modern workplace demonstrates convincingly how empathy, emotional and strength and an embrace of vulnerability are changing traditional, male-dominated management models. Declaring the Era of Women, Regine celebrates big picture thinkers as well as mindful feelers, a powerful message reinforced by the impressive professional biographies of each subject.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Regine profiles 60 women from around the world in this look at modern feminism. With a nod to overlooked "herstory," in which she reminds readers of Catherine Greene's contribution to the cotton gin and Mary Pickford's role in United Artists, Regine cuts a wide swath through the political and social context of the enduring battle for gender equality. Of course, Hillary Clinton and her run for the presidency is discussed but so is Andra Douglas, whose team in the Women's Professional Football League struggles to get access to playing fields, and so is journalist Ashleigh Banfield, who suffered a sexually charged smear campaign when she criticized major media coverage of the Iraq War. Regine cites hundreds of examples of professional women judged by appearance first and ability second, and ponders everything from the sexist ways Greek mythology is taught to how men design fashion ads that negatively affect the way women see themselves. Although the metaphors become tedious (gladiators and amazons abound), the readability quotient here is high, and the personal stories are fascinating." --Booklist, Colleen Mondor

"This book is perfectly timed to give momentum to the global tipping point which recognizes that when women thrive, everyone thrives. Reading and sharing the Iron Butterflies will help earn your wings." --Lisa Witter, co-author with Lisa Chen of The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them

"Reading Iron Butterflies made me more determined to pursue the cause of women in Afghanistan. It is true that the stories and struggles of Afghan women are different from those of our sisters in developed countries. But no matter in what level of society we are struggling, we need to keep our feminine touch in order to make a difference at the leadership level. The Iron Butterflies in this book showed great courage by penetrating men's domains with a new gift to make our world more human and more beautiful."
--Fatima Gailani, president of the Red Crescent in Afghanistan

"This intellectual and dynamic treatise on women in the modern workplace demonstrates convincingly how empathy, emotional strength and an embrace of vulnerability are changing traditional, male-dominated management models. Declaring the Era of Women, Regine celebrates big picture thinkers as well as mindful feelers, a powerful message reinforced by the impressive professional biographies of each subject." --Publishers Weekly (web-exclusive)

"Iron Butterflies is especially essential reading for young women who often fail to appreciate just how hard-won are the opportunities they enjoy today. Nor do they realize, as Ms. Regine points out, that sexual discrimination still exists--as they'll find out when their heads start thudding against the glass ceiling. It's also an important book for men, who need to learn that they've got to get with the program or get out of the way. In fact, if they too adapt some of women's ways in the working world, they may not only find they can breathe a sigh of relief, but, in the long run, achieve more success....The word 'inspiring' is tossed around way too frequently. But in its depiction of the hardships that many of these women endured, sometimes from their earliest ages, and their emotional resilience and flexibility, this book inspires." --Russ Wellen, The Huffington Post


More About the Author

Birute Regine, EdD, (her Harvard doctorate is in human development) spent 25 years as a psychotherapist in private practice and now works as an executive / life coach, facilitator, speaker and author. She previously co-authored the critically acclaimed "The Soul at Work: Embracing Complexity Science for Business Success" with her husband, noted science writer Roger Lewin. In her remarkable new book, "Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World," Birute puts femininity and masculinity in context and explores what it truly means to be a successful woman today. She also examines how women together can help each other become "Iron Butterflies" and bring greater balance and well-being to a world sorely out of balance. Through her sage observations and candid stories of the 60 women interviewed, Iron Butterflies paints a picture of revolutionary changes taking place in what she calls a new "Era of Women." As an aboriginal elder in Perth, Australia told her, "Women hold the wisdom, men hold the love." She had it right; we have it all backwards!' That was an Aha moment that set Birute on a journey of uncovering women's wisdom and men's love.

Customer Reviews

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This book is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.
Reader
Birute Regine is an insightful Iron Butterfly that has an uncanny ability to listen and retell the stories that she heard in a cogent and deeply meaningful way.
Believer
College-level collections strong in social issues and women's studies will relish this.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Douglas M. Bowman on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found Iron Butterflies, Women Transforming Themselves and the World beautifully written and extremely enlightening. Birute interviewed a diverse group of women around the world who told amazing stories of challenges and struggles and the ways they overcame them. These stories, along with an obvious amount of research, helped me better understand how we, as a gender, went from being worshipped as goddesses in the earliest of times to being stripped of all power and influence by male domination. Please understand that this is not a male bashing book. In fact, Birute shows great empathy towards men. That being said, this book describes how women lead differently than most men by using inherent traits such as vulnerability and feminine power. I personally liked the number of statistics that show the positive effects this way of leading creates: greater profitability, a better working environment, etc. I admire the women who have taken a stand to change the rules in order to get ahead in business and the world. The game has changed and Iron Butterflies are leading the way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lit Lover on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book with boundless delight. For anyone who thinks this book is for women only, think again. Every leader or aspiring leader--and aren't we all leaders in some portion of your lives?--will benefit from the amazing stories of powerful women who can lead with force yet retain their essential human vulnerability. It offers both insightful "how to" lessons and an inspirational message. If enough people read this book and take its message to heart, the Earth will become a more peaceful planet. I have not read a more well-written and engaging book in years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katz Creative, Inc. on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Seriously, if you want to read "the ultimate book" that can empower you in 2010 and beyond, make it this one, Iron Butterflies. The term is overused but this book is life changing. The author has succeeded in creating a roadmap to healing our world. Every page was an Aha! experience. I also believe the 60 women interviewed were well chosen. They range from women who have successfully scaled the heights in corporate America or run their own businesses to an aboriginal elder in Perth, Australia who observed: "Women hold the wisdom, men hold the love." Wow...how is that for a breakthrough insight that goes beyond conventional thinking!

However Birute Regine accomplished it, these women and the author herself generously share their vulnerabilities in order to candidly report on what it means to be a successful woman today. Birute makes a cogent argument for the fact that, given the mess men have made of things, the time is right (right now) for women as a gender to take over on a broad scale as leaders, locally and globally.

I have heard that "Iron Butterfly" chapters and book discussion groups are springing up around the country. I sure hope so and am joining the first one I find! READ THIS BOOK! Then give it to every woman you know...I sure am!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karma B. Kitaj, PhD on June 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was struck with the fact that the former Harvard-trained psychologist, Birute Regine, found a publisher for a book about gender in 2010. I had come to believe the party line that women are no longer discriminated against, at least in North America and Europe. So, why should we read another gender politics book?

Why, indeed? Regine tells us why, in the stories of more than 50 women leaders from all over the world who share their struggles, their methods of counteracting discrimination in subtle and overt forms, and the feminine strengths that allow them to be leaders who are capable of "transforming the world."

Despite attempts to derail them, women are finding ways to lead that differ dramatically from the "gladiator" style that predominates in macho-led corporate and institutional cultures. Rather than become "Amazons" (or wanna-be gladiators,) these women have given themselves permission to be who they are: empathic, inclusive, compassionate, and cooperative. Unlike conventional wisdom, Regine discovered, these are the qualities that contribute to the bottom line; they don't detract from it. Rather than choosing to be "shape changers," Regine's phrase for women who've tried to be all things to all people while risking losing their integrity and authenticity, these women have an iron will to get things done, but to do it by using the culture of care, instead of the culture of power over others.

That women can get things done as leaders by caring about others' needs doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is Regine's historical cultural chronicle of just how many ways that women are still hitting glass ceilings, still being subordinated or subordinating themselves, still encountering blatant sexism in the workplace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nate M on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the father of a 9-year-old demi-goddess with professed presidential aspirations, I couldn't resist the subtitle of "Women Transforming Themselves and the World". Iron Butterflies is a thought provoking and insightful examination of conceptions and misconceptions of the current state of women's (and men's) affairs. Regine shares the sometimes difficult and always inspirational stories of dozens of successful women and the role that embracing rather than disguising their feminine qualities played in their hard won successes. She goes on to explore in-depth how those very qualities of collective effort, community and interdependence can and will change the world.
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