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Catfight: Women and Competition by [Tanenbaum, Leora]
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Catfight: Women and Competition Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tanenbaum's first book (Slut!) examined how social competition causes some female teenagers to attack others for real or imagined sexual behavior. In this follow-up, she branches out, taking on adult women and their struggles to look prettier, land better boyfriends or husbands, be more popular with co-workers and be considered better mothers than other women, sisterhood be damned. Although Tanenbaum provides the latest in academic research, she also includes an entertaining mix of examples from pop culture, newspaper and magazine articles and original fieldwork. She makes the subject personal, sharing her own frustrations with breast feeding, office gossip and living with a body that doesn't match contemporary beauty norms. Although many women feel no choice but to endure constant pressure and self-doubt, Tanenbaum counters that competition is a learned behavior, not human nature, and the consequences are rarely worth the meager rewards. "We can see that competition between women serves only the status quo," she laments. "And the status quo keeps us from gaining more power over our lives, our work, and our relationships." The closing chapter highlights the potential for women to collaboratively strive for success in the arenas of political activism and team athletics, but even there, Tanenbaum says, as in the business world, women must face the prospect of being judged "unfeminine" if they show too aggressive a desire to win. The book's accessible approach to the contradictions between feminist rhetoric and women's real experiences, especially in the still-controversial realm of working mothers, is sure to attract even more attention for this fast-rising social critic.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Why are women vicious to one another? Social critic Tanenbaum, author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, traces competitiveness among women to socially mandated dilemmas related to beauty culture (transformative or oppressive?), dating and marriage (marry and settle or remain independently-and frustratedly-single?), work life (be ambitious or be "feminine"?), and motherhood (return to work or stay at home?). While cooperation and respect could ease the difficult decisions, Tanenbaum finds that women tend toward judgment and competitiveness to validate their choices and secure position, possession, or the moral upper hand. Even historical and contemporary exemplars of cooperation-the suffrage movement and women's sports-are fraught with internal struggle and ambivalence. Tanenbaum's inquiry, which focuses (though not exclusively) on young white American women of means, blends well-documented research, interviews, and personal reflection in a lively, accessible style. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries. (Index not seen.)-Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Worthington P.L., OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 738 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; A Seven Stories Press 1st Ed edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00541Z7XA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,674 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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October 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
26 people found this helpful
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September 28, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
November 14, 2014
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September 28, 2015
June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
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September 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
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December 14, 2008
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