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Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism Hardcover – October 1, 1998
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Graglia indicts feminism for the demise of the traditional family, the degradation of the homemaker, the spread of venereal disease, the growth of income disparity, and the defeat of the United States in Vietnam (no kidding). Graglia, who holds a law degree from Columbia University, believes that she is a better representative of the "average woman" than (disproportionately Jewish) feminists are. She recommends a movement to reform "no-fault" divorce laws to ensure financial security for full-time homemakers (although the old laws were notoriously ineffective), inspired by women who have been "awakened by transforming sexual experiences?including the child-bearing and nurturing that are the fruits of her sexual encounters." She observes, in passing, that the "sexual ministrations of [her] husband" do more to make her feel alive than does reading Supreme Court opinions. One person's account of the personal as political, this is not a necessary library purchase.?Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"If there is a book our culture has been needing for the last thirty years, Domestic Tranquility is it." -- Phyllis Schlafly
...makes a strong case that feminism has not increased the sum of human happiness... Mrs. Graglia offers a thinking woman's argument for putting family first. -- The Wall Street Journal, Lisa Schiffren
William Kristol (The Weekly Standard) calls the book "a stunningly bold and deep assault on the most powerful movement of our time-feminism. A genuinely thought-provoking book." Danielle Crittenden of The Women's Quarterly praises it as "a stunning indictment of the women's movement and its radical vision of female equality. Carolyn Graglia is a courageous thinker."
"Rarely does a book draw such a rave from one of our reviewers. And Dan Neyer is one of our hardest to please, so you can be sure he brought us to the edge of our seats. Why all the fuss? A few lines from Dan's exuberant 4-page analysis:
'F. Carolyn Graglia, a lawyer before she became a homemaker, makes an unassailable case against feminism.... [She] holds feminism up to the light and reveals it to be anti-female and anti-human....'
'Although Graglia never uses the term satanic to describe the feminists, she is unstinting in her condemnation of them. She makes it clear that female promiscuity, legalized abortion, increased male impotence, bureaucratic eunuchs, and increased homosexuality are all products of feminism. God bless her for writing this book. And as she asks in the book: Where are all the men? Why don't they oppose the feminists? Why is F. Carolyn Graglia the only person attacking them? It is partly because the feminists have so successfully gelded American males, and partly because males, through a misplaced notion of chivalry, do not believe in attacking women. But when women cease to be women they must be dealt with. Deep down the real reason the feminists hate men, Graglia tells us, is because men do not love them enough to challenge them when they misbehave. That is a very unpopular thing to say, but Graglia has the moral fortitude to say it, and say it very well.'
'Mrs. Graglia makes her points cannily. Her research includes sources who don't share her traditional views, so the book packs a double wallop. Perhaps more importantly, Mrs. Graglia doesn't leave us hanging. She shows us how to begin anew to respect and support both the woman who undertakes a traditional role and the man who makes it possible for her to do so. It all adds up to the most stinging indictment of feminism ever written.'" -- Conservative Book Club, Featured Alternate Main Selection
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The doors of opportunity were nearly all wide open decades before modern feminism, which she does an excellent job of explaining. Unlike most anti-feminist books which consist of nothing more than disgruntled men whining "where's my equality?," or "equity" feminists declaring a war on men, Graglia's book actually stands up for the traditional woman. She has the courage to go against the egalitarian culture and the feminist vision of radical equality. From woman's sexuality, workforce participation, combat service, motherhood and relations with men, she has the courage to speak the politically incorrect truth. She speaks boldly against the emasculated, androgynous culture and the de-feminizing of women as well as the male revolt from the breadwinner ethic, which, as she explains, the women's movement has encouraged and enabled. She explains that women would have alleviated their discontent "...if they had resisted the emasculating forces in our society and encouraged the growth of mature masculinity." (149)
To be sure, this book is not for the faint of heart. Though Graglia never states her opinion one way or the other on FGM, she does take a couple of paragraphs to showcase the extreme measures that societies will go to to curb female sexuality. She also goes to great lengths to explain why the sexual "double standard" might actually be a good thing for women. She makes it clear that female promiscuity has devalued women's bodies, roles as mothers, emasculated and made impotent our men, and relieved men of the responsibility of financially supporting a wife and children.
The mainstream views women's lib as a movement about women's rights so most people naturally assume it is men that have been disadvantaged in the process. To be sure, once again, men have suffered some loss (there is , after all, a price to pay for freedom) but Graglia is one of the few courageous thinkers that has the moral fortitude to stand up and say it is women who have been the targets of the feminist movement, not men. Our laws have changed to harm women, not men. The feminist movement, as she explains, was determined to invalidate all laws that favored women because, supposedly, it would benefit working women and as a result many women find themselves in desperate situations. She attacks "no-fault" divorce and the sources of the feminization of poverty. Feminists call crisis regarding mothers and their children, but their movement supported gender neutral custody laws which, as Graglia explains, has impoverished many women and children because desperate mothers will trade away their child support or alimony to hang onto their children (not something the mainstream will report on, that's for sure).
She explains in great detail how women throughout our culture (as well as others) have always been more aware of their sexuality and the associated pleasures than what feminists admit. She talks of the sexual experience that overwhelms and what men really want to deal with in bed. I do admit that I had to stop a couple of times when initially reading this book to wonder how much more heated this book was going to get. Graglia is definitely not shy on details.
Graglia is nobody's fool. She was a lawyer before the feminist movement came through like a hurricane that left society in shambles and she knows her stuff. She cites plenty of feminist works so nobody can realistically say that she is one sided. I am not 100% with her on her abortion views but I understand the point she is making in the book. She speaks boldly of the feminist denial of female preciousness and the submission to combat service. Graglia is more than right when she speaks of female preciousness. No civilization can stand the loss of large numbers of their young women. Our child-bearing ability, "the one thing women possess and men lack (155)," she says, is what really counts. Women are precious and, unlike men, are not expendable to society. "If a nation must wage war, a young man's death in combat fulfills his destiny as protector of a society the fundamental purpose of which is to reproduce itself and secure its children's safety and well-being. A young woman's death in combat can never fulfill, but only negate her destiny as bearer of those children." (190)The "Awakened Brünnhilde," she explains, is the woman who, "experiences sexual pleasure that evokes her thanks to God for having been born..." (332)
Another thing that makes this book unique is that it is written in a non-religious format. Graglia brilliantly states her case as an experienced lawyer would. Only once does she even mention the Bible, and only to quote the Song of Songs to showcase that the woman speaking knew quite a bit about her sexuality in disputing the feminist insistence that women knew nothing of their sexuality before their movement that sexually "liberated" women.
It is truly easy to write off many anti-feminists as woman haters in our society. That is because most antifeminists are not really against feminism at all and in fact are not really standing up for women. Disgruntled Men's Rights Activists will not be pleased with this book because Graglia actually stands up for women instead of degrading them. She speaks of the feminist assault on masculinity and rightly states that women have ultimately been the biggest victims of it. While those who attempt to speak up for traditional women are shouted down even by the most conservative in our society (after all, did the conservatives say much about the recent decision to fully integrate women into combat..?) I hope, as Graglia does, that the day will come when those who support traditional women will truly be heard.
Thank you, Mrs. Graglia.
This book is a sleeper: it's message is so shattering, it is no wonder it has not received much attention. It is also a long and sometimes difficult book to follow, mainly because of the intricacy of the argument, one worthy of the attorney Mrs. Graglia was trained to be before she dropped her legal career for what she obviously found a more rewarding life. But it may be destined to become a classic statement about the ills that beset modern men and women. One suspects the howls of pain, especially those emanating from the fair sex, are only going to get louder. This book helps understand why. One wishes that Mrs. Graglia would attempt to write shorter pieces for magazines of opinion and even more popular outlets.
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