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Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism Hardcover – October 1, 1998
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From Library Journal
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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There are several parts of this book with which I take exception. They are, but not limited to, the following:
1) She blames women whose husbands molest their daughters because the wives should be sexually satisfying their husbands. This does not address the issue of pedophilia and the perverseness of a man who would sexually abuse his own daughter. In no way should the woman be blamed when her husband obviously has more serious problems than an unsatisfactory sex life. If the mother is ever to blame, it is in those instances in which she knew it was going on and allowed it to continue.
2) She presents what I view as flawed statistics. Graglia states that 90% of all births to black mothers aged 15-19 are illegitimate. This obviously makes perfect sense, since the average age of marriage is currently 24 for women and 26 for men. A married eighteen- or nineteen-year-old is rare and surely most women younger than this are not married. Graglia also discusses rape and sexual abuse statistics which show a veritable explosion in occurrence of these crimes over the past forty years. However, rape and sexual abuse are not as taboo or ignored by the police as they once were; this explains why these statistics have risen so alarmingly, despite the fact that both are still widely underreported.
3) Graglia acts as though a declining birth rate is a huge problem, although Earth is projected to reach her carrying capacity--the maximum amount of people Earth's natural resources can support--in the not too distant future. Overpopulation, not underpopulation, is a bigger concern for scientists, unless my Geology professor had no idea what he was talking about.
Lastly, Graglia uses the one reason that disgusts me the most as to why women should stay home--that women who dare work in the marketplace are taking away jobs that men who are the solitary breadwinners need. Propaganda, anyone? This argument was used to get women to give up whatever employment they held during the Depression...and then, during WWII, free child care was made available in the workplace so Rosie the Riveter could do her patriotic duty. Naturally, Graglia is against this child care. I do not have a problem with the fact that she does not support child care that one-income families must pay for, but it frustrates me to no end that our government has manipulated women in this way, and Graglia has bought into the brainwashing.
I like to read both sides of the issue, but I found this book absolutely infuriating. The writing does not flow well and I found it difficult to concentrate and, when I did, what I read just made me mad. According to other reviews, it looks as though other people really liked it. If you are homemakers, that's great, but I, for one, want to have a profession and a family, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. So if we can just learn to live and let live, that would be perfectly wonderful. I support your choice to stay at home, and all I would ask is that you support my choice to work outside the home without thinking I must be a terrible mother.
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