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The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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"There's a subtle radicalism to Filipovic's vision of politicized pleasure...She's proposing a thorough remodeling of the house that white men built."
―Megan Garber, The Atlantic
"Filipovic creates an accurate and complex portrait of the struggles facing working women-and the collective effort necessary to remedy them."
"Filipovic dives deep into the machinery of American culture and politics to uncover the underlying causes of continuing inequality, demonstrating the necessity of reframing our deeply held cultural beliefs."―Bust
"A wonderfully intersectional work."―Bustle
"The H-Spot is the feminist book we've all been waiting for. Filipovic is a brilliant and engaging writer, and offers a necessary new way to think about gender, politics, and happiness. In the current political moment, The H-Spot couldn't be better timed."
―Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object
"Jill Fillipovic consistently captures the modern zeitgeist and I rely on her fresh perspective. Read her book; she will give us hope for the future like no one else can."
"Part feminist history, part memoir, and part call to action, this engaging volume presents a sound argument for shifting both policy and cultural attitudes toward a prioritization of female happiness. Filipovic gives a comprehensive look into what makes American women happy-and why so many aren't-in a system that seems set up to limit them. Using detailed research and thoughtful analysis, as well as numerous interviews with women of varied backgrounds, Filipovic discusses some of the most significant points of female happiness (or lack thereof)-from female friendship to motherhood to equal pay, and more-in all their complexity and through an intersectional feminist lens. Filipovic, who writes for the New York Times, Cosmopolitan.com, among other publications, is unflinchingly honest in her analysis of what it means to be female in America, both in 2017 and throughout history. VERDICT Thought provoking and sure to spark discussion, this title will appeal to fans of Roxane Gay and other feminist writers, as well as readers seeking well-researched works that speak to today's political climate."―Library Journal
"A sound analysis of what really makes women happy. . . . An assertive, eye-opening investigation of women's happiness. [Filipovic's] research and analysis are spot-on, and she provides readers with plenty of useful information to drive deep and necessary discussions for years to come. A timely, enlightening exploration of what American women truly want and need to live purposeful, fulfilling, happy lives."―Kirkus Reviews
"Women have come a long way, but the idea that women deserve to feel pleasure is still a third rail in American society. Jill Filipovic asks, instead, what if we stopped talking about women solely as wives, mothers, and workers, and started to think of women as people who have a right to pursue happiness-for themselves. The idea makes many people squirm, but the result would be a better society, for everyone."―Amanda Marcotte, author of It's a Jungle Out There
"By politicizing the question 'What makes women happy?' Jill Filipovic turns us away from the world of self-help and self-improvement to focus on the systems that deny women the right to fulfillment. The H-Spot is a deeply researched and cogently argued book that demands a radical reimagining of policy to ensure not only an end to gender oppression, but the establishment of new systems where women's happiness is not sidelined or ignored, and is instead central to our understanding of freedom."―Mychal Denzel Smith, author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching
"Jill's book is a much-needed examination of the intersection of two issues we rarely see discussed together: feminism and happiness. For too long, critics of feminism have used the happiness argument to belittle the importance of the cause and argue that female emancipation somehow makes women unhappy. It couldn't be further from the truth. Empowered women are happier women. We should all have a right to happiness and for far too long, women have been excluded from that pursuit. In her book, Jill makes an eloquent case for women's right to be truly happy. It's about damn time someone said it, women deserve and have earned their happiness, and they are going to take it!"
―Liz Plank, senior correspondent, Vox
"Sexism and misogyny may be humankind's primary flaws, and Jill Filipovic offers a searing and sanguine look at how they block the happiness of women and men alike. Her debut is a guide to better living through an emancipatory mindset. If you thought feminism's goal was gender equality alone, The H-Spot demands that we expect more."
―Jamil Smith, journalist and cultural critic
"This is a damn good book that is filling in blank spots I didn't know I had about sex, about women, about history, and about how much better our lives, relationships, and societies could be if we opened up our imaginations as Jill has so courageously, generously, and effectively done. Men, women, and everyone on the spectrum in between should read and talk about this book."
―Baratunde Thurston, author of How to Be Black
"What if, instead of relying on women to self-sacrifice and man-please, society valued women's happiness? What would have to change-in our social and political arrangements, at work, at home, in bed? Widely known for her shrewd and searching journalism on contemporary feminist issues, Jill Filipovic is the perfect writer to raise these provocative questions-and point the way to some answers."
―Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights
"Filipovic frames happiness as a political question-one that goes back to the Declaration of Independence itself...She shows her subject is crucial, and the political changes needed to close the 'happiness gap' between American men and women would be revolutionary. If, as the old adage has it, no one is free until we are all free, Filipovic shows the same may be true of being happy."―New York Times Book Review
"A practical, carefully researched modern-life primer for everywoman. Through chapters about motherhood, friendship, sex, work and relationships, she uses her own experience and that of others to navigate the structural problems facing women in a patriarchal society - and to explain how they can be happier."―Financial Times
About the Author
Jill Filipovic is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and a regular columnist for Cosmopolitan.com, where she was previously a senior political writer. A former columnist for the Guardian, she is also an attorney. Her work on law, politics, gender and foreign affairs has appeared in the Washington Post, Time, Nation, Foreign Policy and others. Follow her on Twitter @JillFilipovic.
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Filipovic, an attorney before she became a journalist, is always a thorough but uncondescending explainer, with a writing voice that's engaging without being self-consciously showy, and a knack for careful but forceful argumentation. But my favorite thing about The H-Spot in particular, which I didn't know before ordering it, is that -- like the work of Martha Nussbaum -- it's fundamentally and explicitly an Aristotelian ethical project, which is to say that it takes the starting position that political organization should be aimed at the goal of human well-being (as opposed to, say, economic growth). From there Filipovic builds a case, or maybe it's better to say several cases, for specific ways in which American policy fails women and disproportionately women of color in this aim, and specific (and feasible!) ways in which it could address this failure. She does so largely through first-hand accounts of several women across America, in a wide range of socioeconomic circumstances. Because although the institutions and less formal systems in play are complicated, the questions at the heart of all this are simple: What do women want? What do women need?
Filipovic asks these questions without pre-judgment, and without assuming that there are any answers that are too unrealistic to consider. Not that anyone she talks to asks for anything "unrealistic," partly because they often speak from too much experience for the unrealistic to occur to them as something they deserve to ask for, and partly because the idea that woman-friendly policy is unrealistic is a Bad Take to begin with. Filipovic doesn't need to be pie-in-the-sky utopian to show how things could be much better for women (and by extension, it should but still doesn't go without saying, for everyone), and many solutions to the problems she lays out would in a different political climate be relatively easily within reach.
The H-Spot is the most interesting applied ethics text I was never assigned. I have admittedly been out of academic philosophy for about four years now, but I really think each chapter (built around topics like friendship, sex, and parenting) is brimming with potential paper topics for grad and undergrad students of ethics and/or political philosophy. Even if you're not interested in that angle, if you think "Women should be happy" and "the point of civilization is to make happiness easier for everyone" are uncontroversial claims, but also see that not enough of the world seems to agree with you, The H-Spot is the book for you.
I think the government should help the person not receiving child support from the absent parent. I feel this would stop some of the need to be in assistance and help the parent raising the children have the means not in reach; because they are too busy working those two or three jobs. They would be able to focus on the children much better. As a single mother that was my main focus, providing for my children and giving them an education. Well, the streets took my children because the Attorney General, could not find their father to provide what the children needed and I too, (and I say me too) to give them the needed attention the children needed in-order to be successful.
Instead of focusing only on making assistance more accessible they should also focus on the making sure the absent parent pays his/her portion of raising the children both parents brought into the world. I for one know the Attorney General failed me and when I did hire an attorney, the took just a little over half of all that they did collect. (Sure I know the attorney needs to be paid, but they were taking that much illegally and then the last year they were there they made me sign a form to make it legal to take what they were taking) The attorney finally gave up and left me hanging. I cannot collect from the Attorney General any money because they have it to where they will take the money, the money that I went on my own and found information on to give to them in-order to collect. This Is What The Government Should Focus On Too! They make it so easy for men to walk away from their responsibilities, so that has become a epidemic. What is the cure for this. Maybe you should focus on helping the women, (I say women, because it is predominantly more women then men in the situation).