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Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Sexism hasn't gone away, argues journalist/activist Berg, it has simply adapted to our changing culture. Berg offers a refresher course on the 20th-century women's rights movement and its unexpected devolution in recent years, drawing on aspects of culture like advertising and reality TV, scientific research and an online survey of 300 not-so-randomly selected women and interviews with 200 more. Contemporary women, Berg says, are encouraged to imitate vapid media darlings instead of breaking glass ceilings (or breaking even) in academia, business and government. Containing the requisite—and accurate—feminist media criticism and movement history, updates to the 2008 presidential election and Obama's first few months, this is an excellent, easily decipherable text for history, sociology and women's studies students—and even older feminists looking for an update. Berg uses short chapters for flowing discussions on work, reproductive rights, health and activism. She focuses on working women's issues, and more discussion on women who choose to be full-time homemakers and their particular concerns would have added balance. But Berg still offers a wakeup call for young women entering the cultural and career trenches on what went wrong and how to fix it. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"In no-nonsense fashion, Berg lays out the case for a renewed feminist movement that can be at the center of progressive politics. Her passion and humor demonstrate why feminism is not a threat to us men but a gift." Robert Jensen, University of TexasAustin, author, Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity
"The time has come for a new wave of feminism and Sexism in America is just what we need to help bring it on." Diane E. Levin, PhD, professor of education, Wheelock College; coauthor, So Sexy So Soon
"Sweeping vision, sharp wit, and in-depth research . . . a road map to how the Far Right and conservative religious forces succeeded in pushing women's rights back from victories in the 1970s into an era in which women must begin again." Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief, Women's eNews
"Sexism in America is vital reading for everyone to ensure that the quality of life for women continues to transform to ultimately create complete gender equality." Dr. Jane Greer, author, How Could You Do This To Me? Learning To Trust After Betrayal
Top customer reviews
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Sexism in America: Alive, Well and Ruining Our Future performs a great public service. While stimulating and entertaining, the book achieves its principal purpose, since I came away both enlightened and enraged at the existing gender situation. The job, now, is to make the public more effectively aware of the issues.
The information in this book should reach both males and females. During this holiday season, give this book to your relatives and friends. You will be doing all of them a favor.
Sexism in America reveals both the cultural and structural sexism that prevails despite previous victories, taking readers, like me, through a comprehensive exposé of the battles women still face in order to achieve true equity.
* The incredible disparities in cost of women's health insurance versus men's, the revamped war on reproductive freedom, and why the US is considered 31st in world gender equity
* The rise of infant mortality rates, teen pregnancy, heart disease and diabetes in
women, as well as sexually transmitted infections among adolescent girls
* The rampant workplace discrimination that women, especially mothers face, and the wage gap between men & women that begins immediately after college and grows over time
* The pervasive sexism in popular culture beginning with male characters dominating 85% of speaking parts in G-rated children's movies to increasingly violent and accessible internet pornography
What was also incredible to me were some of the comments made by doctors, politicians and leaders whom we (once) trusted to care about the rights and health of women in America.
*Regarding Birth Control "We will never give over the control of our numbers to the women, themselves. What? Let them control the future of the human race?" (Male physician talking with Margaret Sanger)
*Regarding Miscarriage "There are two types of habitual miscarries: the basically immature woman or the frustrated independent woman." (1977 medical text book)
*Child Care "Child care threatens family stability by encouraging women to work and encouraging a communal approach to childrearing." (President Nixon)
*Equal Rights (Falwell) wanted to "bury Equal Rights Amendment once and for all in a deep, dark grave."
Yes, there is PLENTY more to make your blood boil that happened in the PAST but it's the future we need to worry about. Chapters on Clinton, Bush and comments on Obama are all included as well as what girls are facing now....body image, education, and career opportunities all still not equal to boys/men. Did you know of the hidden provision in Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 REQUIRES all public schools to provide the military with personal data on their students including birthdates, social security numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and grade point averages? Equipped with this information, recruiters can bypass parents and contact the students directly.
If I didn't say it before, Sexism in America: Alive, Well, And RUNING OUR FUTURE by Barbra J. Berg, Ph.D. needs to be put on your MUST READ list. Once you do I will be very interested to hear your comments!
As a fiftysomething male who's run his own company for many many years, I was in for quite an awakening about the many practices, comments and lapses that I as well as many of my colleagues engage in that are detrimental to women. And I have two daughters whom I adore and have always prided myself on being pro-women!
This book was definitely a wake-up call for me. It's no longer going to be enough to say, "Yeah, I know women are discriminated against." The important thing is understanding the depth, prevalence of it. (I didn't for example know that women are dying at younger ages than men or about the very successful campaign on the right to grant fetuses personhood which would eliminate choice without a Supreme Court decision.) But once we know what is happening and why, then, we can begin as Berg says, "To make a society that will enhance all of our lives." Everyone should read this book.
Most recent customer reviews
If it were possible, I'd now give it twenty stars.Read more