From Publishers Weekly
In this theoretically sophisticated and thoroughly accessible treatise on gender, work and domesticity, Williams offers a new vision of "family-friendly" feminism that would support women in all the various roles on the worker-caregiver continuum. With special attention to the diversity of women's experience in terms of race and social class, this book challenges common assumptions about gender roles and women's choices concerning work, family and career. Arguing that the liberal feminist ideal of full equality in the workforce and the anti-feminist call to full-time domesticity do not represent a satisfactory range of options, Williams, who is the co-director of the Gender, Work and Family Project at the American University Law School, says that the time is ripe to acknowledge the "norm of parental care," and work to develop flexible employment policies that will mitigate the stresses of the work/family dilemma. The title of the book refers to the way in which our social and domestic patterns have proven more resistant to alteration than feminists had hoped, largely due to the powerful social forces that support conventional gender roles, particularly common expectations about mothers and caregiving. Williams proposes a major shift in feminist strategy, focusing on the needs of diverse families, broad recognition of the value of domestic work and an expansion of the limited scheduling options available to women and men in the workplace. Of interest to feminists, working women and caregivers as well as policy makers, this groundbreaking study presents an important new perspective on this evolving discourse. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Finally, a logical look at the work vs. family debate....Williams blends brilliant scholarship, rigorous analysis and family values in a proposal to radically change the American workplace."--The Seattle Times
"Williams would jump-start a movement with reasoned argument. Her documentation is encyclopedic and scrupulous."--The Nation
"Like The Feminine Mystique
and The Second Shift
, Unbending Gender
could ignite a new debate over what should happen next."--Yale Law Journal
"An ambitious work and a precious accomplishment."-- Women's Review of Books
"This book makes a notable contribution to the feminist literature for its eminently sensible, readable, and thoughtful look into the roots of women's disadvantage in market work...Highly recommended to readers who seek real explanations and solutions to labor market gender discrimination."--Choice