- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556529465
- ISBN-13: 978-1556529467
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 5.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Woman's Inhumanity to Woman Paperback – May 1, 2009
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Chesler reminds us:
"We all have the capacity to act in ways that oppress, dominate, wound (whether or not that power is institutionalized) therefore it is the potential oppressor within that we must resist."
Any woman who has been wounded, betrayed, shunned, targeted or abused by another woman, can appreciate this engrossing and educational read. You will learn that you are not alone in your perceptions of rage and aggression by women towards other women and you are not, in fact, a misogynist by recognizing it. You might also understand more of your own tendencies or if not, those of the women who behave in these ways to other women.
I highly recommend this book to every woman - mothers give it to your daughters and granddaughters, your sisters and all the women you know. I highly recommend this book to every man because men also instinctively know there is something underneath the surface but don't always quite understand what that is. This book is not a condemnation of women though there were feminists who wanted no part of this book at its inception and actively discouraged the author in her attempt.
From the anthropological, sociological, psychiatric, and holistic, these are vitally important findings from more than thirty years of research. Bravo to Chesler for the tireless research which culminated in this book.
The crucial takeaway from this might very well be that this silence of woman's inhumanity against other women must be addressed first and foremost, it must be broken then addressed, before any expectation that mans inhumanity to woman can be repaired.
The book is great in first starting with the group dynamics in monkeys and other primates similar to humans, moving to girls and teenagers and then discussing the adult interactions. I was particualy moved by the story of an honor killing which was caused partly by a women's gossip. I agree that gossip can be really harmful and some people's advice saying just to ignore it undermines the damage that it can do to one's reputation and even one's life. I was a little disappointed that the author does not mention any strategies of how to deal and avoid such situations. She only describes all the harm that women's meanness and spitefulness can cause but never shows how we can avoid becoming victims of other women's envy and jealosity. One strategy that she mentions in one place in the book that some women employ is to try to remove the object of envy that makes other women jealous. The author does not necessarily approves of it but is this the only possible way? Is it possible not to be afraid to be happy, successful, and strive to become a better person and achieve your goals while keeping your women friends and receiving their support that we all crave as a women?
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It resonated with my recent experiences of being backdstabbed at work by other women and experiencing all of the women's spitefulness described in the book (gossip, loss of career opportunities, isolation etc.). I do not think that I am the type of person who causes this type of cruelties although the author mentions women doing it and having an amnesia about it. However, I wish I knew a way of protecting yourself without becoming one of those people who forms cliques, exludes others, gossips and sabotages a girl behind her back.