- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 3 edition (January 3, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062507702
- ISBN-13: 978-0062507709
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Women's Reality: An Emerging Female System Paperback – January 3, 1992
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“The Other Woman is an absorbing thriller with a great twist. A perfect beach read.” ― Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of "The Great Alone" Pre-order today
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""Women's Reality "is one of the few books that is supportive of women's changing roles without putting men down. It allows men and women to see each other as friends rather than enemies."--Jed Diamond, author of "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places""A brilliant dissection of the psycho-sexual differences between male and female experience. It should be required reading in every women's studies course."--Rosemary Ruether, author of "Women-Church""Superb....The power of naming is an awesome one. It has been held almost exclusively by men. In our time, women are increasingly reclaiming this power in order to name their own truths. For this very fundamental task, "Women's Reality" is a superb tool. It is conceptually clear, insightful throughout--and kind. Men need this as much as women do."--Bonnie Kreps, author of "Subversive Thoughts, Authentic Passions"
About the Author
Anne Wilson Schaef, Ph.D., is the bestselling author of Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much, Women's Reality, and Co-Dependence, among others. Schaef specializes in work with women's issues and addictions and has developed her own approach to healing which she calls Living in Process. Her focus now is helping people, societies, and the planet make a paradigm shift.
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That said, I happily ordered it again last week for my teenage niece, who is trying to understand the dynamics of her young friends and her ever-changing love interests: boys. It provides insight for anyone who would like to know why girls can sometimes be terrible to one another, and why girls compete for the approval and validation of boys. It helped me immensely when I was a youngster, and it is helping her right now.
For me, what the book does best is illustrate the benefits of shifting one's perspective. For instance, Wilson Schaef's take on responsibility: In her White Male System, responsibility is the targeting of blame, whereas in her Female System, responsibility is the willingness and ability to respond. There's merit in her distinction; after all, the former use of the word is far more pervasive, even now, than the latter. Yet the latter use is equally, if not more, true to the word's original meaning.
There are several other similar philosophical gems in the book -- her discussion of "levels of truth" stands out, as does her perspectives on time, community, and family. The chapter on the Perfect Marriage, though it seemed terribly abstract at the time, has surprised me often in its connections with my own reality and ways of thinking.
The book has serious flaws. Wilson Schaef is very locked into identity politics, in a way has probably turned off many potential readers. She also repeatedly claims that the White Male System is no better or worse than the Female System, but not once in the book does she point out anything positive about it. I found this annoying: if she's going to rip White Males (or our System), I'd rather she did it straightforwardly. Since first reading the book, I've learned that many of Wilson Schaef's ideas are drawn straight out of classical philosophy; sadly, she never credits Hegel, Kierkegaard, et. al. as inspiration. It's too bad, since one of the biggest flaws in her work is how imprisoned it seems in late 70's - early 80's feminist psychology.
Those flaws aside, it is worth reading, especially for those looking into the development of feminist thinking. For more cogent, challenging ideas -- and for higher-quality writing -- check out Marilyn Frye's "The Politics of Reality."