Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
This compelling book systematically lays out the case for a post-80s backlash against feminism (firstly setting the scene in a wider historical context). This backlash is all the more insidious because (as in the past) it is not uprfront in its attacks, disguising its intentions by pretending to have women's interests at heart. It manipulates the media and uses many...
Published on 17 April 1999

versus
11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on Anecdotes, Short on Opinion and Analysis
I had SO much looked forward to reading this book. It is well-wrtten, and has loads and loads of supporting anecdotes. But in fact, it has so many that I became bored with it. the author makes good points, but keeps rehashing them over and over, and never gets to making conclusions. I have to say that I tried, but was not able to even finish the book, as after I got...
Published on 17 Nov 2002 by Imperial Topaz


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!, 17 April 1999
By A Customer
This compelling book systematically lays out the case for a post-80s backlash against feminism (firstly setting the scene in a wider historical context). This backlash is all the more insidious because (as in the past) it is not uprfront in its attacks, disguising its intentions by pretending to have women's interests at heart. It manipulates the media and uses many forms of subtle propaganda to get its message across: that feminism has failed, the women are better off when they are "free" to remain in the home, the career woman are burnt out and can't get husbands... and many other such widespread myths.
Such theories are proved to be not only misguided or biased but actually statistically untrue. Faludi is using FACTS, not just rhetoric. Opinions are not just stated, they are backed up with example after example, interviews and meticulous research. Of course Susan Faludi has an agenda... but so does any journalist, writer or documentary maker when they take a subject, it is not possible (nor desirable) to write without idealogy.
Everyone should read this book because we all need to understand how very much in the power of the media we are! Do we really imagine that the media is an independent entity? It's not, it's controlled by a handful of powerful individuals who pick and choose what they want to tell us, according to their own interests. This is not raving conspiracy theory, it's reality. Every citizen of a democracy has a responsibility to try to find out the truth of things, not just accept what they're spoonfed.
Of particular note are the comments on various films ("Fatal Attraction", "Three Men and a Baby"). We so often view movies as just entertainment, the fact is that they are as political and potentially didactic as any talk back radio host! We should always be questioning what a piece of "entertainment" is trying to tell us and why. I watch a lot of films and sometimes feel that a lot of my knowledge of life comes subconciously from this source... This is scary when I remember that films are merely one person's opinion, they are not reality and generally have little to do with the real world!
But even more important to me, is the message of this "Backlash" that feminism is (still) under attack. Feminism has become something of a dirty word. Some women are unwilling to admit to such a label saying "I agree with it in principal, but..." Women (and men) need to wake up and realise that feminists come in all sorts of guises and that feminism is at base simply the belief that women should have equal rights to men!
The most important myth that this book dispels is that feminism is over, or outlived its usefulness. There are some (Right-wing largely) who would argue that feminism has been a dismal failure for both men and women and society in general (leading to divorce, disharmony, gang warfare, earthquakes, whatever). There are others (some times even so-called feminists) who would say quite complacently that feminism had its day (back in the seventies presumably) and now we women can live as we like and it's all worked out well.
Particualarly when you look at the struggle for women's rights in an historical perspective (as in this book) it is easy to see how ridiculous both these attitudes are. Feminism has not 'failed' because it is not completed! It has not yet achieved it's goals. And after all it's scarcely a hundred years since the struggle was begun. Would you say that the civil rights movement is finished? Of course not because the evidence is all around you. As it is with Feminism.
Read this book if you are a thinking individual with an open mind! It was published some time ago now, but it's message is no less relavent now...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this happening again in the 21st century?, 24 Jan 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the way women are treated in society today. It analyses the 1980s and the backlash against women in fascinating detail and provides a great deal of verifiable facts and figures to support the author's argument. Faludi looks at the gains made by the women's movement in the 1970s and they way they were opposed in the 1980s. She relates interviews with the prime movers of the New Right in America who are steadfastly opposed to women playing an equal part in society. She exposes the hypocrisy of the women involved in this movement who are living their lives in accordance with feminist principles - sharing childcare and domestic chores with their husbands and working outside the home - but their work outside the home is all directed at dismantling the gains made by women and returning them to the domestic front.

The sections I found most frightening were the one analysing popular films of the time and the one about women's reproductive rights. The film `Fatal Attraction' started off as a story about a man having an extra-marital affair while his wife was out of town and being found out when she returned. It did not involve the death of the `other woman' and it made clear the whole situation arose because of the man's actions. It was a moral fable. The finished article was of course a condemnation of the other women as being evil and unnatural and the man and his wife come out of it as saints in comparison. Many other films of the time portrayed career women as evil. The reproductive rights chapter shows how the powerful right wing successfully opposed - and in many cases closed down family planning clinics and persecuted their staff.

Many of the examples quoted are from America - that nation of extremes - but there are examples showing a weaker backlash in the UK. In a sense the power of the backlash is a tribute to the power of the women's movement but it also serves to show how quickly all the gains of the 1970s could be lost in both countries. The image which stuck in my mind was of women working in a chemical plant who - because of the laws about the safety of unborn babies - were faced with a choice of losing their jobs working with chemicals or being sterilised. At that time sterilisation meant hysterectomy. The women's family situation often meant they were the sole breadwinner and the jobs were higher paid than most. They felt they had no choice but to have the operation. Several subsequent court cases ruled against the women trying to obtain compensation when they were eventually made redundant. Their stories read like something out of the 19th century not the last quarter of the 20th century.

As I say this book is frightening reading and you can see similar things happening today in the 21st century if you read newspapers and women's magazines. Domesticity is glorified, women are encouraged to stay at home with their children and described as strident, unfeminine and harridans if they dare to express their views in public. Is a second backlash against women happening now before our eyes?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, Challenging, Life-Changing., 27 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
This is surely the most important text since the seventies. Sadly, it seems likely it will still be pertinent throughout this next century.
For me, the most important issues raised in the book are the extent of the history of the backlash - something that is rarely appreciated in the mainstream - and the ignorance, compliance and even open assistance of all media in establishing and perpetuating the backlash.
Perhaps unusually for a feminist text, Susan Faludi doesn't generalise, she doesn't make men scapegoats, and she doesn't waste any space in this comprehensive analysis of humankind. She also doesn't win enough prizes.
Forget Hillary Clinton - Susan Faludi for President.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for EVERYONE., 25 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
This book is great. The best feminist book I've read in a long time. All those books written in the 1970's are good, but there is a definite need for a book that speaks to women like me who weren't even alive when the Female Eunuch was written. I recommend that every women under 30 should read it, and everyone else too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Backlash packs a double-punch..., 13 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
First it opened my eyes, and then it made me angry. Faludi makes her case with both wit and erudition, plus about 80 pages of documentation. Perhaps the most interesting section is that on the women of the New Right, who hypocritically proclaim that a woman's place is in her home with her children, all the while dropping off their children at day care as they lobby for "family values." It certainly made me wonder how much society has changed since the publication of this book: if women in this day and age haven't progressed far beyond the the obstacles of the 80s backlash, maybe we haven't "come a long way, baby."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two steps forward..., 25 Jan 2011
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
... and a very large one back. It wasn't supposed to happen this way, of course. Those of us involved in the social revolutions of the `60's thought "history" would move in a very straight line forward, all the injustices would be remedied, and marijuana would be legalized in Iowa, no later than 1976 (per an article in Scanlan's Magazine [now long defunct] in 1971). The last election underlined that "we" did better on civil rights than some of the other "causes," though Iowa did just legalize same-sex marriages. We sure didn't learn anything from Vietnam, repeating it all over again in Southwest Asia. And Ms. Faludi documents in excruciating, and painful to read details that large step back, and the forces that made it so, the "backlash." No question that she is angry; there is a lot to be angry about. She is occasionally vitriolic, and yes, perhaps some stats are "cherry-picked" to support her arguments, and occasionally she even verves a little too clause to Andrea Dworkin for my comfort.

It is the layer upon layer of real anecdotes that is a major strength of this book. Consider: "Joel Steinberg's attorney claimed that the notorious batterer and child beater had been destroyed by `hysterical feminists.' And even errant Colonel Oliver North blamed his legal troubles in the Iran-Contra affair on "an arrogant army of ultramilitant feminists." One of the intellectual architects of the backlash is a philosophy professor, Michael Levin, and in his book, said: "...I would no more pander to the reader by straining to praise rape crisis centers than I would strain to praise the punctuality of trains under Mussolini were I discussing fascism." Faludi commands a solid historical perspective throughout the book, noting that in 1948, when the United Nations issued a statement supporting equal rights for women, the United States government was the only one of 22 American nations that wouldn't sign it. (So much for that machismo culture south of the border!) And on page 202, she notes that "...the late Victorian beauty press had warned women that their quest for higher education and employment was causing `a general lapse of attractiveness' and `spoiling complexions.'" Plus ca change... the Kinsey Institute reported that American women have more negative feeling about their body than in other culture surveyed.

I decided to read the "nerves that were hit," all 17 (to date) 1-star reviews, and not a single one chooses a single quote, and any stated fact, and says that Faludi was wrong. No, by in large, they prefer to review through innuendo.

Faludi divides her polemic (and cri de Coeur!) into four major parts. I found the middle two, concerning the backlash in the popular culture, and the one of the origins of the backlash the most fascinating. I still remember how the "statistic" that a "a 35-year old, college educated unmarried woman" had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than of getting married." Widely repeated, wildly incorrect, and rarely challenged, particularly the motives of those that spread such anecdotes,(who are promoting two "backlashes" at once). Faludi, rightly in my opinion, reserves her real vitriol for those movers and shakers, like the Heritage Foundation.

She wrote this book almost 20 years ago, and unfortunately it remains overwhelmingly valid today. I'd love to have her update on how the popular presses' "concern" for the fate of women in the Muslim world continues to serve as an immense distraction for the question of why we cannot pass the Equal Rights Amendment in this country. Perhaps I'll find out when I read her The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America "Backlash" remains an excellent, painful read.

(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on April 22, 2009)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gripping must-read, 19 July 2011
By 
Rygelina (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women (Paperback)
This is considered one of the classics in feminism and I recently decided to buy it. It was worth every penny! I didn't think I'd finish it as fast as I did, I practically read it cover to cover in a few days. Seldom have I read anything as gripping, interesting and scary as this. One minute you're so angry you want to throw something, and the next you're slapping your forehead going "Oh my God, she's so right!"

As a Swedish reader I thought that - for me personally - some of her points on religion and childcare were a bit off target, but that's a small quibble indeed. Her analysis of how feminism was under attack in 80's newspapers, movies and tv is nothing short of brilliant. (Moral of the story: Never believe anything in the newspapers or on tv.)

Should be required reading in school. I can't recommend this enough!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on Anecdotes, Short on Opinion and Analysis, 17 Nov 2002
By 
Imperial Topaz (Marrakesh, Morocco) - See all my reviews
I had SO much looked forward to reading this book. It is well-wrtten, and has loads and loads of supporting anecdotes. But in fact, it has so many that I became bored with it. the author makes good points, but keeps rehashing them over and over, and never gets to making conclusions. I have to say that I tried, but was not able to even finish the book, as after I got halfway though, I began skimming for the conclusions, and never found them. Disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cobbled together journalism, 5 Jan 2012
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There's something unsatisfactory about this doorstop of a benchmark volume. It's been tinkered with ('Anglicized') by Carmen Callil and Jane Hill, which dilutes its focus, and it seems dated, which shouldn't be the case with a work of scholarship. OK, so it's journalism, but The Age of American Unreason was surely scholarship? Oh - that was Susan JACOBY. Faludi's the kook who wrote The Terror Dream

To give you the flavour, Part I Myths and Flashbacks gives you a quote from a 1990 Sunday Times Magazine article (p85). Turning to the more interesting-sounding Part II, The Backlash in Popular Culture, what do we find (p112) but a 1990 quote from the Daily Mail? There's 498pp of this stuff, plus notes, in the original edition - ephemera, hearsay, opinion, the anti-women remarks naturally being held up for scorn and the pro-women for approval, but not a shred of an argument. Not as toxic (or pretentious) as The Terror Dream, though - I think amazon must have pulled my review of that
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's all the fuss about?, 19 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Faludi is a fine writer, and I was entertained from time to time. However, as long as she picks easy targets and uses ridicule rather than arguments that are to the point, no one should take her seriously. She loves scoring cheap points.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women by Susan Faludi (Paperback - 18 Mar 1993)
10.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews