Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (The by Susan Faludi

By Susan Faludi

Skillfully Probing the assault on Women's Rights

"Opting-out," "security moms," "desperate housewives," "the new child fever"--the pattern tales of 2006 go away without doubt that American girls are nonetheless being barraged through an identical backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling booklet of revelations. Now, the e-book that reignited the feminist stream is again in a 15th anniversary variation, with a brand new preface by means of the writer that brings backlash realization modern.

When it was once first released, Backlash made headlines for puncturing such favourite media myths because the "infertility epidemic" and the "man shortage," myths that confounded statistical realities. those willfully fictitious media campaigns extra as much as an antifeminist backlash. no matter what development feminism has lately made, Faludi's phrases this day appear prophetic. The media nonetheless love tales approximately stay-at-home mothers and the "dangers" of women's occupation pursuits; the glass ceiling continues to be low; girls are nonetheless punished for desirous to be triumphant; simple reproductive rights are nonetheless placing by way of a thread. The backlash basically exists.

With ardour and precision, Faludi indicates in her new preface how the creators of industrial tradition distort feminist strategies to promote items whereas promoting girls downstream, how the feminist ethic of financial independence is twisted into the patron ethic of shopping for strength, and the way the feminist quest for self-determination is warped right into a self-centered quest for self-improvement. Backlash is a vintage of feminism, an alarm bell for girls of each new release, reminding us of the risks that we nonetheless face.

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For instance, Raden Ayu Surio Hadikusumo, a sister of Kartini, argued that girls should be prepared at school ‘to become competent in an occupation by means of which they can later become financially independent’ or to learn how to be a good housewife, able to raise children, look after the health of the family and be ‘a life-companion of an educated and civilised man’. However, as might be expected of a sister of Kartini, she did not lose the opportunity to criticise the ‘social evils’ which she believed that education of girls would help eliminate: child marriage and polygamy.

Women would need to learn to speak in public, because ‘it is an inescapable fact that the ideas of men and women differ in many respects’. She pointed to a recent meeting of the social welfare organisation Maju Kemuliaan (Noble Advancement), where women repeatedly expressed their craving for knowledge ‘so as no longer to be fooled by men about things which we women can and must know for ourselves’. Cases in point for this midwife, drawn from her own hard experience, were the ignorance of girls about sex and pregnancy, and the dangers of venereal disease.

Colonial supporters of education for girls did indeed regard it as radical in the Indonesian context, but just as we know now that Western education 38 Women and the State in Modern Indonesia in the Indies created the largely unintended consequence of nationalism among its recipients, so it seems the European proponents of schooling for girls did not foresee its full consequences. Their words and actions had quite different reverberations in the Indies than they did back in Europe, giving rise to uncertainties, contradictions and conflicts, as well as emancipatory implications for many women of that time.

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