Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time


Katha Pollitt - 2006
    In defense of human rights and equality, she assails the corrupt and educates the misguided with compassion, Swiftian wit, and complete literary authority.In this compelling collection, Pollitt skewers one hypocrite after another. She suggests, for example, that creationists be permitted to oppose the teaching of evolution only so long as they agree to forgo the benefits of the theory–such as flu vaccines. She gently wonders if those who denounced the decision to allow Terri Schiavo to die in peace would themselves be satisfied to be video-diagnosed by Senator Bill Frist. And in the title essay about fundamentalists’ antagonism toward sex education and STD prevention, she asks, “What is it with these right-wing Christians? Faced with a choice between sex and death, they choose death every time.”Pollitt is one of the most eloquent and persuasive voices in American political conversation of this or any other era, and Virginity or Death! Is a marvelous demonstration of her keen insight, mordant humor, and sense of justice.“Katha Pollitt has long and rightly been hailed for her brilliance, wit, and great insight into politics, social issues, and women’s rights. As with all of her work, I am enormously grateful for Virginity or Death!, and also deeply jealous.”–Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies

Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable


Andrea Tantaros - 2015
    If women are more liberated than ever before, why aren't they happier? In this shocking, funny, and bluntly honest tour of today’s gender discontents, Andrea Tantaros, one of Fox News' most popular and outspoken stars, exposes how the rightful feminist pursuit of equality went too far, and how the unintended pitfalls of that power trade have made women (and men!) miserable.In a covetous quest to attain the power that men had, women were advised to work like men, talk like men, party like men, and have sex like men. There’s just one problem: women aren’t men. Instead of feeling happy with their newfound freedoms, females today are tied up in knots, trying to strike a balance between their natural, feminine and traditional desires and what modern society dictates—and demands—through the commandments of feminism. Revealing the mass confusion this has caused among both sexes, Tantaros argues that decades of social and economic progress haven’t brought women the peace and contentedness they were told they'd gain from their new opportunities. The pressure both to have it all and to put forth the perfectly post-worthy, filtered life for social media and society at large has left women feeling twisted. Meanwhile, in their rightful quest for equality, women have promoted themselves at the expense of their male counterparts, leaving both genders frayed and frustrated. In this candid and humorous romp through the American cultural landscape, Tantaros reveals how gaining respect in the office - where women earned it - made them stop demanding it where they really wanted it: in their love lives. The impact of this power trade has been felt in every way, from sex to salaries, to dating and marriage, to fertility and female friendships, to the personal details they share with each other.  As a result, we've lost the traditional virtues and values that we all want, regardless of our politics: intimacy, authenticity, kindness, respect, discretion, and above all commitment. With scathing wit -- and insights born of personal experience -- Tantaros explores how women have taken guys off the hook in dating (much to their own detriment) and exposes how we’ve become a nation averse to intimacy and preoccupied with porn, one that has traded kindness for control, intimacy for sexting, and monogamy for polygamy.  Sorry romance. Sorry decency and manners. Long talks over the telephone have been supplanted by the "belfie."  All this indicates a culture that's devolving, not evolving.  And it’s only getting worse. Tied Up in Knots is a no-holds-barred gut check for the sexes and a wake-up call for a society that has decayed -- faster than anyone thought possible.  It’s time to remember what we all really want out of work, love and life. Only then can we finally begin untying those knots.

We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice


Adrienne Maree Brown - 2020
    It’s time to think this through.“Cancel” or “call-out” culture is a source of much tension and debate in American society. The infamous "Harper’s Letter,” signed by public intellectuals of both the left and right, sought to settle the matter and only caused greater division. Originating as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to address harm and take down powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, call outs are seen by some as having gone too far. But what is “too far” when you’re talking about imbalances of power and patterns of harm? And what happens when people in social justice movements direct their righteous anger inward at one another?In We Will Not Cancel Us, movement mediator adrienne maree brown reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible paths beyond this impasse. Most critiques of cancel culture come from outside the milieus that produce it, sometimes even from from its targets. However, brown explores the question from a Black, queer, and feminist viewpoint that gently asks, how well does this practice serve us? Does it prefigure the sort of world we want to live in? And, if it doesn’t, how do we seek accountability and redress for harm in ways that reflect our values?

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After


Bella DePaulo - 2006
    Although singles are singled out for unfair treatment by the workplace, the marketplace, and the federal tax structure, they are not simply victims of this singlism--single people really are living happily ever after. Singled Out Debunks Ten Myths of Singlehood, Including: -Myth--The Dark Aura of Singlehood: You are miserable and lonely and your life is tragic.-Myth--Attention, Single Women: Your work won’t love you back and your eggs will dry up. Also, you don’t get any and you’re promiscuous.-Myth--Attention, Single Men: You are horny, slovenly, and irresponsible, and you are the scary criminals. Or you are sexy, fastidious, frivolous, and gay.

Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care


Kathleen Parker - 2008
    But cultural provocateur Kathleen Parker, who was raised by her father and who mothered a pack of boys, makes a humorous case for rescuing the allegedly stronger sex from trends that portend man’s cultural demise. Save the Males is a shrewd, amusing, and sure-to-be-controversial look at how men, maleness, and fatherhood have been under siege in American culture for decades. Kathleen Parker argues that the feminist movement veered off course from its original aim of helping women achieve equality and ended up making enemies of men. With piercing wit, this nationally syndicated columnist shows us how the pendulum has swung from the reasonable middle to a place where men have been ridiculed in the public square and the importance of fatherhood has been diminished–all to the detriment of women, who ultimately suffer most.The real losers, should we continue on our present course, are not just grown men and women but our children. Young people involuntarily drafted into the squabbles of their parents’ generation and raised in a climate of sexual hostility–also known as the “hookup cultureâ€â€“may be fluent in porn, but their vocabulary is painfully limited when it comes to relationships. While Parker gleefully skewers the silly side of the human experiment–like men in dresses and sperm shopping–she offers sobering statistics on the impact of the anti-male culture on the institution of the family and on relationships. Exploring our burgeoning “slut culture†and the vividly narcissistic prevalence of vagina worship, Save the Males softens no edges. Parker tackles some of the more taboo subjects in today’s sexual politics and culture wars with perceptive analysis and a stinging sense of humor that will have America talking–and chuckling–about saving the males.

On Rape


Germaine Greer - 2018
    There has to be a better way.’ Germaine Greer "It’s time to rethink rape. Centuries of different approaches to rape—as inflicted by men on women—have got us nowhere. Rape statistics remain intractable: one woman in five will experience sexual violence. Very few rapes find their way into court. The crucial issue is consent, thought by some to be easy to establish and by others impossible. Sexual assault does not diminish; relations between the sexes do not improve; litigation balloons. In On Rape Germaine Greer argues there has to be a better way."

Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice


Helena Kennedy - 1992
    Helena Kennedy focuses on the treatment of women in our courts - at the prejudices of judges, the misconceptions of jurors, the labyrinths of court procedures and the influence of the media. But the inequities she uncovers could apply equally to any disadvantaged group - to those whose cases are subtly affected by race, class poverty or politics, or who are burdened, even before they appear in court, by misleading stereotypes.

The Childless Revolution: What It Means to Be Childless Today


Madelyn Cain - 2001
    Alternately pitied and scorned, childless women are rarely asked directly about the reasons for their status; the elephant in the living room, childlessness is a taboo subject.Asking the hard questions, Madelyn Cain uncovers the many reasons for childlessness--from infertility to a focus on a career to even political action--and explores the ramifications, both personal and sociological. Simultaneously compassionate and journalistically curious, The Childless Revolution is informed by the stories of over 100 childless women, at long last giving voice to their experience and validating the jumble of emotions women feel about being a part of such a controversial population. For childless women and their families everywhere, this is the first--and long overdue--book to put a face on women who have made a largely misunderstood reproductive choice.

Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus


Jennifer S. Hirsch - 2020
    Research has shown that by the time they graduate, as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will have been sexually assaulted. But why is sexual assault such a common feature of college life? And what can be done to prevent it? Drawing on the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Columbia University, the most comprehensive study of sexual assault on a campus to date, Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan present an entirely new framework that emphasizes sexual assault’s social roots—transcending current debates about consent, predators in a “hunting ground,” and the dangers of hooking up.Sexual Citizens is based on years of research interviewing and observing college life—with students of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hirsch and Khan’s landmark study reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault so predictable, explaining how physical spaces, alcohol, peer groups, and cultural norms influence young people’s experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault. Through the powerful concepts of “sexual projects,” “sexual citizenship,” and “sexual geographies,” the authors offer a new and widely-accessible language for understanding the forces that shape young people’s sexual relationships. Empathetic, insightful, and far-ranging, Sexual Citizens transforms our understanding of sexual assault and offers a roadmap for how to address it.

Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense


Mona Charen - 2018
    Here, she upends the feminist agenda and the liberal conversation surrounding women's issues by asking tough and crucial questions, such as: * Did women's full equality require the total destruction of the nuclear family?* Did it require a sexual revolution that would dismantle traditions of modesty, courtship, and fidelity that had characterized relations between the sexes for centuries?* Did it cause the broken dating culture and the rape crisis on our college campuses? * Did it require war between the sexes that would deem men the "enemy" of women?* Have the strides of feminism made women happier in their home and work life. (The answer is No.)Sex Matters tracks the price we have paid for denying sex differences and stoking the war of the sexes--family breakdown, declining female happiness, aimlessness among men, and increasing inequality. Marshaling copious social science research as well as her own experience as a professional as well as a wife and mother, Mona Charen calls for a sexual ceasefire for the sake of women, men, and children.

Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium


Robin Morgan - 2003
     Sisterhood Is Forever -- with over 60 original essays Morgan commissioned from well-known feminist leaders plus energetic Gen X and Y activists -- is a composite mural of the female experience in America: where we've been, where we are, where we're going. The stunning scope of topics ranges from reproductive, health, and environmental issues to workplace inequities and the economics of women's unpaid labor; from globalization to the politics of aging; from cyberspace, violence against women, and electoral politics to spirituality, the law, the media, and academia. The deliberately audacious mix of contributors spans different generations, races, ethnicities, and sexual preferences: CEOs, housewives, rock stars, farmers, scientists, prostituted women, politicians, women in prison, firefighters, disability activists, artists, flight attendants, an army general, an astronaut, an anchorwoman, even a pair of teens who edit a girls' magazine. Each article celebrates the writer's personal voice -- her humor, passion, anger, and the integrity of her perspective -- while offering the latest data on women's status, political analysis, new "how-to" tools for activism, and visionary yet practical strategies for the future -- strategies needed now more than ever. Robin Morgan's own contributions are everything her readers expect: prophetic, powerfully argued, unsentimentally lyrical. From her introduction: "The book you hold in your hands is a tool for the future -- a future also in your hands." • Edna Acosta-Belén • Carol J. Adams • Margot Adler • Natalie Angier • Ellen Appel-Bronstein • Mary Baird • Brenda Berkman • Christine E. Bose • Kathy Boudin • Ellen Bravo • Vednita Carter • Wendy Chavkin • Kimberlé Crenshaw • Gail Dines • Paula DiPerna • Helen Drusine • Andrea Dworkin • Eve Ensler • Barbara Findlen • Mary Foley • Patricia Friend • Theresa Funiciello • Carol Gilligan • Sara K. Gould • Ana Grossman The Guerrilla Girls • Beverly Guy-Sheftall • Kathleen Hanna • Laura Hershey • Anita Hill • Florence Howe • Donna M. Hughes • Karla Jay • Mae C. Jemison • Carol Jenkins • Claudia J. Kennedy • Alice Kessler-Harris Clara Sue Kidwell • Frances Kissling • Sandy Lerner • Suzanne Braun Levine • Barbara Macdonald • Catharine A. MacKinnon Jane Roland Martin • Debra Michals • Robin Morgan Jessica Neuwirth • Judy Norsigian • Eleanor Holmes Norton • Grace Paley • Emma Peters-Axtell Cynthia Rich Amy Richards • Cecile Richards Carolyn Sachs • Marianne Schnall • Pat Schroeder • Patricia Silverthorn • Eleanor Smeal Roslyn D. Smith Gloria Steinem Mary Thom • Jasmine Victoria • Faye Wattleton • Marie Wilson • Helen Zia

Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism


Laura Bates - 2018
    Drawing attention to both hidden and blatant sexist acts and attitudes, Laura has exposed the startling truth behind misogyny in our society: systemic, ingrained and ignored. From Weinstein to Westminster, a torrent of allegations of sexual harassment and assault have left us reeling. One hundred years since some women were first given the right to vote, we are still struggling to get to grips with the true extent of gender inequality that continues to flourish in our society. In this collection of essays, originally published in the Guardian, Laura Bates uncovers the sexism that exists in our relationships, our workplaces, our media, in our homes and on our streets, but which is also firmly rooted in our lifelong assumptions and in the actions and attitudes we explain away, defend and accept. Often dismissed as one-offs, veiled as 'banter' or described as 'isolated incidents', MISOGYNATION joins the dots to reveal the true scale of discrimination and prejudice women face. A bold, witty and incisive analysis of current events, MISOGYNATION makes a passionate argument for stepping back, opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to see the bigger picture.

Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works


Jay Newton-Small - 2016
    Additionally, in 2016, single women will be one of the most pivotal voting groups heading into the general election, being courted by both Democrats and Republicans.At the centennial of the first woman elected to Congress (which was three years before women legally earned the right to vote), their presence and influence in Washington has reached a tipping point that affects not only the inner workings of the Federal Government, but also directly influences how Americans live and work.Never before have women been represented in such great numbers in the Supreme Court, both chambers of Congress, and in the West Wing. In Broad Influence , Jay Newton-Small, one of the nation's most deeply respected and sourced journalists takes readers through the corridors of Washington D.C., the offices and hallways of Capital Hill and everywhere else conversations and deals are happening to demonstrate how women are reaching across the aisles, coalescing, and affecting lasting change.With deep, exclusive and behind-closed-doors reporting and interviews, including conversations with Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulski, Kirsten Gillibrand, Valerie Jarrett, Sarah Palin, Kelly Ayotte, Cathy McMorris Rogers and dozens of other former and current senators, representatives, senior White House staffers, governors and cabinet members, Broad Influence is an insightful look at how women are transforming government, politics, and the workforce, and how they are using that power shift to effect change throughout America.

The Feminization of American Culture


Ann Douglas - 1977
    As religion lost its hold on the public mind, clergymen and educated women, powerless and insignificant in the society of the time, together exerted a profound effect on the only areas open to their influence: the arts and literature. Women wrote books that idealized the very qualities that kept them powerless: timidity, piety, and a disdain for competition. Sentimental values that permeated popular literature continue to influence modern culture, preoccupied as it is with glamour, banal melodrama, and mindless consumption.This new paperback edition, with a new Preface, will reach yet more readers with its persuasive and provocative theory. Richard Bernstein of The New York Times said: "Her remarkable scholarship is going to set the standard for a long time to come."

Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion


Katie Watson - 2018
    Wade identified abortion as a constitutional right over 40 years ago, it bears stigma--a proverbial scarlet A--in the United States. Millions participate in or benefit from an abortion, but few want to reveal that they have done so. Approximately one in five pregnancies in the US ends in abortion. Why is something so common, which has been legal so long, still a source of shame and secrecy? Why is it so regularly debated by politicians, and so seldom divulged from friend to friend, or loved one to loved one? This book explores the personal stigma that prevents many from sharing their abortion experiences with friends and family in private conversation, and the structural stigma that keeps it that way. It argues persuasively that America would benefit from working to reverse such stigma, providing readers with tools that may help them model ways of doing so.Our silence around private experience with abortion has distorted our public discourse. Both proponents and opponents of abortion's legality tend to focus on the extraordinary cases. This tendency keeps the public discourse polarized and contentious, and keeps the focus on the cases that occur the least. Katie Watson focuses instead on the remaining 95% of abortion cases. The book gives the reflective reader a more accurate impression of what the majority of American abortion practice really looks like. It explains why this public/private disjuncture exists, what it costs us, and what can be gained by including ordinary abortion in public debate.As Scarlet A explains, abortion has been a constitutional right for nearly 45 years, and it should remain one. What we need now are productive conversations about abortion ethics: how could or should people decide whether to exercise this right? Watson paints a rich, rarely seen picture of how patients and doctors currently think and act, and ultimately invites readers to draw their own conclusions.