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 depart doubtless that American ladies are nonetheless being barraged via an identical backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly uncovered in her 1991 bestselling e-book of revelations. Now, the booklet that reignited the feminist circulate is again in a 15th anniversary version, with a brand new preface by means of the writer that brings backlash attention brand new.
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 rejected statistical realities. those willfully fictitious media campaigns additional as much as an antifeminist backlash. no matter what growth feminism has lately made, Faludi’s phrases at the present time look prophetic. The media nonetheless love tales approximately stay-at-home mothers and the “dangers” of women’s profession targets; the glass ceiling remains to be low; girls are nonetheless punished for desirous to be successful; easy reproductive rights are nonetheless striking by means 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 ideas to promote items whereas promoting ladies downstream, how the feminist ethic of monetary independence is twisted into the shopper 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 iteration, reminding us of the hazards that we nonetheless face.
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Extra info for Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
1 The focus on content and form in descriptive, substantive and symbolic representation Focus on form Descriptive representation The act of symbolic representation Focus on content Substantive representation The construction of the agent in symbolic representation We want to emphasise the meaning symbolic representation is able to evoke. Its importance resides in the fact that the agent does something to the principal in standing for him or her. This evocation of meaning, we argue, fulfils a number of functions, as we will explain below.
Yet women have also been constructed by dominant male groups as the agents of change, reflecting progress and modernity. Such framings could be found in communist states, which during the Cold War prided themselves on the emancipated position of ‘their’ women as opposed to the subordinated ‘Western’ housewives. Liberals use a similar argument, as can be found in the persistent conviction among those active in the field of conflict and peace studies or development aid that raising the social status of women and enhancing gender equality will elevate these countries over the backwards nations that still confined women to the role of housewives and have a beneficial effect on the evolution of society (Hudson et al.
But to what extent does this representation of the nation evoke the image of the entire nation in all its diversity? Which identity is symbolically constructed? Who is included and who is not? And how are men and women, or other social groups, used in that construction? Symbolic representation is not more inclusive than descriptive or substantive representation. This is well illustrated through the controversy around Marc Quinn’s marble statue of the disabled artist Allison Lapper that was temporarily placed on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square (Parkinson 2009).