From the author of In the Darkroom, a feminist classic and skillful examination of the attack on women’s rights.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award • “Enraging, enlightening, and invigorating, Backlash is, most of all, true.”—Newsday
Today’s political climate leaves no doubt that American women are still being assaulted by the same antifeminist backlash messages that Susan Faludi brilliantly exposed in her 1991 bestseller. When it was first published, Backlash made headlines for puncturing popular media myths like the “infertility epidemic” and the “man shortage.” The statistic-defying, willfully fictitious coverage, Faludi pointed out, contributed to an anti-woman backlash. The fifteenth anniversary edition, with an updated preface by the author, brings backlash consciousness into the twenty-first century.
Faludi’s words seem especially prophetic in post-Trump America. That glass ceiling remains unshattered, women are still punished for wanting to succeed, and reproductive rights are still hanging by a thread. But Backlash is an alarm bell for women of every generation—waking us up to the dangers that we all face.
Far from being ``liberated,'' American women in the 1980s were victims of a powerful backlash against the handful of small, hard-won victories the feminist movement had achieved, says Wall Street Journal reporter Faludi, who won a Pulitzer this year. Buttressing her argument with facts and statistics, she states that the alleged ``man shortage'' endangering women's chances of marrying (posited by a Harvard-Yale study) and the ``infertility epidemic'' said to strike professional women who postpone childbearing are largely media inventions. She finds evidence of antifeminist backlash in Hollywood movies, in TV's thirtysomething , in 1980s fashion ads featuring battered models and in the New Right's attack on women's rights. She directs withering commentary at Robert Bly's all-male workshops, Allan Bloom's ``prolonged rant'' against women and Betty Friedan and Germaine Greer's revisionism. This eloquent, brilliantly argued book should be read by everyone concerned about gender equality. First serial to Glamour and Mother Jones.