Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (Nation Books)

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9781560253518: Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (Nation Books)

Why do contemporary women often have such a hard time getting along with each other, at work, and within the family? Why is female friendship so important to women, despite the prevalence of female betrayals? How does the mother-daughter relationship impede women's growth? This book—destined to be a controversial classic—draws on recent biological, psychological, and anthropological research, as well as hundreds of original interviews, to redress the complicated silence that has prevailed about woman's inhumanity to woman. While women may not be aggressive in the same way that men are, cross-cultural studies confirm that girls and women are equally aggressive in "indirect" ways, and mainly toward each other. Women envy and compete against other women, not against men—and tend to deny this, even to themselves. Like men, many women also hold sexist beliefs; often, they are unaware of it. Women depend upon each other for emotional intimacy and bonding, but their power to form cliques, gossip about, and shun one another enforces conformity and discourages self-confidence and psychological clarity from girlhood on. Are women oppressed? Yes. Do oppressed people internalize the oppressor's attitudes? Without a doubt. Women, therefore, must acknowledge their own sexism and gender double-standards before they can practice sisterhood, resist sexism, treat other women ethically, and forge realistic and compassionate personal and political coalitions. "Chesler's work is our public conscience."—Letty Cottoin Pogrebin

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Review:

"Phyllis Chesler has one of the most original and provocative minds in modern American feminism. It has always been her style to turn the conventional wisdom on its head, and take us wherever that leads. Here she is in top form, enlivening her readers with an exciting and thought provoking argument about the other side of sisterhood." --Vivian Gornick

"Once again Phyllis Chesler braves uncharted waters. In this lucid book, she explores a topic forbidden among feminists for too long. She provides an understanding of jealousy and anger among women, yet she is also compassionate. Like her groundbreaking work, Women and Madness, this book will strengthen feminism and help to end the sad bitterness Chesler so ably describes." --Susan Griffin, author of "The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues "

"A heady amalgam of research . . . again, Chesler's voice is breathtakingly bold, ruthlessly honest, provocative, challenging and compassionate. This is rough terrain, and Chesler is leading the way. This book's usefulness [is in] furthering an open conversation among feministsmen and women alikewho want to get past the infighting to a more expansive view of human liberation.""Tikkun""

"A staggeringly thorough study of the cruelties, conscious and unconscious, that females visit upon one another." "Denver Post""

"Fascinating . . . Chesler takes on the sisterhood like Sherman took Atlanta . ["Woman's Inhumanity to Woman"] is a provocative take on the nature and behavior of women." "Seattle Times""

Phyllis Chesler has one of the most original and provocative minds in modern American feminism. It has always been her style to turn the conventional wisdom on its head, and take us wherever that leads. Here she is in top form, enlivening her readers with an exciting and thought provoking argument about the other side of sisterhood. Vivian Gornick"

Once again Phyllis Chesler braves uncharted waters. In this lucid book, she explores a topic forbidden among feminists for too long. She provides an understanding of jealousy and anger among women, yet she is also compassionate. Like her groundbreaking work, Women and Madness, this book will strengthen feminism and help to end the sad bitterness Chesler so ably describes." Susan Griffin, author of "The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues ""

"Chesler's credentials are impeccable, her explanations thorough, her research well documented. This is not about men vs. women or women vs. women: lt's about people learning to be fair." "St. Petersburg Times""

"I love what Chesler has done in this very important work. I find Chesler's careful perspective confirming, provocative and comforting." Judy Grahn, poet and author of "Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds""

"An important book . . . "Woman's Inhumanity to Woman" proves that Chesler still has a thing or two to teach the kids after all." Salon.com"

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