Stunned: The New Generation ... - Excerpt and Giveaway!

Monday, June 22, 2009

*** Winner - Amanda (oheyoore@...) ***

Stunned: The New Generation of Women Having Babies, Getting Angry, and Creating a Mothers' Movement ~ Karen Bridson (246p, HCI Books, ISBN-10: 0757307833)

About the Book: The 1970S' Feminist Movement changed a lot for women. It paved the way for a generation of girls who could largely do and be all that the boys could do and be. But now those girls are becoming mothers themselves and realizing things aren't so equal after all.

In Stunned, journalist Karen Bridson explores how women today may have the right to achieve what their fathers achieved, but are expected to do it while doing most of what their mothers did too.As a result, women are angry about the inequality inside their homes and are beginning to see how sexism beyond the domestic realm has never really been fully erased at all. From grander-than-ever domestic and mothering standards to the financial and professional setback motherhood brings, there's a whole lot leaving women stunned these days.

Stunned is a call to action to women to finish the jobs their mothers' generation started. It's about recognizing that the way things are structured isn't in women's favor—even today—and deciding to do something about it. Stunned lets women know they are not alone, that things shouldn't be the way they are, and that change is possible.


With an increasing number of women working outside of the home today, the inequality of labor within the home is even more intensely felt.The second-job’s worth of work that working women come home to at the end of the day was dubbed “the second shift” by feminist and author Arlie Hochschild in 1991. Taking it a step further in 1997, Hochschild defined the “the third shift” as recognizing, understanding, and coping with the emotional consequences of the compressed second shift. Let’s also not forget the nature of what we are talking about here.Washing, drying, folding, and putting away the laundry, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, scrubbing the toilet, shower, and tub, washing and putting away the dishes, cooking, tidying, organizing — the list goes on and on in a never-ending circle of work that’s simply never finished. Groundbreaking feminist author Simone deBeauvoir wrote, in The Second Sex, “Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus (a king in Greek mythology who was punished by having to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down again over and over for all eternity) than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean house becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after
day. The housewife wears herself out marking time: she makes nothing, simply perpetuates the present. She never senses conquest of a positive Good, but rather indefinite struggle against a negative evil. . . . the battle against dust and dirt is never won.”

When discussing the division of labor in the home, it is impossible to objectively measure who is doing more on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis. Moreover, most men do not acknowledge up front that they have no interest in sharing the workload. The resistance (as described below) is usually far more subtle than that.

In Ann Crittenden’s brilliant must-read The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued, she talks about a common, but until recently, undefined male syndrome that she calls “the where game.” Crittenden explains it as an affliction that perfectly intelligent, even highly-educated men suddenly suffer from after marriage or parenthood. The scenario goes something like this: Woman asks man to help her by doing something. He says, “Well, where is it?” An example would be on a night that my husband isn’t happy about taking our son to bed, he’ll often shout out, “Well, where are his pyjamas?” A man may have studied at the doctoral level, he may oversee 250 people at work, he may even have invented some of the great inventions of the twentieth century, but suddenly, when his partner asks him to do something, he needs her help finding the thing in question. The truth is, as admitted to me by many a man, this is their way of making it less likely for the woman to ask for his help in the future. Instead, she’ll simply do the chores herself. Every woman knows what I am talking about. And even more sadly, too many men do, too.


The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

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Deadline   Midnight CST of July 11, 2009.

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16 People said

  1. I totally agree. Maybe women have reached some recent milestones when it comes to equality in the workplace, but men still think the home is their castle. As such, they would rather laze around and be waited on hand and foot!

  2. I would love to read this book, although I think it will make me very angry! Books of social criticism are so important and enlightening that I try to read as many of them as I can!

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. I would love to read this book. The description reminds me a bit of Backlash by Susan Faludi.

    I remember being a junior associate in a law firm and dating another associate. After a long day at work, he'd drop by and ask me what I was making for dinner and that sandwiches weren't real dinner after he'd had a long day at work! I couldn't believe it - that relationship didn't last long!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  4. this sounds interesting :)

    sweeps4bloggers at gmail dot com

  5. I think this book sound really interesting and my daughter would love to read it. Please include me in your giveaway.

  6. I receive the email updates!

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. I am also a blog follower!

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. I would love to read this! Thank you!

  9. I think it sounds interesting.


  10. I'd like to read this because I consider myself a feminist and this sounds really interesting.
    oheeyore at hotmail dot com

  11. I subscribe via email.
    oheeyore at hotmail dot com

  12. I technorati faved you.
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  13. I follow this blog.
    oheeyore at hotmail dot com


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