In this passionate but decidedly more compassionate essay, Brownmiller examines femininity in all its studied manifestations: hair, skin, scent, voice, gesture, posture, clothing, makeup, emotion, style of ambition. But is masculinity not often an effort to please women? Brownmiller has thought of that. Whimsy, unpredictability and patterns of thinking and behavior that are dominated by emotion, such as tearful expressions of sentiment and fear, are thought to be feminine precisely because they lie outside the established route to success. Still, a man does not have to be hit over the head by Alan Alda to see that her point is well taken. Rothenberg, M.
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Shelves: feminism One of the books that brought me to feminism. Maybe a little dated now, but Brownmiller presents the common assumption that aspects of femininity are pre-determined by nature, and proceeds to demolish all of them.
Unapologetic and potent. Feb 07, Jessica rated it really liked it I found this book an entertaining and fascinating exploration of the phenomenon, "femininity. For me, this book was exactly what I was looking for.
She explores the topic appropriately starting with a chapter entitled "Body", and ending with "Ambition". Each chapter is quite dense with historical references to I found this book an entertaining and fascinating exploration of the phenomenon, "femininity. Each chapter is quite dense with historical references to trace current trends and perceptions in America - illustrating what is considered the norm and then referencing American women who either challenged or solidified this conception.
She shares her own personal reflections as she has questioned her body, her skin, her clothing. I think it is these personal anecdotes that really make this book readable. If anything, I was moved and filled with pride to learn about the women that truly paved the way for the rights I have as a woman today. I did not appreciate how hard it was for women to evolve from restrictive clothing corsets, long skirts to comfortable clothing that allowed for freedom of movement.
Often she digresses to make evolutionary comparisons to primates, other species. At times these tangents add color and a worthy perspective I happen to welcome this sort of thing, typically , other times it is just a dead end, a futile attempt to explain human behavior or preference through evolution.
Fashion, after all, really has nothing to do with survival. Since I have such a deep and personal history of trying to avoid being sexualized in clothing, a swim suit, etc. Overall this book can read a little too much like a history book, crammed with facts and figures, but in the end I remain positive as I found most of the information fascinating and it illuminated the topic.
Not so much in America anymore, but in India where I happen to be living I think I have seen 2 young girls with short hair cuts. Granted, long, healthy hair is a beautiful thing. I was pleased to read about Etruscan or Spartan warriors being proud of their long tresses. Apparently, it was Saint Paul who pushed hair length as a gender specific feature. It is always a sad day when anyone is discriminated against or socially pressured to conform in the name of religion.
It is tempting to just close my eyes tightly and convince myself that this is all behind us, and women are now "free" to wear what they want. But, sadly, it is not that simple. Female competition to get male attention still runs deep and I myself am discovering how fun it can be to comfortably reveal more of my skin.
But, why? Why does this feel like giving up? What are the implications of that? I admire this book and will look to read more from her - I look forward to becoming more knowledgeable about feminism in the US and internationally. Gender and sexuality are topics all too often ignored, despite how much they influence our lives.
Femininity, by Susan Brownmiller (Fawcett/Columbine, $7.95). This...
Shelves: feminism One of the books that brought me to feminism. Maybe a little dated now, but Brownmiller presents the common assumption that aspects of femininity are pre-determined by nature, and proceeds to demolish all of them. Unapologetic and potent. Feb 07, Jessica rated it really liked it I found this book an entertaining and fascinating exploration of the phenomenon, "femininity. For me, this book was exactly what I was looking for.
Wrinkles and other imperfections were never permitted. Geometric proportion was a mystical religion. The first great nudes were beautiful young men. Somewhat later they were joined by beautiful young women. According to the classical Greeks, in the perfect female torso the distance between the nipples of the breasts, the distance from the lower edge of the breast to the navel, and the distance from the navel to the crotch were units of equal length.
She would later comment, "It all got sort of mishmashed in my brain except for one thread: a helluva lot of people over the centuries seemed to want to harm the Jewish people. I can argue that my chosen path - to fight against physical harm, specifically the terror of violence against women - had its origins in what I had learned in Hebrew School about the pogroms and The Holocaust. She later studied acting in New York City. She appeared in two off-Broadway productions. She went on to work as an assistant to the managing editor at Coronet —60 , as an editor of the Albany Report, a weekly review of the New York State legislature — , and as a national affairs researcher at Newsweek — According to her own account: Jan Goodman and I were in the second batch of volunteers for Mississippi Freedom Summer When no one else at the Memphis orientation session volunteered for Meridian, Jan and I accepted the assignment.