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Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism [Paperback]

F. Carolyn Graglia
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1998
Mrs. Graglia traces the origins of modern feminism to the post-war exaltation of marketplace achievement, which bred dissatisfaction with women's domestic roles. In a masterly analysis of seminal feminist texts, she reveals a conscious campaign of ostracism of the housewife as a childish "parasite". Turning to the feminist understanding of sexuality, now pervasive in our culture, she shows how it has distorted and impoverished sex by stripping it of its true significance. Finally, after exposing feminism's totalitarian impulse and its contribution to the "tangle of pathologies" that have left marriage and family life in tatters, she argues for a renewed appreciation of the transforming experience of motherhood and the value of the domestic vocation. The Wall Street Journal extols Domestic Tranquility as "a thinking woman's argument for putting family first." William Kristol calls the book "a stunningly bold and deep assault on the most powerful movement of our time-feminism. A genuinely thought-provoking book." Danielle Crittenden of The Women's Quarterly praises it as "a stunning indictment of the women's movement and its radical vision of female equality. Carolyn Graglia is a courageous thinker."

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From Library Journal

Graglia indicts feminism for the demise of the traditional family, the degradation of the homemaker, the spread of venereal disease, the growth of income disparity, and the defeat of the United States in Vietnam (no kidding). Graglia, who holds a law degree from Columbia University, believes that she is a better representative of the "average woman" than (disproportionately Jewish) feminists are. She recommends a movement to reform "no-fault" divorce laws to ensure financial security for full-time homemakers (although the old laws were notoriously ineffective), inspired by women who have been "awakened by transforming sexual experiences?including the child-bearing and nurturing that are the fruits of her sexual encounters." She observes, in passing, that the "sexual ministrations of [her] husband" do more to make her feel alive than does reading Supreme Court opinions. One person's account of the personal as political, this is not a necessary library purchase.?Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...powerful, noble...honest, passionate....This is a revolutionary book." -- National Review

"A useful primer on a movement that doesn't know when to slink off in embarrassment." -- World

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging the Femocracy Dec 8 2003
Format:Hardcover
There have been a number of good books to appear lately offering a critique of feminism. Perhaps one of the best is this volume. Although it has been around for some years now, it still remains one of the most comprehensive, articulate and well-researched books to take on the excesses of feminism.
A major thesis of this volume is that while feminism may appear to be anti-men, it is even more so anti-women, at least women of a certain stripe. Wives and homemakers are the real target of radical feminists, insists Graglia, and she spends a good part of this hefty tome (450 pages) in documenting this claim.
The author, who is a lawyer by profession, but a homemaker by choice, has the intellectual firepower needed to take on the heavyweights of the feminists movement. The thoughts and writings of Friedan, Steinem, Greer, Millet, de Beauvoir, and all the other major movers and shakers in the feminist movement are here carefully evaluated, and their antipathy to wives and families are carefully assessed.
Solid chapters explore the rise of modern feminism, the feminist agenda, the totalitarian impulse in feminism, the push for androgyny, and the attack on the institutions of marriage and the traditional family, among other things.
The author is especially adept at showing how women cannot have it all, at least not at the same time. The push for climbing the corporate ladder invariably takes a toll on child rearing and family, and many women have suffered as a result of buying the feminist line on this issue.
She tackles a number of other myths, such as the idea that gender is simply a social construct, and the idea that motherhood and homemaking are somehow second class lifestyles. She shows how women have been the big losers in the feminist-promoted sexual revolution.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting May 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
I must, of course, preface this review by saying that I am a feminist. However, my mother was a homemaker, and my older sister is also a homemaker. That being said, I can also understand why Graglia would be so offended by the things that feminists have said about homemakers in the past. I think my sister and my mother are both hard workers and my sister is, as my mother was, devoted to raising her children in a traditional setting and being a full-time mom. However, the context in which these comments were made cannot be denied; these overzealous women made generalizations about homemakers just as many blacks, when they were the victims of oppression, must have made hasty generalizations about whites. This is something that just happens, right or wrong, when you are so passionate about an issue, idea, or belief.
There are several parts of this book with which I take exception. They are, but not limited to, the following:
1) She blames women whose husbands molest their daughters because the wives should be sexually satisfying their husbands. This does not address the issue of pedophilia and the perverseness of a man who would sexually abuse his own daughter. In no way should the woman be blamed when her husband obviously has more serious problems than an unsatisfactory sex life. If the mother is ever to blame, it is in those instances in which she knew it was going on and allowed it to continue.
2) She presents what I view as flawed statistics. Graglia states that 90% of all births to black mothers aged 15-19 are illegitimate. This obviously makes perfect sense, since the average age of marriage is currently 24 for women and 26 for men. A married eighteen- or nineteen-year-old is rare and surely most women younger than this are not married.
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting book Nov. 17 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I really felt that this was a very good book. I feel that Mrs. Graglia took on a challenge to write about such a controvesial topic. Today it is politically uncorrect to say that women should put their children first. If you say that people take that to mean you support the opression of women. What Ms. Graglia does is show that the traditional women has no reason to hang her head down. She should be very proud of the choice she has made to put her children and family first. Ms. Graglia does a very good job of supporting the traditional homemaker. The point of her book is not to say that all women should be homemakers. She acknowledges that there are women who would rather have a career and not have children or put them in day care if they do have children. I feel that the point of her book is just to support the traditional women. These days careers are glorified (you are only somebody if you have a career, and prestigious one at that (like a lawyer, doctor, engineer etc)). Materialism is glorified. Independence and fulfillment of ones own wishes is glorified. I think that a lot has been done lately in society to support the working mother. The media has done all it can to support that choice and make women feel good about that choice. Very little has been done to support the traditional homemaker, and the things she does for her family and children. I am glad somebody wrote a book to support her choice too! In fact, I am glad to see that the popular TV comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, shows a traditional wife caring for her young children full time.
The book also points out some of the joys of caring for your own children. It talks about the joys of being a homemaker. It dicusses the benefits of being a traditional conservative women.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The opposite perspective to prominent feminists
This book is very enjoyable to read, especially if you are a full-time mom or homemaker. It provides detailed and well-researched arguments to support the author's contention that... Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Jennifer Wolff
1.0 out of 5 stars Domestic Tranquility isn't
I made it through the introduction and most of the first chapter of this book. By that time I had smoke coming out of my ears and my blood pressure had gone way up. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by Penny P. Hammack
4.0 out of 5 stars As with feminism, sift out the good parts
Mrs. Graglia's work is an important shoulder-tap on mainstream feminist-dominated Western culture. It details the morally barren and intellectually dishonest bases of the mid-20th... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by A. S. Templeton
1.0 out of 5 stars Good golly, Ms. Graglia!
Perhaps staying home all those years has dulled her writing skills. Some of her arguments have "meat", to use a manly term, but she writes in a style that sounds alternately like... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2002 by Cynthia Rucker
1.0 out of 5 stars Started out good, then disappointed
As a novice homemaker who struggled mightily with feminist expectations, I really wanted to like this book, which I read in the course of my transition from career to home. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely unrealistic
Okay, I have a question. How come books like these always assume that everyone lives in an extremely wealthy republican household, with plenty of money so the wife can just quit... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars A conservative book for conservative people
When my mother gave birth to my brother in 1967, she quit college and began the most important job of her life - taking care of us full-time. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, but very repetitive.
This remains the leading book against modern feminism from a non-religious point of view. That should be stressed, for it would be an injustice for potential buyers to disgard it... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2000 by Queen Horatius
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very insightful
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. So very enlightening and so helpful. I highly recommend this book, particularly to all women, and most especially to ALL... Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars A reductionist, polarizing diatribe
Graglia follows, with absolute consistency, one formula in this book: consider only the most extreme feminist positions, assert that all women who wish to work in addition to... Read more
Published on July 24 2000
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