2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging the Femocracy
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...
Published on Dec 8 2003 by William Muehlenberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Live and Let Live
The book makes many good points. But what makes the author happy will not necessarily make the woman next to her happy. Let's just give equal opportunity to everyone and not penalize people for exercising this opportunity. Believe it or not, there are women out there who would rather have careers than children. They will be happy this way. Why marginalize them? It is...
Published on Mar 24 2000 by Catherine Lev
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging the Femocracy,
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. She documents how women have suffered under no-fault divorce. And she demonstrates how the push for a purely androgynous society results in all parties losing out.
While acknowledging that women have the right to pursue the feminist script if they so choose, Graglia firmly believes that feminism is really anti-women. Feminism remains a destructive and destablising social force. In the end, feminism has damaged women, harmed families, and put children at risk. Strong words, but after reading her arguments one has to agree that not everything has been sweetness and light in this major social revolution. Indeed, like most revolutions, the results are often worse than the original problem.
While many will violently disagree with the major propositions of this volume, the author's arguments deserve a fair hearing. Spence Publishing deserves credit for running with such a volume, at a time when many other publishers wouldn't dream of offering such a daring title.
5.0 out of 5 stars The opposite perspective to prominent feminists,
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting,
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. Graglia also discusses rape and sexual abuse statistics which show a veritable explosion in occurrence of these crimes over the past forty years. However, rape and sexual abuse are not as taboo or ignored by the police as they once were; this explains why these statistics have risen so alarmingly, despite the fact that both are still widely underreported.
3) Graglia acts as though a declining birth rate is a huge problem, although Earth is projected to reach her carrying capacity--the maximum amount of people Earth's natural resources can support--in the not too distant future. Overpopulation, not underpopulation, is a bigger concern for scientists, unless my Geology professor had no idea what he was talking about.
Lastly, Graglia uses the one reason that disgusts me the most as to why women should stay home--that women who dare work in the marketplace are taking away jobs that men who are the solitary breadwinners need. Propaganda, anyone? This argument was used to get women to give up whatever employment they held during the Depression...and then, during WWII, free child care was made available in the workplace so Rosie the Riveter could do her patriotic duty. Naturally, Graglia is against this child care. I do not have a problem with the fact that she does not support child care that one-income families must pay for, but it frustrates me to no end that our government has manipulated women in this way, and Graglia has bought into the brainwashing.
I like to read both sides of the issue, but I found this book absolutely infuriating. The writing does not flow well and I found it difficult to concentrate and, when I did, what I read just made me mad. According to other reviews, it looks as though other people really liked it. If you are homemakers, that's great, but I, for one, want to have a profession and a family, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. So if we can just learn to live and let live, that would be perfectly wonderful. I support your choice to stay at home, and all I would ask is that you support my choice to work outside the home without thinking I must be a terrible mother.
1.0 out of 5 stars Domestic Tranquility isn't,
This review is from: Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism (Paperback)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. This woman managed to trash working women, ethnic groups, women who choose not to have children, and women who, because of economics, have to work. But when she said that children of working mothers always turn out bad I had to quit reading. She managed to quote that old standby that working women were "taking jobs away from men". And she brought up the person that she sees as a purveyor of evil, Hillary Clinton. She should read Proverbs 31:10-31.
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism (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. Lot of what she writes about does not float with feminist values, but she brings up some important, and I feel valid points. She also points out that men and women are very different. I tend to agree. Feminist movement seems to think that women have exactly the same desires as men.
I read the book, because I wanted to show my wife just how important the role of homemaker can be. I am glad that my wife choose that role. I enjoy taking care of my family and giving a wonderful women the oppurtunity to joyfully raise her own kids.
4.0 out of 5 stars As with feminism, sift out the good parts,
The author now & then shares her personal taste in, er, conjugal relations, and occasionally employs vivid imagery to make a point. Most amateur reviewers cannot overcome their reactions and revulsions enough to stay with the narrative. For myself, I enjoyed the break from the rather turgid, stuffy writing style loaded with two-dollar words. My Oxford abridged dictionary doesn't even list "fungible"!
But the thesis is strong: modern feminism was a big factor in creating the child-hating, sexually perverse culture we live in today. Not surprising, really, since biographies and self-admissions reveal that today's feminism was founded by disgruntled corner cases with just those characteristics.
As a result, women actually have a harder time relating to other women, men and children, and have fewer choices today than they did in the mid-1950's, in that the woman choosing to be the core of her family is reviled and pressured to abandon her children and neglect her marriage.
Women who prefer to serve strangers in the marketplace are actually subsidized at the cost of traditional families, through "childcare" credits, anti-competitive affirmative action programs, corporate workplace inefficiencies etc. And as Mrs. Graglia notes but IMO does not sufficiently develop, modern (non-)mothering by working women requires the existence of a huge economic underclass of proxy-mothers, who are paid as little a possible for doing the untimately thankless job of making sure little Jill and Johnny don't kill themselves or feel totally abandoned.
Anyway, Domestic Tranquility is a valuable read for those wishing a balanced viewpoint. I enjoyed having my brain deprogrammed a bit, and now think I see the world better without the feminist distortions of the dominant culture.
1.0 out of 5 stars Good golly, Ms. Graglia!,
As other reviewers have noted, her solipsism is showing: she sees her life experience as the only valid one. It's a tome not, er, objective enough--read "male"--to be taken seriously. Feminism comes in all shapes and sizes, just like women, and to swipe all feminists with the same paintbrush provides an unrealistic portrait. Her classism shows, too--in good ol' redneck country, where I live, most families have two wage earners just to have a trailer, a coupla kids, and food--and unlike her husband, who performed no household duties except "playing with the children in the evenings", these lower middle class dads perform many household and childrearing chores. She seems to know nothing of women and families outside her cocooned socioeconomic status. Let her come visit the hills of Appalachia for a year, and THEN write a book.
1.0 out of 5 stars Started out good, then disappointed,
By A Customer
This review is from: Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism (Paperback)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. And at first, I did like it. Graglia's exposition of the inherent misogyny of doctrinaire feminism was right on. But about halfway through the book it became apparent that a woman who stays home isn't, in Graglia's view, moving into a different area of achievement which brings balance to the family unit, but rather renouncing all achievement so that the man can shine in solitary glory. And this is supposed to give her some sort of hero-worshipping sexual high.
Yep, that's the worst part. I've read enough books on both sides of this issue to know that when an author starts slighting people whose sexuality isn't like her own, it's a sure sign she's run out of real arguments. In fact, it was kind of embarrassing to read, because so obviously a projection of the author's private tastes: a woman should be "constantly available for sex", and prefer vaginal penetration to clitoral orgasm; when she does have an orgasm, it should be part of the "prelude" to intercourse; she ought to feel "controlled" by the man, who in turn ought to make liberal use of "the lover's pinch"; but sado-masochism is going too far because she should experience his power directly rather than through instruments. And so on.
If she wanted to express herself that way, she should have sent away for the Harlequin Romance writer's guide. Dressed up as philosophy, it's blatantly arbitrary and self-serving: how very convenient that what she likes should also happen to be the recipe for perfect femininity!
Oops, I almost forgot to mention the several pages she spends rhapsodizing about how lucky African mutilation victims are because the absence of a clitoris allows them to focus completely on their husbands. She waxed quite poetic when describing how they cry and scream for mercy as they're cut open on their wedding nights and raped for days to keep the wound from healing. I hate to bring that awful topic up, but I swear it's in the book and she really does write approvingly of it. Despicable.
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely unrealistic,
By A Customer
I would like to mention though that I find baking cakes, changing diapers, and house keeping about as interesting as a pyschic's lecture...
2.0 out of 5 stars A conservative book for conservative people,
By A Customer
Although my mother says that it was HER CHOICE, I wonder why my father didn't have the desire to sacrifice his career to stay at home raising us.
That question is what drew me to this book. I knew in advance that the author would take a very conservative stance -- reading on the book jacket I saw that feminists were termed 'women-hating', but I was hoping it would give me the answer to WHY so many women put aside their lives to raise their children but so few men are willing to do the same.
Unfortunately, the author never touches on this point. A lawyer turned homemaker (I hate the term housewife), she rigidly tries convincing me that motherhood is my surest form of fulfillment.
If you're a conservative, you'll love this book. However, you most likely already know and agree with her arguments so what's the point of reading what you already know? If you're a liberal, you'll hate this book. Howevever, you most likely already know and disagree with everything she'd have to say so why bother reading it? If you're in the middle, like me, you'll probably be left with many unanswered questions.
I read that her husband is a law professor. I wish he'd written a chapter explaining why it was OK for her to stay home, but not him. If raising your children is the most important job one can do in their life, why aren't more men fighting to be the one to stay home and raise them???
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Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism by F. Carolyn Graglia (Paperback - Sep 1998)
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