With devastating force and intricate research, Backlash rose to bestseller, demolishing a barrage of news and pop-cultural messages seeking to undercut women’s equality.
Found on TV and in almost every major newspaper, studies and cautionary news items attempted to suggest women had reached it all: workplace equality, reproductive and financial independence. Pedalled alongside: that women were now increasingly unhappy, desperately alone, barren, ‘burnt out’ and frustrated. Hollywood film joined to sell the cultural idea that women were ill-equipped outside traditional household roles.
It took Susan Faludi, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, to identify these trends as fully and as rivetingly as she has in Backlash, dissecting the sexism, and consequently the flawed messages and data that underpinned the present culture’s cultural onslaught. It’s findings? There simply wasn’t the evidence behind such early-1990′s myths as the great ‘man shortage’ or women’s supposed deficiencies in math. What science would in fact point out: women were happiest either single or postponing marriage, saw greater financial and personal success through education and were healthiest by far pursuing own career goals.
Under cover of science however, new myths undercutting feminist gains continue to be reported by major newspapers and media, demonstrating as ever the vital modern relevance of reading the strategies uncovered by Backlash.
Backlash points to a remaining need for vigilance, research of the culture industry’s dominant claims and misrepresentations, and directs its hard-hitting questions to the roles placed upon both men and women.
We hear the cultural messages all the time, but – Backlash: the Undeclared War on American Women need not be an ‘undeclared’ any longer. Backlash is an effective weapon with which to arm and fight within it ♦
[Susan Faludi is also author of Stiffed, a sensitive narrative on modern masculinity, and The Terror Dream, examining post 9/11 political myths]