Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Susan Faludi: Feminist of the Day?


Susan Faludi
Writer, 1991 Pulitzer Prize Winner, feminist
"My goal is to be accused of being strident."

I read large parts of Backlash on an overnight bus trip down the North Island. It is simply a descriptive account of sexism and misogyny in America in the late 1980s, but it is spectacularly thorough. Ideology, popular culture, and the effect this had on real live women, are all covered in a very well written, very thick, book.

What stands out for me, what kept me reading through the night (apart from the fact that I can't sleep on buses) are her portraits of anti-feminists. Again and again she shows how their personal lives disprove the arguments they are making, whether it is anti-feminist women, whose speaking tours enable for them to live a life outside their own home, or anti-feminist men, whose issues become more and more apparent, she is the expert at getting people to a place where all they have to do is take a little step - and there conclusions are. Her analysis is still the first thing I think of if anyone mentions 'Fatal Attraction' or Moonlighting to me.

I really enjoyed Stiffed as well. It was a solid (if probably a little overlong), analysis of masculinity, and the role it played in our culture.

Conclusion: Not only is she a feminist, but that is the most kick-ass quote of any feminist of the day ever - I now have a goal.

2 comments:

  1. Fatal Attraction? Moonlighting? I haven't seen the first and my memories of the other are vague, and considering I would have been about 13 at the time, I wasn't looking out for feminist ideas anyway.
    So can you explain that bit to me please? Do you mean that people try and hold up these up as examples of feminist media when they're not?

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  2. Susan Faludi wasn't analysing these media because they were feminist, but because they were both misogynist.

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