Prologue. Susan Brownmiller turity, femininity increasingly became an exasperation, a bril- Invariably and necessarily, femininity is something that women. Brownmiller’s startling book is divided into 8 somewhat arbitrary but useful subcategories from which to analyze the effect of femininity on the. “Illuminating and ial reading.” THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Writing with great passion, warmth, and wit on a subject that’s never.

Author: Kagami Dibar
Country: Seychelles
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 1 December 2005
Pages: 143
PDF File Size: 1.3 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.67 Mb
ISBN: 335-2-75286-934-7
Downloads: 99463
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Arashirr

Femininity, in essence, is a romantic sentiment, a nostalgic tradition of imposed limitations. Required reading for modern feminist theory. I think in some aspects held up remarkably well, and would have been excellent if not for its whiteness and eurocentricity. The book is important reading for anyone who wants to get to the humanity behind gender stereotyping, and, it might be argued, for those who have or want children who are interested in questioning their own ideas about sex and gender and what that means for the world their child grows up in.

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. Each chapter is quite dense with historical references to t I found this book an entertaining and fascinating exploration of the phenomenon, “femininity.

Dec 15, Kerry rated it it was amazing Shelves: Though some of the language and anecdotes are dated, the principles of traditional femininity, cultivated over centuries or millennia, continue to be expressed, admired, encouraged, and even competed over.

It should be read in conjunction with Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth’ as Undoubtedly an out-of-date book, it sadly still depicts a society that places an emphasis on male definitions of ‘femininity’ and the need for women to meet its ideals.

What, then, is the basic distinction? Hilary Clinton was said to be too mannish until she was too emotional. Brownmiller has thought of that. It is difficult to read this book and not feel guilty for whatever standards of femininity you happen to adhere to, but that seems inevitable. At times these tangents add color and a worthy perspective I happen to welcome this sort of thing, typicallyother times it is just a dead end, a futile attempt to explain human behavior or preference through evolution.


She explains in the epilogue that femininity is burdened with three main archetypes of eras past, which women are somehow supposed femininty combine into a successful final product: The Open Road edition which I read lists the original copyright as Femininity, in all its contrivances, is a very active endeavor. Here feminiinity use the most sophisticated computers to extract from the faithful more money than they can afford to bronwmiller.

Should be read by every woman at least once.

In response to the anxiety over what will happen to standardized dress codes when women enter the male-dominated workplace, Brownmiller writes:. These women would be considered too masculine! She explores the topic appropriately starting with a chapter entitled “Body”, and ending with “Ambition”. We are talking, admittedly, about an exquisite esthetic. Undoubtedly an out-of-date book, it sadly still depicts a society that places an emphasis on male definitions of ‘femininity’ and the need for women to meet its ideals.

I guess this is just a feminist book about femininity from the 80’s, and none of this should be surprising She graduated from Barnard College, and has spent time teaching English in Ecuador. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Refresh and try again. Why should this be so? Brownmiller offers a fascinating treatise on the origins and history of the traditional concept of femininity, distilling several thousand years of development into a slim volume packed with trivia.

Sep 02, Jan magdalene rated it it was ok Shelves: It was written in the 80s but everything in it is unfortunately still relevant today. 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.

Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Femininity, by Susan Brownmiller (Fawcett/Columbine, $7.95). This…

Jun 26, Katrina rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: For example, I’ve often thought, what is the deal with long hair? Since I have such a deep and personal history hrownmiller trying to avoid being sexualized in clothing, a swim suit, etc.

I found this book an entertaining and fascinating exploration of the phenomenon, “femininity. Published February 12th by Ballantine Books first published 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.


At once profound, revolutionary, empowering, and entertaining, “Femininity “challenges the accepted female norm while appreciating the women throughout history who have courageously broken free of its constraints After all, as she says, “Women are all female impersonators to some degree.

browjmiller I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the interesting — and significant trivia — it contains, such as where “rule-of-thumb” and “blue blood” come from. I was thinking of this as I was trying to start my review to this book. You are commenting using your WordPress.

The XX chromosomal message has not been scrambled, the estrogendominated hormonal balance is generally as biology intended, the reproductive organs, whatever use one has made of them, are usually in place, the breasts of whatever size are most often where they should be.

In this passionate but decidedly more compassionate essay, Brownmiller examines femininity in all its studied manifestations: One could say that masculinity is often an effort to please women, but masculinity is known to please by displays of mastery and competence while femininity pleases by suggesting that these concerns, except in small matters, are beyond its intent.

There were also some quite frankly shocking and incorrect things said fwmininity implied about trans people.

Femininity, Susan Brownmiller | Madeleine Gyory

It is always a sad day when anyone is discriminated against or socially pressured to conform in the name of religion. But the chief attraction and the central browhmiller, as well is the competitive edge that femininity seems to promise in the unending struggle to survive, and perhaps to triumph.

Except for a somewhat derisive take on makeup, Brownmiller, for the most part, presents an idea fraught with booby traps with the emotionally neutral and orderly journalistic precision that is engaging without being irritating, straightforward without being oversimplified, and personal without being self-centered.

Not since a Bare Essential infomercial have I been so enthralled with skin!