THE NEW SUBURBAN WOMAN: Beyond Myth and Motherhood by Nancy Rubin

THE NEW SUBURBAN WOMAN: Beyond Myth and Motherhood

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In her zeal to uncover the plight of the suburban woman--trying to reconcile traditional values with newer modes of living--Nancy Rubin has probably made her subject seem more the victim than necessary. As this Westchester freelancer for The New York Times explains it, the suburban woman is in trouble, whatever her status. If she's employed, she grapples with a heavy workload and impossible child care arransements, meanwhile battling the prejudice of her at-home sister. If she stays home with the kids, she's at odds with the snobby working woman (and likely to become a Pro-Lifer or something equally ""conservative""). Singles and childless married women feel out of place as well: few social outlets exist for either the dating woman or the woman without kids' activities to go to. Divorced women are of course a threat to the married, and likely to feel worse in suburbia than in metropolitan surrounds. Rubin interviewed about 400 women in bedroom communities near five metropolitan centers (Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, Columbus, and New York), and quotes heavily from their views to underpin her points. The lack of hard statistics is all the more evident (Rubin is shocked at the lack of an official suicide tally), though governmental and other data are available, area-by-area, on working women, divorcees, etc. One interesting point: the dwindling of the ready-made female volunteer force has spurred the Red Cross, and other organizations, to try to match interests and skills with tasks, and so make volunteering more attractive. But in general there are few really new or convincing details on womanhood, suburban or otherwise: mostly the book seems like belabored hand-wringing--for those who feel victimized.

Pub Date: June 4th, 1982
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan