PRISONERS OF MEN'S DREAMS by Suzanne Gordon

PRISONERS OF MEN'S DREAMS

Striking Out for a New
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A call for a more "caring" feminism by the author of Off Balance: The Real World of Ballet (1983) and Lonely in America (1975). Gordon contends that successful, liberated women have simply copied men--embracing a "masculine mystique" and "clawing our way to the top," without changing society to accommodate what she refers to as "caring." As she notes, many professions now demand more than 40 hours a week, few employers allow adequate time off to bring up children, some women flee the marketplace, and others who stay are "haunted by our compromises." America is neglecting many of its children, and has devalued nursing, teaching, and social work (the "caring professions"). Delivering her theses, Gordon cites examples and comments from interviews with more than 100 women (biologist to bank executive, consultant to nurse). Unfortunately, the author buries valid points in a simplistic, vague, repetitive text puffed with jargon like "transformative feminism," "derelationalized," and her favorite, "caring" (used as often as five times on a page). Imprecise and sloppy writing shows scant care for readers who must bat through sentences like "nurturing relationships has been our job description as gender." Also, Gordon expects to convince without clearheaded analysis, and without examining sweeping assumptions about women, now "victims" of the "oppressor" market. Her conclusion: a "National Care Agenda" to include child-care, housing for homeless, and a national pension system. A sermon on sexual politics and social ills, most disappointing to feminists listening for a convincing call to arms.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1990
ISBN: 316-32106-0
Publisher: Little, Brown
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