Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Two Forthcoming Books: "Perfect" Girls and "Opt Out" Wives

I've added a list (scroll down, it's on the left) of forthcoming books by savvy feminist scholars to watch out for - and will continue to try to list em as I see em going forth.

Did you catch that front page story in Sunday's New York Times on "amazing girls"? My gal Courtney Martin has a whole book on the topic (and much more) coming out April 17. It's called Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. (Courtney and I are teaming up to do some joint speaking this summer about feminism's daughters. Stay tuned...) For a great counterpoint to the article, though, check out Courtney's post on feministing.com and Patti Binder on What's Good for Girls.

The other book I've listed comes out around Mother's Day and promises to clear up a lot of the annoying myths about "opting out." Penned by sociologist Pamela Stone, it's called Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Publisher's Weekly writes, "Stone's revealing study adds an important counterpoint to Leslie Bennetts's forthcoming The Feminine Mistake." I'm not sure yet how it's a "counterpoint" (I need to read it!), but I urge people to check it out. It looks at what really happens to women who opt out of the workplace and their careers for the sake of their families and sheds light on new research about the American workplace. (Hint: The dirty little secret of today's work world is that it is not providing work-committed women with the support they need to keep working once they become mothers.)

On a related note, and in case anyone missed it, a special March issue of The American Prospect grew out of an October 2006 work/family research conference sponsored by the Council on Contemporary Families and looks at "Why Can't America Have a Family-Friendly Workplace." The issue includes articles by the creme de la creme on this topic: Joan Williams, Kathleen Gerson, Heather Bousey, Janet Gornick, Scott Coltrane, Tamara Draut, Jodie Levin-Epstein, Ellen Bravo, Ann Friedman. These people are all doing amazing work and, like Pamela Stone, merit increased visibility for their solid and grounded research.

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