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Susan Faludi

  • ... the last decade has seen a powerful counterassault on women's rights, a backlash, an attempt to retract the handful of small and hard-won victories that the feminist movement did manage to win for women. This counterassault is largely insidious: in a kind of pop-culture version of the Big Lie, it stands the truth boldly on its head and proclaims that the very steps that have elevated women's position have actually led to their downfall.

  • ... the backlash convinced the public that women's 'liberation' was the true contemporary American scourge — the source of an endless laundry list of personal, social, and economic problems.

  • ... the point of feminism ... is to win women a wider range of experience. Feminism remains a pretty simple concept, despite repeated — and enormously effective — efforts to dress it up in greasepaint and turn its proponents into gargoyles.

  • Feminism's agenda is basic: It asks that women not be forced to 'choose' between public justice and private happiness. It asks that women be free to define themselves — instead of having their identity defined for them, time and again, by their culture and their men.

  • ... the heart of the backlash argument: women are better off 'protected' than equal.

  • ... the central argument of the backlash — that women's equality is responsible for women's unhappiness.

  • Behind this celebration of the American woman's victory, behind the news, cheerfully and endlessly repeated, that the struggle for women's rights is won, another message flashes. You may be free and equal now, it says to women, but you have never been more miserable.

  • We think of a feminist as someone a woman becomes in reaction to personal indignities and social injustices. But the truth is, such inequities only awaken her to the feminist she has always fundamentally been — that is, a person who understands that her first responsibility is to her own humanity. That's why, for my money, the first known use of the word 'feminist' is still the best, appearing in an 1895 book review: a woman who 'has in her the capacity of fighting her way back to independence.'

    • Susan Faludi,
    • in Ms. ()
  • My goal is to be accused of being strident.

    • Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi, U.S. journalist, writer, feminist