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Book Review: Sexism in America by Barbara J. Berg, Ph.D.

Today's Women's History Tidbit:
1972: A small group of young Jewish feminists under the name "Ezrat Nashim" presented a manifesto entitled "Jewish Women Call For Change" at the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly convention.*


Sexism in America: Alive, Well and Ruining our Future is an excellent feminism 101 book. It might bore those of us who have been keeping up with how sexist our society still is despite our many successes. Dr. Barbara J. Berg does a fab job at summarizing so many parts of our society in short and succinct chapters. Some chapters were so short, I was like, "That's it?" But it's not the length of the chapters, but the information she crams in there without feeling like I was being lectured at.

Despite my statement that this is a primer text, I still would recommend this book to us vets. Why? Because Berg pulls a Nancy Drew, digging up items that I'm sure some of us have forgotten or just plain missed. I found myself nodding along, sometimes in a "yeah, yeah" stupor only to be bowled over by a factoid like part of the post-WWII safety/Red Scare was built upon women keeping their homes clean. For reals. Just when you thought you couldn't hate the Donna Reed stereotype more.

It's not just a downer, Berg takes the time to point out the high points and in a sense, points to them as a way to say, "If we can have THIS, why do we put up with THAT?"

It took me a bit of get into the book, for the reasons stated above...One more women's history 101 book...yawn, but grew to love Berg's take on how we live in a so-called post-feminist society yet still need feminism desperately.

I wrote this post while listening to Berg's BookTV segement, I highly recommend it too.

Grab a copy for yourself at an indie bookstore or Powells.com.

Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book after the publisher contacted me.

* Source: Jewish Women's Archive

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