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October 14, 2009 | Barbara Ehrenreich, Barbara Ehrenreich is the author, most recently, of "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America." A version of this article also appears at
Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular take-away from "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers that purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972. Maureen Dowd and Ariana Huffington greeted the news with somber perplexity, but the more common response has been a triumphant "I told you so!" On Slate's Double X website, a columnist concluded from the study that "the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s gave us a steady stream of women's complaints disguised as manifestos ... and a brand of female sexual power so promiscuous that it celebrates everything from prostitution to nipple piercing as a feminist act -- in other words, whine, womyn, and thongs."
August 13, 2013 | By August Brown
The two women of Deap Vally are really bummed out by the idea of a walk of shame. You know, the ritualistic morning skulk back home after hooking up with someone you probably won't call again. They're not torn up about the hookup part, though. It's the shame that seems dumb. "We always knew we wanted to write about that idea of a 'Walk of Shame,'" said drummer and co-vocalist Julie Edwards. "It always bugged me, that there's this neurosis that just turns on in your head afterwards.
February 29, 2004
We talk about fat kids, horrible lifestyles and unhealthy living. Then Lisa Palac starts equating her fatness with feminism ("Fat, Feminism, Phooey," Metropolis, Jan. 25). What has the world come to? Being overweight is a health issue more than a self-absorbed ramble about feminism and self-image. Get a grip and stop whining. Start walking. Lynn Underwood San Diego
December 2, 2009 | By Barbara Ehrenreich
Has feminism been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult? When the House passed the Stupak amendment, which would take away abortion rights from women who get any government help purchasing insurance, the female response ranged from muted to inaudible. Soon after, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that regular screening mammography not start until age 50, all hell broke loose. Sheryl Crowe, Whoopi Goldberg and Olivia Newton-John raised their voices in protest; a few dozen non-boldface women picketed the Department of Health and Human Services.
December 25, 1989
Nikki Finke's article on the women's movement ("Time Picks on Feminism," Nov. 30) was right on target when it pointed to Time magazine's failure to define feminism. Feminism never has been the one-dimensional white, middle-class struggle the media persist in presenting. It is the fight for basic human rights for all women--more than half the world's population. It is integral to the fight against racism, anti-gay bigotry, child abuse, poverty, dismal health care and much more. This is why feminism is simultaneously trivialized and fiercely resisted.
February 16, 1986
In response to Kilpatrick's toast to the ladies: I wish feminism was as simple as Kilpatrick writes--bra-wearing or bra-burning, virginity or free sex and the old standby, lesbians in combat shoes. As a second-generation American woman, whose grandmother scrubbed toilets to feed her seven children, feminism means only one thing--economics. The dignity of earning a decent living in any work that fits my talents with no regard to whether I need a bra. Feminism also means the ownership and control over my own body.
March 31, 2011 | Meghan Daum
This may come as a surprise, but Phyllis Schlafly, legendary conservative and leader (that is, victor) in the battle against the Equal Rights Amendment, is alive and well and still publishing books. At 86, she just collaborated with her 43-year-old niece Suzanne Venker on "The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can't Say. " If you've heard about this book, it might be because you read an interview with the authors on the Huffington Post with the headline "Feminists Love Divorce!"
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