kitchen table

Why be a hater, Phyllis?
August 14, 2006, 5:58 pm
Filed under: books, Feminism, Gender, politics

Dear friend Brynn came to visit yesterday and before I slipped into my allergy-induced coma of sick, she and I walked to the bookstore for some browsing. I made my way to the back of the store and looked, shelf by shelf, for some titles in the women’s studies section. There, staring up at me from a stack 3-4 books deep, was a stack of the following book by Phyllis Chesler:

First reaction: What the fuck, Phyllis? I’ve been annoyed with her since I picked up a copy of the condescending Letters to a Young Feminist at the library several years back. My annoyance was only compounded when a friend bought me another Chesler tirade, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman. I take issue not just with the content of her texts but also her flashy, attention-grabbing, a la Ann Coulter dust-jackets.

I can just imagine some asshole walking into the bookstore, seeing the cover of The Death of Feminism, and thinking, “Oh, it’s been proven by an insider!” Chesler should be aware of the rhetoric, aware of the frequency with which outfits like Time and Newsweek claim the feminist movement is dead, and choose her words and images carefully. Her title is reckless and ultimately damaging to a movement about which she claims to care and, it seems, not that appropriate for the content of her book.


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