Wonder Women

Wonder Women

Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

Book - 2013
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Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, why are women still living in a man's world?

Debora L. Spar never thought of herself as a feminist. Raised after the tumult of the 1960s, she presumed the gender war was over. As one of the youngest female professors to be tenured at Harvard Business School and a mother of three, she swore to young women that they could have it all. "We thought we could just glide into the new era of equality, with babies, board seats, and husbands in tow," she writes. "We were wrong."

Now she is the president of Barnard College, arguably the most important all-women's college in the United States. And in Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection --a fresh, wise, original book-- she asks why, a half century after the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique , do women still feel stuck.

In this groundbreaking and compulsively readable book, Spar explores how American women's lives have--and have not--changed over the past fifty years. Armed with reams of new research, she details how women struggled for power and instead got stuck in an endless quest for perfection. The challenges confronting women are more complex than ever, and they are challenges that come inherently and inevitably from being female. Spar is acutely aware that it's time to change course.

Both deeply personal and statistically rich, Wonder Women is Spar's story and the story of our culture. It is cultural history at its best, and a road map for the future.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374298753
Branch Call Number: 305.4209 SPA
Characteristics: 305 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Dec 14, 2013

This is a wonderful book. As someone who is old enough to remember the feminist movement of the 60's, it is fascinating to read Spar's explanation of what went wrong. The original idea was to remove barriers so that women could be whatever they wanted to be. Now, says Spar, this has been transformed into the idea that women feel they must be perfect in all ways: successful in their careers, perfect moms, sexy, great homemakers, star athletes,beautiful. What's the answer? Read the book!

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