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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wendy, a Woman After My Own Heart
Wendy Shalit is a definite breath of fresh air. With a very uncompromising voice lifted in outrage at what the modern woman is expected to be, act and feel, she provides a very cogent statement to other women.
Her first bit of good fortune was to miss the standard fourth grade (and beyond) sex education that is foisted on American children in public schools. By...
Veröffentlicht am 19. Januar 2000 von falkoyn

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2.0 von 5 Sternen A Return to Rhetoric
Wendy Shalit's book merits a quick read and a couple of stars simply on the basis of its rhetorical beauty.
It is an admirably persuasive work, as long as you take care to avoid examining her "evidence". If you are inclined to analyze while you read, realize before you start in on the book that it needs to be read in the Ciceronian mindset, and perhaps...
Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2000 von DS


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2.0 von 5 Sternen A Return to Rhetoric, 2. April 2000
Wendy Shalit's book merits a quick read and a couple of stars simply on the basis of its rhetorical beauty.
It is an admirably persuasive work, as long as you take care to avoid examining her "evidence". If you are inclined to analyze while you read, realize before you start in on the book that it needs to be read in the Ciceronian mindset, and perhaps with Aristotle's Rhetoric in hand: here you will find the amusing anecdotes, the neat phrases, the sense of outrage, the caricaturing of the opposing parties, the appeal to audience sympathies, the presentation of the personal to win sympathy and trust...but not what we would today consider "proof". I must admit that I was hoping for more, and was very disappointed that beneath the beautiful facade of rhetoric there was very little of substance.
Although Shalit shows herself adept at the art of name-dropping, her treatment of the theories of the names she mentions is distressingly shallow. For instance, Shalit dismisses Judith Butler in three lines for her work on the "fictive" category of "women". Part of the substance behind the theoretical critique of the category "women" is that it leads to universalizing claims--e.g., "We (women) are more vulnerable than you think." Such statements, which problematically assume a unity of experience, alienate those of "us" do not identify with the claims being made.
I should perhaps add here that Shalit's book will, of course, seem to have value for those who seek confirmation of the beliefs they already hold in common with Ms. Shalit. I can appreciate Shalit's book in this regard as a personal statement of experience, as a form of "sharing" from which others may draw strength, but I find her attempt to universalize her conclusions--effectively, to include me--extremely presumptuous.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen What book did they read?, 27. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I'm not entirely sure what book the five-star awarders read. This book is neither "well written," nor "thoughtful." What Ms. Shalit would do is take a lifestyle that works well for some people and, like many other conservatives, demand that the rest of us follow it. I used to be a conservative, but the only more poisonous book I've read recently was "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us." In fact, I'm surprised this book wasn't packaged along with Danielle Crittenden's, as they say roughly the same thing and are astonishingly vicious toward women who did not--or could not--make the same choices they did. The world can be a sad place for women who did not have the kind of privileged upbringing that Ms. Shalit crows about incessantly, as if her own luck was a mark of virtue.
More to the point, this book is written in an incredibly flippant, cutesy tone that now apparently passes for wit in the conservative press. Her research is a little of this and a little of that, an amateurish and undigested attempt at proving a thesis which is frankly untenable. (The only light moment in the book comes when she is describing the "hook-up" and "check-in" concepts, which may be a big thing at Williams but don't seem to have made inroads into, you know, the real world.) "Modesty" is not simply a matter of wearing long skirts and shaking hands after dates; nor does it mean "waiting" until legally wed. It is certainly not the polar opposite of feminism; anyone who could make such a statement must have based her knowledge on a reading of the current issue of Ms. magazine.
What realy saddens me about these books is that young women might actually make choices based on them--marrying too young, or the wrong people, or someone who doesn't acknowledge that yes, women have feelings, needs, and opinions just like men do. It also upsets me that young men will get the idea that women should be meek and deferential, and that they have an excuse to treat women badly if they don't. I'd thought that this book was so badly written and argued that no one would take it seriously, but I guess I was mistaken.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Excerpt from book review, 17. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
A few years ago, a tiny little book called The Rules hit the national bestseller list, converting scores of women to its old-fashioned philosophy of dating and waiting before mating. Just as many women were repelled by its grandmaternal advice, and The Rules became a national joke.
Two and a half years later, a 23-year-old Williams College grad and Manhattan resident named Wendy Shalit (pronounced Sha-LEET) is making a new case for sexual forbearance in "A Return to Modesty." The two books differ greatly in style, substance, and packaging. It is easy to see why Shalit's book has already gained the attention and grudging respect of a few feminists while the Rules was almost laughed off the planet. The differences are glaring: A diamond ring surrounded by ribbons and roses is the shiny centerpiece of the cover of The Rules ; a closeup of Eve in Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve graces Shalit's cover. While The Rules is subtitled, in florid italics, "Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right," A Return to Modesty is subtitled, in modest type, "Discovering the Lost Virtue." The Rules was serialized in Cosmopolitan ; Return to Modesty received advance, qualified, praise from radical feminist Andrea Dworkin and according to the back flap should be indexed under "Women's Studies." The Rules doesn't have or need a bibliography; Shalit draws on hundreds of sources from Søren Kierkegaard to Milton Friedman (!) to Camille Paglia to make her case. The solitary and unabashed goal of the The Rules is to get its readers (happily) married; Shalit's goal is to start a revolution in gender relations.
Don't judge a book by it's cover--or even, in this case, on the quality of its prose, or even its avowed aims. The Rules is actually a progressive, enlightened tract with practical guidelines for women on how to negotiate romance in a post sexual-revolution world. Shalit would be happy to roll back the clock on women's rights not 50 years, but at least 100.
Say what? Are we talking about the rules that say "Don't call a man and rarely return his phone calls?" and "Be honest but mysterious."? Yes, but The Rules are only shallow on the surface. ;--) Like Shalit, authors Schneider and Fein understand gender differences and realize that in today's dating game, women are losing. Unlike Shalit, they don't believe that women who want to wait are threatened by the existence of women who have premarital sex.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Stunted, naive rhetoric, 11. Januar 1999
How books like Ms. Shalit's get published never ceases to astound me. This discussion and her myopic thesis are laughable at best, frightening at worst. I wish people would stop trying to find a panacea for gender relations and realize that we will all take paths unique to our own desires and wants. Should one choose a 'modest' life -- though I'm still not sure I even know what that is supposed to be -- then so be it. However, one woman's or man's choice, however relevent to their own lives, can not be expected to extend to all others. Modesty will NOT eliminate date rape, it will NOT eliminate AIDS, it will NOT evince respect and equality in the minds of all men. These things are only going to be properly adressed through better education and emotional support at a younger age. In moderation, I do believe modesty to be a virtue, but so too can openness, agressiveness, and a host of other supposed antithetical and 'dangerous' qualities be deemed virtuous in certain situations and milieus. Ms. Shalit's call to disarm is a dangerous regression which is steeped in naivete. We need to concentrate on continuing to open ourselves, not restricting ourselves. Sexuality should not be deemed a dangerous aspect of ourselves in need of control. Rather, it should be embraced and encouraged to flourish. Genuine openness with our minds, bodies and experiences leads only to growth and maturity, NOT self-deprecation and disempowerment. Ms. Shalit would do well to take a few years and allow herself to live a little. Her immaturity shines through all of this remarkably shallow examination of a deeply nuanced topic. She obviously did not read much history at Williams College, for if she had, she'd know that a 'return to modesty' does not involve a return to virtue. Rather, it harks back to an era wherein women were property, and virginity was a salable quality in a prospective bride. Don't bother with this drivel, unless you prefer a society which encourages it's young people to deny and retard an integral and important part of their emotional well-being and esteem.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wendy, a Woman After My Own Heart, 19. Januar 2000
Wendy Shalit is a definite breath of fresh air. With a very uncompromising voice lifted in outrage at what the modern woman is expected to be, act and feel, she provides a very cogent statement to other women.
Her first bit of good fortune was to miss the standard fourth grade (and beyond) sex education that is foisted on American children in public schools. By being able to remain outside the experience of the current form of boy-girl teasing and harassment that goes on, she was able to take a divergent path in being able to perceive the landmines in the landscape.
She takes on the 'accepted' views of today's feminists, as well as the minimalization of conservatives, and scores point after point. She backs up her ideas and thoughts with numerous citations that leave the reader feeling that she is sure Ms. Shalit knows what she is talking about.
Her humor is very enjoyable, not many true belly laughs, but plenty of light moments. Still, she is able to drive home, forcefully, the very serious problems that have been plaguing our young women. The insight into the problems and ability to connect with the reader are particular points of merit in this book.
I'm sure there are going to be a number of older, crusty people who will chivvy her because of her youth, arrogance, presumption, etc., etc., etc. Don't listen to them. Read the book and make up your own mind... don't be held in thrall by modernistic ideas that end up being millstones around the necks of our young, adult women.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Nostalgia for a past that never really existed..., 17. September 1999
Von 
Crystal Di'anno (Oakland, CA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
In "A Return to Modesty" Ms. Shalit wants to turnback the clock to a past that never really existed outside of fantasyexcept for a lucky few affluent, white women. This reminds me of the way Sir Walter Scott sanitized the Middle Ages - and Scott was much the better writer, AND what he wrote was honestly "Fiction". Shalit tries to pass her fatuous, pretentious observations off as fact.
Back in the "good old days", a black woman or a poor immigrant woman could be as modest and chaste as Caesar's wife and it would avail her NOTHING if a white man, or the factory owner, wanted to rape her. Sarah & Elizabeth Delany pointed out in their autobiography that when they were teenagers, they were never permitted to go out alone because "in those days a colored girl could be raped and there wasn't anything they could do about it." The Misses Delany were the middle class daughters of a minister & a schoolteacher!
I recommend that Ms. Shalit read the Delanys' autobiography as well as Betty Smith's classic "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" and wake up to the fact that the "good old days" when women were pure and men were respectful only applied to a privileged few.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen This book is not the answer., 10. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Eras of moral laxness and moral rigidity have cycled in and out of fashion throughout history. There are many examples. Today's immorality is nothing new. In whatever part of the cycle society finds itself, there are always those people who preach the opposite as the answer to society's problems and this book is just one more example of that. Unfortunately, women are treated poorly no matter in what part of the cycle they live. In times of so-called high-minded moral thought, the modest woman was denied knowledge, feelings and freedom to pursue goals. She was valued only for her service to her family. In times like what we are currently living through, women are typed as cold office automons (we lose our sexuality) or as naked, thoughtless bimbos (we are valued only for our sexuality). Men, out of fear, either control or ridicule us and in the process they imprision themselves. Modesty as defined in this book is not the answer any more than our current code of behavior is. Mutual respect, seeing each other as valuable human beings with much to offer each other, is the only answer. But how do we reach that point? This book does not have the answer.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Capitalizing On The Number One Myth About Women......., 23. März 2000
Wendy Shalit's message is more than loud and clear "women suffer emotionaly from pre martial sex",why? "because women become emotionaly bonded to every man they have sex with" ,maybe not an exact quote yet it supports the point I'm trying to bring across;the myth that women combine sex and love and cannot differentiate between the two.This long held myth has left many women frustrated to get their point across, to express themselves in a society which still views women as the prey and not the aggressor; which still hold tightly to the sterotype of women not being able to seperate sex and love. The entire book is based on this myth and it is the foundation of the entire text.
If you can be lucky enough to find it,read "Good Girls Do" and free yourself from the bondage of myth and sterotype of the "fallen woman" and "victim" mentality.
The book is a waste of good lumber,and Wendy is from a sheltered world,so how can she speak for her sisters? What nerve Wendy!
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1.0 von 5 Sternen This book is simplistic and poorly argued., 17. Mai 1999
Von Ein Kunde
If you can read past the almost unbearably smug introduction, you will see that Ms. Shalit has written a myopic book based on half-baked research. Although she is well-read and brings a wide variety of authors and philosophers into her argument, too much of her research is simplistic and superficial (a few letters from women's magazines do not make a very solid argument). Her basic point may be worthwhile (after all who wants to see 13 year olds dressed like sluts?), but the execution nearly defeats its validity. It's too bad she didn't speak to more women who grew up before the sexual revolution, when date raped happened but simply wasn't reported and when girls who accidentally got pregnant had to quickly marry or face ostracism. I don't know about you, but I don't want to go back to the 1950s (let alone the 19th century) - my guess is that Shalit wouldn't want to either, if she knew what it was really like for women then.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen a naive and frightening attack on modern feminism, 31. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
bravo to bolshoi_otsa@hotmail.com for a very accurate interpretation of Shalit's book. After seeing her on C-span, I was impressed with how articulate she is but not with what she or her book has to say. Although it is IN THEORY a viable and interesting idea it promotes the sexual guilt that women in all religions have had to bear throughout history. As stated before, the way a woman dresses and conducts herself has nothing to do with date rape or rape. Rape is about power. Similarly eating disorders have less to do with body image than they do with control. Ms. Shalit should not be considered a modern feminist because her ideas are distinctly old fashioned. While I find nothing wrong with old fashioned ideals I have to remember that they obviously didn't work then, because here we are. Shalit also doesn't support birth control and sex education, and I have to wonder how much worse off we would be today, without them.
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