- Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
- Verlag: Free Press; Auflage: Anniversary ed (20. Mai 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1476756651
- ISBN-13: 978-1476756653
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 2,3 x 21,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 115 Kundenrezensionen
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A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Special Edition, 20. Mai 2014
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"Her book has touched a nerve in a society overdosed on sex...Shalit defends...compellingly, shame, privacy, gallantry, and sexual reticence" (Tamala M. Edwards Time)
"Ms. Shalit marshals impressive evidence from philosophers as well as the tabloids to make her case for a return to modesty -- as both a sexual ideal and a strategy for greater pleasure...[a] serious yet bouncy study" (Ruth R. Wisse The Wall Street Journal)
"A Return to Modesty provides one invaluable service. There is a growing body of scholarly research on young adulthood that may, in the aftermath of Shalit's booming polemic, be more difficult to ignore." (Emily Eakin The New York Times Book Review)
"The book of the moment...makes a compelling case for the idea that the sexual revolution hasn't been entirely good for either women or men...Social workers, health professionals and others who bemoan the loss of "boundaries" in the lives of troubled girls will find a hopeful message in the book" (Shari Roan Los Angeles Times)
"The first book of its kind...to blaze down the center of the postfeminist battleground between left and right." (Norah Vincent Salon)
"[An] earnest and serious book....A fascinating subject [brought] to our attention in a fresh way." (Suzanne Field The Washington Times)
"A Return to Modesty is...so uncompromising in voice and stance that one is tempted to think of its author as Simone de Shalit or Wendy Wollstonecraft, but make no mistake: she imitates nothing and no one...Every page of this book [is] wise, fresh, and funny, sparkling with her special brand of astringent charm" (Florence King National Review)
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Wendy Shalit began to write A Return to Modesty as an undergrad at Williams College, where she received her BA in philosophy. She is also the author of The Good Girl Revolution and her essays on literary and cultural topics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications. Now that she is the mother of three lively and opinionated children, she is more modest and humbled than ever before.
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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.
I agree that much was touted in the feminist movement of the 70's that was erroneous, and women and men have been guinea pigs to rapid social change, some good, some bad. I was a part of the consciousness raising groups back then and the thing that struck me most was how many women had experienced sexual assault. This was in a time when many had grown up exercising modesty. One woman was raped in her own home while pregnant. She was a virgin when she married. There is just too much horror that occurs to innocent women for Shalit to blithely dismiss it as a lack of modesty in our culture. That sounds an awful lot like blaming the victims.
Also, remaining a virgin until marriage is no panacea. Many women who did in the 40's and 50's remained sexually dysfunctional in their marriages for mutual lack of sexual experience. Plenty of us in my age group have heard their stories firsthand. Shalit's razor-sharp blasting of sexual permissiveness however, is wise and well-crafted.
The book is a good read in that it offers insights into what it's like to be Shalit's age today, but it is not an especially scholarly or eloquent work as some critics tout. Shalit quotes an impressive number of people, but the insert of two plates from an old text appears to be little more than "window dressing" for what frequently reads like a stream of consciousness from a young woman snapping her bubble gum along with her intellect. That's okay; it's just more personal than academic. There are too many nonsequiters in the text for it to rank as scholarly; Shalit jumps from descriptions of co-ed bathrooms to dress to college sexual habits with slang-like diction.
Shalit's text seems to deteriorate most toward the end when she lauds Moslem women for their conservative apparel in the same breath that she seems pleased that some men find their veils erotic. It sounds as though she is promoting the kind of allure that she finds inappropriate throughout most of the book. She is writing about a culture where women are sometimes victims of rape, and then murdered by their only families for losing their virginity, even though it occured not from a lapse in their modesty, but due to assault.
Shalit is interesting and likeable. I'll be curious to see how her reasoning evolves with more life experience. I suspect that she will discover that "feminists" did not create all of the culture's problems, and we have solved some of them. There is no wonder-formula, feminist or not, toward navigating our world without mishap. As with any political and social movement, there are some feminists whose views can be seized upon as damaging; Shalit exposes them well.
Ultimately, we as individuals must each choose our own style. Shalit's book is extremely thought-provoking toward that end. As the mother of two daughters, I find it especially helpful in considering what I communicate to them about their sexuality. I wish I could thank the author personally for that. Shalit is wise and gutsy to espouse modesty as an enduring virtue.
I don't think our culture has ever had full respect for women, and despite Shalit's perceptive mention of the success of Jane Austin's books as movies, that time period in England held hardships and discrimination for us too. There is no magic era to return to, but if Shalit continues to envision possibilities for a future one, I will likely be listening with interest.
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