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For the first time in history, women make up half the educated labor force and are earning the majority of advanced degrees. It should be the best time ever for women, and yet. . . it's not. Storm clouds are gathering, and the worst thing is that most women don't have a clue what could be coming. In large part this is because the message they're being fed is that they now have it made. But do they? In The New Soft War on Women, respected experts on gender issues and the psychology of women Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett argue that an insidious war of subtle biases and barriers is being waged that continues to marginalize women. Although women have made huge strides in recent years, these gains have not translated into money and influence. Consider the following: - Women with MBAs earn, on average, $4,600 less than their male counterparts in their first job out of business school. - Female physicians earn, on average, 39 percent less than male physicians. - Female financial analysts take in 35 percent less, and female chief executives one quarter less than men in similar positions. In this eye-opening book, Rivers and Barnett offer women the real facts as well as tools for combating the "soft war" tactics that prevent them from advancing in their careers. With women now central to the economy, determining to a large degree whether it thrives or stagnates, this is one war no one can afford for them to lose. .
From respected academics like Carol Gilligan to pop-psych gurus like John Gray, and even the controversial Harvard President Lawrence Summers, the message has long been the same: Men and women are fundamentally different, and trying to bridge the gender gap can only lead to grief. But as the New York Times Book Review raved, Barnett and Rivers "debunk these theories in a no-nonsense way, offering a refreshingly direct (i.e. unashamedly judgmental) critique of traditional parental roles, tututting at the couples they interviewed who cling to stereotyped ideas of the family." "Blending case histories, new research and thoughtful analysis, the writers describe the divide between the sexes as a crevice, not a chasm. The good news: We're all a lot more flexible than the gender clich8Es let on."-Psychology Today
Psychologist Barnett (Brandeis U. ) and media critic Rivers (Boston U. ) take a closer look at the fad for gender-difference research manifested in "Mars and Venus"-style pop psychology and show how the theoretical assumptions behind such analyses have real, practical, and damaging consequences in the lives of women, men, and children. An emphasis on innate differences between the sexes, they argue, has compromised education, workplace relations, marriages, and friendships. It's power, they find, and not gender that makes the difference; they explore and dismantle a number of commonly accepted notions of biological destiny from math ability to maternal instinct. Barnett and Rivers are also the authors of the 1996 study He Works/She Works. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Exposing the pseudoscience, ideological agendas, and biological determinism behind a disturbing new trend in gender development.
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