978-0-385-49887-6 / 9780385498876

Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World





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About the book:

After the release of her bestselling title, Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, Peggy Orenstein toured the country talking to groups of parents, teachers, and girls. It was after one of these teen town hall meetings that she decided to write about the crucible of postfeminist socialization at which today's women--not girls--find themselves: the reconciliation of motherhood and personal aspirations. It's a subject she's intimately familiar with. Orenstein began researching Flux when she was in her mid-30s and agonizing over whether to have a child: "I wanted the richness of motherhood in my life but worried over its costs. I could almost hear the traditionalist in me clucking, 'You can't have it all,' and it infuriated me. Why couldn't I? Why couldn't any of us?"

To help her answer these questions, she interviewed about 250 women between 1996 and 1999, and their varied responses serve as a kind of public consciousness-raising tool. She also interviewed their friends, lovers, and partners to get to the root of the expectations, joys, and frustrations of these women living in a "half-changed world." Though most of the women she interviewed come from similar backgrounds (college educated, white, middle class, and heterosexual), their combined experiences provide readers with plenty of different viewpoints to consider. A portrait of a generational Everywoman emerges from these snapshots in a way that furthers the stated purpose of the book: to inspire readers in "the search for a more satisfied life." -- J.R.

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