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Hating Women: America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex

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From the author of the internationally bestselling Kosher Sex. A wake-up call about the growing trend of misogyny in our culture-as evidenced by the flood of reality TV shows, ads, and lyrics that portray women as brainless bimbos, or worse Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt From the author of the internationally bestselling Kosher Sex. A wake-up call about the growing trend of misogyny in our culture-as evidenced by the flood of reality TV shows, ads, and lyrics that portray women as brainless bimbos, or worse Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt for women. Turn on the television: Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor, For Love or Money, and Average Joe boost their ratings by showing attractive women in competition for one man, one man's money, or both. On a "quest for true love," these women quickly devolve into a pit of vipers-and millions of Americans tune in each week for more. During commercial breaks, women are objectified to sell beer, cars, and every other product under the sun. Flip on the radio: Women are bitches, hos, and gold diggers, at least if you listen to the rap lyrics pumping out into our mass consciousness. And female pop stars like Britney and Madonna, says Boteach, have pushed the envelope past provocative and into the downright pornographic. 'Tween girls across the country follow their lead, and standards for how women should be treated plummet. Perhaps one of the most troubling aspects of this trend, he says, is women's complicity in their own degradation. Either they've become resigned to base stereotypes, or worse, they've bought into these mass market values (hence the deluge of shows like The Swan and Extreme Makeover, on which female contestants insist they need a new nose, teeth, or boobs to feel a positive sense of self-esteem). "There are strong consequences," writes Boteach, "in a world where men have no respect for women and women have no respect for themselves." Greedy gold diggers, brainless bimbos, publicity prostitutes, and backstabbing bitches-are these the stereotypes we want our sons and daughters bombarded by as they grow up? Hating Women offers a vision of how we can correct this downward spiral-along with a strong argument for why we absolutely must.


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From the author of the internationally bestselling Kosher Sex. A wake-up call about the growing trend of misogyny in our culture-as evidenced by the flood of reality TV shows, ads, and lyrics that portray women as brainless bimbos, or worse Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt From the author of the internationally bestselling Kosher Sex. A wake-up call about the growing trend of misogyny in our culture-as evidenced by the flood of reality TV shows, ads, and lyrics that portray women as brainless bimbos, or worse Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt for women. Turn on the television: Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor, For Love or Money, and Average Joe boost their ratings by showing attractive women in competition for one man, one man's money, or both. On a "quest for true love," these women quickly devolve into a pit of vipers-and millions of Americans tune in each week for more. During commercial breaks, women are objectified to sell beer, cars, and every other product under the sun. Flip on the radio: Women are bitches, hos, and gold diggers, at least if you listen to the rap lyrics pumping out into our mass consciousness. And female pop stars like Britney and Madonna, says Boteach, have pushed the envelope past provocative and into the downright pornographic. 'Tween girls across the country follow their lead, and standards for how women should be treated plummet. Perhaps one of the most troubling aspects of this trend, he says, is women's complicity in their own degradation. Either they've become resigned to base stereotypes, or worse, they've bought into these mass market values (hence the deluge of shows like The Swan and Extreme Makeover, on which female contestants insist they need a new nose, teeth, or boobs to feel a positive sense of self-esteem). "There are strong consequences," writes Boteach, "in a world where men have no respect for women and women have no respect for themselves." Greedy gold diggers, brainless bimbos, publicity prostitutes, and backstabbing bitches-are these the stereotypes we want our sons and daughters bombarded by as they grow up? Hating Women offers a vision of how we can correct this downward spiral-along with a strong argument for why we absolutely must.

30 review for Hating Women: America's Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex

  1. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    I’ve only read 60 pages, and it’s probably unfair of me to review the book on the basis of that (which is why I'm not rating it), but I’m not likely to complete it, so I will post my thoughts thus far. I disagreed with some of Rabbi Boteach’s thesis in his chapter on protecting femininity in his book “Ten Conversations.” His book “Hating Women” is that chapter writ large, and my problems with it are thus even larger. I agree that there is an increasing misogyny in our culture that accompanies me I’ve only read 60 pages, and it’s probably unfair of me to review the book on the basis of that (which is why I'm not rating it), but I’m not likely to complete it, so I will post my thoughts thus far. I disagreed with some of Rabbi Boteach’s thesis in his chapter on protecting femininity in his book “Ten Conversations.” His book “Hating Women” is that chapter writ large, and my problems with it are thus even larger. I agree that there is an increasing misogyny in our culture that accompanies media portrayals of women as existing primarily to service men sexually. I agree that the sexual revolution had the negative social consequence of elevating the importance of a woman’s sexuality so much that it, rather than her virtue, is sometimes taken to be her most defining characteristic. I agree that women in general have become too tolerant in general of the degradation of women. I agree that, in our modern society, women have lost too much dignity. So I agree, more or less, with his complaint, and I think the complaint needs to be made and made passionately. But I’m not sure the solution is to attempt to idolize women and worship femininity, which is what Rabbi Boteach often sounds like he is advocating. He laments that women have become “ordinary” in modern times, but of course they have. Women are not divine goddesses. They are human beings. The romantic myth that women are superior, angel-like, ever-nurturing, utterly selfless, never-catty creatures capable of redeeming men, healing the world, and halting wars with their tender sighs cannot long persist in a world where the sexes are permitted the freedom to mix and compete with men at work and in the academy. The myth can only be kept alive by a strict separation of the sexes. Such a separation may indeed keep the myth alive for some men and may indeed restore the dignity of women to some degree, but one cannot reasonably propose that as a workable solution to the problem of misogyny on a nationwide basis in today’s society. Rabbi Boteach waxes nostalgic for the days when femininity was worshipped and extols ancient cultures for valuing the feminine so much more than we do now; but the same cultures that worshipped the “divine feminine” subjugated women in temple prostitution and allowed them few if any legal rights. Veneration of the feminine simply does not historically correspond with a more just treatment of women, and yet his central thesis is that virtually all of the ills of the modern age, from war to unruly children to political partisanship to bad reality television, can be attributed to a lack of veneration of femininity. So, for example, he lauds the cult of the Virgin Mary within Catholicism, because this expresses adulation of the feminine, which should, presumably, according to his thesis, mean a better world. But are women in fact treated better by men, on average, in Catholic cultures where veneration of the Virgin Mary is more common than in Catholic cultures where it is less common? He doesn’t bother to consider such questions. The correlation is obvious to him, so therefore it must be true. He calls the lack of veneration of women the “principle reason for the world’s devolution.” Of course, this begs the question as to whether or not the world has, on the whole devolved. I am sure there are detailed, convincing, rational arguments to be had on both sides. But I know this: blindfold me and tell me I am going to be born a woman, and I can choose to be born in the 1st century, when men worshipped goddesses; in the 11th century, when knights were inspired to grand deeds by their veneration of ladies; in the 14th century, when men like Dante idolized women like Beatrice; or in the 21st century, when Britney Spears danced half naked on the stage and Janet Jackson bared her breast at the Super Bowl, and…I’m still going to choose the 21st century. Rabbi Boteach is right that there is nothing “liberating” about strutting around in a bikini in a beauty pageant, but what he seems to overlook is this: I don’t HAVE to strut around in a bikini in a beauty pageant. The western world hasn’t, in terms of just treatment of women, really devolved; where it has devolved is in human dignity, and what happens to women as a result is a general, and not a particular, consequence of our general loss of dignity as a people and a culture. He acknowledges that women were ill treated back in the days when femininity was idolized, but he thinks we can reclaim the idolization without reclaiming the subjugation. I’m not sure that’s possible, but, even if we could, I’m not sure we should necessarily want men to idolize women in a Dantesque fashion. Respect them, certainly, but idolize them? (He of course never uses the word idolatry, but I don’t know how else to label what he seems to be describing in these pages with regard to his adulation of womankind.) Yes, women should be more dignified. Yes, men should be more dignified. Yes, a man is best when balanced by a woman. Yes, women are a civilizing influence in society. But women are not gods. As John Donne (or St. Augustine?) said, woman was not taken out of man’s foot, to be subjugated by him, but nor was she taken out of his head, to be lord over him. She was taken out of his side. She too is flesh and bone. I feel that, so far in this book, Rabbi Boteach is too hard on men as a group and idolizes women too much as a sex. There are feminists who seek to masculinize women, and feminists who seek to feminize men. Rabbi Boteach strikes me as the latter variety. But it is really a sense of masculine honor, and not androgyny or femininity, that inspires men to behave honorably toward women. Perhaps I am misunderstanding Rabbi Boteach to some extent. I can only say how the argument appears to me thus far, and it appears to be an argument for idolizing women and feminizing men in order to solve all of the world problems. It holds for me hints of the goddess-worship, female-superiority, men are unnecessary, sisterhood of femininity version of feminism to which I simply cannot relate. Although putting women on unrealistically high pedestals is certainly better than putting them on their knees, it is not the silver bullet answer to the world’s woes or even to women’s woes. What we suffer today is not an issue of female superiority going unrealized. It is an issue of men and women both abandoning their human dignity and forgetting that they were created in the image of their Maker.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Nothing would make me happier than for this to be required reading in every high school in the country. It's such common sense, I don't understand how anyone could argue with it. For instance, I have always wondered how 89% of the men in the U.S. can look at porn and then walk into the workplace and treat women like their equal. It's not possible. And look at the books and movies that promote the gentleman hero, such as yes, just admit it, Twilight, that are huge hits that women become obsessed Nothing would make me happier than for this to be required reading in every high school in the country. It's such common sense, I don't understand how anyone could argue with it. For instance, I have always wondered how 89% of the men in the U.S. can look at porn and then walk into the workplace and treat women like their equal. It's not possible. And look at the books and movies that promote the gentleman hero, such as yes, just admit it, Twilight, that are huge hits that women become obsessed with. Why should that be the fantasy instead of the reality? Thank-you, Rabbi Shmuley, for putting so many of our social problems into a clear argument for a return of the mystique of femininity.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    This has been one of my most favorite feminist books for years, from a very unlikely author, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. Boteach understands that feminism has take huge steps back with the misogyny, sexual perversion, and disrespect for women in our modern culture. He calls for a recultivating of men to respect and revere women. I connect to his thinking as a religious woman, a feminist, and a woman who understands a man must be truly worthy to be able to enjoy my body and my life. If American wom This has been one of my most favorite feminist books for years, from a very unlikely author, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. Boteach understands that feminism has take huge steps back with the misogyny, sexual perversion, and disrespect for women in our modern culture. He calls for a recultivating of men to respect and revere women. I connect to his thinking as a religious woman, a feminist, and a woman who understands a man must be truly worthy to be able to enjoy my body and my life. If American women started thinking like this again, I feel our country would be very different. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and will definitely cause a few debates!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Great, great book! It's written by a Rabbi who says: "I have been stunned to see the growing misogyny in our culture, and even more shocked to see how little women seem to care about their degradation." Great, great book! It's written by a Rabbi who says: "I have been stunned to see the growing misogyny in our culture, and even more shocked to see how little women seem to care about their degradation."

  5. 4 out of 5

    J

    Mixed feelings. The author (a rabbi with five daughters) wonderfully articulates some concepts--why He's Just Not That Into You is despicable; how women used to have few rights but were idealized as holier beings, but now they have rights and are seen as immoral sex kittens/gold diggers; that the force of the feminine is so constrained in the modern world that we have no one to temper male violence, no one to nurture, and none of the wisdom that comes with being a life-giving force. But Rabbi Bo Mixed feelings. The author (a rabbi with five daughters) wonderfully articulates some concepts--why He's Just Not That Into You is despicable; how women used to have few rights but were idealized as holier beings, but now they have rights and are seen as immoral sex kittens/gold diggers; that the force of the feminine is so constrained in the modern world that we have no one to temper male violence, no one to nurture, and none of the wisdom that comes with being a life-giving force. But Rabbi Boteach is conservative--he loves Condi Rice (though admirably writes about how she's seen more for her looks than her mind), repeats himself, recycles rhetorical devices (many comparisons) and is occasionally too depressing: if one isn't pretty enough to be hired at Abercrombie, he writes, she can look forward to a life of unreturned phone calls--unless, that is, she's come in contact with a man who would like uncomplicated sex, and sees her as a willing, desperate creature. All of this aside, the writing is addictive. Anger-making, but addictive. Not worth buying, but a great library find.

  6. 5 out of 5

    house targaryen

    Research about marital relationships in general reveals that husbands are likely to receive more support from their spouse and this fair far better, while women tend to receive less support and experience greater stress from giving support. These are among the conditions that contribute to the higher rates of depression in women. (Lambert, Women with Controlling partners) Shmuley, and society in general, expects women to regulate the emotions of men as well as themselves. This has been a thing th Research about marital relationships in general reveals that husbands are likely to receive more support from their spouse and this fair far better, while women tend to receive less support and experience greater stress from giving support. These are among the conditions that contribute to the higher rates of depression in women. (Lambert, Women with Controlling partners) Shmuley, and society in general, expects women to regulate the emotions of men as well as themselves. This has been a thing that’s starting to get noticed in feminist circles; the concept of unpaid emotional labor that women are expected to supply. This takes many forms, and at its most benign looks like listening, support and empathy. However, as it becomes more noxious, women are expected to read the emotions men and proactively protect them from their own negative emotions. Shmuley admits that most men, without female influence, would burp, fart, be violent and temperamental, and generally unfit for polite society. But then he goes on to say that women should dedicate their personal lives to calming, comforting, and civilizing a man (to whom they are married of course). Why can't men on their own save themselves from their plight? Why is it the woman's job, after thousands of years dedicating our lives, to still try and fight the losing battle of possibly eventually domesticating just one man enough to be fit for society, over the course of her lifetime? I think he doesn't understand that women have had enough, and women's 'acting out' is a reaction, a way to break free of the role of soother of men that Shmuley would like women to continue with through the next millennia. 30% of this book is Shmuley hating on women, like Britney Spears & Playmates. It's easy to deride these influences, but they will always be there. 3 stars just because it's continuing the conversation we need to have about men treating women better. (first part from /medium[dotcom]/@emmalindsay/men-dump-their-anger-into-women-d5b641fa37bc)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    Mr. Boteach has noted with growing concern the apparent misogyny running rampant through American society. Shows that denigrate women, sports that humiliate them, pornography that objectifies them—all come in for his censure. While he does make a point about how too many men seem fixated on one type of woman and how that is bad news for the rest, his notions that we should return to a time when all men were chivalrous (there can be no gentlemen if there are no ladies) and women were glorified sa Mr. Boteach has noted with growing concern the apparent misogyny running rampant through American society. Shows that denigrate women, sports that humiliate them, pornography that objectifies them—all come in for his censure. While he does make a point about how too many men seem fixated on one type of woman and how that is bad news for the rest, his notions that we should return to a time when all men were chivalrous (there can be no gentlemen if there are no ladies) and women were glorified saints on pedestals seems rather naïve and a touch dangerous. Past centuries were times when women had few rights and little recourse if their husband was an alcoholic, an abandoner of his family and children, an abuser who beat her. Nostalgia is always about ignoring the bad spots in history and that’s why it makes for poor philosophy. Mr. Boteach also seems to believe that, while women don’t need a man to get ahead, they do need one to provide them with sparks and magic, whatever that means. I guess that means lesbians and nuns are out of luck. If you ignore his philosophy and simple yearnings for days gone by, the book does make its points about the current trail of sleazy behavior adopted by women who seem to think being equal to a man means aping all his coarsest and meanest traits. There is room for improvement in the relations between the sexes and that starts with taking a good hard look at what message is being sent by our current culture.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    It was a book that made me think about gender stereotype more than I have in a long time. Boteach presents his arguments in a good light, but they are overly simplistic. Most of the arguments are not applicable to modern relationships. I wish he would have taken into account that genders evolve with time. Some of the niceties, equalities he writes about does have to do with the period. I wanted him to get rid of this box and acknowledge that. Focusing on the past explains where we are headed, bu It was a book that made me think about gender stereotype more than I have in a long time. Boteach presents his arguments in a good light, but they are overly simplistic. Most of the arguments are not applicable to modern relationships. I wish he would have taken into account that genders evolve with time. Some of the niceties, equalities he writes about does have to do with the period. I wanted him to get rid of this box and acknowledge that. Focusing on the past explains where we are headed, but he should have focused on the future of gender lines.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    i'm giving it 4 because sometimes I felt he got a little...overzealous. and honestly sometimes a bit mean. i agreed that britney does damage to female culture but he seems to forget maybe she needs our help and prayers, ya know? also his comments about blue-eyed blondes were kind of annoying, as i am a blue-eyed blonde lol. dude we are not ALL playboy bimbos! and we don't all go blonde just to attract guys. maybe it's just a flattering, uncommon hair color! eesh. but other than those and a few o i'm giving it 4 because sometimes I felt he got a little...overzealous. and honestly sometimes a bit mean. i agreed that britney does damage to female culture but he seems to forget maybe she needs our help and prayers, ya know? also his comments about blue-eyed blondes were kind of annoying, as i am a blue-eyed blonde lol. dude we are not ALL playboy bimbos! and we don't all go blonde just to attract guys. maybe it's just a flattering, uncommon hair color! eesh. but other than those and a few others small things, i thought it was a very important, eye-opening book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Rabbi Boteach did present some examples of the western culture's diminishment of the female sex that I hadn't thought about and I did find it terrific to have a male voice added to the female voices against the current way things are. But his solutions are not ones I can entirely agree on as he brought religion into it which I feel should be a separate argument. I'm glad I read this book but I'm not sure it will help change anything for females. Rabbi Boteach did present some examples of the western culture's diminishment of the female sex that I hadn't thought about and I did find it terrific to have a male voice added to the female voices against the current way things are. But his solutions are not ones I can entirely agree on as he brought religion into it which I feel should be a separate argument. I'm glad I read this book but I'm not sure it will help change anything for females.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Rabbi Boteach teaches in this book about the power of femininity and the deterioration of virtue, dignity and integrity among women. He clearly states also how men have become used to being doted on by women and no longer are required in "winning" a woman's heart. Men have forgotten to be gentlemen simply because women have forgotten to be ladies. A great book with so much insight. I have found another author that I greatly admire. Rabbi Boteach teaches in this book about the power of femininity and the deterioration of virtue, dignity and integrity among women. He clearly states also how men have become used to being doted on by women and no longer are required in "winning" a woman's heart. Men have forgotten to be gentlemen simply because women have forgotten to be ladies. A great book with so much insight. I have found another author that I greatly admire.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leslie North

    The best chapter was on the cosmology of male and female energy. Much of the rest of the book, while true, was pretty graphic in his description of the problems. And there must be some synchronicity with the book because I have never heard of it before and it showed up on the library shelf as if I had request and reserved it. I'm not sure about the mystery. The best chapter was on the cosmology of male and female energy. Much of the rest of the book, while true, was pretty graphic in his description of the problems. And there must be some synchronicity with the book because I have never heard of it before and it showed up on the library shelf as if I had request and reserved it. I'm not sure about the mystery.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen Kortsch

    This book should be titled "Blaming Women." From what I read his premise is basically that women need "to be put back on a pedestal like in the good old days." According to Boteach the promiscuous behavior of women is what drives men to behave badly. I couldn't disagree more. This book should be titled "Blaming Women." From what I read his premise is basically that women need "to be put back on a pedestal like in the good old days." According to Boteach the promiscuous behavior of women is what drives men to behave badly. I couldn't disagree more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mandi Meredith

    Eh...it was ok. It absolutely brings up a lot of the effects of a patriarchal society, but at the same time reinforces some of those very notions. Basically, men need to treat women like ladies, but ladies, need to act like it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lake

    Women need to demand the same kind of respect they are shunning by wanting to be equal. We're not equal we're above men. We make babies! Women need to demand the same kind of respect they are shunning by wanting to be equal. We're not equal we're above men. We make babies!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre

    LOVE this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caat

    It is definitely written for the American reader, but nonetheless an inspiring book for this European.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Skelton

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Hudson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Shipman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Corbett

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katlin K

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joel Kleehammer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

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